In the last decade we observed a trend that converges on a hard to accept reality: 50% of the modern Jobs could be effectively performed solely on the digital infosphere.
This assumption is supported by the evidences collected during the pandemic: a large scale re-adaption that forced companies to revise their approach, without necessarily losing performances.
Still, the political framework did not consent to decentralize the information economy centers, via legal and disciplinary blockers. And this translated in a back to office approach with the pandemic deflation.
It would be unrealistic to increase the quality of life of people, via cheaper locations and a higher contact with nature: the loss in profit of the largest funds in the world, holding and purchasing residential houses, would be too much to handle, could prevent the next scuba diving excursion of the local politician to happen.
For sure, in person meetings could be beneficial to creativity and knowledge sharing, and there could be some benefits to have few days each week of face to face interactions. But the current urbanized landscape is not the answer.
The digitalization of the workplace is only one aspect, but there is additionally a hidden trend that could distrupt soon the housing market and create an enormus incentive to spread the population towards more rural areas: Modular Housing.
The average cost of building a traditional house in the US varies from 200$ to 500$ for each squared feet. In the case of modular housing the cost is instead 60$, and in the coming future could be even cheaper thanks to automation and economics of scale. This means that a 90 m^2 house could cost less than 18,000$.
The additional benefit, particulary in Europe, is that modular houses have almost perfect energy class (around A), a factor that is becoming of crucial importance given the new regulations: in the European Union will become harder to sell or rent houses that stands below a certain energy class treshold.
This trend is gonna shape the housing market in the next 10 years, and this is also the reason why I strongly believe is not a good idea to buy/own a house at the moment: owning the land and purchasing a modular house in the next 5-10 years could provide a robust financial deal.
The final cherry on the cake will be provided by self-driving cars: assuming we will be lucky enough to observe the spread of autonomous veichles in the next 10 years, it will be natural to move towards rural areas and let the car drive you while you can be productive and count traveling as working hours.
Remind, the future is exponential, and the linear past is not a wise indicator of the optimal choices.