"We realize that co-living has gone from a somewhat iconoclastic trend a few years ago, where people perceived it as a kind of + super colocation +, to a part of residential assets that is becoming more and more attractive. “, explains to AFP the director of Mipim, Nicolas Kozubek.
Unlike "old-fashioned" roommates, "coliving" tenants live in residences, often large, managed by a third party. This operator takes care of the charges (electricity, etc.) and can offer, via a mobile application, activities to create links between the tenants: yoga classes, group outings outside the city...
"It's a new way of looking at an old idea," sums up Tom Manwell, director of the London architectural firm Wellstudio, which creates "coliving" residences.
"In the old model, we rented an apartment for, for example, a year. But for many young people, it makes no sense because they move around a lot. Co-living is flexible: you can stay for a week, a month, a year," he said.
The big names in the sector are called Common (American), Cohabs (Belgian) or Colonies (French).
Still marginal a few years ago, this form of housing has experienced a spectacular acceleration during the health crisis, particularly in major cities: London, Madrid, Paris...
In France, the business real estate specialist JLL counted 440 million euros invested in "coliving" in 2021, then 291 million in 2022. Before 2020, it was less than 50 million euros per year .
"The Covid has nevertheless reshuffled the cards and people have realized that living alone locked up in small apartments, isolated, it was not very nice", says Tara Heuzé-Sarmini, co-founder of Commune Coliving.
"Seeing the rise of this model and the possibility of shared spaces, a garden, people thought it was more fun to live together," she says.
"There was a real need. In the metropolises, there are many people who suffer from loneliness", explains Marta Sauri Lopez, director for Spain and France of the English company Gravity Co-living.
"There is also an economic reality: it is that land is expensive and for investors, it is profitable to create density," she adds.
On the business side, some have also had to change their tune during the pandemic.
GroundInn, a company based in Barcelona and originally specialized in "coworking" (shared offices with services), thus launched into "coliving" at the end of 2021, when the generalization of telework emptied the offices, tells the 'AFP its director, Marta Rocamora Gonzalez.
A change that was not so difficult: "The first category of population that became interested in co-living were people who are often on the move", the same people who use "coworking" a lot, he explains. -She.
But with the arrival of major investors, "coliving" is becoming more and more sectorial. Nexity, a real estate heavyweight in France, announced on Monday that it was embarking on "coliving" for the elderly.
The company of Tara Heuzé-Sarmini, Commune, is also specialized in "coliving" for single-parent families.
“The more a market becomes mature, the more it specializes,” she says.