The never-ending debate of city life versus country living is one where both are great, and both are the worst at the same time.
With strong advocates for both sides, the decision to purchase a property in either location presents some interesting aspects of the evolution of the market and the ever-changing needs of consumers.
City living and its Key Elements
Sprawling metropolises, high rise residential and commercial buildings, accompanied by the fast pace of modern life have become the norm for the newer generations.
The comforts of city living include all amenities at a click of a button or a few steps away. Whether you need meals or groceries delivered, to state of the art exercise and recreational facilities, a city has it all.
The increasing concentration of work opportunities within a city’s limits is also reflected in the influx of an array of professionals and complementary employees to urban areas.
In turn this has highly affected the residential property market, changing the way we live and where we live. Gone are single family houses with gardens and yards. These are long being replaced by apartment buildings with small patios over busy avenues, noisy and faceless neighbours, and a higher cost per square meter.
Country Living and Important Features
Rolling green fields, cleaner air, quaint shops, and an increased feeling of community are the staples of country life.
Bigger homes, yards, and gardens, calm and quiet, and the ability to see the stars at night make life outside the city more comfortable and a small bit of heaven. Fresh local produce and the friendly faces at the village pub round up the perks of rural living.
Country life comes with a lower price tag, especially regarding the cost of land and property. This translates to larger spaces, more land and perhaps that in-ground swimming pool or greenhouse of your dreams.
Living in the countryside, though should not be confused with going on holiday there. Transportation is limited and having a car is much of a necessity. The quaint market shop will always stock the essentials, but there is limited variety and range of available products, especially if you are used to huge hypermarkets filled with anything and everything under the sun.
The local job market is more limited as are the employment options, so you would either be facing a long commute or utilizing the option of remote working or having an online-based profession.
Moreover, friendly neighbours might end up being nosy busybodies and gossips.
The Suburbs as a Happy Medium
Emerging communities, at the outskirts of cities, seem to be gaining traction as the residential preference that combines the benefits of both the city and the countryside while minimizing the downsides of both.
Lower prices per square meter than city dwellings, newer developments with extensive planning to mimic small communities, parks and outdoor recreation areas, are among the perks of suburban living.
Additionally, the proximity to the city makes commuting a viable option as extensions of the city transportation networks are implemented to include newly established suburban hubs.
Amenities are still a click of a button away, options for shops include both local establishments and the accessible city shops, and facilities such as healthcare, fitness, and recreation widely available.
As an extra perk, suburban developments are planned to appeal to a target market, resulting in communities of similarly connected families and individuals, where new friendships and bonds are easier to form.
Covid-19 and the Change in Priorities and Needs
The past year has led to a radical re-evaluation in priorities and needs, which has been reflected in the housing requirements of both in-the-market buyers as well as newly minted buyers wishing to relocate.
Lockdowns, the changing work-office dynamics, home-schooling and self-isolation have impacted what buyers look for in their property searches.
The needs for extra space for remote working, accommodating play areas for children, outdoor space and extra rooms that are either multifunctional or able to host extended family, top the requirements of buyers. Many have looked to relocate to suburbs to find such facilities, and as many employers are changing their operations models to remote, it is becoming an increasingly sensible decision.
On the other hand, because of the outflux to the suburbs and the countryside, many properties within cities have become vacant and the under-demand has led to a fall in rental prices, making them equally attractive to those who do not want to lose their city life, but wish to upgrade their living arrangements. The selection of where to live is an extremely personal decision and is up to individuals’ preferences where to set up roots and decide to call home.
Circumstances change both inside the family and from outside forces, set a new reality were sometimes you need to adapt while other times you hold your ground and brace the change.
What is your preference?
Are you a city dweller or a countryside lover?
Are the suburbs your ideal compromise?
Are you an aficionado of the nomadic lifestyle?
One thing is for sure, the old adage of “Home is where the heart is” is evolving with the times.