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What Makes Co-living A Popular Option For Migrating Millennials The increasing demand for co-living is coming from enabled millennials who wish to live in newly-furnished spaces with a range of amenities at an affordable cost, stakeholders say.

By Shreya Ganguly

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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The young population in India is constantly on the move. They need to leave their homes and shift cities for higher education or a new job. And this is probably among the major reasons for the recent success of co-living.

According to a recent report by RedSeer Consulting, the Indian tech-enabled coliving market is expected to cross $22 billion by 2022.

"In India, millions of youth who migrate to urban centres for better education, career and lifestyle opportunities need dedicated housing, designed around their lifestyle needs," said Anindya Dutta, co-founder of start-up Stanza Living, which focuses on student housing.

Dutta added: "Majority has to depend on largely unorganized housing options, suffering from infrastructure and service quality gaps. With the entry of organized players, they have access to a service-led and professionally-managed housing option that takes end-to-end care of daily living needs, so they can focus on their academic and personal pursuits."

Related Story: #7 Reasons Co-living Spaces are the Next Big Thing in the Real Estate Industry

Solving Issue Of Finding Homes

Finding a suitable place to stay in an unknown city is not easy. One needs to decide on a suitable location, transact with landlords and brokers and also arrange for high security deposits. "It is even more difficult when people are moving to a new town for a short-term project or looking for weekday accommodations to avoid the daily commute. This is where the concept of co-living solutions are attracting customers especially students and the young workforce," said Rohit Kapoor, chief executive officer of new real estate businesses in hospitality unicorn OYO.

Kapoor said that India is a $50 billion housing market which includes 15 million migrant students and 40 million migrant professionals. According to him, there is an untapped demand of 60 million beds currently, creating a massive opportunity for companies operating in the space.

Highlighting safety aspects in co-living spaces, Dharamveer Singh Chouhan, co-founder, and CEO of Zostel said, "Technology is going to be a major enabler of security in the co-living space. Going beyond the traditional background checks and verifications, co-living places ensure safety through the use of biometric and facial recognition systems, careful segregation between private and social spaces, and use of quick feedback-driven referral systems to address any problems on a real-time basis."

Pocket Friendly Option

According to Kapoor, co-living has high demand because it has enabled millennials to live in newly-furnished spaces with a range of amenities at an affordable cost. "Professionals and students alike are looking for a place to stay which is not only closer to their offices and academic institutions but also offers a bunch of amenities at affordable rates," he said.

Kapoor highlighted that one of the major advantages of co-living spaces as opposed to paying guests or hostels is that it significantly cuts down the cost of living as people end up sharing the rent and at the same time enjoy add on services such as daily housekeeping, laundry, on-call resident facility management, daily meals, among others.

"Our OYO LIFE spaces not only remove the hassle of finding a fully furnished ready to move in place but also has no lock-in periods, security deposits and the pain of dealing with brokers," he added.

Sense of Community

While co-living is a pocket friendly option, it compromises on privacy to an extent as tenants share the living spaces with each other. However, players believe that youngsters gravitate towards a community living environment as it allows them to interact, relax, learn and grow with peers.

"People who have moved away from home into big cities feel a sense of loneliness. They're looking for a sense of community and belonging. And a co-living setup offers them a company of like-minded individuals in a comfortable setting," Kapoor said.

Dutta explained that this setup makes sure that it offers both privacy and social interaction "these places have been designed as a space that is an amalgamation of private and community spaces, allowing each resident a healthy balance of privacy and social interaction," he added.

"Co-living is all about community and collaboration rather than just isolation and competition. By making it easier to share resources, co-living facilities not only save money but also help develop a stronger environmental consciousness," said Kapoor.

Shreya Ganguly

Former Features Writer

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