Proximity to the workplace used to be a top housing criteria, but not anymore.
When it comes to purchasing residential property, our decision-making is heavily influenced by our lifestyle preferences. As such, it is no surprise that current housing trends will see a significant change in the ‘new normal’.
Most Malaysians cite location as the top criteria in their house-hunting list. Ideally, a home should be near – or at least connected to – our workplaces and other areas that we frequent. Traffic jams in major Malaysian cities are legendary, and no one wants to spend hours on the road just to go to work or hang out with friends.
According to SCMP, location is still key in the ‘new normal’ – except that people are choosing to move further away from their workplaces, instead of near it. Forbes noted that people are opting to live in “horizontal cities”, where homes and infrastructure are spread across the suburbs side-by-side; as opposed to being stacked one on top of the other as they are in concrete jungles.
It is also found that more people are starting to prioritise size over location: preferring to live in a bigger house further away from city, rather than a shoebox unit that is minutes away from a prime business district.
Physical distancing and remote working is the ‘new normal’ lifestyle
These days, most of us would probably shudder at the thought of being in a crowded space or living in congested housing estates. Months of living under the Movement Control Order (MCO) have made us alert to the risks brought on by being in close proximity to one another.
The demand for bigger house sizes and spread-out neighbourhoods is no longer about enjoying a luxury of more personal space; but rather a necessity that stems from the need of practising safe physical distancing.
And with more people being allowed to work and learn from home, there is a growing demand for properties with sufficient space to set up a home office or study room. A conducive learning and working environment is also needed, which explains the preference for residential properties in the lush green suburbs.
The demand for more space at home and in the neighbourhood
It is not enough for a home to just be a living space in the ‘new normal’. It needs to also be able to function as a working space, a learning space, and a recreational space.
Aside from that, home buyers are also looking for townships that are planned and built with generous space around their personal units. This is so that recreational activities – cycling, jogging, etc. – can still be carried out near homes, but with ample ground for physical distancing.
In short, people want to minimise the need to venture out to crowded spaces for work and play. And the key to this is strategic placemaking and flexible home designs.
These are not new concepts – in fact, building holistic and sustainable houses as well as townships has always been a guiding philosophy for Gamuda Land’s developments. You can see this in some of their projects, namely Jade Hills, Gamuda Cove, Twentyfive.7, and their latest Gamuda Gardens.
Each of the property developer’s projects are built around a natural centrepiece. For example: Twentyfive.7 is known for offering residents the “quayside living” experience as it is built around a huge lake; whereas Gamuda Cove is a residential, leisure, and business enclave nestled near the famous Paya Indah Discovery Wetlands.
On top of fusing lifestyle with nature, Gamuda Land also builds spacious homes with room for working and study spaces, as well as community gardens for exercises and wellness activities.
Gamuda Gardens presents a great example of placemaking and flexible home layout
As the name suggests, Gamuda Gardens is a town built in a green setting. Residential units are situated away from the commercial centre (Waterfront Village), but close enough that you can cycle there via the garden trails.
The town also has recreational facilities catered for the community, this includes: a spacious Garden Arena for football games; the scenic Le Garden Pavilion for mini gatherings; a waterplay park for weekend family fun; and even a lush pet-friendly Central Park that transforms into a Garden of Lights in the evening.
Back at the Illaria hillside houses of Gamuda Gardens, the concept of “home” is extended to the outdoors as well with the designs of open kitchen and multipurpose rooms. The flexible home design provides residents with freedom on how they want utilise the available space, be it as a playroom, fitness room, or even a home office.
Last but not least, Gamuda Land acknowledges that there are activities that people may want to enjoy as a community. This insight resulted in the creation of community kitchens, outdoor barbecue areas, community farms, and putting green where residents can mingle with each other comfortably and safely.
Home buyers are also searching for self-sufficient townships as well
As Gamuda Land is first and foremost a town maker, all of their projects are designed to be sustainable towns. The award-winning developer is working towards building more of these with their latest Smart City Framework, aiming to improve connectivity, improve inclusivity, enhancing convenience, as well as creating and better managing public spaces.
You can see this in the works at townships like Gamuda Cove, Gamuda Gardens, and Twentyfive.7. Every project comes with a commercial centre to cater to its residents’ needs, ranging from convenience stores to boutiques and quaint cafes. Gamuda Cove is now even the country’s first 5G town.
The post-pandemic housing preference is probably here to stay
And perhaps this is for the better as well.
With more people opting for the suburbs, congestions in the cities could slowly become a thing of the past. It is high time we take the time off our busy, metropolitan schedules and reconnect with nature as well as each other – and what better place to do so than in a cosy home?
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