COVID-19 Impact on Real Estate
There will be a need for larger self-owned homes with self- sufficient amenities, not to mention customized floor plans with in-house work spaces. Written by Ram Raheja

COVID-19 Impact On Real Estate Industry

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The COVID-19 crisis has brought the spotlight back on real estate as it is the most tangible asset for investment in these uncertain times. With the emergence of work-from-home culture, homebuyers are now looking for in-built amenities that understand the needs of families and cater to different needs of the future.

Lockdown has resulted in a structural shift in the way businesses and institutions work. From digital options to flexible planning developers are now focussed on consumer led offerings that let you stay ahead of the cut-throat competition.

In the path to the next normal, some of the changes in consumer preferences that will be an inherent part are likely to include

Transition from rental homes to owned homes – the mindset change

The pandemic spurred a new home-buying frenzy. The importance of owning a physical asset has gained much more prominence during these challenging times ever since ‘stay at home’ became the new norm. As we learn to co-exist with COVID-19, people who were comfortable with the rental concept are now driven towards owning their own home, primarily for the sense of security that it brings along.

Need for larger homes

A portion of the demand is driven by the want to raise the standard of living and the need for a ‘bigger and better’ space. Homebuyers across the country are leaping for homes with additional space. With the aspect of owning a home is becoming a priority, the demand for spacious homes will witness a strategic uptake. The trend is here to stay this year and there is a rising need for more space within the homes. Staff rooms and washrooms, home office, and children’s rooms are few of the prerequisites from most homebuyers.

Flexible planning

There is no one size fits all. The global lockdown led the buyers to re-think about their future investments. Instead of settling for a 1-BHK flat, they were seeking a 1.5 BHK unit if given an option. Buyers are open to stretch themselves for half-a-bedroom for the extra space with the idea of living in a bigger and spacious home. Developers are now open to flexible planning i.e. offering 1.5/2.5/3.5 BHK models where the ‘half bedroom’ house models help the buyers to plan and alter/convert spaces according to their desire and requirements.

Studio apartments

The target audience looking at studio apartments are young professionals, young couples, students etc. Especially in a city like Mumbai, people want to live in the city’s centre and enjoy the vibrant culture. Keeping in mind the high cost of residential real estate in premium locations; studio apartments offer great value to acquire space to fit in the budget and the flexibility to live in a premium neighbourhood. Also, with walk-to-work culture gaining prominence, homes around office hubs are witnessing demand.

Future proofing

It is crucial to be able to adapt to unforeseen situations and be future ready i.e. to opt for self- sufficient amenities. Looking forward to the residential market, customers are demanding spacious projects and all-inclusive in-built amenity.

From customized floor plans to in-house workspaces, there are new changes in the customer preference that are coming up. From bigger and better spaces to homes with fully loaded amenities, buyers now seek a future proof modern home that is flexible to cater to different needs of the future. Having identified the need-state, developers are steadily adapting to this concept and this will be one of the strongest value-propositions to the homebuyers in 2021.

Better neighbourhoods

Buying a home in a good neighbourhood is an investment. Irrespective of the pandemic, homebuyers in metros have always been on the hunt for properties that are close to their offices. Additionally, they also look for homes that are well connected to health-care centres, schools, essential stores and services nearby.In metros like Mumbai, the areas that are close to important micro-destinations within the city like corporate hubs, airports, and other public transport along with other social amenities like malls, schools hold a greater demand amongst homebuyers. Areas like Bandra, Santacruz, Lower Parel and Vile Parle in Mumbai are now in high demand owing to the accessibility to prominent corporate hubs, airports and other important locations in the city along with the quality of lifestyle and social amenities.

Source: Ram Raheja

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