Mumbai moves up to first spot on IRIS index after four months – records maximum online property search volume

[]’s IRIS index for October 2021 has eased after reaching the historic peak in the previous month. The online high-intent homebuyer activity remains on a higher side compared to the same period last year, buoyed by the festive season and vaccination drive.

The IRIS index eased to 110 points in October 2021, after recording an all-time high of 116 in the previous month. However, the online high-intent homebuyer activity remained 9 points higher compared to October 2020. The uptick in online property search volume demonstrates the sharper recovery and improving consumer sentiments post the COVID-19 second wave, as homebuyers are steadily returning to the market.

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The homebuyer sentiments are buoyed by the confidence in income and overall improving economic scenario. Congruently, the unemployment rate (7.38 percent) in urban areas in India has slipped to a seven-month low, whereas the services PMI (58.4), which tracks the business activity, was at a decade high in October. The credit to housing sector has recorded a 9 percent YoY growth in September of this year as the central bank continued to maintain the historic low repo rate of 4 percent for the eighth consecutive time.

Corroborating with the optimism and recovery in the market, the residential sales grew 3.5 times quarter-on-quarter in July-September 2021. It is to be noted here that in comparison, the sales grew 1.8 times in the same time frame last year post the first wave.

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A detailed view of the October online property search trends shows that maximum homebuyers searched for apartments with 2BHK configuration in less than INR 50 lakh price category in the top-eight cities and other smaller cities. In smaller cities, apart from apartments, independent homes also witnessed significant traction.

A closer look into the city-wise trends shows that Mumbai regained the top position on the IRIS index after four months. The city recorded maximum online property search volume with peripheral micro-markets such as Thane West, Mira Road West and Kharghar taking the lead. Maximum homebuying queries in these localities were for 1BHK and 2BHK configurations in less than INR 50 lakh price bracket.

Corroborating with the online property trends, the registrations for primary and secondary residential properties in Mumbai were 22 percent higher in October 2021 than in the previous month. The partial opening of activities and public transport facilities along with the festive season have boosted the consumer sentiments leading to a positive turnaround for the residential market in the financial capital of India.

Kolkata and Pune emerge as top gainers amongst the cities recording maximum high-intent homebuyer activity

Kolkata and Pune recorded the highest jump in rank amongst the cities recording maximum online property search and queries. Kolkata’s position improved by six points, reaching the tenth rank. The city had registered a decline in rank for five consecutive months prior to October. The consumer sentiments in the city had been impacted since June this year due to policy snags relating to West Bengal Housing Industrial Regulatory Authority (HIRA) and delay in consumer redressal. However, with necessary steps being taken for resolving the prevailing issues, the buyers have begun searching for homes as visible from the surge in online property search volume in the city.

The majority of high-intent homebuyer activity in Kolkata was concentrated in prominent micro markets such as New Town, Garia and Salt Lake City, which have a good mix of residential, commercial and institutional areas. Most of the homebuyers in the city searched for apartments with 2BHK configuration in less than INR 50 lakh price bracket.

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Pune, too, recorded a five-point jump in its rank after seeing a sequential decline for the last five months. The city took the second spot in residential sales after Mumbai in July-September 2021 quarter. Maximum buyers in Pune searched for homes in locales of Wakad, Ravet and Baner, which offer proximity and connectivity to major IT hubs in the city. The majority of the home searches and queries in Pune were for apartments with 2BHK configuration followed by 1BHK.

Lucknow and Jaipur record improvement in rank – stay in list of top-20 cities for three months straight

Tier-2 cities of Lucknow and Jaipur have maintained their position in the top-20 cities recording maximum online property search volume after making it to the list in May 2021. Lucknow has jumped positions by four points, the highest improvement in rank amongst the tier-2 cities, whereas Jaipur jumped up by three ranks reaching to 11th position. In Lucknow, the locales of Gomti Nagar Extension and Indira Nagar recorded maximum high-intent online property search activity. In Gomti Nagar Extension, a significant 30 percent of the homebuyers searched for residential plots, while the remaining searched for apartments with 2BHK configuration in less than INR 50 lakh price bracket.

Maximum online property search activity in Jaipur was concentrated in Jagatpura and Mansarovar for apartments with 3BHK configuration, followed by 2BHK in price range of less than INR 50 lakh. Tier-2 cities have come in focus as structural changes such as work-from-home and hybrid working policies have provided flexibility to shift base from the major cities.

The overall online property search trends in the major residential markets of India and IRIS index, which is the leading indicator for assessing the upcoming residential demand, sustaining the above-100 mark for four consecutive months, signal for continuation of the sharp growth momentum in the sector for the ensuing months.

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Category: Lifestyle

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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