Although still classified as a developing nation, Pakistan is pretty far ahead when it comes to housing and lifestyle.Pakistanis like to live life grand and their houses usually reflect that.

Be it sprawling mansions in Lahore’s posh Defence Housing Authority or bungalows along the foothills of Islamabad’s Margalla Hills, the residences Pakistanis build will astound many foreign visitors who still think of the country as a specimen from the middle of last century.

However, there remains a city in Pakistan where apartments have become the preferred mode of residence instead of houses that are preferred in other parts of the country.

Karachi, the country’s financial capital, can be safely termed its apartment capital as well. Here we try to ascertain why.

Population

Karachi is a magnet attracting thousands of people to its economic sectors every month. Countless employment opportunities in the industrial hub of the countryjustify Karachi’s rising population, now in excess of 23.5 million according to some estimates.

At over 6,000 people per square kilometer, space in Karachi is falling short fast. So the obvious answer to this quagmire has been an efficient utilization of the same. Developers have thus resorted to developing apartment blocks one after the other in order to cater to the ever-rising demand for housing in this bustling metropolis.

Cost

In the simple world of demand and supply, commodity values will rise in proportion to demand. And for Karachi’s housing sector, demand is aplenty. The large population of the mega city is leading to an even larger demand for housing units, pushing the prices up constantly.

According to property portal Zameen.com, a 500-yard2 house in Karachi’s Clifton area sets one back PKR 68,000,000. In Lahore, a 500-yard2 house in Askari-11, a relatively posh community, will only cost PKR 33,000,000, almost half of that in Karachi’s Clifton.

However, a 3-bedroom apartment in Karachi cost PKR 13,000,000 on average in 2015, while 2-bedroom apartments sold for an average PKR 6,300,000. As affordability is always a major consideration for many homebuyers, apartments do offer decent living quarters at prices that can still be termed low, relatively speaking.

Trend

Besides other technical factors, the popularity of apartment-style living can simply be a result of urban trend. The idea of living in apartments hasn’t simply caught on in urban centers like Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar as it has in Karachi.

Though real estate prices in these cities are no less expensive than those in Karachi, people here simply prefer living in independent houses over residing in apartments.

Security and maintenance

Apart from a community living, residing in an apartment complex offers a certain sense of security to inhabitants. And in a city like Karachi that has seen its fair share of security troubles, being in numbers does count. Apartment complexes also provide a secure environment for children to vent their energies in the safety of a closely watched, or closely knit community. Apartments are also much easier to maintain compared to the upkeep and resources required for maintaining that beautiful lawn adorning a sprawling bungalow. Nowadays, it has become rather common for both spouses that make up thousands of nuclear families across Pakistan to work professionally to earn bread and butter. In such cases maintaining a house becomes much more tedious than looking after an apartment requiring minimum maintenance, adding to their popularity in fast-paced cities like Karachi.

So while people living in Lahore, Islamabad and other cities of Pakistan enjoy the independence of detached homes, they certainly miss out on the perks of living in an apartment that Karachiites enjoy.

And did we mention the view from up above?