The Rise of Co-Living in Boston

by c21commonweath_ldowling 16. October 2019 14:09

Living alone is expensive, especially in a major city. Take Boston, for example. The diverse research facilities, financial investment firms, healthcare providers, and Ivy League colleges are central to the economy of the entire United States, and yet, even amid all this prosperity, many people are struggling to keep a roof over their heads.

Nearly 82,000 low-income households in Boston spend over 30% of their income on rent or a mortgage. Around 52,000 of those households are severely cost-burdened, meaning they spend more than 50% of their income on housing.

Why Is Co-Living So Popular?

Co-living is popular and growing more so. There are many factors that drive city dwellers, particularly young city dwellers, to embrace co-living.  Here are three of the biggest:

Prices Are Out of Control

Even as wages have risen, the price of housing has risen even more quickly. People are spending a larger portion of their income on housing. In urban centers, where people congregate, the problem is even worse. As more people are competing for limited housing resources, prices have risen sharply 

Young People Are in Debt

Many young people are graduating from college with tens of thousands of dollars of student loans hanging over their heads. This is just one reason that young people are staying single longer. Without the pressure of caring for a family, there’s less reason to buy a house even for those who can afford to do so.

Societal Factors

Many young people are lonely. Starting a new job in a new city, far away from family and friends, is a frightening prospect. Many experts believe that relying heavily on technology for communication leaves people feeling isolated. Co-living is one way to be a part of a community and establish personal connections. Many co-living developments regularly host community events where residents are encouraged to socialize.

Investors and developers are taking notice of the situation. The 7INK development under construction in Boston’s South End will have 180 units, split among shared units and small studio apartments. National Development is funding the project with the hope of profiting from the trend of millennials and others looking for fully furnished co-living spaces.  

Co-living is here to stay. The benefits of reduced living costs and a greater sense of community make co-living attractive to many, especially young people. The co-living trend has led many real estate firms to invest in development meant for single people to live with roommates.