Homebuyer preferences have been evolving for decades now. Post the pandemic, the definition of luxury housing has also changed. People are now willing to shell out extra money to ensure close-to-nature living that focuses on their health as well. Homebuyers’ preference for spacious homes with better amenities will only rise from here on.
The luxury real estate market has been performing increasingly well over the past three to four quarters. The current post-pandemic environment has created a demand for homes that prioritise health and bring people closer to nature. In fact, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, luxury residences have now evolved from a snobby connotation to a realm of health and wellness, with customers increasingly willing to spend more for the convenience and amenities these homes offer. Maninder Chhabra, CSO and Head – Sales, Marketing and CRM, Century Real Estate, shares his insight on the same in an exclusive discussion with 99acres.
How did COVID-19 impact homebuying preferences in India?
A recent CII-ANAROCK Consumer Sentiment Survey highlighted the impact of the pandemic on homebuyer preferences. According to the survey, "For the first time, cheap housing is on low priority, with more than 34 percent of respondents keen on properties valued between Rs 90 lakh and Rs 2.5 crore, and the majority of NRI respondents opting for luxury properties between Rs 1.5-2.5 crore." It is increasingly common to see location, social infrastructure, in-development amenities, and home sizes as key contributors to the price brackets gaining traction.
Pre-pandemic, the Rs 60 lakh to Rs 1 crore ticket size were growing as the sweet spot in Bangalore. Now, the real estate sector is seeing major demand from Grade-A players for plots in this price range, with the Rs 3-4 crore ticket size homes also performing well in the residential market. Though the numbers show an increase in demand for luxury residences in Bangalore, the trend is not limited to this region and can be witnessed across the country. All of our luxury projects have had their best year since launch in the current financial year – a reflection of the imminent bull run in real estate ahead.
What do the future trends suggest?
A report from Knight Frank predicts immense growth in residential sales, with homeowners opting for bigger homes and better amenities. Furthermore, the growth of India's economy and the number of high net-worth individuals (HNIs) suggest massive potential in the luxury residential market. As the real estate sector grows, so will the demand for luxury – thereby attracting greater national and international players.
What is driving this trend?
The pandemic emphasised the importance of homeownership and fueled demand for large homes with top-of-the-line amenities. Being confined to their houses for extended periods has increased customers' interest in top-of-the-line housing with diverse amenities. Factors like remote work and education have led to families searching for homes that accommodate SOHO (small office/home office) options. As houses become the central space for activities, residences with open spaces like private gardens or balconies are proving more attractive. Investor confidence in real estate has also increased, with branded developers now accounting for most new housing supply and buyers regarding them as safe investments. Furthermore, investors are expecting appreciation in key, thriving micro-markets such as North Bangalore.
What are the most-requested luxury features?
Large scale, high-quality developments from Grade-A players with on-campus recreation, sport, fitness, convenience stores, entertainment centres, and medical facilities; have been much appreciated as they limit the need to venture outside the residential block. Homebuyers have realised the sheer value of well-designed and well-ventilated larger homes with easy access to green spaces.
How are luxury homes redefining lifestyles?
Indian real estate was terribly impacted after the pandemic, with many predictions of further hardships as lockdowns persisted, specifically for the luxury residential sector. However, as the pandemic emphasised the value of health, wellness, and safety, luxury homes began to take centre stage by redefining lifestyles and setting new healthy living standards. Homebuyers are looking forward to expressing themselves in the way they design their luxury homes. Post-pandemic, they are designing them for both life and work, along with a host of amenities in their complex, for health and sport!