With housing loans at an all-time low, and excellent properties available in the market, savvy home buyers have recognised that it is wise not to delay buying property and make the decision NOW.
I’ve been saying this for a while now, and all the reports I have been reading lately are proving that this is true – despite the difficult times that we have been going through in this pandemic, savvy home buyers know that it is the right time to buy their dream property.
Anarock’s Covid-19 Impact on Indian Real Estate Consumer Sentiment Survey says: “54% respondents consider ‘now’ to be an ideal time to buy a home as they have the opportunity to not just negotiate a good deal but also get home loans at all-time low interest rates (7.15% – 7.8%).”
Home loans, in fact, are available at interest rates lower than in 2004. Right before 2004 the market was seeming depressed but what we saw from 2004 onwards was the biggest bull run the Indian Real Estate has ever seen.
On August 3, a news report I saw spoke of Union Bank cutting its home loan interest rate to 6.7%; they pointed out this was even less than the general category mortgages of State Bank of India, which has traditionally offered the lowest home loan rate. Banks are also offering NRI Home Loans, which allow them to purchase properties even as they invest their personal funds elsewhere for better returns.
Millennials too, have recognised that it would be wise to invest in property. A few years ago, home buyers were generally above 40 years of age, once they had put together enough savings to be able to consider purchasing property for their growing families. Millennials, we were told, preferred to rent homes instead, so they could pack up and move elsewhere at short notice as they followed their career paths.
But a Forbes article I read in 2019, by a San Francisco-based expert had said: “There is a seismic shift in the real estate market and it’s all due to the Millennial generation.” The article had pointed out that millennials, in fact, represented the largest share of the home buying market for the past five years in a row with the 2018 share at 36%.
This trend seems to be making its way to India too; in February, a 360 Realtors study had said around 75 per cent millennials in the country want to buy a home in the next three years. The report also noted that millennials in India represented 46 per cent of the total workforce. More recently, despite the fallout of the pandemic, other reports have corroborated this trend. In fact, more people seem to have recognised that in times of uncertainty it is wise to have a home of your own.
There’s another huge advantage to owning a home, especially in a well-planned property. The amenities that developers provide today, from gardens to swimming pools to gyms, among other things, means that with proper precautions, families can continue to have recreational spaces even when movement outside the housing complex is restricted. We have witnessed this during the recent lockdowns, and with the coronavirus not showing any signs of abating, people will increasingly value such opportunities.
The plain truth, however, is that there have been very few new launches in recent times. This means that while there is a wide choice of properties in the market right now, this will not always be the case. Going forward, there will be fewer properties to choose from, and as inventories reduce, prices are bound to go up. Ready-to-move-in homes will also be increasingly difficult to find.
There’s no doubt that investing in a home is a wise decision. As Franklin D Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States, once said:
“Real estate cannot be lost or stolen, nor can it be carried away. Purchased with common sense, paid for in full, and managed with reasonable care, it is the safest investment in the world.”
Some things, as they say, never change. While the world around us may have altered in ways we could not have imagined, what Roosevelt said still holds true. Not that wise home buyers ever needed Roosevelt, or anyone else, to tell them that!