future of city living

Ashley Osborne, Head of UK Residential at Colliers International

In the 1990s, low rise buildings, located in the heart of the commercial hubs, with spacious apartments were the epitome of city-living. The 2000s introduced high rise skylines with breath-taking views, dispersed locations, and a plethora of amenities as the new standard. The evolution of technology, architecture, and economies continue to push living standards to new heights, literally and figuratively. In this article, we take a look at how homes will evolve in 2020 and beyond.

Micro-Apartments

Two factors hampering a city’s expansion are typically space and population, wherein the increase in population spurs demand for housing on limited space. To cope with this, developers are turning towards micro-apartments targeted to the next generation that no longer sees large living spaces as a necessity. Despite the minimal space, the functionality and comfort of these micro-apartments will be no less than a larger-sized apartment, with the existence of unconventional morphing units. Morphing apartments use clever compartmentalization, folding furniture, rolling sectionals, to transform these studio-sized apartments based on your needs, whether it is a small reading corner or a large space for a dinner party.

Technologically -Savvy Apartments

While the simplistic apartments are moving towards downsizing, their luxury counterparts are seeing a trend towards advanced technology. The idea of self-sustaining buildings with eco-friendly technology is hardly new, but the pace at which it is being implemented is. With ground-breaking technologies emerging daily, engineers and architects are constantly finding ways of incorporating the following into new real-estate developments.

  • The use of solar panels on roofs, walls, and glazing to provide a building or a house with solar power.
  • Regular fixtures, from mirrors to kitchen counters, will be equipped with intelligent surfaces to allow a touch screen interface that facilitates efficiency as well as social and professional communication.
  • The conversion of organic waste from the kitchen into energy. Instead of bin rooms or rubbish collection areas, each apartment will have an underground waste management system – freeing up space for communal amenities.

Beyond apartments, cities themselves are evolving. With an estimated 66% of the world population believed to be living in cities by 2050, the need for better, more efficient, and spacious cities are imminent. Cities of the future are predicted to have LED streetlights, better infrastructure for bikes, trash management using pneumatic tubes, and much more.

What does this mean for property investors?

For most people, investing in property is a long-term strategy, usually lasting upwards of 15 years or more. Therefore, it is important to choose your property well. Taking the property’s facilities, building amenities, location, and local regulations into consideration is no longer enough. With such advances being made in real-estate, it is essential to look at projected changes in the development of real estate, in addition to market supply and demand in the property you are seeking to invest in. Only then will you be equipped to make a sound investment decision.