How Communal Living Has Adapted to the New Normal, Cushman & Wakefield

Published by Susan Tjarksen, Cushman & Wakefield 11/12/2020

Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, coliving was a rapidly growing niche asset class in major North American markets. The pandemic has created some challenges for developers and operators as overall rents and occupancy have declined, yet rent collections have remained in line with conventional multifamily.

Coliving developers and operators have continued to evaluate and source new sites since the pandemic began, predicated on the view that markets will be in recovery at the time of new project delivery in 2022 and beyond. Considerable opportunity for growth remains as the economy rebounds, and urban submarkets and their cultural amenities revive in activity.

In Cushman & Wakefield’s Coliving report, we examine how communal living has adapted to the new normal in the COVID-19 environment.

Key findings include:

– Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, coliving rents and
occupancy have declined in line with declines in conventional
Class A urban asset rents.

– Coliving assets continued to maintain a 23.2% rent per square foot
(psf) premium over the average of Class A studio rents PSF in
comparable markets as of Q3 2020.

– Several indicators point to continued demand from the coliving
target demographic despite the ongoing crisis, as leasing metrics
rebounded and exceeded pre-COVID rates due to continued depth of
demand relative to supply, and rent collections exceeded
performance of multifamily and Class A comparable product.

– As the economy recovers and the demand for amenity-rich urban
submarkets continues to rebound, coliving assets will benefit from
the overall improvement in demand further supported by their
competitive niche positioning in the rental ecosystem.


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