34% home seekers looking to buy properties b/w INR 90L - 2.5 Cr : CII-ANAROCK Consumer Survey

34% home seekers looking to buy properties b/w INR 90L - 2.5 Cr :  CII-ANAROCK Consumer Survey
Picture Courtesy : Aparna Constructions

The most recent CII-ANAROCK Consumer Sentiment Survey demonstrates how significantly COVID-19 has impacted homebuyer preferences, with the second wave serving as a trigger for change. For the first time, inexpensive housing is ranked lowest, with over 34% of respondents focusing on properties priced between INR 90 lakh and INR 2.5 crore. While 35% of respondents favoured residences priced between INR 45 and 90 lakh, only 27% favoured cheap housing (priced under INR 45 lakh). In the previous H2 2020 survey, approximately 36% of respondents indicated an interest in affordable housing.

Between January and June 2021, the CII-ANAROCK survey polled 4,965 people using various digital platforms.

While affordable pricing continues to reign supreme in terms of must-haves, established developer credibility is ranked second by 77 percent of survey respondents. Additionally, the design and location of the project are high on the wish list.

Anuj Puri, Chairman, Chairman - CII Real Estate Knowledge Session, and Chairman - ANAROCK Group, comments, "While the budget range identified as the hottest seller by this survey is surprising, it makes sense when we consider that it is precisely this segment of buyers who will be least financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic." Online home sales are gaining steam, with nearly 60% of the entire property purchasing process now performed online - up from 39% in the pre-Internet era "andemic interval."

"From property search to documentation, legal assistance, and down payments, homebuyers are capitalising on the new tidal wave of digital technology that is transforming the Indian housing business," Puri says. "Only developers with a strong internet presence will continue to be relevant in the future. Additionally, social media is one of the most successful tools for property marketing at the moment.”

Around 41% of property hunters are exploring second houses for self-use, with 53% preferring mountainous regions. In light of the pervasive work-from-home and e-learning realities, over 65 percent of respondents who work remotely now demand larger homes, and over 68 percent intend to relocate to peripheral or suburban areas to purchase them.

According to the report, NRI respondents prefer luxury houses valued between INR 1.5 and 2.5 crore. Bengaluru, Pune, and Chennai are the top metros for NRIs, while Chandigarh, Kochi, and Surat are the top Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.

COVID-19 Trends: The First Wave vs. the Second Wave

Additionally, the CII-ANAROCK poll reveals a striking divergence between consumer preferences during the first and second pandemic waves.

Investor confidence in real estate increased to 54% in the second COVID-19 wave, up from 48% in the first.

While ready-to-move homes remain the most popular category with 32% of upvotes, this represents a decrease of 14% from first wave levels. At the moment, branded developers account for the majority of new housing supply, and consumers view them as safe bets; also, the inventory of RTMI homes is limited.

Around 71% of respondents in the second wave are end consumers, whereas only 29% are investors. Investors accounted for 41% of respondents in the first wave period poll. One possible explanation for this is the increased desire for second homes in greener, healthier environments amid the pandemic-induced lockdowns.

For 72% of respondents, designated walking pathways are a must-have, while 68% believe that ample open green space is necessary in light of widespread health awareness. Unsurprisingly, swimming pools are currently given the lowest priority.

During their online property search, 64% of prospective buyers will be receptive to offers and discounts.