Real estate trends to watch out for in 2021

--By Vishal Gupta - MD- Ashiana Housing Ltd

The onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic severely impacted many sectors including real estate which saw a nearly 50 percent decrease in the residential sector. However, there are solid signs of recovery in Q4 2020 with home affordability being at an all-time high, indicating a possible restoration of the housing market in 2021. The real estate sector is witnessing a gradual revival as a result of booster policies implemented by the Government like reduced rates of interest on home loans falling below 7 percent.

With a surge in economic activities, sluggish stock market and inflation set to rise, it is the best time to buy a residential property. As per an analysis by the India Brand Equity Foundation, the real estate industry in India is expected to reach USD 1 trillion by 2030, which shows the sector’s great promise in being one of the key drivers of economic development in the coming decade.

 Pent-up demand is one of the main factors behind this quick turnaround in the residential sector. This growth momentum is likely to continue in H1 2021 as many states are expected to extend the incentives at least till Q1 2021. The huge impetus provided to the real estate sector is expected to yield positive results for buyers and investors alike in the coming months. The cost of a house as a multiple of the annual income of a customer in India is at the lowest price currently. Structural demand for housing in India is increasing because affordability has improved, and the inventory overhang has reduced making it the best time for people to invest in real estate.

Amid rising importance of home ownership among buyers and investors, the demand for residential sector would surely see a surge this year. These unprecedented times have presented stakeholders across the sector with abundant opportunities to structurally re-draw their strategies for sustained recovery and growth in the long run. This requires a radical shift from traditional approaches to new-age and innovative methods including widespread adoption of cutting-edge technology, continuous focus on policy stimulus and accelerated investor interest in India.

The Indian real estate sector is expected to display more financial correction, accountability and rationality this year. At this juncture, wherein real estate prices have shown upward trend in other developed economies, Indian real estate market is showing a downward trend. But the rising input costs is going to increase the prices of upcoming inventory. If the government takes bold corrective measures for the housing and urban infrastructure sector, demand can be boosted to an unparalleled level. One of the foremost emerging sectors that can be a key enabler of this rampant growth is senior living segment. A census conducted by Longitudinal Ageing Study of India (LASI), in 2011 revealed that by 2050, the population of senior citizens would cross the 319 million mark, growing at an annual pace of 3 percent.

The pandemic and subsequent lockdown has expedited focus on the senior care sector like never before. The growing demand for well-resourced and judiciously designed senior care facilities in India can only be leveraged with appropriate regulations, tax structures and policy reforms. 

This demand for systematically planned senior living communities opens up numerous possibilities for real estate developers to assist in the acceleration of provisions for suitably priced, livable spaces that provide a comfortable and pleasant community experience. Senior living is not only about property development but also ensuring senior-friendly services, healthcare facilities and other recreational activities that help them enjoy their sliver years in the company of like-minded people.

The development and creation of such facilities call for very specific skill sets, resources, knowledge and convergence between various stakeholders in the senior care space. As the first step, the sector requires immediate attention in terms of appropriate regulations, policy support, tax structures, availability of subsidized financing and governance mechanisms. 

Over the next few years, senior population will constitute a vital consumer segment and will need dedicated services and custom-made solutions for a hassle-free ageing experience. India’s senior citizens are expected to make up around 20 percent of the population by 2050, up from about 8 percent in 2015, according to a report by HelpAge India. At the same time, assisted living is a USD 1 billion segment by market value while home healthcare is estimated to be around USD 4 billion in a roughly USD 10-12 billion fragmented senior care market as per a research conducted by McKinsey for the Max Group. Financially independent and socially active seniors are slowly emerging as a demographic dividend that look for and can afford – self-sufficiency in well-equipped senior living communities. Their rapidly evolving preferences and requirements will propel the demand for senior living in 021 with greater emphasis on the elderly’s wellbeing, security and need for an independent and dignified lifestyle.

Ashiana Housing Ltd. with its rich legacy of 41 years as a realty developer has been steadfast in its mission to build a community of similar age-group for seniors to live a lifestyle that is active, healthy, carefree, dignified and independent. Offering state-of-the-art projects that provide utmost care and at the same time promote active lifestyle and overall development, Ashiana has been ensuring a safe and secured environment for senior citizens with services such as 24/7 emergency, round the clock security and on-call doctor. Ashiana senior living projects offer age-friendly design and attention to detail with anti-skid tiles, arthritis-friendly bath fittings, chamfered wall edges, emergency switches, yoga, art therapy classes, sports, swimming and much more for a hassle-free living environment with an extensive bouquet of maintenance services.