September 18-19, 2024 9/18/2024 3:01:05 PM 7/19/2024 3:01:21 PM Europe/London


The leading industry news resource; industry awards and international b2b conference and exhibitions for the sector 5 - 7 Tavistock Place London, WC1H 9SN International Hospitality Media
Mary Ward House, Bloomsbury, LONDON LONDON

About ULF 2024: stay-live-work

Spark your innovation, challenge your perspective at the festival of ideas - welcome to the only leadership and investment event for urban innovators and investors to collectively define the future of how and where people stay, live and work.

Urban Living Festival announces new venue, format and awards for 2024

International Hospitality Media (IHM), a leading publisher and event organiser in the hospitality and real estate sectors, has announced major expansion and improvement to its flagship Urban Living Festival.

Taking place at Mary Ward House, close to the major urban regeneration projects at London’s King Cross, the festival will take place on September 18 and 19 2024.

The first day will consist of property tours of leading-edge assets across the living and hospitality sectors followed by a drinks reception, while day two will see a full day’s content covering numerous asset classes.

The new venue has numerous break-out areas, allowing ULF to feature for the first time, dedicated content streams which will include presentations, panels and debates covering BTR, PBSA, coliving, later living, flex workspace, hotels and hospitality, and short-term rentals.

ULF is partnering with leading trade associations across the various asset classes, with UKAA, UK SFA, IoH, STAA and FlexSA already confirmed as supporting partners, and more to follow.

2024 will also see the introduction of the Urban Living Impact awards, a new initiative which will celebrate people and projects which are leading the way in urban development.

George Sell, editor-in-chief at IHM, said: “I’m very excited about the changes and improvement to ULF. The new format gives us the opportunity to offer much more detailed and tightly focused content on the numerous asset classes we’ll be covering, and our partnerships with trade associations will ensure the agenda is of-the-minute, providing the opportunity to discuss the issues that really matter. The event will also provide exceptional networking and learning opportunities.”

“The new Urban Living Impact awards will shine a light on those who are truly excelling, delivering exemplar projects and initiatives across the asset classes,” he added.



Newdog PR, Lowy Group, Candour Properties, Toni K Associates, Cedar Capital Partners, Katten, This Is Fresh, PriceLabs, Canary Wharf Group, Vertus, Huckletree, likeMagic, City of London, IMS, Opago, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Roger Lewis, UKAA, Birchgrove, Tristan Capital Partners, res:harmonics, Corporate Housing Factory, Studio Moren, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Charles Hope Apartments, Opago, Montgomery Group, Assa Abloy Group, Your Apartment, Yays Group, Laundry Heap, Wifirst, Neil Davies Architects, Real Estate BNP Paribas, Gravity Co-living, AXA Investment Managers, SDDE Smith Group,, Viridian apartments, DP9, Mure Living, Vita Group, Integrity International Group, Well Studio Architecture, Lamington Group, Node Living, Fidelity International, Neil Davies Architects, Conscious Coliving, Reshape Living, KSL Capital, Legal & General Investment Management, Resicentral, Stay Leva, Yotel, ASK4 LTD, AND MORE

Changing demographics, social and economic drivers are fuelling investor decisions across broader Urban Living asset classes. The 'age of convergence' blended across hospitality and real estate is happening at pace as we emerge, re-set and focus on the future different.

ULF places the spotlight directly on investment, development, supply, operations, brands, distribution, technology and demand generators. Curated with an intense focus on collaboration and debate, the festival brings CEO’s, ‘best of breed’ speakers and attendees, sponsors and solution providers to collectively share best practice, network, map the industry’s future and do business within: 


  • Hotels and serviced apartments
  • Aparthotels / extended stay hotels
  • Hostels
  • Short-term rentals


  • Co-living
  • Build-to-rent (BTR) and student accommodation
  • Senior living


  • The future of the office
  • Co-working
  • Sustainable Buildings
  • PropTech

The market

• 85% of investors are expecting to increase or maintain their portfolio allocation towards the 'living' sector over the next 10 years (Investec, Future Living II report, July 2021)
• 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas, this is expected to reach 68% by 2050.
• In 1950, 79% of the UK population lived in cities; this will rise to 92.2% by 2030.
• 40% of the urban areas required by 2030 are not yet built.

