House and office prices in central urban areas, such as London, New York and San Francisco have seen consistent growth for some decades now. Investors in urban real-estate consistently prove to be profitable across medium timescales and it is all because urban locations are the place to be. They offer residents 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 related to the additional value provided 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.

How innovation is changing these rules

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.

  • Social media and virtual reality are providing all the benefits of face-to-face meetings but from a remote location.
  • Self-driving cars will soon turn driving time, into work time – not wasted time.
  • MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are already making quality and recognised education available from anywhere in the world, as well as making learning more flexible, tailored and high-quality than it has ever been before.

House prices in many of the worlds business centres have seen significant growth in recent years, and it’s making us feel sceptical about a solution to the under-supply of housing in these areas from ever arising. But in a free market, where choice and innovation can flourish – it is beginning to fix itself.

And it will do that by eliminating distance.

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