SINGAPORE (Aug 6): Multi-purpose, co-living spaces are revolutionising urban life in densely populated and expensive New York, San Francisco, London and Shanghai. The concept, rather like an upmarket update of rooming together at university, is apparently all the rage for millennials. Their lifestyles are often a blur of work, play and home and with many disinclined to start a family, they are open to pricey arrangements that give them private bedrooms but a shared kitchen, office and recreational space, as well as cleaning and laundry services.

There are co-living options in Singapore, in private property in popular districts such as Joo Chiat and Newton. But the trend is unlikely to become mainstream here. For one, Singaporeans still aspire to home ownership. “It is very much ingrained in the Singaporean mindset that if they have to fork out money to pay [rent], they would rather use that money for a mortgage to own a home, [and] enjoy the security of ownership and the prospects of capital appreciation,” Ong Teck Hui, national director of research and consultancy at JLL, tells The Edge Singapore via email.

Christine Li, senior director of research at Cushman & Wakefield, agrees. “A significant proportion of Singaporeans’ pay is channelled into CPF. As monies in the CPF Ordinary Account can only be used for buying and not renting, this results in a strong preference for home ownership,” she says.

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