Building hopes: Home buyers ready to play house again, site visits up despite Covid

By: |
August 23, 2020 8:00 AM

According to Anarock Property Consultants, the residential segment is witnessing return of serious enquiries, which are now at 50% of pre-Covid-19 levels in the top cities.

In Gurugram, around 30% demand for affordable housing is from investors, while 70% is from end users.In Gurugram, around 30% demand for affordable housing is from investors, while 70% is from end users. (Representative image)

Covid-19 may have adversely impacted the already crisis-ridden real estate industry, the pandemic has resulted in some positive developments too, like increase in site visits to conversion ratio with serious buyers outnumbering window shoppers.

While homebuyers still prefer ready-to-move-in (RTMI) units, some traction is witnessed in under-construction flats with delivery timeline of up to a year from branded players.

According to Anarock Property Consultants, the residential segment is witnessing return of serious enquiries, which are now at 50% of pre-Covid-19 levels in the top cities.

Recovery is fastest in Bengaluru, with enquiries reaching 70% of the January-February period, followed by Gurugram with nearly 65%.

Interestingly, post Covid-19 outbreak, employees from sectors like IT/ITeS, pharma, manufacturing industries and government employees are currently driving housing demand. Another notable development is that many homebuyers now prefer gated communities with all amenities. Besides, many now want to spend on bigger housing units at more affordable prices.

“In terms of preferred budget range, homes priced at Rs 40 lakh-1.25 crore now attract a major chunk of post-Covid buyer enquiries. Bengaluru, Chennai, Ghaziabad and Noida are seeing maximum traction for homes in the below Rs 1-crore budget. Gurugram is seeing maximum enquiries for properties priced from Rs 75 lakh-1.25 crore, for flat sizes 1,400-1,600 sq ft built-up area,” Anarock pointed out.

In terms of property configuration, 2BHKs and 3BHKs are in highest demand. While buyers in Bengaluru, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Noida are more inclined towards 3BHKs and upwards, Mumbai metropolitan region (MMR) saw higher preference for 2 BHKs, it added.

Anarock’s research head, Prashant Thakur said, “The site-visit-to-closure conversion rate has increased considerably as only serious buyers are venturing out, with casual window shoppers fairly dormant currently. Hyderabad now sees an average of 15% site visits converting to sales, against 8% in the pre-Covid-19 period. Gurugram, with just 4-5% conversions earlier, is now clocking 8-10%. Other cities report similar trends.”

In the country’s IT hub, Bengaluru, homebuyers are largely working couples with children and most are currently pursuing WFH and e-learning options. Many of these buyers will settle for peripheral locations to secure bigger homes and a better lifestyle at more affordable prices.

In Gurugram, around 30% demand for affordable housing is from investors, while 70% is from end users.

In Noida and Ghaziabad, most buyers are looking for 3 or 4 BHKs, as opposed to the previously-preferred 2 BHKs. People with constrained budgets are seeking 2 BHK + study (2.5) of 1,200 sq ft built-up area.

In the country’s financial capital, Mumbai buyers are looking for RTMI properties, however under-construction homes with completion timelines between six months to one year are in high demand, provided developers sweeten the deal.

Hyderabad witnessed increased demand for apartments from IT-ITeS employees, doctors, lawyers and pharma professionals. It is also witnessing increasing demand for villas (priced below `2 crore) on which buyers are negotiating hard.

Pune, which has limited RTMI unsold stock, is witnessing good demand for under-construction projects by branded developers.

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