Photo of woman in Great Gatsby outfit
Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

The Great Gatsby of the modern-day Housing Market

Many of us will have either seen, read or heard anecdotes from the Great Gatsby, a story centred on the extreme wealth and decadence of Jay Gatsby (Leonardo Decaprio) on Long Island, New York. 

What is less known is the context, the Roaring 20s.  Following the 1st World War a decade earlier, the 20s were a time of great social inequality and upheaval for the poor, and of extravagance and idealism for the rich.  In many ways, the environment that we see around the Great Gatsby is not dissimilar to today's current housing market.


The Roaring Twenties


For those at the top of the market, they can buy castles in Ireland, villas in Rome, penthouses in New York or anything in-between.  But the question in relation to the Great Gatsby is would owning all-of-the-above make you happy?

Fitzgerald portrays the 1920s as an era of decayed social and moral values, evidenced in its overarching cynicism, greed, and empty pursuit of pleasure. SparkNotes

CoLiving, MidTerm and the modern-day Mansion

For some, the ideal will always be similar to that of Mr. Gatsby et al.  To make the money, buy the home, and indulge in the greatest pleasures life has to offer.  For others, it will be some derivative of that but in more of a family context.  To buy a home, have a family, and live a life of comfort. And for others, the want none-of-the-above and would prefer the life of the nomad, always on the move experiencing new places and things. 

But no matter where you are on the spectrum, the world is a much different place today than it was 100 years ago.  Modern cities like London, New York and Tokyo are bigger than entire nation states were, technology has created a seemingly borderless culture of commerce, and people are further removed from their roots in villages and farms than ever before. Even for those with good salaries or asset bases, feelings of discontent, isolation and loneliness are prevalent everywhere. 

In this context, the modern day Jay Gatsby may decide that rather than buying mansions or villas and indulging, he would rather have his own coliving chain, or a set of beautiful homes and apartments in cities around the world that he can rent to like-minded artists, entrepreneurs and hackers for a few months at a time.  Rather than endless nights of partying and carousing, a modern Mr Gatbsy would gather people around dinner, movie nights and outdoor pursuits. In this way, the modern-day mansion may in fact be a mix of all of the above rather than a simple ideal of luxury and extravagance in the Hamptons or Knightsbridge.

  Dinner with friends - coliving


If you were the modern-day Mr or Miss Gatsby, what moves would you make in the housing market?