Housing Enquiries At 50% Of Pre-Covid Levels, And Other Trends From Top Cities
Laborers work on an Indiabulls Real Estate commercial building construction site in the Lower Parel area of Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Housing Enquiries At 50% Of Pre-Covid Levels, And Other Trends From Top Cities

India’s residential real estate is slowly recovering with housing enquiries now at 50% of pre-pandemic levels in the top cities.

The fastest recovery is seen in Bengaluru, where current enquiries have reached 70% of the January-February period, followed by Gurugram with nearly 65%, according to a report by Anarock Research.

Despite site visits far from previous levels, the site-visit-to-closure conversion rate has increased considerably as only serious buyers are venturing out, with casual window shoppers fairly dormant currently, said Prashant Thakur, director and head of research at Anarock Property Consultants. “Hyderabad now sees an average of 15% site visits converting to sales, against 8% in the pre-Covid-19 period. Gurgaon, with just 4-5% conversions earlier, is now clocking in at 8-10%. Other cities report similar trends.”

Demand in India’s real estate sector hasn’t recovered since demonetisation and implementation of a stricter housing law. A liquidity crisis in the markets and the ongoing Covid-19 crisis has further aggravated the crisis in the sector.

Here's a look at the notable real estate trends seen in the top cities:

Bengaluru

  • In the last three months, enquiries for larger homes have increased up to 40% with property seekers predominantly scouting for 3-BHKs (bedroom-hall-kitchen configuration), with built up area of 1,800 sq. ft. on average against the previously-preferred 2-BHKs. The current buyers are largely working couples with children, pursuing work from home and e-learning options.
  • Most of these buyers will settle for peripheral locations to secure bigger homes and a better lifestyle at more affordable prices.
  • Most buyers prefer gated communities with all amenities.
  • East and South Bengaluru seeing rising queries for properties sized 1,800-2,500 sq. ft. built-up area, led by IT professionals and business owners looking for larger spaces.

Gurugram

  • Site visits are back to pre-Covid-19 levels with a sharp increase in conversion ratios—at 10% from nearly 5% previously.
  • Maximum enquiries for properties priced between Rs 75 lakh and Rs 1.25 crore, with sizes ranging between 1,400-1,600 sq. ft. of built-up area, largely from end-users. Affordable properties are also seeing traction—30% demand from investors, 70% from end-users.
  • High demand for 2- and 3-BHKs in full-fledged housing societies.
  • Overall sales volumes have reached 60% of pre-Covid levels.

Noida and Ghaziabad

  • Serious end-user enquiries have increased to 40% of pre-Covid-19 levels, site visits are increasing steadily.
  • Maximum enquiries for properties priced between Rs 40 lakh and Rs 80 Lakh in Ghaziabad and between Rs 50 lakh and Rs1.2 crore in Noida. Sizes range between 1,500 sqft and 2,500 sqft of built-up area. Most buyers are IT/ITeS employees, government officials and retired government personnel.
  • Most buyers are looking for 3- or 4-BHKs, as opposed to the previously-preferred 2-BHKs. People with constrained budgets are seeking 2-BHK + study room, or 2.5-BHK with built-up area of 1,200 sqft.
  • July alone saw more than half the number of sales recorded between April and June.
  • Property sizes now a deal maker; most buyers now prefer gated communities with all amenities, demand for independent homes has reduced.

Mumbai Metropolitan Region

  • Site visits back to nearly half of pre-Covid-19 levels towards July-end, from predominantly serious buyers.
  • Besides ready-to-move-in properties, under-construction homes with completion timelines between six months to one year are in high demand, provided developers sweeten the deals.
  • Properties priced between Rs 60 lakh and Rs 1.2 crore of carpet area ranging 400-800 sq. ft. are in highest demand. Buyers aged between 30 and 35 years currently living on rent have the highest purchase inclination.
  • Some buyers are upgrading from 1-BHK to 2-BHKs.
  • July alone witnessed nearly 40% number of sales seen in the April-June period.

Pune

  • Property enquiries have reached up to nearly 50% of pre-Covid-19 levels.
  • Site visits increasing steadily, with higher conversions—from 9-10% on average earlier to nearly 12% now.
  • Rs 40 lakh to Rs 80 lakh is the sweet-spot budget range for properties with carpet area ranging between 560 sq. ft. and 900 sq. ft. 2-BHKs drive maximum demand.
  • Ultra-luxury homes priced between Rs 2.5 crore and Rs 4.5 crore, with carpet area ranging 1,200–2,000 sq. ft. are also seeing some traction.
  • Since Pune has limited ready-to-move in unsold stock, there’s good demand for under construction projects by branded developers.
  • Sales volumes are more than 40% of pre-Covid-19 levels.

Hyderabad

  • Site visits have reached 40% of pre-Covid-19 levels, with higher conversions—from 8% on an average earlier to nearly 15% now.
  • Hyderabad continues to see higher demand for 3-BHKs, usually priced between Rs 80 lakh and Rs 1 crore with average sizes of 1,500-1,600 sq. ft. in built-up area.
  • Increasing demand for villas priced more than Rs 2 crore on which buyers are negotiating hard.
  • Since Hyderabad has almost negligible ready-to-move in unsold stock, there is good demand for under-construction projects.
  • Besides IT/ITeS professionals, increased demand from doctors, lawyers and pharma professionals.
  • Gated communities with all amenities still the highest draw.
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