House and office prices in central urban areas, such as London, are booming. Investors in city real-estate are making a tidy profit and it all because central locations are the place to be. They offer you the most convenient access to the best entertainment, jobs, shopping, clients and opportunities to make the most of your work and spare time.
In other words, the value of property in cities is dependent on the additional value they offer to owners, by virtue of their location. Shorter commuting times, more opportunities to grow your business, better schooling for your children, and better social and entertainment experiences.
So what would happen if all of the benefits that currently require living in a central property, could eventually be experienced from anywhere? What if communing was no longer a waste of time, or even needed at all? What if you never had to meet your clients in order to stand a good chance of finding them? What if entertainment experiences like those we experience in those famous spots could be experienced anywhere?
In other words: what if technology eliminated distance?
I think this is happening already.
Virtual reality is providing all the benefits of face-to-face meetings, but from a remote location.
Self-driving cars will turn driving time, into work time – not wasted time.
Distributed, democratised and free/low-cost learning platforms will make education for us all, more flexible, customised and high-quality than it has ever been.
House prices in many of the worlds business centres, such as London, are sky-rocketing at the moment and it’s making us feel sceptical about a solution ever arising. But in a free market, where choice and innovation can flourish – it will fix itself.
And it will fix itself, by eliminating distance.
By all means invest in urban real estate for a little while longer. But be warned – these trends won’t last forever.