Is Dubai about to embrace the concept of co-living?

Property Finder says new concept in the Dubai real estate market which offers common spaces to socialise and interact is seeing good buyer demand
Is Dubai about to embrace the concept of co-living?
By Sam Bridge
Tue 09 Jul 2019 02:05 PM

Co-living projects, a relatively new concept in the Dubai real estate market which offers common spaces to socialise and interact, are seeing good buyer demand, according to data from Property Finder.

Responding to the crowded market, developers in Dubai have launched co-living projects to cater to young professionals and millennials.

“We have started and will continue to see this trend grow here. Not only is it affordable, but it’s also popular with millenials as they want to be part of a community, yet have their own personal space,” said Lynnette Abad, director of Research & Data, Property Finder.

She said Emaar projects Collective, Collective 2.0 and Socio at Dubai Hills Estate in Mohammed Bin Rashid City account for most sales in the co-living segment.

UNA, developed by Nshama at Town Square, is also a co-living and co-working project featuring 192 studios and 764 1-bedroom apartments while KOA’s Canvas project off Mohammad Bin Zayed Road is also targeted at millennials.

In terms of registered transactions, Emaar’s Collective has seen 372 deals in total since launch, Socio is at 200, Collective 2.0 is at 135, KOA’s Canvas is at 7 and Nshama’s UNA is at 183.

In total, Dubai has seen 902 registered transactions (both off-plan and secondary) for co-living spaces to date.

Since all the co-living projects are under construction, the focus is on off-plan sales. In 2019, Collective 2.0 has seen 123 off-plan transactions, Emaar has sold 221 off-plan homes in Collective, 193 homes in Socio and Nshama has sold 9 such homes in UNA this year. Collective and Socio topped Q1 in terms of off-plan sales volume.

The co-living phenomenon should not be confused with sharing rooms, a practice that is not legal in the UAE.

While residents live in private apartments within a co-living project, they come together in shared vibrant common spaces to socialise and interact.

Co-living projects are targeted at small business owners and entrepreneurs who can work in the common areas and meet with like-minded people.

“We have also seen some creative schemes with Emaar and DMCC offering a trade licence and residency with a unit within a co-living project. This is an excellent incentive for those with small, home-based businesses or freelancers,” added Abad.

In terms of sales price, Property Finder said Nshama’s UNA is priced most competitively among co-living projects, with a studio costing around AED450,000 to buy.

For a 1-bedroom apartment, the price is most competitive at UNA again (AED558,000), followed by Socio at AED673,000 and Collective at around AED700,000. A 1-bedroom in KOA’s Canvas is more expensive at AED982,000.

Two-bedroom apartments in all these co-living projects are priced at around AED1 million, with Canvas bearing a higher price tag of AED2.75 million.

Property Finder said that although all co-living projects in Dubai are currently under construction, the units, once ready, are likely to be cheaper to rent than a regular apartment. This is the trend in bigger cities where co-living spaces offer a significant discount compared to regular apartments.

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