Publication: Outlook Money, 6th April 2021
The real estate market is likely to foresee certain defining new trends which will lead to quality living
The Covid-19 crisis has undoubtedly shaken up things and significantly changed the entire world for many generations to come. Globally, industries have been sorely affected by this crisis; however, for the realty sector, the pandemic has proven to be a blessing in disguise. The residential segment of real estate is picking up and experiencing demand beyond expectations. It is surprising that the last quarter of 2020 saw a sequential growth of 51 per cent in the residential sales despite the economic uncertainty (as per a report released by JLL).
In India, purchasing a home is a lifetime investment for a homeowner. It’s no wonder then that homebuyers tend to do extensive, in-depth research before they decide upon their dream residential space. There is a lot happening in residential real estate – evolving home buying trends among millennials, rising demand for luxury real estate, a preference for flats with in-built study (a preference which is an outcome of remote working) and so on.
Evolution of Buyers’ Preferences
The challenges imposed on the residential real estate sector by the global pandemic have acted as a catalyst for the segment’s consistent growth. The nationwide lockdown saw people spending more time at home as our residences turned into workspaces, classrooms for our kids, our workout space along with a place for us to relax and unwind. This scenario reinforced the necessity of owning a house. Potential homebuyers are now seeking residences that are situated within multi-functional, securely gated communities with additional amenities. People, especially the millennials, are focusing on buying ready-to-move-in homes as they wish to move in as soon as possible during pandemic times.
HNIs and NRIs have been severely impacted by the financial uncertainties that arose in Europe and Middle East on account of the global pandemic and are also moving towards investment in the real estate sector. With improvements in the economy and employment rates getting better, it’s the residential housing segment that will keep up the buying momentum in the current year. With renewed demand in all segments of housing, investors will be making a comeback by the end of 2021. Thus, the home buying sector is expected to experience a well-rounded growth in the near future.
Home buying trends In 2021
As the demand and supply dynamics evolve in the real estate sector, its impact will be seen on the overall buying preferences of prospective homebuyers. Here are some key insights into the dynamics of upcoming developments:
Healthy Lifestyle: In these Covid times, people have become extremely health conscious. So, when homebuyers start searching for the right flat for themselves, they do not just restrict themselves to the apartments only. Rather, they go a step further in finding out what other facilities and amenities are being offered – such as spa, gym, swimming pool, parks, playgrounds, indoor facilities, lawns, or sports courts etc. Most of these amenities come with the flat when opting for the mid-housing segment.
Digitisation of Real Estate: Just like other sectors, real estate too has been swift in implementing digital and tech solutions for engaging future homebuyers. Users are moving towards the digital medium for identifying, researching, visiting and finalising the properties they like. Online booking platforms, online property searches, capital deployment, digital transactions, virtual tours, drone shoots and video calls for project shortlisting are common trends among buyers and developers.
WFH Residences: As the pandemic made work from home an essential part of our lives, real estate developers are also capitalising on this trend. Specially designed and well thought-out WFH spaces will be incorporated in the new home décor. Owing to the evolving consumer needs, spatial partitions and movable furniture are expected to figure in future homes. Moreover, since the remote working trend is here to stay, all industries have remodelled their workforces accordingly. Due to the hybrid work culture, commuting will no longer be a matter of concern and hence, this will eliminate the need to buy a home closer to one’s office.
Millennials’ Preference for Luxury Housing: Millennial buyers are practical, health-conscious and open to new experiences. And they are now increasingly moving towards luxury house buying which would give them security yet allow them to socialise within communal areas such as society lawns, gardens, rooftop pools etc. along with lending them proximity to avenues for enjoying nightlife and other forms of entertainment.
Current Product Metrics of Homebuying
As healthy lifestyle becomes paramount for homebuyers, preferences have shifted towards bigger homes in gated communities. With this, even the product metrics have changed. Now homebuyers will want more attention to be paid to customization so as to suit individual buyer needs. Apartments and flats with broad balconies and open spaces will rise in demand. Also, since work from home has become a common feature, the remote working routine will make low density markets a crowd-puller. Low-density luxurious areas have apartments that are spacious and consist of large open spaces like parks and community clubs etc. Apartments with study rooms, seamless and smooth network and uninterrupted broadband speed will be in high demand. Since travelling to office won’t be a regular activity, the significance of connectivity or proximity to office will no longer dictate home buying decisions.
In conclusion, the real estate market is very likely to foresee certain defining new trends and highly evolved buyer preferences, which in turn will lead to quality living. The industry is rising, albeit slowly and gradually, to meet the current challenges and will continue to reinvent itself constructively to match up with the dynamic home buying patterns.
The author is CEO, Grovy India.
DISCLAIMER: Views expressed are the author’s own, and Outlook Money does not necessarily subscribe to them. Outlook Money shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly.