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Will Housing Sales Boom Post Lockdown?

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We are in unprecedented times where health and safety are of utmost priority.

The consumption story remains impacted across sectors and the prohibitive nature of the crisis is imposing itself on the demand revival possibilities. The proximate cause for the slow down is the pandemic which brings in both financial and physical limitations to transact.  Like any other sector, India’s property market will feel the heat in the wake of the pandemic. And the big question looming clearly is on the demand resurgence in the already beleaguered residential sector.

In the near term, purchase volumes will remain contained given the impact on the economy. Practical challenges related to travel and movement will also impact demand and homebuyers will only start coming back to the market once the scare of the pandemic is on the decline. We will also witness mismatched expectations between buyers and sellers and the equilibrium between the two will take its own course as seen during other downturns. However, the following three trends will emerge in the near future.

Future proofing

Future proofing is a key concept that could emerge following the pandemic. Over the last few years, the theme of investments had turned to financial products.  However, the recent erosion in stock has emphasised the need to have a balanced portfolio that includes brick & mortar investments along with other asset classes. Real estate stands out as a good hedge against volatility and inflation for investors having medium to long term horizons. Residential real estate being a need based and life style product will receive attention from investors looking to balance their portfolios. 

Customer centricity and retention

With the changing demand dynamics customer satisfaction will be at the forefront of the curve. The journey began with the introduction of regulatory reforms like RERA and GST by the government reinforcing focus to end-customers’ needs and requirements. Developers will focus on customer retention and will anchor their value proposition through transparency and distinguished levels of service. We also see products evolving in line with demands for wellness and sustainability. Customers may end up preferring more physical space and as remote working finds more acceptance in the post COVID world, home designs could potentially factor in inclusion of home office or study areas in a much bigger way than ever before. 

Digitalisation

An unintended consequence of COVID is seamless adaptation of technology across segments and age groups, this new trend will show the way for digitalisation in the residential sector. We foresee technology being integrated across the value chain of residential transactions. Smart homes, automation of a buyer’s journey, and digital marketing mediums will be the new order for the market. We have seen some compelling new tools that have come up such as virtual and 3-D walkthroughs, virtual staging of resale homes and chat bots etc. These platforms are geared to assist both the buyer and seller, and have been extremely effective in the current scenario. However, even as these new-age technologies come handy, human connections will remain critical for delivering a long lasting and superior customer experience. 

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent but the ones most adaptable to change,” Leon C. Megginson

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