After Big Industry Merger, Co-living is Poised To Enter a Growth Phase

At the beginning of the year, the country’s largest co-living operator, Common, announced it was merging with Habyt, the largest co-living company outside the US. It was big news for the co-living sector, representing a small but growing corner of the country’s multifamily housing market. The newly-formed entity will be called Habyt Group. It will be based in Berlin and oversee co-living and traditional apartment units operated by Common in the US and Habyt in Europe and Asia. The move, intended to help both companies become more profitable by combining their resources into one brand, ultimately created the largest co-living brand in the world. The new company will now have locations in more than 40 cities and 14 countries, with more than 30,000 units of co-living, as well as studios and traditional rental apartments. The merger (along with growing demand for co-living communities and more calls to remove regulatory barriers that can hamper development of them) could result in soaring growth for the sector.

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A modern take

Brad Hargreaves co-founded Common in 2015, and the company’s first co-living building opened in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood the same year. Common partnered with a local real estate developer to purchase the building, which it later remodeled for less than $1 million. Hargreaves helped create Common after co-founding the continuing education school General Assembly in 2011. The new venture quickly earned support from major real estate players in the New York City area.

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