Co-living will solve the residential crisis of urban millenials and that’s the future of real estate

The sitcoms of USA have influenced young minds in India like never before. Working either with a media firm or a technology start up – the profession doesn’t matter. Holding a sugar free cappuccino in one hand and smartphone on the other, today’s millenials with a successful group of peers seem to be just out from the world of F.R.I.E.N.DS. But staying in India and maintaining a US lifestyle cost these people badly. And thus begins the romance of the roofless.

In the poem ‘All You Who Sleep Tonight’, Vikram Seth writes,” All you who sleep tonight/ Far from the ones you love,/ No hand to left or right/ And emptiness above.”

In today’s context, that’s probably every millennial staying out of their home and dreaming high. And to ease their worries, there are new businesses that are emerging. One of the brightest stars in the millennial galaxy right now is the co-living sector.

Co-living has existed since ages. But there was no method to it. Hostels have catered to students. But for bachelors working at offices, PG or rented accommodation has catered to the mass. Nobody bothered about the out-of-college young people. And that’s where the co-living companies smelled profit. They researched on the crisis young people face. From exorbitant rents to brokerages and lack of furnishings, there were just too many things lacking.

StayAbode is a start-up that is using design, technology, service and brand to build co-living spaces for the rental residential market at scale. Targeted at the millenials, it provides the experience of staying in a boutique hotel with a community of like-minded individuals.


They already have upto 95% occupancy in each of their 5 properties in Bengaluru. It is interesting to know that the female:male ratio at their Nestor property in Koramangala is 55:45.

Co-living will solve the residential crisis of urban millenials and that’s the future of real estate
Viral Chhajer, Co-founder, Stay Abode

Business Insider spoke to Viral Chhajer, Co-founder & CEO, StayAbode about the dynamics of the business.

How do you see Indian co-living scenario evolving?

With the massive influx of millennials in metros and the need to be flexible, mobile and social, co-living is the best option for the urban millennials. The need to have a sense of belonging to a community will be a major driver of adoption of this modern way of living amongst us Indians.

We have always seen co-living as a bachelor's' move? Given the housing crisis do you think it will now modify?

Co-living currently is seen as a bachelors home because of the underlying design philosophy behind co-living spaces. As that continues to evolve we’ll see co-living spaces for families, young couples etc.

What does the market of co-living space look like over next 5 years?

150Million plus urban millennials live in rented homes today. As demand for co-living spaces continues to grow and rental yields continue to exceed those of the traditional BHK’s, we’ll see a gradual shift in how realtors look at real-estate designs from an end use perspective.

What kind of investments is this space getting?

Given the impressive returns that co-living spaces are now being able to offer to property owners (sometimes as high as 15%) there is an opportunity to create a new asset class in real estate and that continues to excite both investors and realtors.

Does Co living space indicate death of traditional real estate over few decades?

We’re at a point where excessive demand of co-living spaces is driving more confidence and adoption in the space by realtors. The future will entail co-living spaces influencing construction and steering structural designs towards building more efficient and friendly homes.

Currently, structural designs in real-estate follow a very one size fits all approach which in the coming few decades will go through design based disruptions for different age groups which will ultimately benefit both, the realtors and the end users.

What Business Insider felt was even though these are boutique solutions, Stay Abode needs to create inventories that would be low-cost and pocket-friendly for millennials who are in their initial stage of their careers. Catering to just one particular economic group won't really be business-friendly.