Post-COVID Co-living Trend

Published on 31 / December / 2020

Co-living has been growing in popularity in many countries all around the world, however, with the new social distancing and health safety norms following COVID-19, it may have to reinvent itself. In Thailand, Phuket long-term rental properties tend to have more demand whether for living or investment, and real estate developers and operators need to take into account what consumer’s new demands will be.

Research on the market trend in London by property management enterprise, Built Asset Management (BAM), shows a spike of 312% in renters leaving single accommodation for a shared property between July and August 2020, when compared to January and February. The top three reasons behind the trend are:

  • Seeking a more financially viable accommodation option: 32%
  • Seeking co-living property to avoid a feeling of isolation: 25%
  • Seeking flexibility with a view to potentially purchasing afterward: 20%

5 Advantages for residents of co-living versus other types of accommodations:

  1. Affordability: Living where private room amenities and common facilities like pool, kitchens, and entertainment rooms are available at no extra costs is a plus. It can be costly to own or rent a fully furnished place considering the expense for furniture and home appliances on top of the monthly rent.
  2. Flexibility: Co-living spaces offer more flexible and customizable leases for both short and long-term rentals, as we understand that freedom is highly valued by residents.
  3. Common Facilities: Every resident has access to co-living facilities such as co-working space, full-service café, yoga studio, game room, and gym, which enhance the living experience and efficiency. Those working remotely will no longer have to visit a coffee shop on a daily basis and can get things done right where they live-saving both time and money.
  4. Social Community: Fun-filled or educational social activities and events are regularly organized for residents in the common area. These are beneficial for many people, especially for those who live alone and might be going through depression and isolation during the lockdown. It can also create a lively atmosphere and like-minded community for the residents. 
  5. Hospitality: The co-living operating model is hospitality-focused. One could say living in a co-living space is like living at home but with the services of a hotel.

Would young people be moving to urban co-living space to live or work in the age of social distancing and remote working?

The Millennials value experiences over possessions and with the growth rate of real estate prices being higher than that of wages, rental housing will continue to be a more affordable solution. Psychologically, people have also emerged from the isolation during the lockdowns realizing a true longing for human connection.

Co-living property management companies have also taken steps to comply with government rules on hygiene and social distancing including increasing the frequency of housekeeping and providing health and safety guidelines to their residents to ensure that people can still socialize safely under very challenging circumstances.

So, if operators and developers can keep their end of the bargain and provide safe, convenient, and fulfilling living experiences to tenants, then the demand for co-living spaces will continue to be popular post-COVID, especially in urban areas where housing is unaffordable.

In China, co-living spaces allow young professionals to be able to live in first-tier cities such as Shanghai, where property prices have soared putting home ownership and rental in the CDB out of reach for its population.

In Thailand, there are a number of co-living spaces in tourist destinations like Bangkok, Phuket, Krabi and Chiang Mai. Most of them compliment co-working spaces and are targeted at international digital nomads and expats. For the locals, this new type of accommodation is still a new concept yet it has the potential to become a major draw in cities like Bangkok and island destinations like Phuket.

Does co-living often remain the most affordable choice in popular destinations?

Phuket, one of Thailand’s most popular provinces with stunning beaches, is a hotspot for tourists, especially foreigners. Taking a holiday here, they fall in love with the island, and it gradually becomes their default vacation destination. And so many of them decide to move here. Living in Phuket will very likely decrease their costs of living since the average living expenses are significantly lower than big metropolitans like Hong Kong, Singapore, New York, London, and Sydney. 

However, the cost of living in Phuket is much higher than the other provinces in Thailand. New housing in Phuket, such as condos which are traditionally the most popular rental options, are getting smaller and less affordable. Young professionals can face some difficulties in buying or renting a living space. So staying in Phuket’s long term rental properties like co-living spaces with comforts, flexibility, safety and affordable prices is the best option, both for foreigners and nationals.

After the COVID-19 pandemic, the country was locked down. Tourist destinations across the country, including Phuket, have a very low number of visitors. Recently, Thailand approved the Special Tourist Visa (STV), setting out the first phase of reopening its border and paving the way for foreigners to visit Thailand for 90 to 270 days and reviving the tourism industry devastated by the pandemic. It is aimed at digital nomads, people blessed with being able to work remotely, and medical tourists looking to spend three months or more discovering this amazing island.

In October 2020, Thailand received its first group of foreign visitors to Phuket. All inbound passengers need to be screened upon arrival and transported to each individual’s chosen hotel for the required 14-day quarantine. 

With warm sunshine, unique culture, delicious food, and beautiful beaches, a long-stay in Phuket is undeniably attractive as one of the places to visit or even live in after the pandemic.

Looking for Phuket long term rental properties after COVID?     

Although co-living has not yet seen a boom in Thailand and its tourist destinations like Phuket, the pandemic has created new opportunities for the co-living sector under the global rise of urbanization as the model has been considered a solution to young generation’s growing social isolation.

HOMA, a rental housing venture between Asia Capital Real Estate (ACRE) and NOON Capital (NOON) located in the heart of Phuket, offers 2 properties catered to young professionals, young families, leisure and business travelers, digital nomads, and expatriates who are looking for Phuket holiday rentals or long-term professionally managed rental accommodation.

HOMA was founded to respond to customers’ needs with affordable prices, flexibility, hotel-standard facilities, unique designs, and hospitality. It can be said that HOMA offers the services of a hotel with the comforts of home.

The first two projects by HOMA are in prime Phuket locations. HOMA Phuket Town, the first HOMA opening in the 3rd quarter of 2021, is a 505-unit rental housing property in Phuket Town, within walking distance to Bangkok Hospital Phuket, Vachira Hospital and Rajabhat University.

The second project is HOMA Cherngtalay, opening in the 3rd quarter of 2022, a 422-unit apartment project located near Bang Tao beach within easy walking distance to international grocery stores like Central Food Hall at Porto de Phuket and Villa Supermarket at Boat Avenue, restaurants, bars, and more.

All studio, one, two, and three-bedroom apartments are self-contained with private kitchens and en-suite bathrooms. The facilities at both of HOMA’s locations are built at the same standard, if not higher, than a hotel. Not only to meet but to exceed its residents’ demands. From a rooftop pool to a fully equipped co-working space, one can easily combine a business day and leisure day together.  With easy access to numerous attractions nearby, these 2 properties are the perfect places to stay both for the short and long-term.

If the current pandemic continues for years as health experts predict, co-living seems to be the right answer for these times. It is a financially sustainable option and can help residents maintain a sense of normalcy, all while answering Millennials’ specific needs. Great Phuket long term rental properties offering both the comfort of home and the service of a hotel with privacy and community under the same roof can be found at HOMA.