Amid hygiene and cleanliness becoming the key determinant of quality living, shared living spaces are likely to see a major shift in the post-COVID-19 world, shows a new report, adding that normalcy could be expected in less than six months. According to the report, jointly prepared by the Student Accommodation Providers Association of India (SAPFI) and CBRE South Asia, professionally-managed student accommodation and co-living facilities will emerge as the preferred choice for tenants, as higher value will be attached to cleanliness and hygiene, going forward.
Occupiers have stepped up cleanliness in facilities, by way of making provision for sanitisers at all entrance points, offering limited/restricted access to common amenities and areas, giving staggered timings for utilising common amenities, conducting temperature and symptom checks at the entrance point of the buildings and offering relief in monthly rental payments.
Expecting a boost in demand for quality living spaces, more than 50% operators taking part in the survey said they would be looking at expanding bed capacity. The report, titled ‘Re-Starting the Engine–The Way Forward for the Shared Accommodation Segment’, shows 72% operators expect normalcy will return to the business within a period of less than six months.
“Professionally-managed shared accommodations are considered to be globally established asset classes in the real estate industry and developers are increasingly viewing co-living/student housing as a natural extension of their businesses. The COVID-19 global pandemic has clearly brought forward the need for quality student accommodation facilities across the country. Besides, going forward, health and wellness will be the major focus among developers and they will be putting a lot of emphasis on integrated developments, as well,” says Anshuman Magazine, chairman and CEO, India, South-East Asia, Middle-East and Africa, CBRE.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the booming shared accommodation industry, including student housing and co-living. However, with changing consumer preferences, the industry will soon be turning the present crisis into an opportunity and contributing to the government’s vision of ‘Getting Growth Back’. To ensure this growth, we will closely be continuing to work with the central and state governments, for further bringing favourable policies and a regulatory ecosystem for our members,” said Kaushal Mahan, convener, SAPFI.
With the segment gaining significance in the aftermath of the pandemic, the majority of operators expect the government to acknowledge it as a standalone entity. This sentiment was aired by 89% of the participants who took part in the survey. Operators also expect the government to provide better support, by offering clarity on regulatory norms, while also addressing concerns with regard to the GST tax structure.