How co-living can solve Australia's single housing issues

By YIP | 11 Dec 2020

As founder of Clique Living and CEO of the Gallery Group, Adam Barclay is a man on a mission. Eager to evangelise to investors and renters alike, he is keenly aware of the housing pressures currently facing Australia. Single people in particular – or those simply living alone – have often been overlooked when it comes to both government and corporate policies surrounding the issue.

This has created a hodgepodge of poor compromises in the market, with people either overpaying for their own homes or being forced into poor-quality sharehousing. But the ultimate problem isn’t a lack of housing, says Barclay. It’s about the model that has been adopted by the wider culture, and the unwillingness to shift those expectations as society changes.

So, given the obvious problems, what does Barclay believe to be the solution? “In truth, it’s relatively straightforward – it’s co-living,” he says. “We want to offer investors a unique opportunity to invest in purpose-built designer homes which fill a gap in the market for accommodation that allows for improved affordability and reduced social isolation.”

Barclay is quick to stress co-living’s distinctions from sharehousing. The buildings are constructed for purpose, each bedroom with an en suite bathroom. There are individual rental agreements between tenants and the landlord, as opposed to landlords being locked into the whims of people moving in and out on a more informal basis. Rooms are also provided furnished, with the sole requirement that the tenant brings their own mattress or purchase one through Clique.

“It’s quite a distinct market,” Barclay says. “Rather than students or casual employees, you’re looking more at young singles and professionals who have just graduated and are looking for accommodation close to hubs for work and lifestyle. Many of them may also be looking for somewhere to live while they save up for their own place too.”

Clique homes, Barclay explains, are also intentionally built to high specifications, including stone benchtops in the kitchen and bathrooms, European appliances, ducted air conditioning, multiple communal living areas, and an outdoor living and entertaining space. The kitchens have a bespoke design allowing for individual use, with lockable pantries and individual mini-fridges, and external storage boxes with per-room storage compartments. Solar panels offering renewable energy, along with substantial insulation and acoustic sound barriers, ensure that these homes are green compliant, and quiet.

Include all utilities – as well as streaming services and a Clique cleaning service for the communal areas – so there’s no need to worry about splitting bills between tenants, or arguments,” says Barclay.

“These are factors that are considered in the relevant property management fees; ideally, we want the process to be as seamless as possible for investors.”

Clique’s project is the first of its kind in Australia, says Barclay. The first set of homes will be built in outer-suburb locations in Queensland, like Bald Hills, with Victoria in the plans for 2021.

Want to learn more? Download the full whitepaper here

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