How home-buying behaviours are evolving in Indian real estate!
Authored by Atul Goel, MD, Goel Ganga Group
The past couple of years had a profound impact on the consumers’ lifestyles, and home buying is not an exception! The iterations of lockdown, followed by the gradual opening of the markets and recovery periods have entailed some significant changes in home buying in India. From searching for a home to buying the right product type, there is a steady and visible shift taking place.
Some of the changes such as pivot to online have been a progression of the past behaviours while others such as a growing affinity for larger home spaces are relatively new.
Pivot to digital: There has been a growing demand for online real estate. Digital real estate has moved out of the corporate lexicon and now, become a reality. From search and discovery to the transaction, homebuyers are now relying on the online space. Earlier, iterative site visits were the general norm. Today, discerning buyers use AR & VR devices to digitally view homes and make informed decisions. Tools such as AR can also help in bridging the gaps in actual physical visits. Through AR, buyers can better visualise their homes and check them by trying various interior décor options, designs, & furniture and accordingly, make their decision. In this way, digital real estate is adding tremendous value to the homebuyer’s lifecycle.
Affinity towards a bigger home: There is a visible growth in affinity towards larger apartments due to homeschooling and work-from-home culture. Homebuyers are looking for an additional room/half room/space for work. Likewise, buyers are also looking out for additional space for yoga/wellness. In a homebound culture, buyers now want bigger spaces to lead a more relaxed and comfortable life.
Similarly, there is also a growing preference for second homes, villas, and row houses amidst seashores & hill stations. Due to the growing WFH culture, many buyers now want to shun the congested city lifestyle and spend more time in the calm, peaceful & serene atmosphere. Even the ones, who can’t afford them, now prefer to rent them for long stays. Consequently, second-home markets in Goa, Ooty, Shimla, Lonavala, etc. are witnessing a huge rise in demand.
Increase in community living: The pandemic has reiterated the need for a community-driven lifestyle. There is a growing appetite for sustainable real estate, comprising better communities and increased comfort. The idea of community living is based on increased and meaningful social interaction, better safety standards as well as a healthy lifestyle. Likewise, buyers are now looking for improved infrastructure and amenities, open spaces, community centres, etc. They prefer a lot of sporting and recreational activities within the community so that they can enjoy themselves with their friends and family without a long commute.
Demand for green real estate will rise: As an extension of a sustainable lifestyle, the demand for green buildings is also increasing. Presently, around 5 per cent of homes in India are green building certified. Nevertheless, the numbers are expected to multiply in the foreseeable future. The demand for the adoption of sustainable materials and renewable energy will increase sharply. Similarly, homebuyers now want seamless access to sunlight and natural ventilation to enjoy better livability. A green home can also be instrumental in fighting against greenhouse emissions and reducing the overall carbon footprint. Moreover, they can also be cost-effective in the long run as they save energy consumption.