Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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After the whiplash of the pandemic, Indian real estate has made a strong comeback steered by pent up demand, bullish economic sentiments, and soaring business activities. Though some quarters in the industry believed that the rise in interest rate might destabilize the bonanza, the ground reality is contradictory. Despite a rise in home loan rates, the industry was able to greatly absorb it with sales volume increasing by 30-40% on a quarterly basis in most of the major markets in the country.

There has been a gradual reduction in inventories in most of the major cities, giving a big relief to the developer fraternity which was reeling under pressure in the past. New launches are once again picking up in the market, backed by a momentous shift in demand.

Other categories in real estate are also recovering fast. After a virtual close down, retail occupancies are rising and malls are seeing footfalls again. As major MNCs have opened, demand for Grade-A stocks has once again risen sharply.

Increased focus on gated communities and plotted developments

An important theme that has emerged in recent times has been the increased focus on premium gated living. Increasingly, Indian home buyers are now willing to stretch the extra mile and invest in villas, cottages, penthouses, row houses, cottages, second homes, condominiums, etc.

Customers are now willing to pay a premium for places wherein they can stay, work, play, and entertain cohesively. The pandemic has taught the fragility of human existence and as a corollary, there is a demand for a better lifestyle. To make that indulgence a reality, people are willing to spend extra.

Their demand is no longer only limited to a few popular amenities and recreational facilities such as swimming pools, play areas, clubhouses, fitness and gyms, etc. but they want much more than this. Increasingly, the appetite for sophisticated communities with advanced facilities such as zoned garden areas, waterfalls and artificial water bodies, fine dine restaurants, wellness centers, and electronic security access is expanding.

Demand for community-style living is also moving upwards. Home dwellers want to be part of great communities that also ensure a certain exclusivity. After the pandemic, people now want to live in de-densified communities, yet they feel a certain level of camaraderie. A sense of belonging and community plays a greater role in meaningful living. It also imparts a sense of security.

The market will continue to evolve

As the lifestyle and aspirations of buyers are evolving, so will the nature of real estate in India. The concentration of well-traveled, goal-oriented, and curious affluent and middle-income groups are increasing in Indian cities. These buyers are better placed financially and want premium living.

This also entails there will be conscious shifts toward stylish, trendy, and sophisticated living in the near future. A home would not just be a place to live but also to entertain, relax and indulge in meaningful interactions with friends and families.

Buyers are also becoming eco-conscious and hence natural and sustainable accommodations is just not a fad but is gradually getting integrated into the mainstream. Real estate developers, urban landscape planners, and architects now continuously work towards creating township and housing complexes that look like an extension of natural landscapes. Green walking pathways, artificial water bodies, and thick manmade in-campus eco parks are now becoming common in modern townships and gated communities.

Likewise, the demand will jump for energy-efficient practices and green technologies. Buyers will prefer in-built technologies that can result in low maintenance, reduced energy consumption, and hassle-free living.

An appetite for eco-living integrated with the popularity of hybrid working culture is also feeding into the demand for second homes. Not just popular hill stations and sea beaches, urban peripheries are also becoming hotbeds for retirement and second homes. As per the research by 360 Realtors, the second home market in India is sized at USD 1.39 billion and is slated to grow at a CAGR of over 23.3 % in the next 5 years. Periodically people would like to shun congested city lives and bond with nature to relax and rejuvenate.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members