Realty check: tracing the last 10 years

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” — Walt Disney

In the last decade or so, the Indian real estate industry endured various changes. Be it in the form of structural reforms, regulatory environments, consolidation of the market, evolving buyer preferences or the advent of technologies. In addition to these, this period also witnessed developers taking significant steps towards strategising to address the needs of the end-user and bridging customers’ trust deficit in the realty market by giving priority to their preferences and requirements.

It is only fair to assume that this successful transformation can be attributed to the undying curiosity of the developers that has helped the real estate industry scale newer heights. Below are 10 things, from a builder’s perspective, that have changed since the last 10 years in the real estate industry:

Segmenting the market: Developers have primarily segmented the market into premium affordable and affordable homes. In recent times, these segments have witnessed strong latent demand, thereby increasing the supply and giving more Indians the opportunity of owning a desirable home.

More eco-conscious: From procuring raw material to adopting sustainable designs and technologies, builders have now become more eco-sensitive and environment-friendly. It is estimated that investments on clean and green technology has almost trebled in last 10 years.

Targeting non-metros: With the emergence of start-ups and a rise in the presence of multinational companies in the country, disposable incomes have also grown considerably in the last decade or so. This has compelled developers to shift their focus from traditional markets like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Delhi to new markets like Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai and Coimbatore.

Second home no more a dream: In the last 10 years, the residential market was bolstered by the emergence of destination homes and vacation homes. Home buyers are now more open to the idea of investing in a second home when there is a good price proposition on offer. This trend also attributes to the growth of residence-management companies which undertake both long and short-term contracts for these buyers.

Click on the brick: The concept of buying/selling a home online was a far-fetched reality around 10 years back. Established developers with a good reputation and good will in the market have promptly jumped on the e-commerce bandwagon to take the omni-channel route to buy/sell houses.

Smarter homes: Connected homes or smart homes with interconnected devices that use Internet and remote systems to provide a superior living experience to home buyers, have captured the imagination of customers in recent times. These products combine delightful features like comfort, entertainment, mobility and security, providing consumers with connected solutions all the time. According to industry estimates, the Indian smart home market is currently valued at about $893 million and is expected to grow by leaps and bounds in the next five years showing penetration into 9.5% of homes by 2023 compared to 0.8% in 2018.

Community homes: Living has seen a big tectonic shift during this period as people with like-minded interests and preferences came together to fulfil their desires. Builders have responded well to these communities by designing living spaces around their requirements. For instance, senior citizen homes, apartment wings for single women, single owners, etc.

Proptech, the new mantra: In the last 10 years, the real estate industry witnessed a strong integration of digital and automated technologies like Data Analytics, Data Mining, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality and Machine Learning. Developers have now shifted their focus towards customer centricity and customisation to meet the ever-evolving desires of the home buyer.

Booming millennials: Millennials (born between 1980–1996) were/are in their mid-twenties. With the advent of internet, exposure to better education and varied career aspects, this group has changed the lifestyle landscape of India. With high incomes and aspirations, they have become very particular about investing on a new home and this has given us developers an opportunity to sharpen our strategy and outreach.

RERA brings in a new era: With the introduction of RERA, the end user had easy access to property-related data and information, creating a transparent interface, which ultimately helped boost their confidence. RERA has not only brought back confidence in the end users but also given the customers better clarity to make an educated decision towards one of the most important decisions of their lives, buying a home.

(The writer is Managing Director, Puravankara Limited)

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