• Real Estate Trends: Flex Living

    February, 2024

Flex Living, an emerging trend within the real estate sector, has garnered the interest of individuals in Europe, especially those aged 25 to 45. This adaptable housing concept has gained traction, particularly among individuals with high-level professions, financial stability, and a flexible lifestyle.

The fundamental premise of Flex Living centers on offering properties tailored for a weekly or monthly stay, excluding transient or tourist accommodations, which constitute a distinct property category. It is categorized into three segments: Coliving, Smart Living, and Corporate Living (or Serviced Apartments).

Coliving is centered on crafting distinctive community-driven experiences and communal living, prioritizing shared spaces over private ones. In contrast, Smart Living provides greater space and autonomy for those in search of a harmonious blend of comfort and flexibility, complemented by an extensive array of amenities and services. Serviced Apartments, on the other hand, are upscale properties managed with a comprehensive suite of amenities, designed to cater to the needs of those seeking a more luxurious or corporate living experience without sacrificing flexibility.

The Flex Living trend initially took root in Spain with the management of individual properties for individual owners. Over time, it has evolved to encompass the management of entire buildings in major cities like Madrid and Barcelona. Presently, it is gaining ground in large-scale properties featuring hundreds of units situated in Spain’s primary urban zones.

This trend is poised for ongoing growth, driven not only by an escalating demand but also a burgeoning appeal to investors due to its versatility in terms of rental options, development prospects across diverse land types, and promising profitability. Over recent years, numerous investors have mobilized capital to develop such real estate assets.

Despite initial skepticism regarding the existence of a sufficient number of ‘digital nomads’ to sustain this trend, the occupancy rates for these assets speak for themselves, with a swift surge in demand and occupancy consistently exceeding 85%. Short-term demand in major cities appears secure, and Flex Living is also expanding into aspirational regions such as coastal areas and islands.

It is worth emphasizing that Spain holds undeniable allure for young Europeans seeking flexibility in work and lifestyle experiences within the country. This underscores the notion that this type of real estate asset is not merely a passing fad but is actively expanding and evolving. New generations exhibit a growing aversion to the cumbersome aspects of property management, including notarial procedures, utility administration, and protracted searches on real estate platforms. Consequently, it is imperative for the real estate sector to adapt to this continually growing demand and become a pivotal player in fulfilling these evolving and exacting needs.