The COVID-19 outbreak has led to numerous changes in the needs and preferences of customers, and one among them is the desire for owning a home. However, with the new health and safety concerns, homebuyers are now giving more emphasis to the location of the property. Smart designs and hassle-free access to green spaces and daily necessities has become a 'priority' for customers. Therefore, considering these changed demands, real estate developers are mulling to alter their project designs.
With the new norm of physical distancing, homebuyers are now looking for projects that are located in thinly populated areas and provide access to open spaces both inside and outside the property. The presence of a deck or a balcony has become an imperative criterion for potential homebuyers. Similarly, outdoor facilities such as gardens, walkaways and sports complexes among others are extensively influencing homebuyers' decisions, as the quarantined lifestyle has reiterated the need for breathing space to maintain an excellent physical and emotional health. According to an industry poll on homebuyer behaviour, 91.9 percent of participants prefer owning a house with decks/balconies and 82 percent have shown an affinity towards outdoor spaces such as gardens and sports complexes.
The rise in demand for integrated townships
Green spaces in the vicinity to residences have a plethora of benefits and availability of such areas in development is a blessing, especially in the current times. During the lockdown, people have faced significant restrictions in movement, and everyone craved for open-air and some extra space for recreational activities. Therefore, open spaces such as a terrace or deck that ensures proper ventilation and improves mental and physical health is a crucial parameter for potential homebuyers. Athletic tracks or playground facilities are also on the list of potential homebuyers considering the health benefits they offer. It is perhaps for the altered preferences in the new normal that the integrated townships and gated communities with all facilities within the compound radius have become a top choice for new homebuyers.
Besides, post the pandemic, there has been an increased demand for homes with larger carpet area. As the ‘work from home’ culture becomes more prevalent, people are looking at re-designing their internal spaces for setting up a home office, bigger study area, workout zone and even separate section for full-time staffs. And, customisable spaces allow the much-needed convenience of modification.
Peripheries may remain the cynosure
The current requirement of homebuyers for larger spaces at a relatively lower cost may spike the residential demand in city peripheries. According to a recent consumer survey by Lodha Group, 69 percent of the respondents are looking for ready homes in Thane and Western Suburb region owing to which many offices are planning to relocate towards the peripheries. This shift in the commercial spaces along with an increased population influx will be a booster to the peripheral markets.
The post-COVID-19 world will inculcate major design reforms in real estate space, and health and wellness factors are at the top. Buyers may also pay a premium for homes that incorporate new wellness concepts and technological innovations. All-in-all, mental well-being is as crucial as good physical health. Thus the availability of open spaces with a larger green area will continue to be an essential demand driver for homebuyers.
Article by Deepak Chitnis, Chief Designer, Lodha Group as published in 99acres.
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