Impact of COVID-19 on housing demand

[] Should you head to the metros like Mumbai to buy a home or is there a better option elsewhere?

India is an emerging nation with more than 1.3 billion people. Unfortunately, a large part of this population does not own a home. This gives us reason to believe that the demand for residential properties may show sluggishness temporarily, when the market is adverse, but it would gradually improve and get better in the long run.

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Now, if residential properties are expected to witness a surge in demand in the long-term, should you head to the metros like Mumbai to buy a home, or is there a better option elsewhere?

Ritesh Shah, secretary, Brihanmumbai Developers Association (BDA), says, “COVID-19 has irrevocably changed every aspect of our lives. Our homes have emerged as the one safe refuge during the present lockdown phase. Mumbai is an epicentre for COVID-19, due to the non-development of slums and delayed redevelopment of congested MHADA colonies. Presently, construction activities in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation limits have also came to a halt.”

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Post COVID-19, the preferences, choices and needs of home buyers, would change significantly. Mumbai has been severely hit by Coronavirus pandemic, owing to its high density of population and congested roads. As a home buyer, post-COVID-19, you may find places like Ambernath-Badlapur to be more advantageous and attractive than Mumbai. Why?

Ambernath is highly affordable

You can buy a double-sized or even bigger property in Ambernath, at much lower rate than in Mumbai. “In Mumbai, there is hardly any land bank available. Therefore, the property rates are skyrocketing. A middle-class home buyer cannot even think of affording an average-sized property in Mumbai. On the other hand, Ambernath-Badlapur has large land banks and the properties are quite spacious. People can easily afford a residential property along with several amenities that one may not be able to afford in Mumbai,” explains Anoop Bhargava, director and CEO, Empire Centrum.

Availability of inventory in Ambernath

In an evolving market such as Ambernath, the inventory size is usually high. Therefore, it allows home buyers to find properties according to their needs. It is not like in the metros, where buyers have limited options, to select their dream home. In Ambernath, home buyers benefit from a sufficient supply of properties in all the micro-locations. So, they can make an informed decision.

Work from home advantage

Due to COVID-19, a large number of people have started to work from home (WFH). There are reports that the pandemic may stay for a longer period. So, social distancing and hygiene could be crucial factors for people, when buying a home. Companies are also planning to cut their office expenses, by asking their employees to opt for WFH. Post-COVID-19, people who work in Mumbai may find it more affordable, healthy and easier to live in a place like Ambernath. Following are some of the benefits, for people having an office at Mumbai and who opt for WFH while living in Ambernath:

  • Good internet connectivity.
  • Advantage of extra space at home that can be used as an office.
  • 24-hour electricity and water supply.
  • Excellent road and train connectivity to Mumbai.
  • Airport within a distance of 35 kms.

Home close to the workplace

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There are plenty of housing projects that are located such that they provide easy access to employment hubs, to the residents. “Our industrial-cum-residential project in Ambernath, for instance, offers the benefit of living in a home, which is also close to the workplace. People who would work in the MSME zone, for example, will be getting the benefit of a walk-to-work lifestyle. People who work in other locations in Ambernath or have their own business, also find the project to be easily accessible,” says Bhargava. “The township is future-ready, and some of the key features of the project are resort living lifestyle within one’s budget, one-of-a-kind 3-tier security system, first-time concepts of 21,000+ sq ft rooftop clubhouse and amenities in the region and superb quality homes with unmatched amenities,” he adds.

Jasmeet Singh Suri, head, sales, marketing and CRM, Empire Centrum, adds: “We have 100+ years of goodwill and we believe in delivering quality in real estate. Home buyers would find the property in our projects to be premium, yet available at an affordable price.”

Post-COVID-19, people may find it a lucrative proposition to buy a home in Ambernath for WFH and visit the office in Mumbai intermittently, whenever there is a requirement. There are chances of a significant surge in demand for residential properties in Ambernath-Badlapur, due to its highly affordable property prices, infrastructure support and proximity to Mumbai.

Factors crucial for home buying after COVID-19

  • Spacious projects, to maintain social distancing.
  • Adequate health facilities in the location.
  • Affordable property prices.
  • Ready infrastructure for work from home.
  • Employment opportunities nearby.

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Category: Lifestyle

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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