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Coliving: the housing trend that competes with apartment-sharing

Written by
Eloïse
Coliving: the housing trend that competes with apartment-sharing

The difficulties of access to housing linked to the rise in rents and to the saturation of town centres have seen flat-sharing take off. Initially supported by students, this collective housing method then became popular with young workers who are sensitive to flexibility, for the community aspect and the financial benefits of shared accommodation. But today, another type of housing responds to these issues: coliving.

1. What is coliving?

The origin of coliving 💡

This phenomenon, born in the United States in the 19th century was quickly copied by Denmark in the 20th century where the first buildings with shared kitchens were designed with the aim of optimising time and costs for families. London immediately offered its first shared spaces. Its first building, Isokon, already included a shared kitchen and services such as laundry and shoe shining.
With more than 50,000 beds planned or existing at the end of 2020, coliving has invaded Europe. Literally known as “living together”, this type of housing differs from shared accommodation and other residences managed by its community of inhabitants (“co-livers”) and its services, sometimes thematic, are included.

Specialised players quickly emerged, such as Sharies, Ivynest or Colonies to offer tailor-made proposals. Their goal was to create flexible living spaces where services and community life are at the heart of everyday life.

As in a typical flat-share, co-living spaces consist of a private space, but above all, many areas where goods and services are shared.

The coliving spaces are equipped with a modern layout, combining comfort and innovation. Installation and daily management … Everything is turnkey. Colivers have only one thing left to do – to drop off their suitcases!

Coliving spaces generally consist of:

  • Private spaces (on average 17m2 per occupant) furnished
  • Fully furnished common areas: kitchen, living room, terrace, etc.
  • Large shared spaces: work space, gym, room dedicated to cinema or video games, etc.

Shared by 8 to 15 colivers, these spaces therefore have a reduced cost and promote the creation of a real community of inhabitants.

2. Colivers, a community with similar interests

Although in 2018, the median age of co-livers was 30 years, there now exist several types of colivings where different profiles are found: students, start-ups, artists, seniors etc. Coliving allows everyone (tourists or people in transition) to be comfortably installed at home, even for a short stay!

One of the strengths of co-living is its community. The spaces will be real “incubators” where ideas flow. The co-livings have for the most part set up themes in order to bring together co-livers with similar profiles or interests. Among the most original, some co-living spaces are inspired by themes such as:

  • La casa des chefs: Fully equipped kitchen, outdoor kitchen and monthly cooking class.
  • La casa du cinema: Equipped cinema room and with the UGC / Gaumont unlimited subscription included.
  • La casa des sportif: Sports hall and Gymlib pass included (unlimited access to +3000 sports halls).
Coliving thème cuisin
Coliving thème cinéma
Coliving thème sport

Most of the time, the most demanding profiles are people in transition and young workers who need a stimulating environment to let their creativity grow and to share their skills. Because living in coliving also often benefits from a co-working space – and co-workers with varied skills!

To provide for and run the coliving community, the managers also organise activities and events. Themed dinners where everyone gets involved, drawing workshops, board game tournaments or improvisation lessons… The occupants always have new opportunities to chat.

3. Coliving, a flat-sharing scheme awash with services

Co-living is also distinguished from flat-sharing by its range of services. Cleaning of common areas, maintenance, but also water, heating, internet, electricity: everything is included in the rent!

In addition, each co-living can offer a variety of services, in line with the interests of its co-living community:

  • Delivery of weekly groceries or ready-cooked meals
  • Netflix or Spotify subscriptions
  • Provision of electric bicycles and scooters
  • Marketplace of products for sale or rental

These services, whether included or optional, complete the co-living offer while maintaining the “all-in-one” spirit and easy access specific to these spaces.

4. Which tool would you use to facilitate the daily life of colivers?

In order to navigate and communicate easily with each other, co-livers also have digital tools dedicated to co-living. These platforms, which centralise both services and communications, are essential today in offering a quality occupant experience.

  • Area news feed, events
  • Incident reporting and follow-up, emergency contacts
  • Private messaging, directory, forum and classifieds
  • Contactless access, reservation of shared spaces, marketplace…

The Witco application is a dual interface accessible by co-living managers and by co-livers. Its simple use will allow everyone to communicate seamlessly on a daily basis.

Coliving has proven itself on the European market by responding (unlike current rental offers) to the needs of the real estate market. Flexible and diversified in its offers, coliving makes renting available quickly and easily to everyone. And today, co-living is also becoming digital, thanks to dedicated apps for the daily comfort of the co-living community.