From Pods to Community – A New Era?

Can New Real Estate Models Usher in an Era of Increased Affordability and Community?

Our world subsists on supply and demand. Consumers express a need and the service industry scrambles to comply. But what happens when those who demand a product or service cannot actually afford what they seek?
In the consumer-centric 21st Century, the service industry must reassess what it is they have on offer, and tailor their solution to meet the professed need head-on, and close the deal. And if they can inject an added bonus into the mix? More power to them! This, in a nutshell, is the face of the co-living or shared space real estate models today.

Housing Affordability Crises Keep Getting Worse – Worldwide

The housing crisis is not unique to large gateway markets like New York, London, and Hong Kong.
In fact, many city residents continue to struggle to find affordable housing in a wide range of municipalities.

This is especially true of areas where incomes are not necessarily high, not enough units have been built, and zoning laws limit residential buildings to certain neighborhoods only.
And, the more an area is in demand, the greater the competition for housing will be, driving rent and purchase prices to surge beyond the average working person’s means.


For example, the average cost of renting an apartment in Toronto increased by almost 37% since 2000, yet average wages grew just 10% between 1998 and 2011.

This discrepancy has rendered housing prohibitively unaffordable and is driving many people to spend hours commuting to and from work, just to be able to pay for a roof over their heads at night.

Co-living Real Solutions Sacrifice Personal Space for Affordability

New real estate models based on the trendy “sharing economy” seek to relieve the affordability crisis.
Pods, capsules, and other co-living spaces provide bunk-bed style sleeping quarters for multiple dwellers, or small, private or semi-private bedrooms, each with limited storage space, within a larger building.

They pay monthly rent priced at a fraction of conventional housing costs and don’t have to present pay stubs, or put up “first and last month’s rent.” All other spaces and amenities, from bathrooms to kitchens and workspaces are shared, so while privacy may be a rare commodity, it’s one more and more singles are willing to forgo, in exchange for a place to call home.

A Sense of Community in an Era of Digital Reclusiveness

Beyond the affordability of these shared living spaces, sharing accommodations transforms habitation into community living. Elvina Beck, the entrepreneur behind PodShare co-living communities, explains that the open concept of the sleeping quarters enables residents to keep an eye on one another; that less privacy necessarily equals more protection.
And MyTown in the Philippines provides desirable amenities to its mostly-Millennial dweller population; coworking spaces, lap pools, gyms, meal plans and more – which they couldn’t otherwise afford, and which they ultimately engage in, in groups.


In the words of Christine McDannell, author of The Coliving Code, “Not only does it solve the cost and spatial demands associated with housing, but it also addresses the intimate aspects of human connection that have been lost,” making co-living the obvious solution to the housing crisis AND loneliness brought on by living in a digital world.

More About Real Estate Models and Technology

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From Pods to Community – A New Era?

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