London – March 31, 2022 – The versatility of serviced apartments and the willingness of operators to embrace new concepts are two of the key factors driving the sector’s on-going success, with new brands emerging that focus on co-living and the combination of work and home.
Launching its annual Service Apartment Sector in Europe report this week, global hotel consultancy HVS highlights the fact the sector is still very much in a period of expansion, with over 13,000 units expected to open in Europe over the next four years.
In addition, operators have been quick to respond to changes in the way people travel and the blending of home and work life demonstrated in the development of innovative concepts that provide a shared living and kitchen space amongst a number of en suite bedrooms.
“Think student flat share but for the corporate world, with a target audience ranging from graduates to colleagues on work projects,” commented report co-author Maria Coll, senior associate with HVS London.
“The boundaries between leisure and business are becoming increasingly blurred. The new breed of serviced apartment brands tend to put connection at its forefront, providing like-minded guests the opportunity to feel part of a tribe, despite being away from home.
“Many of the newly announced apartment brands are tapping into the co-living element by creating a sense of community through events and local networking opportunities, as well as offering ample shared public spaces in their apartment buildings such as leisure facilities, screening rooms and co-working areas,” added Coll. “In addition to new brands some of the traditional aparthotel operators are also introducing co-living spin-offs too,” she said.
The increased flexibility of space in line with the needs of today’s guest, technology as a driver of change and improved ESG standards are further common features found in many of the new sector brands.
The report foresees a positive outlook for the European serviced apartment industry in 2022, with perceived risk seen previously from investors declining and growth being the number one goal for the majority of operators surveyed.
“We expect top line recovery to continue, technology-improved operations to create efficiencies offsetting some cost increases and inflationary growth, and a further buoyant and diverse product offering to enter the market,” commented report co-author Arlett Hoff, director, HVS London.
“More than half of operators expect operating cash flows to have recovered to pre-pandemic levels within the next two years, although the current situation in Ukraine and the pressure on oil and gas prices might prolong the cash flow recovery.
A copy of The Serviced Apartment Sector in Europe, Navigating the Headwinds by Maria Coll and Arlett Hoff can be downloaded here