The European coliving industry has been gathering momentum for the past few years. Housing affordability, changing lifestyle preferences, and socioeconomic conditions have created a market for shared living arrangements. The demand for coliving among young professionals is high, as coliving spaces answer all their essential housing needs: decently priced with a quality service level and a sense of community. The potential of coliving is evident, but in which cities will coliving thrive? In this blog, we investigate the major cities in the European Union to watch.
Why is Coliving Important?
Coliving answers broader societal trends visible in most countries and their biggest cities. First, living in the city is increasingly popular due to the availability of jobs, amenities, and cultural experiences. Urban populations are growing so quickly that cities are struggling to provide appropriate housing. While supply is limited and the demand for housing surges, property values and rental prices skyrocket.
Secondly, societal norms within the European culture are shifting. Traditional expectations around marriage and starting a family have changed. Younger generations are more focused on personal fulfilment. They tend to first pursue higher education, travel the world, and build their career before deciding on living together or starting a family. This has led to a sharp increase in the number of single or small households. Existing housing stock is not tailored to these changing needs.
In addition, Time Out’s annual index survey shows that people in large cities suffer from loneliness and isolation. For example, 55 per cent of the people in London say that they sometimes feel lonely. Living in a large city can be vibrant, but it can certainly be very anonymous. The population in a city can be transient. Although there are thousands of people around you, people tend to avoid small chats and are more tuned into their worlds.
Social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic has increased loneliness, imposing a significant burden on people’s mental health and well-being – especially for people below 35. Coliving can help address these issues and connect people with similar interests while providing affordable and sustainable housing for single and small households.
What Makes Coliving Fourish?
Recent research from Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) and Urban Land Institute (ULI) among 175 real estate professionals in Europe reveals the most significant growth drivers for the coliving sector:
As rental prices continue to rise in many European cities, affordable housing options become increasingly scarce. Coliving offers an affordable alternative, where residents can share living spaces and amenities, allowing them to save money on housing costs.
The rise of millennial and Generation Z populations in Europe, who prioritise experiences over ownership, are more likely to consider coliving as an attractive housing option. Additionally, there is a growing ageing population in Europe who may also find coliving spaces suitable for their needs.
A Growing Number of Single-Person Households
The number of single-person households has been steadily increasing in Europe over the years. Coliving offers a solution to social isolation and loneliness by providing a built-in community of like-minded individuals, fostering a sense of belonging.
With the rise of the gig economy and remote work, there is a growing demand for flexible housing options that cater to people’s changing lifestyles. Coliving spaces often offer short-term leases or flexible rental arrangements that appeal to this demographic.
Europe has seen a significant trend towards urbanisation in recent years, with more people moving to cities for work and lifestyle reasons. As a result, the demand for affordable and convenient urban housing has increased, making coliving an attractive option for many people.
Higher Education and Professional Opportunities
On top of this, educational institutes and industry hubs draw a young, talented and mobile workforce to these big cities. Students and young professionals can benefit from living in a shared space by avoiding overcrowding and building a personal network that lasts.
Based on these criteria, the cities on this list breathe new life into the coliving movement.
Top 10 European Cities for Coliving
Research shows that there is some debate as to where coliving will grow in the years ahead, but urban environments are likely locations attracting young people from the Gen-Z and millennial generations. Based on research of JLL and ULI, the demand coliving can have within the cities on this list will breathe new life into shared living.
The Dutch capital is known for its cultural history, scenic canals, and international atmosphere. The city proudly possesses a young international population due to the availability of English university programs and its vast global job opportunities offered by many large corporations headquartered in and around Amsterdam. The city additionally offers excellent public transport, granting convenient travel throughout the city.
However, Amsterdam’s popularity comes with a price. The cost of living in the city is steep, with high rental and housing prices. Our blog post – The Benefits of Coliving – provides a statistical overview of Amsterdam’s average rental prices, revealing that the average monthly rent in 2022 was just over 2300 euros. Additionally, with more and more young people struggling to find fair and appropriate housing (especially to share with their friends), these conditions create the perfect conditions for coliving spaces.
The City of London is the capital and largest city of the United Kingdom with a population of almost 9 million people. The city attracts major businesses and young professionals from across the globe, making it an area with some of the highest property prices in the world. Of course, London is a massive city, and the further on the outskirts you live, the lower the prices – however, this is not convenient for those whose jobs are located in the inner boroughs.
The official government website for London reveals that the inner and medium-distance boroughs have a minimum rent between 1700 and 2150 pounds (~2460 euros) for a single apartment. And with wages hardly increasing to match inflation, rental prices are putting a burden on many individuals. Working professionals in London would benefit from living in high-quality, shared spaces.
