Real estate in India kicked off on a promising note in 2020. The property sector shrugged off its earlier demons and hopped on, banking on positive consumer sentiments and a renewed demand for affordable and mid-size homes. The good vibes were palpable in real estate conversations and the industry looked poised for a fabulous year until a pandemic cratered all expectations and put it in lockdown.
With its business thoroughly dependant upon physical interactions, site visits, movement and physical documentation, the real estate sector, which was just coming to terms with technology, got stuck in a rut.
Quarantine and social distancing etiquettes made matters worse as real estate sellers weren’t able to reach out to serious homebuyers. This tumultuous situation led real estate developers to initially shelve new launches and delay real estate decisions. An unsold inventory of 6.24 lakh homes, carrying a price tag of around INR 3,70,000 crore was recorded to be lying in the top eight metro cities in India.
With time running out, real estate sellers and developers chose to take the online route to ride them out of this crisis. And the decision played well for the sector. Realtors coalesced with Online Real Estate Platforms and leveraged the wonders of tech toys at play. With real-time inventory updates, 3D walkthroughs, virtual reality tours, multiple payment gateways and digital signatures, real estate developers registered stupendous sales.
Homebuyers readily took this technological leap forward, by taking virtual tours and enjoying every nook and cranny of properties from their digital screens, anywhere and at any time possible. There is no hassle of fixing appointments for property visits nor enduring the hot sun and the calamitic situation to have a good look at the shortlisted property. The new home-buying process was a rite of passage for the Real Estate Sector.
And real estate came of age, all of a sudden. Flirting with technology for a decade, the property sector minced no words, accepted its earlier fallacies and vowed to go online completely to be on par with other advanced sectors and stay on the greener side to tackle crises in the future.
Real estate developers reiterated that properties were snapped up at a faster rate through digital transactions than conventional ones, something which has never happened in real estate history. They added that homebuyers’ confidence got buoyed when they learned about the transparency of digital transactions, ease of property search and ownership and the discounted booking offers online, which made homebuying a delightful affair.
So, will the real estate sector stand a chance to get back to its hallowed days? Yes, of course; the scales are heavily tipped in its favour.
A lot of realities have been left stark open during this lockdown. Citizens staying indoors for almost two months at a stretch have realized the importance of bigger spaces with some extra dollops of comfort. So Real Estate Developers can floor the pedal and introduce quality living options that marry the luxury of spaciousness and sustainable living. 2BHK, 3BHK and above properties will enjoy higher demand as people will look to elevate their quality of life.
With stock exchanges and gold no more a save haven for pouring money on, investors and homebuyers will heavily invest in properties as they are mostly immune to such catastrophic market movements. Investors have lost lakhs and crores in stocks and gold investments. Real estate is a secure investment that enjoys higher appreciation benefits and provides a steady rental income. Looking at these exploits, consumers will turn their investments towards real estate which will augur well for the sector.
Looking at the precarious condition of foreign countries and comparatively better performance of India in this pandemic scenario, it is safe to say that there will be mass immigration of people which will trigger a residential boom. Buyers will look for smartly designed projects that have the ability to prevent any such contagion spread in the future.
With the potential immigration, rentals are expected to receive a boost, paving a way for goof passive income for homebuyers. Not to mention the low-interest rates which will egg on home buyers to cash in on this opportune situation.
On a concluding note, the real estate sector is set to see the good times again. A much-needed transition to digital will hold the sector good even in critical moments in the future. The confidence in the sector is on a high as homebuyers bank on the transparency and ease of home buying in the digital space. On the other hand, the property sector will find itself in a positive space with the demand for homes speculated to boom post lockdown.