According to an article written by Florida Realtors®, "Co-living has become a growing trend in real estate, as more renters and homeowners look for roommates so they can afford a home." With a clear gap between annual salaries and the cost of living in South Florida, it seems many young adults who wish to live in metropolitan areas such as Fort Lauderdale or Miami are turning to co-living spaces. What makes co-living different from having a roommate? Well, the origins of co-living don't come from the single roommate theology. An article by Business Insider describes the origin of co-living spaces as, "The 'hacker house,' 'commune,' or whatever your preferred name for dwellings that pack in a large number of residents." The large number they are referring to is upwards to 5 or more roommates in large open style apartments, or 3-5 bedroom homes. Business Insider goes on to explain that the co-living spaces are often inhabited by adults working in the same or similar field.
The earlier referred "hacker house" was a term popularized by startups in San Francisco who would create think-tank homes for programmers, gamer designers, and other entrepreneurs. These working minds needed a place to stay with low rent while they put forward their next big idea or venture. With the growing prices of rent in places like San Francisco, where the average rent currently for a studio is $2,461 for about 500 sq ft, co-living offers much more for much less. Often, a designed co-living space offers amenities such as WiFi and maid service included in the rent. Startups like OpenDoor and WeLive help connect potential tenants with a co-living "community."
How did South Florida, the other coast to the South, get involved? Well according to the Florida Realtors article developers want to buy in on this trend to build more developments and homes designed for co-living. Meaning many smaller bedrooms with more square footage dedicated to common or shared areas in a single dwelling.
South Florida has also recently been in the media's eye for its growing art and startup scene similar to its cousin on the west coast, San Francisco. Jorge Gonzalez, president, and CEO of City National Bank when asked about Miami's growing economy was quoted, "Our diverse culture and proximity to Latin American have been a major draw for tech companies, entrepreneurs and start-ups. Being considered for Amazon’s HQ2 speaks volumes about what’s happening in our community." Although South Florida failed to land the Amazon HQ2 it is still attracting attention from its established tech companies such as Ultimate Software in Weston, Magic Leap in Jupiter & Plantation, MAKO Surgical in Davie, and Citrix Systems in Fort Lauderdale.
South Florida's growing entrepreneur and startup economy seem to have created the perfect biosphere for what is co-living. It is no wonder the developers want to wrangle this cash cow.