Online event: ‘Micro-living can be a solution for affordable city living’

Micro-living and other PRS products will become even more important after the crisis, experts agreed at Real Asset Media’s Student Housing, Micro-living and Co-living investment briefing, which took place online this week with over 780 participants from 40 countries. 

‘The one sector that won’t be affected by the pandemic is residential, as the importance of home has been highlighted,’ said Philip Hillman, Chairman, Living Capital Markets, JLL. ‘That’s why we’re seeing a positive response from investors in the UK and in Continental Europe’.

Long-term trends will reassert themselves after the crisis, with young professionals moving to the winning cities, returning to being mobile and more likely to rent than to buy, both for affordability and life-style reasons.

‘Micro-living is part of the solution to overcome affordability problems in booming cities,’ said Rainer Nonnengässer, Chief Executive Officer, International Campus. ‘I’m sure that this asset class will become even more relevant in the years to come’.

Urbanisation is unstoppable and affordability is a key issue that has to be addressed. 

‘Residential is a city play, not a country play,’ said Douglas Edwards, Managing Director, Head of Equity Raising & Client Services, CORESTATE Capital Group. ‘Micro-living could really be a solutions provider for affordable living in cities’.

As the demand for rented residential products increases, the importance of the operational side will come to the fore, he said: ‘The operational management package is becoming more key in all three sectors, student housing, micro-living and co-living’.

Some investors have been sceptical about co-living, seeing as a hybrid of other residential sectors with limitations of scale.

‘The jury’s still out as to how it will be treated by investors,’ said Hillman. ‘My personal view is that co-living has a future, because despite the current upheaval we are dealing with a population that is more mobile and less likely to buy. After this life in a bubble is over, people will be very keen to meet face to face and share’.