Consuming Housing

With working from home becoming a norm following Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, there’s going to be major shifts in infrastructure one might start to expect and consider as one thinks about entering a career in infrastructure. I’m going to share some thoughts on this particularly from the perspective of housing first and in the coming posts, maybe some other aspects.

Housing has traditionally been about proximity to work and also key amenities and that was what created waves of urbanisation right from the start of industrialisation. However, over time, as the industrial core and city centres became a little degraded, the patterns of housing moved out to the city fringes and even to the suburbs, giving rise to suburban malls but also transport lines, roads that connects the city to the suburbs.

In the case of Singapore, we’ve been successful in creating satellite towns to support housing needs as our urban core area becomes too unaffordable for ordinary people to live in, and the continuous refreshing of old spaces means it has become increasingly high-rise and land-use intensified. This intensification is made possible only through advancements in public transport and the ability to pull people from more satellite towns into this urban core where people work and also do some of their consumption.

With the pandemic and work from home, demand for housing that are sitting on transport nodes linking to city centres may fall a little; the desire for more space, and comfort might become more important. Cramming people into small shoebox apartments and encouraging them to be out of their houses (a la Hong Kong) might be increasingly difficult. I am looking forward to shifts in valuation of property though that change might take much longer to reflect in the property market.

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