A Switch Toward the Horizontal Condominium
During the past 15 years, São Paulo’s metropolitan area witnessed the proliferation of an urban phenomenon: the closed condominium. The pioneer of this trend was the Alphaville. It was established in 1970 in Barueri (Grande São Paulo). It was followed by several others that copied the concept.
What the Horizontal Condominium is Like
These condominiums are generally upscale buildings that are closed off to the general public. They usually have lots of amenities and ample leisure areas. Many of these condominiums have adopted a trend generally known as the "mini-city". A mini city because people have no need to leave the premises at all. It is common to find internal supermarkets, bakeries, and many other kinds of shops within the condominium setting itself.
Before the turn of the century, almost all of these condominiums had a vertical type of architecture. However, after the year 2000 a new horizontal building trend for this type of construction became very popular.
Why People Prefer Them
In a city where the majority of the population prefers apartments over houses (mainly because of the safety factor), the horizontal condominium has become one of the most attractive niche markets out there. This type of property in Brazil offers a calm and safe environment within the metropolitan area.
People living within these types of condominiums have a general feeling of being safer. This is mainly because of the way the buildings are set up. They are either fenced in or have a wall around them. Private security makes sure unwanted strangers always stay out.
Amenities are another factor that makes them so popular. Most closed condominiums have internal swimming pools, sports areas, places to have a barbecue, gyms, kiddie parks, etc.
The Negative Side
There are some drawbacks to living in a closed condominium setting. The rules are usually pretty strict and rigid. Not following them will usually lead to fines. Privacy is another concern since homes are so close to each other and leisure areas are shared.
The Typical Resident
Most people living in horizontal condominium settings are middle-aged families usually having small children. They like this type of housing because it is believed to be a good setting to raise children in.
Despite the restrictions placed on residents and the strict standards that people have to abide by, the benefits in terms of safety and amenities which are offered via the horizontal condominium make it a very attractive real estate investment in the São Paulo market. Thus, their accelerated growth is expected to continue over the long term.