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5 macro trends to track in the affordable housing segment

The growth momentum of the residential real estate segment will continue in 2022 and several important macro trends will dominate the affordable housing segment this year.

While many are building workstations and workspaces inside their homes, homeowners are also looking at buying bigger homes to accommodate this new need.

The residential real estate segment emerged as the biggest gainer in the pandemic. The desire for an indulgent and safe living, future security and guaranteed returns over investments bolstered the segment’s position as the most sought-after investment choice among buyers. Trends such as work from home, online learning, reverse migration propelled the buyers to fast-pace their purchase decisions.

The first-time or the millennial buyers also found owning a home better than rentals, which boosted housing demand. The growth momentum will continue to soar in 2022 and these important macro trends will dominate the affordable housing segment this year:

Home to work from home: As affordable housing has gotten a boost, the work from home culture is further pushing the millennials to buy homes. Before the pandemic hit, people spent more time in offices than in homes, but now the time spent in homes dominates everything else. Instead of living in rented accommodations, people have come to realise the importance of having a home. Work from the home scenario is a trend that is sure to boost the demand for affordable homes in times to come. People have become more conscious about beautifying and furnishing their homes which were earlier overlooked. While many are building workstations and workspaces inside their homes, homeowners are also looking at buying bigger homes to accommodate this new need.

Favourable Govt steps to boost the market: The government’s new measures contribute to this positive projection. As the Covid crisis was declared as force majeure, new rules under Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) guidelines were brought to allow relaxation in realty project completion dates. This gave a breather to the developer and stabilised the cost of construction, eventually improving home affordability for the common man. Another prominent and popular move by the government was demonetisation, which cleaned the real estate sector of all the black money and reduced the superficial inflation in this sector. Yet another positive step was the announcement of a 6-month loan moratorium by the Reserve Bank of India, wherein people were given extensions to repay their loans.

Online sales to grow: It is easier to take action if something becomes approachable. The internet has made exploring properties and homes trouble-free than ever. With the internet becoming more relevant in Covid times, more organised realty websites are coming to the fore. These web portals have detailed site descriptions and enough photographs to help anyone explore a property while sitting at the comfort of their home. Commercial plots and condos are available for a virtual view on screens. This enhances the viewing convenience and one can tour properties without moving an inch. The easier it is to explore the property, the easier it becomes to buy one.

Aesthetics to take centre stage: The newer properties are more focused on amenities and the homebuyers simply have to move in with their furniture and belongings. Everything else is just built-in or already being provided by the developer. Older constructions were concentrated on structures and bare space, but the new builders are more sensitised of the aesthetics. The realty companies now put air-conditioning, modular kitchens, bath fittings and even some small furniture as basics. Today’s homes are fully furnished to make them more attractive for the buyer. Anything that looks good will eventually sell and buyers will not be able to resist the captivating and affordable homes of 2022.

Rise of young buyers: The demographics of our country are unique and apt to support real estate growth. About 34% of our population is urban and 28% of the total population is within the age group of 25-45 years. This translates to the fact that we have enough young people living in urban areas who form the perfect market for the affordable housing segment. With growing per capita income, this demographic trend is only set to make India the ​best destination to build and sell homes. With every new year, these demographics are only ripening. Our country consists of a young population, which is capable and more eager to invest in the real estate market than ever.

(By Shashank Vashishtha, Executive Director, eXp India)

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