The future: From FIXED to MOBILE: quicksteppers and longstayers

In recent centuries, most people lived in a fixed place, each in their own way. Some lived large and luxurious, others small and modest. However, everyone was inseparable from their permanent place of residence: “My home is my castle” was the guiding mentality. These types of people are called longstayers: people who for generations have been living in the same town, on the same property, in the same house.Their housing was adapted to their situation: statically organized and anchored to a fixed location.

Now, in the 21st century, we see an opposite development. In many sectors, the reverse is happening. The world is mobilizing through communication, virtualization, globalization, flexibility and technology. Piece by piece these developments make the world more dynamic and people more mobile. Where previous generations never left their village, many now travel around the world, further and faster.


People leave their homes and their towns and consider an increasingly large part of the world as their natural habitat. They are moving more frequently. They make frequent use of hotels, apartments, caravans, mobile homes or tents and the rental market is increasing. As global residents without a permanent residence, people travel quite a bit with each other and are spending more and more time and money for long and short journeys to other cities or countries. These people are called quicksteppers. However, the property business has barely responded to this human mobilization. People wander around the world, yet their houses remain.

Real estate is not yet a flexible type of property. At the same time, this trend of mobilization of real estate is inevitable. All the conditions and signs for the conversion of the real estate market to more flexibility are indeed present. The number of longstayers is decreasing rapidly in relation to the vast growing number of quicksteppers. And this trend will continue and these stays away from ‘home’ require an adequate response from the real estate market. This is a gap in the current market that needs to be filled. 


From ‘Fixed’ to ‘Mobile’