Dr Niranjan Hiranandani
The homebuying rally has been on a fast track amidst the pandemic quandary. The sentiments of security and stability offered by an ownership home have been riding all-time high. Discerning homebuyers are now on a buying spree by capitalizing on favorable market dynamics. The availability of a choice of apartment, flexi payment schemes, freebies, and discounts, comfortable home loan interest rates are some of the major factors at play.
Millennials customers with job stability, and decent disposable income are now skewed towards buying their first home after living in rental homes across cities. The convenience and comfort quotient are the primary drivers that are persuading new-age homebuyers to deem renewed interest in home propositions.
Investing in a home is an emotionally as well as financially captivating decision. House being a worthwhile perpetual asset that demands earnings of lifelong has made its buying more vigilant and prudent. The digitization of the home buying process with online research, available mandatory project information on RERA website, word-of-mouth publicity, and share of voice in the market has allowed consumers to make a well-informed decision. The industry is seeing the homebuyers segment widening from the late ’20s onwards with long tenure (25 years) home loans available against 80% of the mortgage value.
Also, a rise in home affordability with dual income and better purchasing power has provoked the young generation to park their investment bet on housing assets. The ownership home gives residents the freedom to redesign, renovate and plan their own pad reflecting their lifestyle and taste buds. The desire to own an independent house is strongly prevailing among young consumers to augur their privacy quotient and reduce dependency on the family. Today’s contemporary customers have redefined the purpose of owning a home that bestows liberty, solidarity, a feeling of privilege, a sense of independence, and self-empowerment.
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Modern homebuyers are in no mood to compromise on their preferences and choices when it comes to their dream home. The priorities are reoriented towards community engagement, strengthening social connections, living in vogue, surrounded by like-minded neighbourhoods, good quality of life, daily conveniences in proximity, ease of accessibility, well-connected & secured environment, and green living ecosystems that bring forth peace and prosperity. The strong consumer sentiment towards a self-home is in the backdrop of rising urbanization for career prospects, and parallelly levelling up of household income.
A home in the size of 500-1000 sqft is majorly in demand with home automation, gated communities, open balcony spaces, wellness-infused living, flexi layouts, and safety features. The demand for full-fledged healthcare services in close access has topped the buying chart. Integration of value-added services like property and facility management is the most desired currency by the esteemed clientele. In the new normal post the Covid pandemic, the home has emerged as a one-stop place to cater to the diverse needs of homebuyers. This has fostered the functional and utilitarian quotient of home multifold by giving a fillip to homebuying demand.
The ensuing festive quarter is the right time to underwrite bolstered homebuying optimism. The anticipated hike in property prices along with an increase in home loan interest rates is prodding the fence sitters to maximize the conducive market opportunities. The deal sweeteners will entice property seekers to make a call to action and clamp the sale. The sprint in homebuying demand can lead to softening of price, making it a worthwhile deal of a lifespan. Thus, the industry anticipates the demand for housing to remain robust despite economic headwinds and driving developers to launch new residential projects across markets.
(The author is National Vice chairman – NAREDCO & MD – Hiranandani Group)