Pandemic, changing consumer preferences boost demand for plotted developments

Following the pandemic, a rise in the demand for plots has been witnessed across India’s top cities owing to homebuyers’ consciousness about health, well-being, and lifestyle requirements.

Pandemic, changing consumer preferences boost demand for plotted developments
Because of the increasing demand for plots, many of India's leading developers have gotten into this segment with a will.

Plotted developments have emerged as the latest realty trend in India and not without reasons. Homebuyers are warming up to plotted developments at present due to the versatility they provide, their inherent nature as an appreciating asset class and the need for open spaces and low-density projects. Following the pandemic, a rise in the demand for plots has been witnessed across India’s top cities, namely Bengaluru, Pune, Hyderabad and Gurugram, among others, owing to homebuyers’ consciousness about health, well-being, and lifestyle requirements.

According to Square Yards online search trends, in Bengaluru, demand for plotted developments comprised 21% of the total online searches in Q1, 2022 as compared to 17% share in Q4 2021. However, in Hyderabad, out of the total demand noted in Q1, 2022, 22% demand share was recorded for plots, indicating a rise of 6%, as compared to 16% in the last quarter of 2021. Revealing similar sentiments for plotted developments, Pune also noticed a rise of 3% in Q1, 2022 as compared to Q4, 2021.

“Work-from-home norms, adopting hybrid culture and e-schooling of children have pushed homebuyers to crave for adequate personalization in their abodes that cater to the new-normal lifestyle, something which is possible only with plotted developments. Further, from an investment standpoint, plotted developments offer potentially higher returns than apartments and builder floors, and this facet has egged homebuyers on to jump at the chance. As a result of this trend, reputed developers are designing potted developments to offer them a comfortable lifestyle and better investment ROIs, says Piyush Bothra, Co-Founder and CFO, Square Yards.

Anuj Puri, Chairman, ANAROCK Group, says, “The demand for plotted developments was led by the desire for independent living because of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, plots offer other advantages – for instance, they can generate higher ROI when compared to flats. Also, as flats age, their market value tends to decrease. In the case of plots, there is no such depreciation. In fact, land only appreciates over time.”

Because of the increasing demand for plots, many of India’s leading developers have gotten into this segment with a will. This is significant, since plotted development options were previously a play that only smaller, unbranded players were active in.

“Today, big names such as Raheja Group, Godrej Properties, DLF Ltd, Puravankara and Goel Ganga now provide such options to their buyers. While demand for plotted developments now spans across the country, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Gurgaon and Chennai are among the hottest markets for them. Plot sizes being marketed range from 550 sq. ft. to 10,000 sq. ft., with even bigger plots available in some projects,” adds Puri.

Developers say plotted developments have emerged as hot-selling properties in city suburbs and peripheral regions. There is an availability of sufficient area to develop plots and well-gated communities. Compared to constructed homes, plots offer much better social distancing and large spaces to design houses as per the homebuyers’ convenience.

Rohit Mohan, Senior Vice-President, BPTP Group, says, “A significant number of home buyers are preferring to buy plotted developments due to low investment risks, price affordability, and the freedom to use them for multiple purposes. We are also coming up with secure gated residential plotted developments with excellent connectivity and a host of amenities to cater to the increasing discerning demands of buyers and capitalize on the ever-increasing demand for plotted developments.”

In the NCR region, Gurugram is fast emerging as a new realty hotspot for plotted developments. Many developers are of the view that the new elite class and higher income groups of these cities are more inclined towards investing in plots as they offer a much more luxurious lifestyle within a far better price range than constructed homes.

Ankit Kansal, Founder, Axon Developers, says, “Plotted developments are in great demand as buyers are now opting for gated villas, compounded houses, row houses, etc. However, if we talk about metros, plotted developments are increasingly becoming expensive. If we talk about locations in Gurgaon such as Sohna and Dwarka expressway, between December 2018 and December 2022, the average price of plots grew at a CAGR of around 10.7%. However, in the past 6 months, the prices have jumped by 30-35%, especially if we talk about big players (Adani, Central Park, etc.). If one has liquidity at disposal, plotted developments can give great returns as the demand is really high.”

Pushpender Singh, MD, JMS Group, says, “Gurugram is witness to a host of plotted developments as the demand for it has substantially increased. Buyers keen on designing and customising their homes as per their wishes choose plotted developments over constructed homes. It is also much more affordable than completed flats and houses. Plotted developments offer a sense of pleasurable aloofness in the lap of nature’s beauty and wishful community intermixing, something that is appealing to the masses.”

No wonder, in a bid to capitalise on the growing markets and become a key player in this asset class, many developers are now foraying into plotted developments across real estate hotspots and cities. And plotted developments by branded developers are in highest demand.

Rajjath Goel, Joint Managing Director, MRG World, says, “There is an insurgence of plots in various realty abodes of Gurugram and NCR, with cost ranging from Rs 45 lakh to below Rs 1 crore under the DDJAY scheme. It does not come as a surprise that people are choosing to direct their investment towards plots as they offer larger spaces, floors and the luxury to design your house according to your wishes. Covid-19 has completely reshaped buyers’ thinking and harmonised it in favour of safe, comfortable, secure living with less human contact. The consumers’ tilt towards plotted developments did not catch us off-guard and was consequential.”

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