While Karachi vs. Lahore might be an age-old debate, there is no debating the fact that life in the two concrete metropolises runs at high speed. The rising rate of population in both Lahore and Karachi has increased the demand for housing and associated facilities. Both cities tackle the demand in their own ways, and this results in a change of lifestyle that Karachites and Lahoris enjoy. Let’s take a look at how real estate in Lahore and Karachi impacts the lives of the residents.
Karachi, also known as the City of Lights, due to its active nightlife, is the most populated city of Pakistan. Meanwhile, Lahore, once known as the City of Gardens, is the second most populated city of the country. Both cities hold immense historical and economic value, and people living in the surrounding urban and rural areas of Sindh and Punjab often migrate to these two hubs in search of jobs and a better lifestyle. As such, a massive influx of population has been witnessed in both cities, with Karachi being home to 16,051,521 and Lahore hosting 11,126,285 people as per the most recent population statistics (Census) of 2017.
The Differences in Real Estate and Their Impact
With the rise in population, real estate in Lahore and Karachi is booming. New projects are also being developed at a rapid pace to cope with the demand. However, the differences in real estate options bring a dynamic change to the way people live their lives in the two cities.
Apartments vs. Houses
The most significant impact of real estate in Lahore and Karachi is the preference of houses over apartments in Lahore. Owning your home from the ground up is preferred by Lahoris overall. As the city has developed at a slower pace, there was also an abundance of land to cater to this demand of the citizens.
Karachites however, are often not even given the option of choosing a house over a flat as the city is so crowded that developers have no options other than building vertical projects that are often 15 to 20 storeys high or more. Those who wish to own a home in Karachi generally have to move a considerable distance away from the city centre to find the property they are looking for.
So, while home ownership without a hectic commute can be a reality for those residing in Lahore, the same cannot be said for Karachites who have to travel to and from the highway every day to reach their workplace. When given the choice of owning a house with a longer commute in peak rush hours over buying an apartment with a shorter route, most residents choose the latter. There are also a number of other factors that Karachites consider before buying a flat in the city.
Overall, while Lahoris are used to living in houses with their own parking and gardening spaces, Karachites are accustomed to community living in an apartment complex with a number of different neighbours and shared utilities. This lifestyle choice is often made, not because people prefer to have next-door neighbours, but because of the lack of real estate options available as per their preferences.
The Matter of Affordability
There is no doubt about the fact that in spite of being the most populated city in the country, the cost of living in Karachi is still a lot cheaper than residing in Lahore. This is also supported by the Worldwide Cost of Living Survey 2019 conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit, which declared Karachi as the 6th cheapest city in the world. This difference in affordability can also be found with respect to the real estate available within the two cities, which in turn, affects the lifestyle preferences and budgeting of the citizens of Lahore and Karachi respectively.
The Recent Changes in Real Estate for Karachi and Lahore
While traditionally, houses were preferred in Lahore and flats in Karachi, the lack of land availability in Lahore has led to the development of apartment projects in major parts of the city. People can now buy an apartment in areas such as Raiwind Road and Gulberg Lahore. Similarly, as Karachi expands towards the land available at its outskirts, housing projects and gated communities are being built for people looking to buy a house in areas like Bahria Town, Karachi, and Scheme 33.
As all of the new real estate projects are focused on offering a luxurious lifestyle with a range of amenities close at hand, this is also impacting the lives of the citizens in both Lahore and Karachi, where convenience and luxury are now becoming the critical parameters for choosing a property.