As populations expand, real estate prices escalate and more people migrate to cities for work and study, the need for alternative and affordable accommodation solutions has risen. The answer is coliving: a community-based living arrangement where a small group of people share the common spaces of a house or apartment while each resident has their own room and sometimes even their own bathroom. Living with a couple of roommates is nothing new, but coliving works a little bit differently.
Singapore is one major city that has recognised the value of coliving homes and communities to offer affordable accommodation to young professionals, international students and long-term expats. If you want to learn more about coliving in Singapore, keep reading to answer any questions you might have!
What is Coliving?
Coliving is a growing trend in major cities like Singapore, London and New York. Living with roommates can be a lot of fun and work out cheaper than living alone. However, this arrangement can present some issues such as unexpected hidden costs and conflict between roommates. Finding the right house or apartment, buying furniture, taking turns to clean and buy groceries, making sure everyone pays their rent on time…
Luckily, coliving homes take care of all these pain points. Firstly, coliving homes are already fully furnished and serviced with all-inclusive amenities. Secondly, coliving homes are managed by professional property managers who handle each tenant’s leasing contract individually. This means you can say goodbye to awkward conversations when one of your roommates is falling behind on rent as well as any unpleasant bickering about whose turn it was to buy dishwashing liquid or mop the kitchen floor.
Coliving homes in Singapore come in varying sizes, typically offering spacious communal zones such as a kitchen, dining room, living / entertainment area, working space and outdoor space. Residents enjoy sufficient privacy since each person can retreat to their own room. Bathrooms are shared or private depending on the size of the house.
The History of Coliving
Community has always been an important part of human life. People have been working and living together for centuries. Coliving, as we know it today, has roots in the shared living models in England, America and India as seen during the 19th and 20th centuries. In the 1930s, shared living spaces became prominent in London as people clustered together to share amenities and communal living and working areas. In the 1960s, co-housing emerged in Denmark as a similar concept where various private homes were situated around a communal house with shared spaces for cooking and recreational activities.
A few years ago, the coliving concept was modernised as a solution for rapid urbanisation, ever-growing costs of living and increased migration to cities motivated by job opportunities. The rise of digital nomads and long-term expats who work remotely also contributed to the need for alternative housing models in major cities. A new demand was created by people who travel to a foreign country for a couple of months, seeking convenient and affordable accommodation without the commitment of signing a 12-month lease on a house or apartment that still needs to be furnished and serviced. Enter coliving homes, a new version of an age-old housing model as a solution for modern problems.
What are the Benefits of Coliving?
Arguably the biggest advantage of coliving in Singapore is the cost-saving aspect. Singapore is an expensive city and accommodation comes at a high price, especially in the CBD. Unfurnished studio apartments in Singapore typically range between 1,500-4,500 SGD while the cost of a furnished and serviced apartment can jump to 7,000-14,000 SGD. In contrast, coliving homes start around 2,500 SGD per month with all-inclusive amenities and services such as cleaning, wifi and electricity. Since these homes are fully furnished, there are no hidden or additional costs.
Another major benefit of coliving homes is convenience. Coliving homes allow tenants to move in with only a toothbrush and a bag of clothes — everything else is already taken care of. Coliving homes in Singapore are managed by professional property managers who ensure everything runs smoothly, from cleaning and paying bills to maintaining the garden and organising social events.
Residing in a coliving home presents a unique opportunity to meet like-minded people, network with fellow professionals and make connections across culture and language borders. Since coliving homes in Singapore are primarily occupied by digital nomads, long-term expats and international students, residents have plenty in common even when everyone comes from different walks of life. Living in a foreign city may be a daunting experience but joining an uplifting community can make the world’s difference. Coliving homes encourage community-building by organising regular social events where residents can mingle and network.
● Modern facilities:
Sharing a home with others doesn’t mean you have to compromise on the appearance or functionality of your living space. Coliving homes in Singapore are beautifully furnished and fitted out with modern appliances, technology and security measures. Whether you’re staying in Singapore for a month or a year, you can do it in style and comfort.
● Simple payment structure:
Coliving homes offer flexible and individual leasing contracts, which means that each tenant independently pays the all-inclusive rental fees directly to the landlord or property manager. If one or more of your housemates move out, it’s not your responsibility to find a replacement or to pay their share of the rent. This simple payment structure wrinkles out any uncertainty regarding fees and ensures there are no administrative issues among residents.
● Prime locations:
Finally, coliving homes are mostly located in CBD areas where the cost of accommodation would otherwise be nearly unattainable. For someone who wants to explore the city every day and enjoy easy access to shops, restaurants and public transport, coliving housing is the ideal solution. If you work in the CBD, the quick commute is a major bonus. Living right in the middle of all the action also makes it easier to get to know your surroundings and meet people while you are settling into your new home.
What is Included in a Coliving Home?
As mentioned earlier, coliving homes in Singapore are fully furnished with modern and luxury amenities. Everything you could possibly need is already waiting for you, from linen and cleaning supplies to cutlery and cooking equipment.
gnômadic’s luxury coliving homes in Singapore’s CBD are each fitted out with a washing machine and dryer, a fully equipped kitchen, a full set of linen, high-speed wifi, a private entrance, a private garden and all-inclusive utilities. Additionally, each coliving home has a security concierge, a professional property manager and a community manager who is in charge of arranging and hosting regular lifestyle events to facilitate community-building.
Who will Enjoy Coliving in Singapore?
Coliving is typically favoured by young working professionals, digital nomads, long-term expats and international students. This living arrangement works well for people who plan on living in Singapore for a limited time and consequently don’t want to commit to long lease periods or splurge on expensive furniture and other home goods. That being said, coliving certainly isn’t limited to foreigners and temporary residents. The cost-benefits, convenience and community aspects of coliving are also attractive to permanent residents.
If you enjoy living with others, you will love the community feeling of coliving. On the other hand, if you typically prefer living alone, the cost-saving and convenience advantages of coliving in Singapore may outweigh the sacrifice of sharing your space with others. Besides, having a spacious room and perhaps even a private bathroom all to yourself will ensure you have more than enough privacy when you need some alone time.
Coliving Communities in Singapore
Coliving presents a wonderful opportunity to form part of a larger community of expats, students, professionals and the like. Settling into life in a new city doesn’t have to be a scary experience and finding accommodation in Singapore doesn’t have to be a challenge either. The city has many different accommodation options to choose from depending on your needs and budget. Coliving homes in Singapore offer a flexible, convenient and cost-effective solution to living the big city life while helping residents form part of a local community of like-minded people.
gnômadic is a premium coliving collective in Singapore that provides residents with spacious and modern sanctuaries along with carefully curated lifestyle events to inspire personal growth and community connections.
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We’re delighted to be featured in Season 1 of Stay the Night’s Hybrid Hospitality podcast. Check out Jonathan's interview as he talks about his predictions for the coliving industry and lots more including the impact of Covid-19, his connection with the gnômadic community and why he loves to give back to society.
Jonathan recently sat down with Chew Wui Lynn from CNA938 to discuss the business of coliving and potential areas of growth for the industry. Coliving for families, anyone? Click the link to hear the full interview.
Our Founder, Jonathan Schiff had the opportunity to interview with Natasha Shamash from Rebel and Soul. The digital socially distanced 5&5 series 2 discusses unforgettable memories. Watch the full interview as Jonathan shares some memorable advice he was given, a message he gives to his 20-year-old self and a memory he is looking forward to creating. Click the link to hear the full interview.