Co-living: How open are Malaysians to this idea?

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Pic: Moneky Business Images.

It’s beneficial to keep abreast of the goings-on in advanced property markets around the world. For example, the nearest to us would be Singapore.

Assuming these advanced property markets are five to 10 years (or more) ahead of us, we could prepare for what’s coming.

Take the concept of co-living for instance. While it would be too early to say that co-living is popular in Singapore due to the prominence of HDB flats there, things may change considerably in the near future.

According to an article in, Singapore-based co-living company, Hmlet, (pronounced “Hamlet”) has signed on a new property in the prime Tanjong Pagar/Cantonment Downtown CBD precinct.

The property will be Hmlet’s largest dedicated co-living building to date, with more than 150 rooms operated as serviced apartment units.

The property has a site area of 76,002.5 square feet, with a GFA of 47,352,.12 square feet.

This tender was also aligned with what the Urban Redevelopment Authority wanted to do; rejuvenate predominantly office developments into mixed-use buildings, with an aim to bring greater footfall and activities during after-work hours into the areas of Anson Road, Robinson Road and Tanjong Pagar.

CEO and Co-Founder of Hmlet, Yoan Kamalski said, “We are excited to be announcing our largest building in Singapore dedicated entirely to co-living with established real estate players like LHN.”

The property is set to open in July and will see Hmlet increase its number of members to more than 2,400 across the Asia Pacific region by year-end.

Founded in 2016 by Yoan Kamalski and Zenos Schmickrath to meet the needs of today’s mobile millennial workforce, Hmlet provides its members with a seamless living experience paired with a curated community of like-minded individuals.

By offering flexible lease options, fully-furnished spaces and on-demand services, Hmlet strives to transform properties into dynamic environments to empower its community.

If you live in a high-rise development, you will be used to the idea of sharing common facilities. However, how open are you to sharing a common living room or the kitchen or even the yard where you dry your clothes with strangers? The answer is likely be a resounding “no”.

But will Malaysians reject the idea of co-living outright?

It depends on property prices. When the prices of property gets too high too fast, and less and less people can afford to own a property, then this concept will become more acceptable and more people will start to co-live.

But “lifestyle” will likely never be the compelling reason behind co-living even if it does become the norm. There’s no such thing as loving to stay with strangers.

Remember, this property is your home, so the major reason compelling you to embrace this new “lifestyle” will that of price.

The same is true for people in Hong Kong who agree to co-live and share living rooms and kitchen space with others. If they wanted to eat in a space where they can enjoy more privacy, the price of that property will easily be double what they are paying to co-live. So it really is the issue of price, price and price.

This article first appeared in