Let’s face it, finding a place to rent is hard – and finding a place to rent in San Francisco and the Bay Area in general is even harder. In this market the economics seem to be stacked against renters. Since 2010 there have been over 1 million new jobs created in the Bay Area and the housing market has not been able to keep up. So where are they all moving?

Renting a one-bedroom by yourself  in San Francisco seems like a far fetched dream for millennials with the average rent for a 1 bedroom sitting at $3,500 per month. Bunking with a friend or two is standard practice, but some tenants have taken it even further.

Co-living spaces are burgeoning in the Bay Area by catering to millennials migrating to the city for work, but can’t afford a place of their own or don’t have a network of friends with whom they can share housing.

The co-working space revolution has already swept through San Francisco with companies like WeWork, Next Space and Galvanize now occupying more than 2 million square feet of office space. The customers of co-working are freelancers and businesses who are looking for affordable space alternatives to traditional office leases and the opportunity to expand their professional network.

If co-working is satisfying these needs for businesses in the Bay Area, how can co-living help residential renters?

Affordability

Common, a New York-based co-living company with homes in San Francisco claims that, “your rent will cost less than the average traditional studio and Craigslist room in that city, when adding up all the utilities, supplies, WiFi, and monthly costs.”

Image from Common

Renters will be happy to know that there will be more co-living housing coming to market with co-living giants like Quarters and WeLive committed to investing in the Bay Area.

Community

If you have ever moved to a new city, you may empathize with the feeling of isolation, leaving behind your friends, family or community. Co-living focuses on addressing this issue with common amenities like kitchens and lounge spaces that encourage interaction between strangers and attract tenants who are looking to build a community around themselves.

WeLive, the residential arm of WeWork, says that, “WeLive challenges traditional apartment living through physical spaces that foster meaningful relationships”.

For those who might be strapped for cash or are just moving and don’t have a network of friends’ couches to crash, the following co-living organizations are already available:

  • With an emphasis on the social element that includes weekly dinners and community events, Tribe offers shared ($750) and private ($1,150) suites in SoMa.
  • With just shy of 500 members across 32 countries, Bed n Build boasts shared and private rooms in Nob Hill, Guerrero and Noe Valley in San Francisco.
  • Common boasts $1,500 in rent for a fully-furnished suite in Oakland and SoMa.
  • North Beach, SoMa South Park, The Mission and West SoMa are the four communities that Starcity focuses on with a knack for technology, service and simplicity in designing better communities.
  • With seven bustling properties from Rose Street to the Eddy Annex, OpenDoor services exclusively the Oakland area.

Co-living has the potential to be the answer to San Francisco’s rental supply issue whilst fostering a community for residents seeking more human connection.

Learn more about how you can get a Naborly Report on your prospective tenants for free with Naborly.