The post COVID-19 era has begun, and it brings with it new norms and trends across all walks of life. Home buying is no different. So, will the pandemic induced work from home (WFH) culture bring in a greater demand for larger homes? Will this in turn drive demand in the peripheries due to affordability? Read on.
In India, when discussing home buying, there has always been two major factors that impact the decision. First, the budget and the second has always been location. Over the last decade or so living close to your workplace had slowly and gradually become the most important need for home buyers.
This was because, increased working hours and traffic on the roads meant living in the vicinity of your office was the only way you would have time for yourself and family. This had led to the emergence of the walk-to-work concept, which was expected to become one of the foundations for planning any residential development.
However, COVID-19 and its resultant impact on the sector is expected to induce certain changes in home buying preferences across the country.
Demand for bigger homes
Over the years, 2BHK units had the most takers across cities. With the pandemic induced need for more spacious homes for facilitating WFH and social distancing, there is a shift in demand towards larger configurations. With large families being fairly common in India, larger configurations might become the preferred choice for home buyers in India. Thus, 3 and 4BHK units may gain prominence in order to accommodate needs of WFH and social distancing.
Peripheries to be back in demand
As opposed to the walk-to-work culture, WFH might become the new fulcrum of house buying in India now. As mentioned above, WFH means need for a dedicated space. “Need for larger homes means people will have to shell out more if they stick to city centres. With ease of travelling to work not remaining a prime concern, buyers will shift their housing demand towards the peripheries for want of affordability. Also, most properties that offer the luxury of space and open areas are usually present in the peripheral locations,” explains Rakesh Setia, Chief Sales Officer, Rustomjee.
Millennial demand for home ownership
Another residential trend that might pick up in the post COVID era is the millennials’ newfound preference for home ownership over renting. This category of home buyers has always shown an inclination towards comfort and luxury which is why they could usually afford only a rented accommodation. With the rising WFH culture and the increased need for ones’ own home, millennials will turn to purchasing over renting and most likely opt for peripheral locations.
Thus, the residential real estate landscape is set to undergo an overhaul in the post COVID era. The newer trends will eventually dictate the new supply coming into the market and define strategies for developers. However, whether these changes would be a permanent consequence of the pandemic is something that is as uncertain as the nature of the virus itself. The real estate sector would have to just wait and watch.