Co-Living Space in Jakarta: Targeting Millennials and Young Professionals

In Indonesia, the concept of co-living is almost similar to ‘indekos’ (boardinghouse), but they have some differences in terms of range of facilities and amenities provided.

Co-living Space (foto: Dok. WeLive) (Jakarta)Co-living space is growing in popularity following the development of co-working. It is a concept of living with other (unrelated) people in the same residence, whether a house or an apartment, thus creating a community and fostering interaction among them.

The sense of community is an important element in co-living. Furthermore, it is generally fully furnished, well-designed and equipped with various amenities and facilities that support today’s lifestyle.

In Indonesia, the concept of co-living space is almost similar to ‘indekos’ (boardinghouse), but they have some differences in terms of range of facilities and amenities provided. Co-living is an advanced version of ‘indekos’, more lavish and is managed more professionally.

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Other notable  benefit of joining co-living (especially the branded one) is the flexibility to move around different places without losing the community.

The first known co-living project in Indonesia is ROAM in Ubud, Bali—which is also the first project of the brand. Roam, founded in 2015, is a global co-living brand headquartered in New York with projects now spreading to global cities like San Francisco, Miami and Tokyo. Typical residents (users) are mostly digital nomads, creatives & authors.

Co-living development in Indonesia grew fast more recently, following the boom of co-working space. While most occupants in the first co-living project in Ubud are foreigners, the subsequent developments of co-living had expanded to major cities—targeting local groups i.e. millennials and young professionals looking for accommodation near to their workplace in the city.

Join Hands with Operators
So far, Jakarta is the top market of co-living in the country. Today, many players from operators to developers, are clinging to wrap their arms around new urban living concepts particularly for millennials (considering their large market); and co-living is seen as the most popular.

Yet, we also note that some projects labelling themselves as co-living are not full-fledged co-living spaces; they just adopt the concept partially or improvise to some extent. For instance, a number of rental accommodations that are listed in the marketplace, identified themselves as coliving by allowing certain areas in their building as shared common spaces among tenants, amid they lack many vital elements embedded in co-living concept.

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Typically, a full-fledged provider creates a lease arrangement in which tenants can rent a whole-unit or aroom-in-a-unit together with wide selection of amenities and facilities, communal areas – this includes facilitating events that encourage interaction among tenants and socialization. Rental costs have included maintenance and house-keeping. Moreover, tenants are automatically become parts of community.

Some developers decide to join hands with operators to manage parts of their projects and branded them as co-living—some even plan the whole project from the start as coliving, such as The Parc SouthCity, a project currently under construction that collaborates with GoWork, a renown co-working space provider, to manage their completed and future space.

Co-Living Space in Jakarta
Rising flexible work schedules is observed, with most of the employees today are millennials. Like their approaches in choosing jobs, they are increasingly demanding accommodation that give them flexibility, freedom, experience and yet convenience; Due to that, co-living model is getting popular over time.

Then, what is the current landscape of co-living space in Jakarta? To give some insights, Savills investigates several co-living projects in the capital city. For this research, projects included are the ones that incorporate most of co-living characteristics: good design, furnished space, common areas, networking events, professional management, hassle-free rent, relatively complete facilities and amenities.

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Moreover, projects covered in this paper are the ones with joint arrangements between landlords and operators or properties being long-leased or owned by operators.

Most of co-living spaces in Jakarta shown above were just opened in 2019. The first project, CoHaus which was founded in 2017, offers a short-term stay, starting from a week, in addition to a long-term stay.

Meanwhile minimum stay at other co-living spaces varies, from a month, 3 months to 6 months. In terms of building typology, most providers choose to put co-living within apartment structures—although some occupy landed housing—as it is benefited from access to various facilities and amenities available in apartments. Furthermore, acquiring landed housing may require higher capital considering large land area needed.

Demand for Co-Living Space
Majority of co-living is situated at or around the CBD area (Central and South Jakarta) with apartment domination. Co-living providers usually offer a lower rent with greater convenience compared to a conventional apartment rental while getting same facilities and amenities in the building.

Rents have generally covered furnished room, maintenance fees, utilities except electricity, and cleaning. However, pricing structure may differ among providers; rents start from as low as 3 million/month for studio type to 30 million/month for a whole unit rental (1-month deposit is required). Most providers give discounts or one-month free rent for a long-term commitment and can also offer bundling packages with co-working space managed by them.

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So far, demand for co-living space is quite high, especially for units with relatively affordable prices. Several projects are fully or almost fully occupied and they are expanding their spaces within the same buildings or to other locations. With such great potentials, few co-living companies, local and international, plan to debut or introduce their projects here – Colibri, Ko-living by Kolega, Commontown and lyf by Ascott are some examples.

Co-Living Business Models
In general, business models observed in co-living can be concluded as follow:

  • Collaboration between landlords and co-living operators where the landlords provide space while the operators manage it. Profit will be shared according to their agreements.
  • Co-living operators rent property over long-term period (from 2 years, 3 years to 5 years depending on providers) and pay the landlords on agreed prices. Afterwards, the operators will improve the space up to their standards then lease it to tenants.
  • Landlords act as co-living operators as well.

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During observation, we also look at rental accommodation in the same buildings (if available) and ‘indekos’ as well as apartments located close by. Generally, rents within the same buildings as co-living—using conventional lease structure which disables rent a-room-in-a-unit option—are higher than the respective co-living and usually not furnished.

The same goes for apartment rentals nearby while comparable ‘indekos’ around the respective co-living offer lower rents. Moreover, rents in conventional apartment have not included utilities while co-living and indekos have covered them except electricity bill.

This article is taken from research by Savills Indonesia entitled “Co-Living: An Alternative Urban Accommodation”.

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