January 30, 2020

Many millennials in their early 20s and 30s have increasingly started stepping out of their parents’ nest and have made a home of their own. Unfortunately, not all young professionals have the means to own a house or rent a place with the required amenities. Thankfully the on-going start-up revolution in the country turned its focus towards this issue and today we are witnessing the emergence of a completely new genre of industry, often referred to as Alternative Housing. 

These alternative housing options offer private space and combine it with shared facilities like gym, laundry, kitchen, housekeeping, TV room among others. These spaces provide good liveable spaces to youngsters with the right flexibility and affordability while providing a safeguard against an irrational increase in rent by landlords and other issues.

Interestingly, both the start-ups and other players in this genre of the real estate industry have devised mechanisms to ensure growth in their business by tapping the right target groups such as students, new professionals, singles and those who have moved to a new city. But the single biggest factor which has shaped this industry is the growth of the educational sector in the country.

Student Accommodation
Due to this, there has been an increase in the number of students migrating from different cities/countries to pursue higher education in metropolitan cities, thus, fuelling the demand for Student Housing accommodation options in these cities. Indians student community has been sharing apartments or homes for decades. The only difference now is that formal business models are being built around it. Further, the poor-quality spaces offered in big cities have led to a shift in preferences witnessed towards organized accommodation.

Modern built-to-suit student accommodation with facilities such as security, comfortable beds, housekeeping, clean linen, laundry services or washing machine, kitchen, microwave, high-speed Wi-Fi, gym, medical help, etc. gives them a better option to choose from.

Senior Living
Another alternative living segment that has gained momentum in the recent past is Senior Living. Senior living, in broader terms, means homes that cater to senior citizens who by choice are looking to live independently in a peer environment.

The concept, even though at a very nascent stage, is gaining importance and has great potential. As per industry estimates the elderly population in India is expected to triple from 104 million in 2011 to 300 million in 2050, accounting for 18% of the total population in 2050. Presently there are more than 30 firms into senior living housing and the demand is continuously increasing. Coupled with the growing desire of the elderly to live independently and the projected growth of the elderly population, this trend can be translated into an opportunity for real estate developers to provide residential facilities tailored according to the needs of the elderly in India.

Co-living is perhaps the newest segment to be added in alternate housing, but it has been in existence – informally- for several decades all over the country. Thanks to the growing career prospect with increasing disposable income right at the beginning of their career, young professionals are shunning the dark and damp small rooms for spaces which have basic facilities. The basic features of these spaces mostly tally with the ones offered to students, but the occupants, in this case, are mostly working professionals – from the same industry, company or locality.