When Yoan Kamalski and Zenos Schmickrath, both professionals in their 20s, went looking for an apartment in their adopted city of Singapore, they came across a familiar dilemma. In the city’s inflated property market, the places in their price range were grim; the apartments they aspired to were unaffordable.

They were not alone. Those big, beautiful spaces were often just empty – the wealthier expat families that they had been designed for were no longer there and the new generation of workers coming into the technology sector couldn’t or wouldn’t pony up the thousands of dollars in rent and deposits.

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