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High barriers to homeownership drive shift toward co-living in Asia

Millennials in Asia are increasingly shifting towards co-living as a new form of shared housing, according to a report by JLL. Co-living is gaining traction, particularly in Hong Kong and greater China, where housing affordability is a concern, says JLL.

To those locked out of the residential market, co-living offers an affordable solution, says Denis Ma, head of research at JLL Hong Kong. In addition, the community events organised by co-living operators can improve residents overall well-being.

The demand from Chinese millennials is “huge”; it will take at least three to five years for the 43 million new Chinese graduates to start purchasing their own homes, given the high housing prices in tier 1 and 2 cities, says Joe Zhou, head of research at JLL China. Therefore, co-living is an attractive option.

Many investors and owners of existing properties, particularly in the hospitality sector, are finding the co-living market attractive. “Smaller budget and boutique hotels are one of the first property types being converted into co-living spaces due to their similar unit sizes and mature operating teams”, says Zhou. He adds that converting other properties involves a more complicated legal and planning process.

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