Wave-2 raises home affordability bar

New Wave of home buyer preference

Wave-2 raises home affordability bar

Sub Rs 45 lk homes not much in demand

CII-ANAROCK survey shows preference ranges from homes priced at Rs 90 lk-Rs 2.5 cr

MUMBAI, Sep 3 (The CONNECT) – In a significant development post COVID, affordable housing has been relegated to the lowest priority for homebuyers, the latest CII-ANAROCK Consumer Sentiment Survey shows.

More than 34% respondent home seekers focused on properties priced between INR 90 lakh to INR 2.5 Cr, while 35% favour properties priced between INR 45-90 lakh. Just 27% respondents voted in favour of affordable housing (priced

The Survey underscores how radically COVID-19 has altered home-buyers’ preferences, with the second wave being a significant change catalyst.

In the previous H2 2020 survey, approx. 36% respondent property seekers eyed budget housing.

The survey, conducted between January and June 2021, polled 4,965 participants responding via various digital platforms.

While attractive pricing continues to rule the roost of must-haves, established developer credibility is the second-highest priority for 77% of the surveyed buyers. Project design and location also feature prominently on the wish list.

Anuj PuriAnuj Puri, Chairman - ANAROCK Group, said, “The budget range which this survey identifies as the hottest seller is a surprise, but it makes sense if we consider that it is precisely this segment of buyers who are least financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Online home sales, Puri said, are gaining traction, with close to 60% of the entire property buying process now being conducted online - against 39% in the pre-pandemic period.

"From property search to documentation and legal advice to down payments, homebuyers are leveraging the new tidal wave of digital technology driving the Indian housing sector," said Puri and remarked: "Only developers with sufficient online presence will remain relevant going forward. Also, social media are among the most effective property marketing platforms at this stage.”

About 41% participating property seekers are considering second homes for self-use, of which 53% prefer mountainous regions. Amid the sustained work-from-home and e-schooling realities, over 65% respondents currently working remotely now prefer larger homes, and close to 68% aim to relocate to peripheral or suburban areas to buy them.

NRI participants in the survey primarily prefer luxury properties priced between INR 1.5-2.5 Crore. Among the metros, Bengaluru, Pune, and Chennai are the hottest NRI picks, while Chandigarh, Kochi, and Surat top their Tier 2 & 3 cities list.

The survey also highlights a stark contrast between consumer preferences during the first and second waves of the pandemic.

Investor confidence in real estate has risen to 54% during the second COVID-19 wave, against 48% in the first wave.

Ready-to-move homes are still the most preferred category at 32% upvotes, but this is still a dip of 14% from first wave levels. Currently, branded developers dominate the new housing supply, and buyers consider them safe bets; also, the available inventory of RTMI homes is limited.

Approximately 71% respondent property seekers in the second wave are end-users, and only 29% are investors. In the first wave period survey, investors accounted for 41%. A significant factor possibly driving this is the increased desire to acquire second homes in greener, healthier environs during the pandemic-infused lockdowns.

For 72% of respondents, designated walking trails are must-haves, while 68% require adequate open green spaces amid massively increased health awareness. Swimming pools now unsurprisingly have the lowest priority.

About 64% prospective buyers will respond favourably to offers and discounts during their online property search

The report was released by CII and ANAROCK at a specially convened virtual event. The knowledge session moderated by Anuj Puri featured a stellar line-up of prominent real estate stalwarts: Subodh Runwal, Director, Runwal Group, Harsh Neotia, Chairman, Ambuja Neotia Group, M. R Jaishankar, CMD, Brigade Group, Irfan Kazi, CIO, SWAMIH Investment Fund

Ravi Agarwal, Co-Founder & MD, Signature Global. Malayappan Murali, CEO and MD of Shriram Properties, B.Santhanam, CEO Asia Pacific and India Chairman, Saint – Gobain India

After the panel discussion, Puri interacted with Vikas Oberoi, Chairman & Managing Director, Oberoi Realty in a fire side chat on 'Indian Residential Real Estate – Corporate & Organized Players to take Pole Position'.

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