Changing homebuyers’ preferences and emergence of new housing options amid the pandemic

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July 30, 2021 1:40 PM

The forced lockdowns and continued work for home and online schooling have led to the demand for bigger and spacious homes with a segregated workspace.

Apart from residences located in self-sustainable gated communities, independent floors are also being preferred by homebuyers.

The pandemic has drastically altered the homebuyers’ preferences, leading to the emergence of new asset classes in the residential segment which were not that popular amongst the buyers until a couple of years before. As per recent reports by realty consultants, the forced lockdowns and continued work for home and online schooling have led to the demand for bigger and spacious homes with a segregated workspace. Similarly, the demand for second homes has also seen an uptick trend post the pandemic.

“The work from home has emerged as the dominant undercurrent for shaping homebuyers & preferences. Homebuyers these days prefer residences that can accommodate space for remote working, with more outdoor open spaces and gated communities having state-of-the-art amenities. Customisation of space has been expanded to such an extent that developers offer complete open floors and design them as per homebuyer requirements from a range of standout design options. This shift in preference is significant because of the Covid-19 pandemic and its socio-economic impact,” says Ashok Kapur, Chairman, Krisumi Corporation.

A majority of homebuyers now prefer a fully-equipped workspace, a dedicated area for fitness, a private space for their weekend meetups, a play area for children while considering other important factors such as location, ticket size, thoughtful design, cutting-edge technology, etc. This has led to disruption in the overall approach adopted by developers while considering it as an additional component in their product offering. “Anticipating this trend at the beginning of 2021, we, at Krisumi, launched a new asset class 2LDK (Living, Dining & Kitchen) + personal workspace in our flagship project, Krisumi Waterfall Residences, Gurugram. These residences are perfectly suited for the work from home (WFH) lifestyle for both Indians working with global firms and the expat communities,” adds Kapur.

There is a sudden surge in demand for an extra ½ room for workspace, wellness or yoga, kid’s study/playroom due to movement restrictions. This has led to emergence of 2.5/3.5 BHK homes where the additional space can be converted as per one’s requirements. Seeing this trend developers have adapted the need and are reconfiguring to accommodate the additional demand for ½ room.

“Since the pandemic has dominated the regular bearing of the world, the definition of comfortable living has also radically transformed. Today a home is looked upon as a space that can accommodate all the multi-functional facilities and amenities one aspires for. A home is no longer a night halt between two working days or just a place to relax. People desire more area to feel better, liberated, happy, and realise their passions and hobbies after a tiring day. It has become a place to work, workout, home-school, unwind, socialize and more. There is also a section of the demography that does not necessarily enjoy an unnecessary influence of the community, and enjoys a certain privacy and individuality, and thus prefers independent floors over group housing,” says Karan Kumar, Chief Marketing Officer, DLF Ltd.

He further adds, “The trend has led to an influx in demand for plotted developments. Likewise, second homes, once considered a luxury, have become a necessity for a growing segment of consumers with greater spending capacity. Investments in second homes are becoming prevalent amid affluent buyers, as a viable everyday alternative to live for extended periods away from the chaos of the city.”

Catering to the rising demand, DLF Ltd had launched premium independent floors in Gurgaon last year, which were well received by the buyers. In its annual report for FY20-21, the developer said its fresh product launches of independent floors in DLF City and New Gurgaon witnessed good absorption, vindicating demand for quality products in established locations. It has clocked new products sales booking of Rs 908 crore in the second half of 2020-21.

Additionally, health, hygiene, and wellness concerns during Covid-19 have also shifted the focus towards spacious second homes at new locations away from densely packed metro cities. “Driven by health, hygiene and wellness factors, second homes have emerged as the most-sought after asset class for affluent buyers who look for residential spaces away from jostling cities. Locations like Chandigarh-Tricity not only offer ultra-luxe residential spaces with modern amenities but are also well-connected to major getaway destinations. Having a home in such areas not only enables the end-users to unwind themselves but also comes with a promise of a secured living. Premium second homes also carry rental potentials and they can be easily rented out when not in use for higher benefits,” says Mukul Bansal, Director, Motia Group.

Apart from residences located in self-sustainable gated communities, independent floors are also being preferred by homebuyers.

Vivek Singhal, CEO, Smart World Developers, says, “Covid-19 has redefined some trends in real estate, with customer-centricity and personalisation becoming the key priorities for developers. Independent floors as residential offerings are gaining currency in metropolitan cities. They are suitable for millennials who are looking to have a home for themselves at a premium location. This gives them just what they need without compromising on their privacy and the lifestyle they seek at a comparatively lower cost than villas or high-rise apartments. The health and wellness concerns have also invariably pivoted the focus towards independent floors located in gated townships endowed with best-in-class amenities. Additionally, the extended work-from-home has also led to a rethinking of the home design to accommodate a distinct personal office space.”

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