Over the last few years, the number of apartment buildings in Lahore has suddenly increased.
This boom in high-rise residential buildings highlights a major cultural shift among the younger residents of the bustling city. Apartment-living became somewhat of a trend in metropolitan cities quite some time ago. However, Lahore remained more or less indifferent to this growing culture – until recently.
People once preferred to live in detached, sprawling houses built according to their personal needs on land they either purchased or inherited. But the growing number of apartment complex shows more and more people are opting to live in flats in Lahore.
Top areas to rent apartments in Lahore
Defence Housing Authority (DHA) Lahore ranked first on the list of most searched areas for renting apartments in the city. Comparatively, the second most-sought-after area to rent flats in Lahore was Askari, with only 7.9% of overall searches. Meanwhile, Johar Town ranked third on the list with a 7.6% search result.
According to the search results, DHA phases 5, 6, 3, 8 and 1 appear to be the more popular localities for renting an apartment in Lahore, respectively.
Top areas to buy apartments in Lahore
The buying trends for apartments in the city is also somewhat similar. DHA Lahore once again topped the list with 25.1% searches, followed closely by Bahria Town and Askari Lahore. These areas drew a total of 7.5% and 4.5% search results respectively.
The popularity index on Zameen.com shows DHA phases 6,5,8,3 and 1 appear to be the most popular options respectively.
Why is apartment culture evolving in Lahore?
There are several benefits of living in an apartment instead of a house. Needless to say, some of these factors may have contributed to the evolving apartment culture in Lahore.
Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Much like the rest of the country, the population of Lahore has seen immense growth. From 6.3 million people in the 1998 census to its current official standing at 11.12 million according to the 2017 census, the number of people living in the city has almost doubled. This is largely due to the fact that people from other parts of the country have begun to move here for better education and job opportunities. However, the city’s boundaries have not been pushed enough to accommodate its inhabitants.
Over-populated cities usually tackle this situation by going vertical, which is exactly what Lahore seems to be doing. Taking a leaf out of Karachi’s book, a densely populated city filled with skyscrapers and tall residential buildings, developers in Lahore along with the housing policymakers resorted to constructing one apartment complex after another to cater to the ever-rising demand for housing units.
Thus, just in a few years, Lahore went from being the ‘City of Gardens’ to becoming yet another concrete jungle.
The sharp uptick in real estate prices is considered the second most important factor behind the growing apartment culture in Lahore. Not to mention, living in an apartment complex is much more cost effective. You can save money on both utility bills and monthly rent.
For instance, the rental trend for a 2-bedroom apartment in DHA Lahore ranges between PKR 20 thousand and PKR 55 thousand per month. On the other hand, you can rent out a 3-bedroom flat in the same area for as low as PKR 32 thousand per month.
As far as buying trend is concerned, a luxury 3-bedroom apartment for sale in DHA Lahore costs around PKR 90 lakh to PKR 3.8 crore on average. Meanwhile, the asking price of 10 marla housesranges between PKR 1.5 crore and PKR 4.5 crore, depending on the area.
Living in an apartment in Lahore will also save you a lot in electricity and gas bills. Since it’s easier to cool down and heat up a smaller area, you would have to run your air conditioners and heaters for a comparatively shorter amount of time.
It’s a cruel fact of life, but no one has time to personally socialize with others these days. Apart from the people you see every day at work or school, your interaction with your distant family members and friends must most likely be limited to Facebook and WhatsApp groups.
Living in an independent and detached home gives you the freedom to do pretty much whatever your heart desires without having to regularly interact with your neighbours. However, living in apartments is quite different.
If you buy or rent an apartment in Lahore, you are bound to see people living in the flat next door several times a day. Meanwhile, people living in separate houses don’t necessarily run into their neighbours on a daily basis. This gives you more chances to interact with others residing in the same building. If you manage to form good relations with your neighbours, it would undoubtedly create a healthy environment while providing excellent networking and socializing opportunities.
The apartment culture in Lahore gives people more chances to socialize with others than those living in detached houses.
There is strength in numbers – and that is probably the biggest perk of community living. Since people dwelling in flats are much more privy to what’s happening next door, it would be relatively difficult for a robber to get in and out without being completely noticed.
Although safety is not always a guarantee as people living in apartments must have seen their fair share of security troubles, a residential building with over a dozen of families is considerably safer than a house with four residents. Moreover, the higher the flat is in a building, the less likely it is to be broken in.
In addition, most apartment complexes have a boundary wall and a security guard at the main entrance. This makes it a much safer place for children to play and run around. For those who live in houses, if there is no playground in the vicinity, kids have little choice but to play on the streets. It could be a bit dangerous, unfortunately.
Another factor that could have played a role in the evolving apartment culture in Lahore is the maintenance of such units. With school, work and other responsibilities, people are rarely left with enough time to hang out with their families. In this situation, spending extra time on the upkeep of one’s home is almost impossible.
Obviously, flats are much easier to maintain than houses. For starters, there are no front gardens or backyards for you to tend to – which could be somewhat of a disadvantage if you love gardening. However, you can always start your own vertical garden to save up on space.
Secondly, most building owners charge a certain maintenance fee from their residents. Therefore, you can just call and ask them to deal with whatever plumbing or electric wiring problem you might be facing.
Moreover, since flats are usually smaller, they are also much easier to clean. You also don’t have to worry about painting or the upkeep of the exterior walls. It is the responsibility of the property manager to look after them.
Of course, there are certain advantages and disadvantages to living in an apartment. However, the apparent increase in the number of sky-high towers and luxury apartments in Lahore proves the new generation is opting for a different style of living than their elders.