Coronavirus: Expecting a drop in property prices, survey reveals people are interested in buying real estate

The latest consumer sentiment survey by NoBroker.com indicates that 65 percent of consumers think that it is the best time to buy a property
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According to a recent survey conducted by NoBroker.com, 65 percent of consumers believe that it is the best time to buy a home as property prices have remained constant for a few years, home loan interest rates are low, and many builders are offering great discounts. With most professionals working from home due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown and having greater time at their disposal, they have the much-needed time to do the preliminary research.

Although the outlook for Real Estate Accelerator Program (REAP) looks less promising due to the current pandemic, about 54 percent of consumers are expecting a significant drop in the prices of residential properties as the market currently has a lot of unsold inventory. Consumers are of the view that developers would want to get rid of piled up inventory to boost their cash flows. 



According to NoBroker.com, the purpose of the survey was to check the impact of COVID-19 on consumer sentiment. The survey was conducted among potential buyers (who are currently searching for properties on NoBroker’s database) and tenants to understand how their priorities have shifted. Around 11,580 people responded to the survey. It was conducted across Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Delhi NCR.

Consumer considerations

Budget, safety and water supply stood out as key considerations for finalising a property. About 36 percent of consumers are looking to purchase a house within three months’ time frame and nearly 28 percent are looking at a time frame of three-to-six months.

Consumer preferences

Around 59 percent consumers have stated that would prefer to live in an apartment society over an independent house as societies offer more amenities. Also, water supply, groceries, power back-up, and safety are less of a concern in an apartment complex. As many as 92 percent respondents are looking to buy residential properties.

NoBroker said its annual survey indicated a steady rise of interest in commercial properties as an investment option. But the current crisis has tilted the choice in favour of residential accommodation. 86 percent consumers prefer ready-to-move-in homes as there is some amount of distrust in under-construction projects due to uncertain timelines. Unavailability of construction workers has worsened the situation in some scenarios. 2BHKs are still the most popular choice for about 48 percent of consumers.

Improvisation in times of quarantine

Interestingly, many consumers have quickly adapted to shortlisting of properties via video walk-throughs. 45 percent consumers have cited that the process is less time-consuming, economical and more efficient.

Roadblocks

Job uncertainty and liquidity crunch were cited as the major hindrances in buying a house, leading to a greater demand for houses within the budget of Rs60 lakh. This is also a reason cited by 79 percent of consumers who are looking to purchase a property without using broker services.

The current situation has allowed some doubts to creep in but it has also brought consumers closer to realising the importance of owning a home. As India unlocks slowly, the lower interest rates and good deals have created a pent-up housing demand and many buyers believe it’s a great opportunity to buy their dream home.

Edited by Kanishk Singh