‘Most home buyers predict stable property prices over next 1 yr’

As real estate prices have been subdued amid the pandemic, a majority of home buyers in the country expect property prices to remain steady over the next one year, showed a report by Anarock and CII.

Property prices across the top seven cities largely remained range-bound over the last few years amid the structural reforms, and policy changes among others. Before COVID-19 gripped India, it was widely anticipated by experts that average property prices would increase in 2020, but the pandemic derailed this probability.

“In the short-term (12 months), 67 per cent respondents consider prices to remain stable while only 18 per cent feel they will increase in a year,” said the report. On long-term basis (in 5 years), 83 per cent respondents think prices will increase, it added.

Further, nearly 62 per cent of respondents in the ‘CII-ANAROCK COVID-19 Sentiment Survey’ consider it expedient to buy homes right away and 24 per cent respondents have already booked properties. Around 38 per cent opted for newly-launched projects.

Real estate’s popularity as an investment asset class increased perceptibly post COVID-19. About 57 per cent respondents now favour property over fixed deposits, the stock market, and gold and around 59 per cent property-favouring respondents were convinced after the pandemic unfolded, after riding the fence of uncertainty before COVID-19.

Anuj Puri, Chairman of Anarock Property Consultants, said: “The survey underscores the massive impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on home-buying decisions. The work-from-home and online education culture has resulted in buyers seeking larger homes, even if it entails moving to peripheral areas.”

New launches are gaining traction post-COVID and 26 per cent of the survey’s respondents will opt for homes in newly-launched projects, which is an increase of 4 per cent over the pre-COVID period, he said.

Puri, who is also the Chairman of CII Real Estate Confluence 2021, said: “Equally surprisingly, there was a decrease in the preference for ready-to-move-in homes, a reduction of at least 17 per cent since the lockdown and 6 per cent since the pre-COVID levels.”