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What is the effect of the COVID pandemic on homebuyers and homeowners?


Anchal Srivastava, Naveen Kumar, Meghna Singh, COVID, COVID19, pandemic, lockdown, labour, labourer, migrant, unskilled, skilled, contractor, subcontractor, OEM, manufacturer, material, logistics, homebuyer, homeowner, Architecture, Engineering, Construction, AEC, Stakeholder, Stakeholders, Analysis, Research, R&D, Primary Survey, Secondary Research, Development, Forecast, Snapshot, KPMG, Deloitte, EY, pwc, McKinsey, Government of India, GDP, Economic Survey of India, Cushman & Wakefield, CW, JLL, Anarock, CBRE, Real Estate Agency, Agent, Zeyka, Zeyka India

According to the CII-Anarock COVID-19 Sentiment Survey, as many as 43 per cent of homebuyers are now willing to buying their properties in suburban localities. Millennial buyers are up by 31 per cent, and there is an increasing desire for larger homes in all configurations in the post COVID era.


Today, we will talk about three things:


1. Motivation behind the increase,

2. The grey area – well, everything is not black and white. Thus, this article will try to unveil the clashing behavior and,

3. The post COVID trends.


Motivation


Discounts offered during the COVID-19 outbreak, lower house loans, and government incentives such as Maharashtra's stamp duty decrease prompted approximately 62 per cent of purchasers to consider purchasing a property right away.


Remember Ruchi and her husband from the last article? They, like other millennials, desire a stress-free experience. As a result, rent trumps purchasing with readily available rooms for rent, fully furnished facilities, and convenient locations. Living in a suitcase seemed to be the best alternative. Furthermore, owning a property entails numerous steps, effort, time, and money. The process begins with research and is followed by a site inspection.

Ruchi was adamant about not compromising her professional life. Renovation and construction of a home is a time-consuming process. It is simpler to review RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Authority) listings of certified houses and then search for the most advantageous locality.


Anchal Srivastava, Naveen Kumar, Meghna Singh, COVID, COVID19, pandemic, lockdown, labour, labourer, migrant, unskilled, skilled, contractor, subcontractor, OEM, manufacturer, material, logistics, homebuyer, homeowner, Architecture, Engineering, Construction, AEC, Stakeholder, Stakeholders, Analysis, Research, R&D, Primary Survey, Secondary Research, Development, Forecast, Snapshot, KPMG, Deloitte, EY, pwc, McKinsey, Government of India, GDP, Economic Survey of India, Cushman & Wakefield, CW, JLL, Anarock, CBRE, Real Estate Agency, Agent, Zeyka, Zeyka India

Working from home has become the new normal. According to the survey, many prospective home buyers are now beginning to look for properties in suburban areas during the pandemic because they provide larger residences and a better lifestyle at comparatively low prices. Apart from that, owning a house is not considered a luxury anymore, it has now turned out to be a necessity for everyone.


Time is more valued than ever. Ruchi made a checklist in which builder credits were mentioned, which and who has delayed their projects or not. So, getting a project delivered in a timely fashion is mandatory. But, in-time delivery does not entail compromise on quality. Home-purchasers seek high-quality construction at the best market price.


The Grey Areas


People are more interested in saving for health rather than spending on housing after the second wave, as opposed to the first. The loss in economic growth during the first wave was mostly caused by supply shortages because of a lengthy nationwide lockdown. This had a severe influence on the country's property acquisitions, which need large-ticket investments. The second wave may have had an immediate impact on home buyers as the focus shifted to health and safety (QuantEco Research analysis, 2021).


The likelihood of a consumption glitch appears to be greater now than it was last year. In contrast to a V-shaped recovery, consumption redux this year could be more U-shaped, according to QuantEco Research. This also reduces India's FY 2022 growth forecast by 150 basis points to 10 per cent. But, nonetheless, the market will grow.

Anchal Srivastava, Naveen Kumar, Meghna Singh, COVID, COVID19, pandemic, lockdown, labour, labourer, migrant, unskilled, skilled, contractor, subcontractor, OEM, manufacturer, material, logistics, homebuyer, homeowner, Architecture, Engineering, Construction, AEC, Stakeholder, Stakeholders, Analysis, Research, R&D, Primary Survey, Secondary Research, Development, Forecast, Snapshot, KPMG, Deloitte, EY, pwc, McKinsey, Government of India, GDP, Economic Survey of India, Cushman & Wakefield, CW, JLL, Anarock, CBRE, Real Estate Agency, Agent, Zeyka, Zeyka India

(A V-shaped recovery is defined by a rapid and persistent recovery in economic performance metrics following a dramatic economic depression. A U-shaped recovery is a type of economic recession and recovery in which key measures, such as employment, GDP, and industrial output, fall abruptly and then remain low for a period of 12 to 24 months before rebounding


Some immediate actions are required from the government’s side. With salary cuts, increase in health expenditure, and life insurances, paying taxes has become an extra burden on the millennials. If the government does not reduce the tax load on home buyers, demand for residential spaces may suffer. The consumers' optimistic perspective on this asset class in the aftermath of the pandemic will also decrease as a result.