Student Housing
• There are now 681k student accommodation beds across the UK, with circa 25k entering the market for the 2020/21 academic year, a net increase of 21k.
• A record 25% of direct-let beds offered discounts or incentives as impact of COVID-19 was felt, demonstrating the flexibility of providers during this period.
• Quality continues to be a key priority with the price of a new university en-suite bed 17% higher than in 2019/20.
• 115k beds are in the UK development pipeline, approximately 58% of these have full planning permission.
• 2.02m students are studying full time in the UK with applications rising 7% year-on-year.
• 2021 UCAS applications from non-EU students increased 17%, with record rises from China, India and the USA
(UK Student accommodation report 2020 / 2021, Cushman and Wakefield)

Build-to-rent & PRS
• The BTR sector accounted for almost one third of private new homes started in London during Q2 2021, compared to just 12% in Q1. (Molior London, July 2021).
• More than 40% of homes completed during Q2 2021 are destined for BTR rather than individual buyers. (Molior London, July 2021)
• UK rental market will grow by 2 million+ by 2030, driven primarily by 'Generation Rent'.
• 4.6 million new apartments are needed by 2030 to meet US demand for rental living

• Landlords and developers are creating branded spaces for like-minded people to live.
• Demand drivers are housing shortage, rising housing costs, ageing population and more mobile working population.
• 44% of investors are particularly optimistic about the co-living sector over the next five years, compared with 30% in 2019 (CBRE Europe, co-living report)
• circa 8k beds in USA, with development pipeline of 54k (Co-living during COVID-19, Cushman and Wakefield report, Nov 2020)

Serviced apartments / Extended stay
• Global apartment totals have reached 1,096,547 with the number of destinations/locations up 22%.
81% of those surveyed believe serviced apartments are better positioned to outperform the wider hotel market. (ASAP / Savills sentiment report, June 2021)

Short-term rentals
• The global vacation rental market size was valued at US$ 87.09 billion in 2019, and is anticipated to be worth US$ 113.9 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 3.4% (Grand View Research).
• Millennials and younger generations will account for 75 per cent of all consumers and travellers by 2025 (Airbnb).
• There are 140, 674 vacation rental property management companies worldwide (Hostfully).

Senior living

• Knight Frank expects the number of specialist senior living units across the UK to grow by almost 10 per cent over the next five years (750k to 820k). Over the last five years, 41,464 new seniors housing units have been built, whilst the population of 75 year olds in the UK has risen by more than 550,000.
• The number of private senior living rental properties in the UK is forecast to increase by 166 per cent in next five years, from almost 5,000 currently to more than 12,000 by 2025 (Knight Frank, Senior Housing Development Report, July 2021)
• Global ambient assisted living market to reach $13.74 billion USD by 2027
• Demand drivers include costly complex/health care needs.

Co-working and flexible workspace

•  Occupancy levels of coworking have halved as a result of lockdowns from 80% to 40% - physical attendance is lower. (Coworking industry report, Nov 2020, CoworkIntel)
•  The global coworking space market is expected to grow at a CAGR of around 12.5% from 2020 - 2028. (Coworking space market, Industry growth insight, 2020)
There are an estimated 35,000 flexible workspaces in the world today. The global market value of flexible workspaces is estimated at an approximate $26 billion USD. (, March 2021)

• 93% believe "Traditional real estate organisations need to engage with PropTech companies in order to adapt to the changing global environment" (KPMG Global PropTech Survey 2018)
• The volume of venture capital invested globally in PropTech start-ups in 2020 fell to USD 23.8 billion, a decline of 24.7%. (CRETI)
• Despite a decline from 2019’s record capital raising levels, investment into the U.S. PropTech market remains incredibly active
with ~$7.3Bn of equity and debt raised across nearly 300 deals in the category in 2020 (GCA Global market update, 2020)
• Q1 2021 was the most active quarter in the PropTech market with record breaking M&A activity with over 40 PropTech M&A transactions announced in the quarter and many hospitality and real estate investment funding rounds (GCA Global market update, 2020).

Hosted over two days,London will have the opportunity to showcase its status as a “living and breathing” world-class metropolitan hub for real estate investors, developers, owners and operators.



“The event has been great – everything that we do with IHM is great. The panels have been amazing, you’ve got the feedback from the workshops and you walk out of these conferences feeling really engaged and open to more conversations. The tours were great and we had lots of discussions. Going out to see the products is quite different and seeing how everyone is expressing their brands.”

Suzanne Luscombe, business development director, Opago