THE next phase in the growth and evolution of Ireland's build-to-rent market is under way, with increasing numbers of investors looking for opportunities to invest in so-called micro-living and co-living concepts.
That's according to the latest property market update from commercial real estate advisors CBRE, which is due to be published today.
While the report says that it will take some time for developers to "finesse" the design of the co-living accommodation proposed for the Irish market, CBRE says it expects an increase in the volume of planning applications for the concept.
The report's authors note that before applying for such schemes, co-living providers will need to ensure that communal amenities and facilities are "appropriately placed and of sufficient size and quality to compensate for the smaller bedrooms that are traditionally associated with this form of development".
The move towards the development of co-living accommodation is expected to be most pronounced in the Dublin market. Its anticipated introduction follows Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy's publication in March of last year of design guidelines for the concept. As part of this initiative, the minister encouraged planning authorities to approve this type of shared accommodation in the regeneration of old buildings.
Addressing the provision of co-living accommodation specifically, the guidelines suggest that single tenants in such projects could rent one-bedroom ensuites measuring as little as 12 sq m - or just a third the size of the average one-bedroom studio apartment.
The guidelines also highlight the 'cluster-style' units in which co-living tenants have their own bedroom and bathroom, but share living and kitchen facilities with between one and seven other tenants, depending on the configurations of their units. They also point out that successful shared-living developments provide wider recreation and leisure amenities which generate a shared community environment among residents.
Elsewhere in its latest bi-monthly report on the property market, CBRE says that the appetite of both investors and occupiers for Irish real estate remains strong despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit
CBRE executive director and head of research Marie Hunt said: "Occupier demand remains healthy across all sectors of the market and we continue to witness strong investor demand for investment opportunities particularly in the office and build-to-tent sectors."