Of all respondents favouring real estate as an investment option, they survey found that at least 48% are aged between 25-35 years.

An aerial view of an area in Bengaluru
Money Real Estate Thursday, February 18, 2021 - 14:19

Real estate's popularity as an investment asset class has soared due to COVID-19. About 57% respondents now favour property over fixed deposits, the stock market, and gold, a CII-Anarock COVID-19 Sentiment Survey said. Further, nearly 62% of respondents considered it expedient to buy homes right away amid deals, discounts and cheaper home loans. Around 24% respondents have already booked properties (81% of this segment were previously unsure of buying) and 38% opted for newly-launched projects, the survey said.

The survey, which was unveiled on Wednesday by CII and real estate consultancy Anarock at the third CII Real Estate Confluence themed 'Indian Real Estate Vision 2025'.

At least 43% respondents now prefer living in peripheral areas while just 28% favour homes in the city limits (in proximity to offices). Millennial respondents said they continued to prefer home ownership over renting. Of all respondents favouring real estate as an investment option, at least 48% were aged between 25-35 years.

“The survey underscores the massive impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on home-buying decisions. The work-from-home and online education culture has resulted in buyers seeking larger homes, even if it entails moving to peripheral areas. Surprisingly, new launches are gaining traction post-COVID. 26% of the survey's respondents will opt for homes in newly-launched projects, which is an increase of 4% over the pre-COVID period,” said Anuj Puri, Chairman, Anarock Property Consultants. 

However, there was a decrease in the preference for ready-to-move-in homes – a reduction of at least 17% since the lockdown and 6% since the pre-COVID levels. 

"One major factor for this could be that post-COVID, new supply was largely by branded developers. Homebuyers consider it safe to buy from strong organised players. Also, there is limited inventory available in the ready-to-move category,” said Puri. 

In terms of consumer preferences, demand for bigger homes across all BHK configurations rose post-COVID. 2BHKs continue to be the hot favourite. However, buyers are now also on the lookout for larger sizes. 69% of the survey's property-favouring respondents now prefer bigger 2BHKs (more than 600 sq ft area) vis-à-vis just 38% in the pre-COVID period. Previously, 62% of buyers preferred compact 2BHK units sized within 600 sq. ft. area.

The popularity of bigger homes such as 3BHKs and 4BHKs has also increased as compared to the pre-COVID survey, most notably among Non-Resident Indians (NRIs). The latest edition of this survey finds that most NRIs now prefer luxury homes priced between Rs 90 lakh to Rs 2.5 crore.

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