With an aim to digitise the otherwise-unorganised market of paying guest (PG) accommodations and to boost the reach of organised co-living players, real estate portal Housing.com has launched an exclusive co-living section on its platform, with half-a-million beds listed across 12 major markets. It plans to scale this up to a million beds by the end of 2020. The Elara Technologies-owned portal has tied up with Oyo Life and Zolo, to promote their co-living spaces on its platform, as it enters the co-living market. The 12 cities contributing to the listings include Mumbai, Delhi, Gurugram, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Pune, Noida, Chennai, Ghaziabad, Hyderabad, Chandigarh and Ahmedabad.
“The way in which the concept of co-working is changing how traditional commercial work spaces operate in India, co-living is transforming traditional renting. The change is driven by a highly mobile millennial workforce and a growing student population with a new mindset. The country’s young population wants flexibility in housing options that allows them to move quickly in a highly dynamic work environment. Co-living provides ultra-modern living spaces, with a plethora of amenities and a like-minded community, all at pocket-friendly rates and with the flexibility of moving in and out quickly with minimum hassle,” says Dhruv Agarwala, group CEO, Housing.com, Makaan.com and Proptiger.com.
A report by group company PropTiger.com estimates that co-living is set to become a Rs 2-trillion market by 2023, in the top nine cities of India, as the demand for such spaces continues to grow among the country’s student and single working population. Currently, nearly 40% of India’s millennial workforce comprise migrants, looking for affordable, yet modern living spaces that provide them with an optimal mix of privacy with an opportunity to engage in social exchange. As the number of millennials in the workforce is expected to hit 75% of the total workforce by 2025, multiple organised players are jumping into this space, to grab this vast opportunity. Similarly, of the 37.4 million students pursuing higher education courses in 2018-19, approximately 15 million were migrants.
“Even as student enrolment in Indian universities increased from 34.6 million in 2015-16 to 37.4 million in 2018-19, only one in six students is able to find university hostel accommodation currently. This demand-supply mismatch is largely being met by the unorganised sector at present. Since the government is targeting a gross enrolment ratio of 32% by 2022 from the 26.3% number last year, there is likely to be a substantial increase in the number of migrant students, which will lead to a further increase in demand for hostel accommodation. There is a huge opportunity for organised players to jump in and meet this expected spurt in demand, as well as to close the current demand-supply gap,” adds Agarwala.
Co-living listings on Housing.com, are all verified with genuine photos. The platform offers consumers a variety of choices, with various amenities, accommodation types, food choices, security features, etc., to help them pick the most suitable accommodation based on their personal requirements. It also showcases pricing in a transparent manner. While the portal has a pan-India presence, the map-based search helps a consumer find PG/co-living options in areas close to their place of work, enabling a very focused search. There are also plans to enable the user to take a virtual tour of their shortlisted options.