This Scandinavian hotspot is already home to many up-and-coming coliving operators particularly catered to university and college students. Copenhagen hosts many educational institutions, including the infamous University of Copenhagen and Copenhagen Business School, leaving internationals and locals alike to flock to Denmark’s quaint capital.
Copenhagen, therefore, contains a young population entering the labour market who are looking for affordable, lively housing in a city with a public transport system that rivals Amsterdam’s. We’ve called it first: Copenhagen will continue on to become a formidable player in the coliving industry within the next few years.
The French capital is the country’s most densely populated, becoming somewhat of a Mecca for professional and study opportunities. Home to some of the world’s most famous landmarks, universities, and a variety of nationalities and cultures, it is also home to skyrocketing rental prices, making Paris ripe for coliving spaces that can make city living affordable for the young population. At the moment, even though coliving makes up only 2% of Parisian’s lifestyle, we don’t think the momentum will be slowing down anytime soon.
The culturally-rich German capital is an international melting pot where only 1 in 4 people in the city were born there. It’s known for being one of the more affordable places to live (according to HousingAnywhere) and thus, is attractive to remote workers, nomads, students, and entrepreneurs. Berliners also know how to party, with a renowned club scene!
It is of no surprise that Berlin made this list, a city so accessible is already seeing an expansion of coliving apartments and spaces that are available in the city. We’re excited to see where this hip, urban centre will take coliving next!
Some ways south of Berlin, you’ll find the capital of one of Germany’s most southern states, Bavaria. Being one of the most well-connected European cities (thanks to its busy airport and train station) and hosting some of the best Oktoberfest parties you can find on the continent, Munich is a comfortable city for digital nomads. Already hosting a vast array of coworking spaces, the clean city is easily accessible on foot and by public transport and many locals can communicate in English. A city where the urban dweller feels safe, Munich is the place to go for remote workers.
The average coliving concept find themselves designed after the Nordic minimalist model, so we’re not surprised that another one of Scandinavia’s metropolises tops this list! It is one of the digital nomad community’s favourite cities, with bountiful coliving spaces, high speed internet, and such safe and easy use of public transport that even children could do it!
That’s not even to mention the stunning views. Stockholm is a beautiful archipaelago that ensures you see a stunning sunset (or sunrise) over water wherever you are in the Swedish capital. We think Stockholm may soon be the envy of it all when it comes to coliving.
One of Europe’s leading financial centres calling! Home to the European Central Bank and the renowned Frankfurt Business School, digital nomads are flocking to Germany’s banking hub. A quick stroll through Frankfurt will leave you in awe of the mix between the contemporary and the traditional, with historical landmarks blending seamlessly with neck-breaking skyscrapers. Imbued with culture, we love to see another German city hosting a diverse blend of independent travelers and young professionals in their coliving spaces.
We love a good Viennese schnitzel just as much as we love coliving! With Austria’s vibrant capital bursting with gorgeous architecture, theatres, art galleries, and friendly faces, you’ll find Vienna is a delight to be in everywhere you look. Because of the city’s overall cleanliness, reliable public transport, and affordable living, it is appealing to a growing community of digital nomads, entrepreneurs, and remote workers. In fact, for a 1-bedroom apartment in Vienna, you would pay, on average, only 873 euros. That’s 69.1% cheaper than the average cost of rent in New York. Throw in feelings of safety into the mix, Vienna may soon be a significant member of the coliving movement in the future.
Completing our top 10 is one of Germany’s northernmost cities, Hamburg. The second-largest German city (after Berlin) is relatively affordable, with rental prices going up to 13 euros per square metre. Its further supplemented by its Instagram-worthy views, dynamic nightlife, and an overall high standard of living. Living here means you’ll join a thriving community of freelancers and digital nomads that makes networking in Hamburg that much easier. Best of all, most cafes have high speed Wi Fi to supplement all your remote working needs!
Coliving is Thriving in the EU
The conditions needed for coliving to prosper are making themselves known across central Europe. Coliving helps EU cities that are struggling to provide appropriate, affordable housing for rapidly growing urban populations increasingly composed of small and single households. Existing housing stock doesn’t tend to be tailored for those new to a city and seeking double occupancy in communal spaces, and coliving can address this.
The real estate industry needs to demonstrate the benefits of coliving – its efficiency, social impact, resident satisfaction, and community engagement – and communicate them to policymakers and the public so that coliving can reach unfathomable heights.
Europe is truly the place to go if you’re looking for your next coliving space. You’ll find something unique in each country that simultaneously offers you the flexibility, safety, and community you may be seeking (without breaking the bank). Even if these cities are not an option for you, we encourage you to explore the coliving options in your area!