- by Rahul Grover, CEO, SECCPL
It is a well-established fact that the realty sphere is a prime wing of the nation’s economy. As the COVID-19 outbreak affected almost all activities, similarly it brought the real estate industry to a complete stand-still. This mammoth sector has a multiplier effect on over 250 ancillary industries and tends to provide maximum employment in the unorganised section, simultaneously playing a decisive role in churning the GDP. Any mishap witnessed by this gigantic segment leads to severe implications on multiple other businesses.
However, it must be noted that even though the real estate market faced a blow it was the quickest to bounce back to its upward trajectory. The pandemic has instilled a sense of uncertainty in the minds of numerous citizens, consequently driving them to purchase a property so that irrespective of the persistent situation they have the safety of their roof to fall back. Further, the various revival measures adopted by the Government in the form of supportive subsidies and beneficial schemes have significantly fuelled the restoration of the realty avenue.
In the wake of the new normal, the industry marked the rise of several new trends and the fall of some trends that hailed from the pre-corona era. Here is a list of a few patterns which are bound to govern the real estate sector in the times to come-
Homeownership a top priority, especially amongst millennials
These indeed are unprecedented times; individuals across the board are striving to drive home feelings of safety, security, and permanency. With the stock markets booking all-time lows and other areas of finance grappling with this turmoil, there is no better investment than purchasing a property. Further, it has been observed that majority buyers, primarily the younger generation find residential real estate as the best asset class. Millennials in India currently represent around 46% of the total workforce with a spending capacity of around $3.6 billion that will play a pivotal role in the housing market in India, according to a market survey conducted. Their notion is powered by the fact that as compared to other financial investments, property-oriented investments show minimum fluctuations and are always backed by the support of Government policies issued in the public interest.
Improved demand for affordable homes
With the spread of the virus, it was highly anticipated that the demand for affordable homes would dwindle, keeping in mind the limited income of the segment’s target audience and the continuous rise in unemployment. However, the pandemic had a reversed impact; the desire for the same happened to increase. Additionally, it led to an expansion in the consumer base, as those buyers who were initially planning on buying large extravagant homes switched to the idea of affordable housing as they felt it’s unsafe to lock-in a huge sum of money during the present scenario.
Developers with least execution risk
This trend again highlights the deep-rooted need for safety within the minds of customers. Homebuyers no longer shy away from paying a premium price for a property to an established developer who has a name in the market. Even though offerings from such construction houses are expensive they bring with themselves higher degrees of confidence and trust as compared to lower-priced options provided by companies that lack a robust infrastructure and necessary skills entail higher execution risks.
Increased interest in ready to move-in houses
In the light of the coronavirus, the entire nation went under a strict lockdown which hindered the ease of working and performing activities. The loss of livelihood faced by the migrant labourers, who form the cardinal workforce in construction, forced them to return to their hometowns leaving behind an industry without anyone to carry out its operations. As a result of these developments, the projects which were due to be completed got pushed and buyers had to bear with needless delays. To curb the waiting period and such uncertainties, purchasers are increasingly opting for options which almost completed or are ready for immediate possession.
Redefining technology and design
Life in the post Covid era is going to create a shift in residential real estate specifically towards the use of technology, design, and the layout of homes itself. With the new normal bringing in the need to work remotely, people are going to need more space within their homes dedicated to a home office or study. Another big change is that customers cannot physically visit a location to choose their ideal homes, which would require technological dependence to fulfil this void. From design to construction to selling and financing, technology will play a major role in the residential sector going forward.
Given all the above factors, the question remains whether investing in property is a wide idea this year? The answer is definitely yes! As always real estate remains an attractive asset to invest in and a secure one at that. With no fluctuation in prices and several discounts on home loans, the time to buy a house has never been better.