Culture of landed house is, as I read in newspaper and forum discussion topic… they don’t feel like they have a home if they don’t have a land. This is like the old running joke about Indonesian (or Javanese) that if they don’t have rice, it doesn’t count as a meal (even if it’s a full course with bread and meat and everything but rice). Indeed some peoples can eat lots of bread but still doesn’t feel satisfied without rice (and chilli paste is something like earthly pleasure).
Rice thing aside, the old news article mentioned about peoples from slum that after given apartment, they sell it cheaply to get the money and get a landed home even though the apartment is probably a mid-class house with lots of facilities. From my father’s point of view, apartment can’t be used for investment, land price will keep rising and that justify the owning of landed house.
So, the last few years, there has been a very weak campaign by government and stakeholders (property business) about “back to city”. In short, live in apartments in downtown to reduce the need of commuting and cars that has made the chronic traffic jam in Jakarta, a capital that might be 5 times it’s ideal capacity (?). The fact though… most of the project seems to be for the more profitable luxurious apartments that’s too expensive for most peoples. Also, I suspect most are bought in bulk not for living, but for investment.
Another thing I thought of when seeing a two full page ads in newspaper today. The developer in Indonesia seems to prefer not building “apartment near business district” to building “apartment with business district”. Yes, superblocks with office and shopping malls. Despite saying that it’s close to work, wouldn’t that too simplifying to assume peoples living in the apartment to be working in the same superblock? And yes, the price clearly target only the rich executives and managers instead of common office worker that might benefit more from the closeness to work and reduce traffic jam more as well as increase efficiency by not overloading the badly managed ill-natured public bus service.
Well… superblock is a larger project, and they had a reason to build yet another shopping mall. Sometimes I wonder, is real business such as manufacturing has been so unprofitable that everyone seems to want trade and finance instead.