In last month’s issue we looked at the negative effect that the pandemic has had this year on demand for micro homes and small enclosed accommodation. The first lockdown (by the time you read this the second lockdown will have started), magnified the shortcomings of our accommodation and while there has been a rush amongst buyers and renters to move to homes with more space, or to less congested neighbourhoods, there has also been a surge in demand from people that were living alone, but would now like to move into a co-living development.
Data and analysis released by Built Asset Management (BAM) at the end of September revealed that there was a 312% increase, during July and August, in renters ditching single accommodation in favour of co-living, when compared to pre-lockdown.
The data relates to new rental contracts taken out within co-living properties across London between 1 July and 31 August 2020. According to the findings, the increase in renters that were moving from single-let properties, i.e. those inhabited independently, and had then signed a rental contract for a room within a co-living property operated by BAM, increased four-fold when compared to the months of January and February. These months were given as a comparative as they were before the lockdown measures imposed on the rental market.
BAM asked all prospective tenants seeking co-living accommodation, what the reason was for leaving their current housing situation. According to those leaving single-let accommodation between July and August, 32% were seeking a more financially viable accommodation option, 25% were looking to avoid a feeling of isolation and 20% were seeking flexibility with a view to potentially purchasing afterwards.
Furthermore, the data revealed that the average age of tenants ditching single-let accommodation in favour of co-living was 36.1 years old; eight years older than BAM’s average tenant age of 28.2 years old.
Alex Gibbs, co-founder and director at BAM, says: “Typically, the bulk of our incoming occupants are young professionals either moving from existing house-share accommodation in the city or entering London’s rental market for the first time. Post-lockdown, however, we have seen a real “Covid-effect” coming into play with a huge increase in renters vacating single-let accommodation in favour of co-living.