Will Apartments eventually replace homes as primary housing

In my area, as houses become more expensive than the average guy can afford, apartment blocks are increasingly being developed and built. So will we see the eventuall demise of the home? Where only the rich can afford to live? a-la Japan and most of south east asia?

Hmmmm…my suspicion is no, although this might not be the case in more urban areas where apartments are all you’ll have.

The U.S. government has always tried to promote home ownership. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I seem to recall that Hawaii had a crisis several years ago where a substantial part of the private property was owned by only a few people; most people were paying rent. The state government stepped in and purchased most of the apartments, and then sold them back to the people who were living in them. (The U.S. constitution has a “takings” clause that lets them do that, so long as they provide “just compensation” to the property owner.)

…of course, you’re writing from England, so I can’t speak for your country…

I think in many European countries more people live in apartments than homes. In Switzerland owning a home is way too expensive for most people.

But will this rise in house prices increase during the next 15 years? Don’t apartments have a high crime rate?

Apartments are mainly being built in inner city brown field sites as infill, or to rejuvenate a run down area, like old docklands or slums.

I don’t think they will ever fully replace houses, and the good apartments really aren’t that cheap anymore, even in comparison to good housing stock. They represent a particular lifestyle investment, much like loft living in New York did in the eighties.

Many developers, certainly in NI, are moving away from building apartments in favour of townhouses, which sell better and include gardens. So, I guess the market is forcing developers to look at the nature of the accommodation they are now building.

Also, the government has a new regulation stating that a certain percentage of all new houses built in developments have to be a certain size and price – i.e. affordable to the ‘lesser waged’ or first time buyers.

And, on preview, some blocks have high crime rates. So do some estates of houses with big gardens. To paraphrase a nameless architect in the past…"…you cannot blame the place for becoming a pig-sty, if you fill it with pigs"

But, to finally answer the OP, as cities grow over time, more and more people will end up in city centres in apartment blocks rather than in sprawling suburbs, where only the very rich can afford to have land.

That seems to be very elitist, where the rich are allowed to own lets say 45% of the sububan area where the less fortunate and working class are ‘crammed’ into an 10 mile sq. radius.

I’m always a little surprised that homebuilding starts are such a significant economic indicator. Tho I have never attempted to crunch the numbers, in the Chicago area it seems to me that the housing stock is increasing faster than the population could possibly be growing. And older homes don’t exactly cease to exist after 5, 10, or 20 years. It will not be long before there is a belt of suburbs between Chicago and Milwaukee, and cornfields west and south of the City are being built on every day.

In the meanwhile, they are throwing up thousands of units in multi-unit buildings in the city proper. And these are definitiely NOT low-rent properties.

Many areas of the US do not have the space limitations many other folk have. Moreover, many factors encourage suburban sprawl. So I see the predominant housing choice in the US to be simply that - a choice. I can imagine more people moving to multi-family housing as the US population ages.

(By “apartments” I assume you mean to include condominiums? As I am familiar with the terms, one owns a condo, and rents an apt. Both can be units within a multi-unit building.)

In the movie What Women Want, Helen Hunt’s character tells Mel Gibson’s character that she now “owns an apartment” in New York. By which she did not mean that she owned the whole apartment building, but merely that she owned the space within the apartment building that she was living in. I guess using the term “condominium” to refer to this arrangement must be one of those west-coast language things.

And the title of this thread is misleading, too. Wherever you live is your “home”, whether you live in an apartment, a condo, or a house (owned or rented).

I disagree. I have lived in several places on the east coast an invariably if you own it, its a condo, if you rent it its either an apartment or someone’s (that is, an individual’s) condo that you are renting from them.

Don’t know about your Hawaii situation, but call me skeptical. I would take issue with the exercise of the takings clause to transfer private property from one private group to another, and I am guessing that the owners in these cases would have too… Condemnation and eminent domain are to be used for takings for public use (like roads). Not wanting to hijack here.

On the apartment issue…
In the US I doubt it, at least not for a very long time. The US is truly an enormous place, we are a long way from running out of room such that a lack of available land will lead to a decrease in house ownership. It could be that urban densities will continue to rise and we will see increasingly large apartment buildings, but of course these apartments are by no means always cheap!

Oh, I don’t know. If the only criterion is the amount of physical land you own, that would be a valid point. But I’d much rather live in the city and own zero land than live in a suburb any day. Though I would like to own a condo one day instead of renting, I imagine that in that case I would still own zero land strictly speaking.

Correct. The owner of a condominium unit only owns the airspace within the walls. The owner of the condominium complex actually owns the land on which the condominium units sit.