Though the Indian real estate market is reeling under the COVID-19 impact, market experts say that it can be a very positive time for home buyers as they are at an unprecedented advantage to negotiate good deals on ready-to-move-in options. Homebuyers are also likely to benefit from all-time-low interest rates of 7.15 to 7.8 per cent on home loans. Experts also point out that the COVID-19 lockdown has accelerated technology-led home buying in India, making it possible to inspect properties online as well as negotiate and finalise deals. Virtual site visits are also becoming a reality and a large chunk of the property selection and purchase process can now be done digitally. The ANAROCK report points out that the total unsold stock of ready to move in homes is worth about Rs 65,950 crore. “Of the total unsold ready stock, the Mumbai and Pune regions together have approximately 35,200 units, which are collectively worth Rs 37,550 crore.
Though the real estate market can receive a jolt as many people may postpone their purchases due to salary cuts and job cuts but those who can afford and are looking out for a property will be at an advantage. As per a survey report by 99acres to gauge buyers’ sentiments in the times of the COVID-19 pandemic, 60 per cent of the Indian home buyers who were in the market looking to buy a house before the pandemic are still planning to buy their homes within a year. The survey was conducted across major cities namely Delhi (NCR), Mumbai region, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Pune, Chennai, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, and Lucknow.
The survey observed that post the pandemic a majority of real estate buyers expect a price correction and they felt that real estate is still the best option to invest followed by fixed deposit, gold and the stock market. The survey found new trends in the real estate market due to COVID-19 such as a big shift towards the adoption of online portals, with 75 per cent of people, for whom offline was the first and only major source of property search earlier, saying that they now prefer opting for online real estate portals to search their dream homes. There has also been a demand for virtual tours or visits wherein 60 percent of home-buyers stated that they would prefer to do virtual tours either to shortlist or to finalise their homes.