Your bedroom is all that's your own, but big 'co-living' units are proving so popular that operators are rushing to boost supply

By Cheryl Arcibalcheryl.arcibal@scmp.com / https://www.scmp.com/business/article/3034010/your-bedroom-all-thats-your-own-big-co-living-units-are-proving-so-popular?utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=contentexchange&utm_source=EdgeProp | October 29, 2019 12:24 PM SGT
Co-living " in which renters have their own bedrooms but share other space like kitchens and living rooms " is taking off in Hong Kong, with operators planning to triple the number of units available by the end of next year.
So far, only about 400 of these big co-living units exist in a city known for a chronic shortage of affordable housing. But operators want to boost that to 1,400 units " each of which may have 10 or more individual bedrooms " by the end of 2020.
Co-living is still in its infancy, but "take-up has been strong so far," said Barry Chung, a senior associate director at Savills Hong Kong, "with many of the operators currently recording over 90 per cent occupancy rates.
"Co-living does seem to have ... provided solutions that traditional residential doesn't offer," he added.
The appeal of co-living is not cost. Average monthly rents for traditional and co-living flats are about the same " between HK$7,000 (US$892) and HK$22,000. But co-living renters like that they do not have to sign long-term leases " in Hong Kong, generally two years " or come up with a least two months of security deposit. That is making them especially attractive to young professionals or recently arrived expats.
Aaron Lee is the founder of Dash Living, which now has 51 co-living units in Hong Kong and plans to expand. Photo: Jonathan Wong alt=Aaron Lee is the founder of Dash Living, which now has 51 co-living units in Hong Kong and plans to expand. Photo: Jonathan Wong
"We always follow the demand, and this is such a big kind of market," said Dash founder Aaron Lee.
Founded in 2014, Dash first operated serviced flats and a hotel before venturing into co-living.
"We have customers that need this kind of lower-priced accommodation, and the only way to do that is...