Ascott this week celebrated the burgeoning footprint of its co-living brand, lyf, at an event held at lyf Collingwood Melbourne.

Lyf (pronounced ‘life’) or ‘live your freedom’ is an accommodation concept specially designed by Ascott for the next-generation guests.

The apartments, social spaces and experiential programs at lyf properties are designed for guests to forge connections and nurture a strong sense of community.

As the largest serviced residence provider in Australia with brands such as Quest, Citadines and Oakwood, Ascott is set to grow its co-living brand lyf across the country.

“The growing demand for novel living solutions that address the challenges of housing affordability and fixed leasing tenures, is evident. Capitalising on this demand, our coliving brand, lyf, plays to the call for a sharing economy within the Australia market,” said Ascott Australia managing director, David Mansfield.

Mansfield described how the lyf brand answers to the accommodation need in Australia:

“Addressing the rise of global mobility where we see an increasing trend of digital nomads and self-starters preferring to work remotely, lyf also offers guests the opportunity to live their independent style of travel while immersing in the local culture through social connections and experiential programmes. When guests check in to a lyf property, they check in to a community.

Following the opening of lyf Collingwood Melbourne in May last year, we saw an amazing ramp up in occupancy within months of opening. With the traction that we have seen at our first lyf property in Australia, we are optimistic about the potential for the growth of lyf here and look forward to our second opening next year – lyf Bondi Junction Sydney. Further expansion plans are expected across Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart, Melbourne and Perth,” added Mansfield.

Since the opening of the first lyf property in Singapore in 2019, lyf has expanded to 22 properties in 18 cities globally.

Eight lyf properties are now operational in key gateway cities including Melbourne, Australia; Bangkok, Thailand; Fukuoka, Japan; Hangzhou and Shanghai, China; and Singapore.

Ascott expects another 13 lyf properties to open in the next few years, including seven this year in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Xi’an, China; Tokyo, Japan; Bangkok, Thailand; Cebu and Manila in The Philippines; and Vienna, Austria. The brand will also debut in Paris, France in 2024.

Tan Bee Leng, Ascott managing director for brand and marketing, shared: “lyf is a unique lodging product that combines the best of serviced residences, hotels and coliving apartments. The diversity, flexibility and cost efficiency of the lyf brand, alongside rising consumer interest have provided a compelling option for owners and investors looking at the coliving sector.

Our first lyf property in Singapore achieved an 80% occupancy rate within three months of opening in 2019. This in itself, is testament to the strong foothold the lyf brand has, amongst the next-generation guests.”

Ascott hopes to grow the lyf portfolio to a strength of 150 properties by 2030.