The great debate between city living versus suburban living has again peaked with the Covid-19 pandemic playing a massive role in contributing points to the latter. Knight Frank Malaysia International Residential Project Marketing associate director Dominic Heaton-Watson said city developments are moving towards creating a sense of community and developers are creating holistic living experiences.
“The demand for lifestyles next to parks, green spaces and canal waterways is clear,” he said. The three main selling points for suburban living have always been cheaper, more open spaces and lower crime rates. But with Covid-19 in the picture, suburban living now has an added advantage of being less risky as the population density is lower. In contrast, city living offers cultural diversity, better public and private transportation networks and better selection of amenities.
With the spike in the recent numbers of new Covid-19 cases as it makes a second wave through Malaysia, potential homebuyers are re-evaluating their circumstances as safety from deadly contagious viruses now takes precedence. Once upon a time, Malaysians fear the dreaded commute to work if they choose to live further away from the city. Since the pandemic pushed the business communities to quickly adapt to work from home (WFH) via online connectivity, this worry of being stuck in jams and long travelling hours have somewhat been defused.
That more inquiries are being made for suburban properties is a possible tell-tale sign that the market could again shift to living away from the city. This is a trend that is not just present in Malaysia but a global one, especially in more developed nations.
The advantage of living in cities when there is a pandemic is that the medical facilities will usually be better and more support industries like food supply are in place. But ultimately, whether to live in a city or suburb depends on the individual. They both have advantages and disadvantages so, at the end of the day, it is the homebuyer who decides.