Housing Is Now India’s Preferred Asset Class

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Rising Aversion To High-Risk Investment Seen; Most Millenials Eyeing Residential Properties

New Delhi: As the coronavirus crisis hits financial markets and other investment options hard, a survey by Anarock Property Consultants shows that more and more people now want to purchase residential properties.

The survey also indicated that home-ownership is now a compelling priority for the millennials facing uncertain times.

“A majority of participants (48 per cent) in an ANAROCK survey to gauge housing market sentiment in COVID-19 times chose real estate as their preferred investment asset class. Of these, 59 per cent of intending buyers are end-users,” it said.

Out of the total voters favouring real estate, 55 per cent are aged between 25-35, and 68 per cent are end-users. In the H2 2019 edition of this survey, only 42 per cent were in this age bracket.

Anuj Puri, Chairman, Anarock Property Consultants, said: “The security of owning a physical asset during a coronavirus-like crisis now combines with a rising aversion to high-risk investments. As a result, the demand for residential real estate has increased.”

He noted that millennials are key demand-drivers, their preferences are now dictated by the prevailing uncertainties, stock market volatility and recent-past financial sector incidents.

Many of them now prefer buying homes over renting, Puri said, adding that the general homebuying sentiment is also guided by cheaper home loan interest rates, which currently average between 7.15-7.8 per cent.

While ready-to-move-in homes have been the preferred choice of end-users in the recent past, at least 34 per cent of respondents in the current survey who prefer ready homes are investors, a massive rise from 12 per cent in the previous survey, according to the Anarock report.

Investors’ growing aversion to taking risks in the wake of limited construction activity could be a major factor for the change, it noted. Further, by buying ready properties, they can soon begin to earn a steady rental income.

Bengaluru, Mumbai and Hyderabad were the most preferred cities for at least 82 per cent of the respondent buyers who had already booked properties either just before the coronavirus-induced lockdown or during it.

“The preference for reputed, organized developers with the least project execution risk has also risen,” Puri said.

Demand for affordable housing has remained more or less stable at 36 per cent despite COVID-19, the survey revealed.

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