Anchal Srivastava, Naveen Kumar, Meghna Singh, COVID, COVID19, pandemic, lockdown, labour, labourer, migrant, unskilled, skilled, contractor, subcontractor, OEM, manufacturer, material, logistics, homebuyer, homeowner, Architecture, Engineering, Construction, AEC, Stakeholder, Stakeholders, Analysis, Research, R&D, Primary Survey, Secondary Research, Development, Forecast, Snapshot, KPMG, Deloitte, EY, pwc, McKinsey, Government of India, GDP, Economic Survey of India, Cushman & Wakefield, CW, JLL, Anarock, CBRE, Real Estate Agency, Agent, Zeyka, Zeyka India

The majority of clients are similar. Their design requirements are frequent, poor, unfulfilled, and insufficient. The number of design iterations increases as a result. Delays occur because design specifications are not fixed in a timely manner. They are risk-averse and shift all the risk and liability associated with project delivery to the contractor. Now, understand that a builder is also a client to the architect. Hence, the above argument is true not only for individual plots but also for the high rise.


Clients in India, unfortunately, regularly engage in unethical activities. It includes refusing to pay the last installment of an architect's fee or changing the scope of work arbitrarily in the middle of procedures. Converting one shutter, for example, from side swing to lift-up swing is not only a time-consuming process, but it also necessitates the replacement of the entire panel. The carpenter will charge again for the new shutter. New hardware is required. Clients, on the other hand, are unwilling to comprehend this.


Post-Covid trends


Since ‘work from home’ is here to stay, home buyers are leveraging the flexibility to operate out of anywhere to seek bigger homes in suburban, peripheral areas at more affordable prices. According to surveys, Indians increasingly prefer to shop online. Not only for groceries and other minor purchases but also for large items.

Anchal Srivastava, Naveen Kumar, Meghna Singh, COVID, COVID19, pandemic, lockdown, labour, labourer, migrant, unskilled, skilled, contractor, subcontractor, OEM, manufacturer, material, logistics, homebuyer, homeowner, Architecture, Engineering, Construction, AEC, Stakeholder, Stakeholders, Analysis, Research, R&D, Primary Survey, Secondary Research, Development, Forecast, Snapshot, KPMG, Deloitte, EY, pwc, McKinsey, Government of India, GDP, Economic Survey of India, Cushman & Wakefield, CW, JLL, Anarock, CBRE, Real Estate Agency, Agent, Zeyka, Zeyka India

The most important attractive feature right now is that the home must be big enough to accommodate the functions of a study. It needs to be connected from inside as well outside. As a result, it can be utilised as a workplace or home office, as well as a classroom for online education. Following the virus's introduction, there has been an exponential growth in online learning. Home gyms are very famous during the pandemic. A place to relax, meditate or practise yoga needs to have some positive energy. Hence, people like such rooms to be naturally ventilated, lit, and on the Eastern side of the flat layout.


Ruchi was used to renting a two-bedroom flat. Now, when looking for a home, they were seeking a three-bedroom or two-and-a-half-bedroom house. A separate servant quarter. A neighborhood with recreational facilities. As a result of the pandemic, there is an increased need for home studies. House helpers have also been unable to work due to the lockdowns. Several nuclear families, regardless of age, are looking for attached servant-room houses.


Homeowners wish for more open space integrated with and outside of the habited area. It can be in the form of decks, balconies, patios, and verandahs. People are actually looking for six to eight feet balcony widths, especially to be attached to the living area and master bedroom, cross ventilation, minimum wall sharing with adjoining flats, big lobbies with a clear way of sight of the fire stairs and lift wells. Outdoor spaces such as gardens, walkways, sports areas, swimming pools, etc., are more than the mandatory requirements for the millennials.




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About the Writer

Anchal Srivastava is an architect, urban planner, writer, researcher and scholar. She is a certified GIS specialist from IIRS, ISRO, Dehradun. She is a graduate of the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), Delhi and Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Technical University (APJAKTU), Uttar Pradesh. She has experience working at the Town and Country Planning Organisation Delhi, Jabalpur Smart City Limited, Suresh Goel & Associates (SGA), APS Green Architects & Associates, and as the head architect at SSAP and Shantiniketan Buildtech Pvt. Ltd.


About the Editor

Naveen Kumar is a public policy and regulatory governance professional. He is a graduate of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Hyderabad. He has experience working at the Gitika Trust, Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS) Hyderabad, Krishi Vigyan Kendra - MYRADA, AID India Eureka, Larsen & Toubro Infotech Ltd. (LTI) and Eco Foundation for Research and Training (EFFORT).


About the Illustrator

Meghna Singh is an architect, urban sketcher and design enthusiast. She is a graduate of the School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal. She has won numerous national and international architecture design competitions, namely, NASA Mohammad Shaheer Landscape Trophy 2018, Heal+ Regenerative Housing for Kerala 2019, and the World Architecture Festival Student Charrette, Amsterdam 2019. She has experience working at Archohm Consultants Pvt. Ltd.

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