April , 2020
New trends in living spaces
14:40 pm

Nikhil Raghavan


In a survey done by ANAROCK Property Consultants in association with LIC Housing Finance, it was found that 68% of the respondents  approved of recent policy interventions and tax concessions for the real estate sector. According toAnuj Puri, Chairman, ANAROCK, “This segment of aspiring homebuyers now considers real estate safe and viable for investment. 72% of the polled property seekers state that the alternative investment fund (AIF) of `25000 crore and various homebuyer-favouring court rulings warrant renewed confidence to invest in real estate soon.”

Nikhil Sikri, CEO & Co-Founder, ZOLOstays Property Solution, however, says “Our cities are growing at a much faster pace than the last decade and will continue to expand. With more and more people flocking to the cities, the need for living spaces will become more severe while the living spaces themselves will become smaller. Yet, according to industry estimates, thousands of housing units are unsold and lie vacant across several cities in India.”

For Puri, the major factor which prompted property purchases in 2019 was attractive property prices, followed by a boosted confidence after effective RERA implementation. “Millennials’ preferences are changing the entire property business landscape in this new decade. Once an investment hotbed, Indian housing is now primarily end-user driven. The survey reveals that 67% of the polled homebuyers will buy property for personal use and consumer sentiment is still firmly on the side of ready-to-move-in homes - or, at best, projects nearing completion. On home selection parameters, connectivity to workplace counts as most important for 43% of the millennial property seekers. The IT hubs of Pune and Bangalore came out on top in this trend due to escalating traffic woes.”

New concept

Sikri envisages a societal shift among consumers who no longer have ownership as priority. He says, “Co-living is one of the most viable and sustainable ways of living that we can create for the future. Reports state that the co-living market size across India’s top 30 cities is expected to grow by more than double by 2025 to reach $13.92 billion from the current size of $6.67 billion.”

He has teamed up with like-minded property developers in Chennai, such as Olympia Group, DRA Group, Ramaniyam, and Doshi Housing to utilise unsold units in their respective portfolios and offer these as co-living spaces. He added, “We are creating a new ecosystem for living. Zolo currently works with over 500 builders and owners to create sustainable and affordable living solutions for students and working professionals across multiple cities in the country.”

For those who still have the liquidity and prefer to invest in dwelling units, Anuj Puri informed, “Mid-segment properties priced from `45 to 90 lakh topped consumer demand with 42% of the respondents voting in its favour, followed by 31% preferring homes priced below `45 lakh.”

The survey also confirms that tier 2 and tier 3 cities, with relatively higher ROI, diverse customer base and wide range of properties, continue to trump the metropolitans as investment hotspots. Pune came in second, replacing Bengaluru, while Hyderabad climbed two notches to reach the third position as the most promising city for real estate investment. At least 45% of respondents in Bengaluru still expect high returns on their property investments, while 42% of respondents in Kolkata consider ‘amenities on offer’ as the top deciding factor and 56% of respondents in Pune prefer ready homes to save on rental outgo. While more than half of the survey participants across cities prefer branded developers, a whopping 72% of buyers in Chennai still prefer small developers for the cost benefit.

Architect Mridula Shivashankar spoke of the changing demand patterns from the perspective of the millennials. She says, “Their priority is not to invest in a dwelling unit straightaway. Co-living concepts where ready-to-move-in units are available, work wonders for them and when national players like ZOLO endeavours to network living spaces across multiple locations, moving from one city to another becomes a breeze.”

Women are becoming increasingly financially independent. This had led to a distinct shift in their investment preferences. In place of gold and fixed deposits as primary choices for middle and high income women, real estate now rides high in their investment portfolio. Puri informed, “In fact, in the latest survey, nearly 18% participants were women. Among the many highlights of this survey - nearly 57% of women respondents preferred real estate as an investment asset class.” 


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