Co-living : when sharing a home with others becomes the new life ING

Co-living : when sharing a home with others becomes the new life ING

Today’s society is moving towards greater flexibility and shared services. The real estate sector is no exception. After the co-working boom, co-living has become increasingly popular among young workers. For many newcomers, this new generation of home sharing is a good alternative for acclimatizing to a new environment, making new connections and accessing an affordable accommodation solution. 

Unknown to the public until a few years ago, co-living has developed in major European capitals such as Paris, London, Berlin and Amsterdam. It consists of sharing an ample living space divided into private and common areas and facilities for a flexible, usually short period. The concept differs from simple shared accommodation by offering a variety of high-level services to residents. Besides private spaces, shared kitchen, dining room and lounge, co-livers can enjoy, for example, a cinema room, a gym, a co-working space, a library, a bar, etc. Usually, a community manager organises events for the co-residents, such as music evenings, conferences or courses.

A hybrid model between hotel and home sharing

Contrary to popular belief, co-living is not limited to students studying abroad with the Erasmus programme. This can also be an option for young professionals taking up a first job away from their family home or looking for a pied-à-terre in the capitals where they pursue their professional life. They can be expatriates and newcomers who have not yet found a fixed place to stay. Finally, they can also be digital nomads or people looking for a place to live in a community without constraints.

As a hybrid model between a hotel and home sharing, co-living is a practical solution, especially if you settle in a new country. You may terminate your lease whenever you want (with prior notice, usually one month). The rent you pay includes everything: not only access to the private and shared areas but also flat rates for electricity, heating, water, internet access, internal telephone line and cleaning of common areas. Other services can be added, such as parcel delivery, bicycle rental, on-site catering, or a sports coach. Moreover, you can do everything remotely before you arrive in the country thanks to digitalisation. More and more companies specialising in this type of residence are offering virtual visits and electronic lease signatures.

And in Luxembourg?

Many specialists believe that the Luxembourg market is particularly favourable to developing the co-living concept. There are several reasons for this. First of all, as everywhere else, the urban population will increase in Luxembourg. From year to year, the country attracts many workers, some of whom choose to live and work in the Grand Duchy. According to the Greater Region's statistical offices, Luxembourg's population should increase by almost 48% in 2050 to reach a total population of 923,653 people! In addition, property prices in the country have risen so much in recent years that living alone is no longer an option for many young people and newcomers. In response to the increasingly difficult housing issue, more and more cities want to rethink urban development by promoting collective housing solutions.   

Currently, the development of the co-living market is still limited in Luxembourg. Projects are already in operation in some districts of Luxembourg City (Neudorf, Gasperich and Limpertsberg) and in Belval. In Differdange, the Gravity project, which combines shops, offices, housing, a nursery and 125 co-living rooms, will be completed by 2023.

This hesitant development is due to unfavourable regulations. The framework is still restrictive. Planning and safety regulations, as well as regulations on the density of housing on a plot of land in Luxembourg make the development of co-housing projects difficult. Some legal issues also remain, such as the tax domicile of residents and lease agreements. These legal and regulatory obstacles should soon disappear. The Minister of Housing has repeatedly expressed willingness to evolve the laws relating to cohabitation.

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