Having witnessed a massive influx of migrant population, Kolkata has reported a steady increase in the demand for affordable housing options and shared housing facilities. As opined by the experts, the rise of co-living in Kolkata will help the real estate industry recover from the lean phase that it has been going through due to lack of demand and the existence of high unsold inventory across multiple micro-markets.

Propped up by the co-living segment, Kolkata has been witnessing a consistent demand for shared spaces, especially from professionals working in the IT field or other ancillary industries. Having a nomadic population close to eight lakh, the city has lately affirmed its acceptance to the concept, which though is new but is here to stay. Taking cognisance of the high demand and attractive rentals, a large number of developers across the city are investing in shared living spaces, particularly in the belts of New Town and Salt Lake. Moreover, with the intent to make the city attractive for talent from across the Nation and provide hassle-free shared housing facilities to the workforce, the State government is planning to soon set-up co-living spaces in Rajarhat and New town in a joint venture with private players. While the concept has already gained prominence in cities such as Pune, Delhi, and Bangalore, it has recently picked up the pace in Kolkata as well. While supply still remains a challenge, the demand in the segment has made the market fascinating for organised operators, landlords, and private equity investors.

What makes Salt Lake and New Town a preferred hub for co-living in Kolkata?

Having witnessed tremendous growth in terms of new commercial developments and the emergence of IT hubs, Salt Lake is a premium residential area, having a plethora of housing options for professionals working nearby. Seamless connectivity via Eastern Metropolitan Bypass (EM Bypass), high livability quotient and the presence of renowned companies such as Wipro, TCS, Accenture, IBM, Genpact, and HCL make this place a safe bet for the operators in the co-living space. New Town, on the other hand, is regarded as the gateway to New Kolkata. Similar to Salt Lake, New Town is also the home to several multi-national companies (MNCs), IT behemoths, start-ups, and educational institutes. Being one of the regions that have been selected for development under the Centre’s 100 Smart Cities Mission, the area scores high in terms of residential real estate development and witnesses a high demand from professionals and developers alike.

Precisely, proximity to workplace, ample job opportunities, and availability of social amenities nearby are the major factors driving the growth of co-living spaces in the belts of Salt Lake and New Town. Majority of the demand in this segment is from cash-strapped millennials who are actively looking to save on rent by sharing amenities. In the wake of the burgeoning demand, these areas have witnessed a surge in their rental ‘asks’ to the tune of 4-8 percent during the quarter ending December 2019 (Source: 99acres Insite Report).

Babul Ali, Proprietor, New Town Real Estate, in this context, avers, “The trend of co-living has gradually evolved in Kolkata. In New Town alone, there are over 100 shared spaces catering to the needs of the millennial population, especially students from Aliah and Amity University that are nestled close to the area. Of all the queries we receive, at least 6-7 a month are for co-living spaces within a particular price bracket. The demand also comes from professionals working in the IT offices located nearby. The landlords who earlier used to rely solely on capital appreciation are now earning better yields with the concept of co-living. With all modern amenities, the price of shared spaces in New Town starts at Rs 6,000 per bed onwards. Stanza Living, Zolostays, and Oxfordcaps are some major players operating in this segment.”

While the slowdown in the real estate sector has only deepened in the last few years, the growth of co-living is expected to revive the market. Going ahead, the city might witness the emergence of new co-living hubs, including EM Bypass, Kasba, and Lake Town.