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December 21, 2020

The Collective’s Reza Merchant On Loneliness, Fear And How Co-Living Fared In The Pandemic

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You couldn’t dream up a worse kind of crisis for co-living than the coronavirus pandemic. For a sector that sells itself on bringing people together, a virus that means we have to stay away from each other is a nightmare.

Yet pushing against the fear of other people is a factor that works in co-living’s favour: the fear of loneliness, the isolation felt by those living alone during lockdowns. 

Those competing factors have been playing out in the performance of The Collective, a pioneer in co-living with operational assets and a big development pipeline in the U.S. and UK. As one of the largest global players in the sector, its fortunes in recent months and how it fares as the crisis recedes are something of a bellwether for the sector more broadly. 

The Collective’s Reza Merchant On Loneliness, Fear And How Co-Living Fared In The Pandemic

The Collective’s occupancy dropped by around 40% at its operational assets during the pandemic, but those figures have since recovered. In some cases, occupancy is starting to get back to 2019 norms after properties were pivoted to a different target audience.The firm has raised £160M of new capital from investors and…

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