“Real estate continues to be an attractive investment asset class despite strong headwinds of uncertainties,” said Karishmah Siingh, Vice President – Sales, CRM & Marketing, Salarpuria Sattva. In an exclusive interview with RoofandFloor, she spoke about India’s residential real estate market, rising sales, changes in homebuyers’ preferences, and much more.
Here are the excerpts.
What are some key trends that we can expect in the residential market?
After more than a year of ‘work from home,’ the demand for residential spaces is on a steady rise. Real estate continues to be an attractive investment asset class despite strong headwinds of uncertainties. The increasing confidence of investors has etched several trends, such as focus on larger areas with amenities and growing preference for peripheral areas and tier II and III cities.
There is greater use of technology and smart mobility solutions – from site visits to registrations, everything is done online. Covid-19 only accelerated the trends that were already underway. Some of the evident trends that we foresee are:
- Suburban growth: The desire for a better lifestyle, remote working culture, and reverse migration led to an increased demand for homes in the peripheral areas. People are now prioritising spacious gated communities, which include retail stores, etc. A self-sustained society that offers all essential facilities.
- Low home loan rates: In the last year, RBI has lowered interest rates on home loans. This has encouraged previously uncertain consumers to explore opportunities in investing in a home. Home loan interest rates are currently at a record 15-year low.
- Preference of close-to-ready inventory: The close-to-completion projects or ready-to-move-in flats gained popularity since it obliterates all sorts of market risks and provides a secure choice for the consumers.
- Consumers indulging in properties: The former walk-to-work is no longer a factor in home-buying decisions today. Spacious and affordable properties in greener, less polluted areas are in demand, driven by work-from-home and e-schooling as well as security concerns. Buyers, today, are more inclined towards upgrading to larger houses with multiple usable spaces.
According to several market reports, sales are finally moving in the upward direction. Where is this demand coming from?
The sector witnessed an early green wave of recovery despite the slew of uncertainties. The buoyancy of key sectors like education, healthcare, IT, and e-commerce in Tier II cities led to significant improvement. Hybrid models including Flexi-seating and reverse migration attracted investors to peripheral areas.
Apart from this, homebuyers now favour living in large, gated housing societies for safety and security concerns. They look for self-sustained communities that can fend for themselves even during pandemic-like exigencies with minimal contact with the outside world. Due to this, there has been an exponential boost in demand for townships across the country. Altogether, this has spurred the demand for residential projects across the country
Do you see any changes in homebuyers’ preferences post-Covid?
The lockdown last year, made potential homebuyers revisit the importance of owning a home. Homebuyers have started to attest their affinity for well-designed projects offering uncluttered spaces and a wide range of recreational options. Instead of the prominent areas of the city, several emerging locales are witnessing high demand. This demand has multiplied even further post the measures taken by the government, such as the reduction in stamp duty rates.
The new-gen customer is now looking at upgrading the home. The idea of walk-to-work is no longer a priority while finalising home-buying decisions. Instead, spacious homes in greener, less polluted areas are being preferred.
Over the last year, the government announced various measures to boost consumer sentiment. Do you think there’s more scope from the government’s side?
Owing to the initiatives taken by the government, such as extension in project completion dates by six months beyond the lockdown period, reductions in interest rates, and relaxing of credit conditions by banks and financial institutions, the Indian real estate sector was back on track a lot sooner than anticipated. Investors also drew a significant amount of comfort from the banks’ decision to maintain or cut interest rates – a major factor in supporting the general levels of optimism. We are certain that the government will continue its focus reforms and structural support to promote a long-term and stable growth story.
What are some ongoing infrastructure projects that are likely to impact residential real estate in Bangalore?
Areas surrounding the tech parks are a popular choice amongst working professionals. Each region in Bangalore holds its own set of unique attributes. West Bangalore is one of the large industrial hubs in the city, particularly the Peenya Industrial Area, which is home to industries like Parle G, ABB Limited, Bosch, Jindal and Volvo Construction Equipment. The ongoing infrastructure projects in the region will lead to improved connectivity and an increase in residential values. The upcoming residential projects will attract buyers from across the city.
Several under-construction projects in Koramangala, Hebbal, and Bannerghatta Road have also gained prominence due to the various amenities and conveniences that these areas offer.
Do you think this is the right time for homebuyers to take the plunge?
It’s a great time to invest. The market has stabilised, builders are generous with attractive offers. The concept of owning a home has evolved from mere spaces to better planned and well-designed concept homes. As long as one is prepared and has line-of-sight finances, I would encourage buyers to make a judicious buy and take advantage of the market as the prices are set to increase hereafter.