Low home loan rates, and the pandemic, have encouraged homebuyers to opt for larger spaces that will offer luxury and comfort for decades to come
Now that we are back in the midst of what seems to be a third wave of the pandemic, homebuyers are increasingly recognising that larger homes make sense over the long term. This trend began in 2020 and gained momentum last year. As Knight Frank noted in its India Real Estate Residential and Office Market (July-December 2021), “While the second wave was far more intense in terms of the spread of infections, it was perceived as more of a speed bump by homebuyers with a reignited need for housing with larger spaces and better amenities.”
Almost all the year-ender reports we came across echoed the same view, and it seems to be a global phenomenon. Jessica Lautz, vice president of demographics and behavioural insights at the National Association of REALTORS® recently said, quoted in an article titled Family, Larger Homes Driving Moves: “During the pandemic, buyers and sellers have been driven by the desire to be close to family and friends, as well as the need for a larger home.”
The Benefits of a Larger Home
The increased focus on larger homes and greater convenience of location is not surprising. Over the last two years of the pandemic, families have struggled to find adequate room for individual needs. Parents and older children working from home and younger ones trying to study online have greatly increased the pressure on available space. With gyms and health facilities closed, fitness enthusiasts are also resorting to online sessions for everything from yoga to Zumba. Such activities require not just privacy – have you ever tried exercising with the whole family watching! – but also enough space to move.
The constant uncertainty of what will remain open in the light of social distancing is another matter of concern. Even as people are confined to their homes, they are aware that the employers want them back in the office. The rapidly changing circumstances require everyone to quickly adapt, so even as they are geared to work from home they recognise the need to be fairly close to the office. Living in central locations close to their workplaces makes a great deal of sense. Shorter commute times are vital, and so is good connectivity that allows for quick and safe travel.
The pandemic has also transformed our social lives. In such a scenario, homebuyers are finding that they need, at the very least, a 3BHK so that they can party at home even as older people and children remain undisturbed.
One of the amazing things about this pandemic is how rapidly it has rejuvenated the realty market. Many people, including fence-sitters and millennials, have realised the importance of buying property. They have also recognised the truth of what Armstrong Williams, the American author, entrepreneur and talk show host has said: “Repeat after me: real estate provides the highest returns, the greatest values and the least risk.”
But it is not just buying property that matters anymore; it is buying a larger property, the biggest one can afford. The long-term advantage of this is that even when the pandemic ends (and one can surely hope!) homebuyers will have taken advantage of the current situation, including low-interest home loans, to buy a property that will offer luxury and comfort for decades to come!