Co-living a new way of living, says Knight Frank

PROPERTY consultant Knight Frank Malaysia has revealed that 58% of respondents to its recent survey are exploring or planning to develop co-living/student accommodation.

According to its Commercial Real Estate Investment Sentiment Survey 2020 (CREISS 2020) report, it said the co-living concept — a modern, urban type of accommodation with shared living spaces — has been gaining traction, especially among millennials and Generation Z.

“However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and until a vaccine is developed, co-living occupancy rates will be impacted as social distancing is very difficult when you are sharing a home with others, some of whom may be complete strangers or transient renters.

“This drop in occupancy is likely to be short-lived, and once the Covid-19 crisis subsides, we believe there will be growing interest in this sector,” said Knight Frank Malaysia Capital Markets executive director James Buckley in a statement today.

Given the oversupply of new office premises, some well-located grade B office buildings can also be converted into co-living spaces, he said.

“The challenge for investors, however, is that co-living is most in demand in central locations which are typically more expensive, but we do see some opportunities emerging, particularly in the Kuala Lumpur old city centre,” said Buckley.

The CREISS 2020 is a special edition report, focusing on co-living as an alternative investment segment with insights from developers.

Meanwhile, Research and Consultancy executive director Judy Ong said the Covid-19 pandemic may see developers who are exploring or planning to develop co-living accommodation revisiting the functionality of their co-living space in terms of design and layout, particularly communal areas and shared facilities.

“With the right timing post-Covid-19, co-living presents an opportunity for key players to secure a first mover advantage in this largely untapped market,” she added. — May 13, 2020, Bernama

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