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April 1, 2019

‘Co-Living 2.0’ Reaches Beyond the Trendy Niche

Urban residents looking for a greater sense of community are credited as sparking the first wave of “co-living” arrangements—micro-spaces with shared kitchens and large communal areas. Co-living has mostly remained a niche living arrangement, but some housing experts say it’s evolving.

Co-living is being reinvented to target older and richer demographics and is now being dubbed “co-living 2.0.” Some experts call it “the next big thing in residential real estate.”

New co-living arrangements are entering the market to target older demographics who desire a strong sense of community, but also seek more living space and more privacy than micro-spaces.

One global firm, Node, is credited with being a pioneer of the second co-living wave. The company is creating curated co-living areas in urban rental apartment communities across cities worldwide. The homes have their own private kitchen and living areas, interior design that is unique to each unit, and a cohort of neighbors. It also offers event spaces, pop-up coworking areas, and an app to connect you to residents and building amenities.

“Few people want to spend over $1,000 per month to live in 100 square feet and share a kitchen with 10 other people,” Anil Khera, founder and CEO of Node, told Forbes.com. “There has to be a co-living model that embraces communal living and the sharing economy, but with slightly larger private spaces for sustainable independent living, too.”

The target market is older and wealthier compared to co-living 1.0, Khera says. Residents are usually in their late 20s to early 30s, single or married but without children, and earning an average of $70,000 per year. Residents tend to be new to the city, and may even be ultra-transient in calling multiple cities home. They may be entrepreneurs, freelancers, and professionals who bounce between cities but still seek a sense of community.

“As people move around globally, there is a growing need and desire for a global community—a group of friends, peers, and even mentors that live and move around the world,” Khera says. “Restarting community life every time one moves is highly disruptive and so the rise of a global community can help tackle issues of loneliness and isolation for globally mobile people.”

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