2020 though affected adversely due to beaten customer sentiment, saw good traction for residential real estate towards the end of year. Q2 of calendar year was absolutely poor as most of the country was under lockdown, but the pace of recovery intensified with residential real estate sales increasing by 51% in Q4 2020 when compared to Q3 2020. This is as per the recently published report Residential market update report for Q4’2020 by JLL.
Sales picked up on the back of historically low home loan interest rates, stagnant residential prices, lucrative payment plans & freebies from developers coupled with government incentives such as the reduction of stamp duty in some states like Maharashtra & Karnataka (for affordable housing). The easing of lockdown restrictions and the ongoing festive season further aided in bringing buyers back to the market.
On an annual basis, sales in 2020 recovered to more than 50% of the pre-COVID volumes witnessed in 2019. The markets of Hyderabad, Mumbai and Delhi NCR gained maximum foothold in 2020 as compared to 2019.Some markets like Lucknow, in fact, experienced a big rebound in sales and helped developers to increase prices of properties also, which had been stagnating for last few years.
While there is still a long way to go, the worst is behind for the residential sector, reveals the report. It says the challenges faced by residential real estate in 2020 have, in fact, become the catalyst in providing stimuli to the industry for sustained growth. With people spending an inordinate amount of time at home, the lockdown re-established the importance of owning a house. At the same time, the Central Bank(RBI) is leading the way to recovery by holding policy rates at historically low levels to initiate a cycle of consumption-led growth. This has resulted in extremely low mortgage rates. And, prices have also been stagnant for the past few years. This affordable synergy makes it a great time to purchase a home. Furthermore, the market is also witnessing renewed interest from Non-Resident Indians (NRIs).
The significance of owning a home to avoid the uncertainties of living in a rented accommodation was reinforced during the pandemic. The desire to own a home is perhaps now stronger than ever. Moreover, while end users continue to drive demand, there is renewed interest from investors and from Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) impacted by economic uncertainties in Europe and the Middle East and they find India to be a safer place than the place they are inhabiting right now.
The pandemic has also changed the preferences of homebuyers and has been bringing in new dimension to property search. A healthy lifestyle will be a key criterion for homebuyers in the post-COVID era. Resultantly, preferences will tilt towards larger homes in self-contained complexes with facilities like gym, green open spaces and access to daily necessities. Moreover, with work from home becoming a reality, product configurations are likely to change with bias towards larger homes.
Also, remote working practices will increase the attractiveness of suburban markets. Suburban markets offer lower density environments and more spacious apartments at affordable rates. Since, travel to office may no longer be an everyday activity, the importance of connectivity to office hubs will no longer dictate home purchases.
It is also pertinent to note that project delays, could be cited as one of the biggest reasons behind a demand slowdown that has gripped India’s residential market in the last few years. Therefore, demand for ready-to move-in homes or homes in advanced stage of construction is likely to remain strong. Also, the effective and uniform implementation of RERA across Uttar Pradesh is expected to improve the confidence of homebuyers and ultimately, lead to greater sales traction in newly launched and under-construction residential projects also.
In 2021, a further improvement in sales across all housing segments is expected. However, development focus on mid and affordable segments is expected to continue. In 2020, more than 80% of the new launches were in the sub Rs 10 million category. Moving ahead, new launches will remain concentrated in these price segments with developers trying to reap the benefits of strong pent up demand in these segments. The government is also committed towards boosting affordable housing. The recent Union Budget has extended the benefit of additional interest deduction on home loans for first time home buyers in the affordable segment. Further, there is a time extension to claim the tax holiday on profits from affordable housing projects until March 2022.
The organised housing market in India has seen the influx of several organised players in a bid to tap the opportunities arising out of the strong demand from a growing millennial workforce. This brought back in focus the modern lifestyle offered by state-of-the-art township designs. The large open areas and facilities contained within are great reasons for customers to flock to these projects. In Lucknow, there are very few options like these available with reputed builders in a modern environment. There will be an increased focus on health and wellness aspects in the post-COVD era, which is expected to drive demand for organised and all-encompassing housing setups. Paarth Republic township offers its customers these advantages to adapt to the changing lifestyle requirements.
Another important aspect which is increasingly being seen in towns like Lucknow is the senior citizens living alone. These senior citizens living alone were the most impacted during the pandemic. The role of an organized township with modern healthcare facilities becomes all too important now. Only a self – contained residential complex can be designed with senior friendly amenities such as medical support on call, services for food, housekeeping and assistance around the clock, which became more prominent during these trying times. This has increased the attractiveness of such facilities and demand for organized senior housing setups is expected to pick up in the near future.
If 2020 was the year that changed everything, 2021 may be the year where change becomes the ‘new normal’ and adapting to this ‘new normal’ will require imagination, innovation and digital transformation. The arrival of 2021 will not shake off all the challenges of a pandemic-riddled economy but the groundwork for a sector-wide recovery has been laid. The year is poised to establish itself as the year where India enters a new phase of real estate growth, innovation and investment.
With strong financial health, Paarth republic is continuing the construction and provision of other facilities and therefore is finding traction with new customers.