Changing landscape of real estate in India — millennials are driving the demand

Changing landscape of real estate in India — millennials are driving the demand
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The sale of residential real estate in Mumbai is not only higher than pre-covid levels but stands at its highest in the last 10-years in July 2021. Going by the recent trends, a substantial push came from the millennials. It demonstrates yet another behavioural change induced by the COVID-19 pandemic as these millennial cohorts were once perceived to be more inclined to rent a home as opposed to buying one.

According to reports, there are over 400 million millennials in India, which is higher than the entire population of the US. Now aged between 25-40 years, millennials in India comprise one-third of its total population and 46 % of the country’s total workforce, with a spending capacity of $3.6 billion.

The millennial generation is generally defined as people born between the mid-1990s to early 2000s, more specifically within the 1981 to 1996 period. In India, the millennials are considered profligate spenders and a generation that seeks instant gratification, not worrying or planning much about the future. As proponents of the sharing economy, they would rather use ride-share apps like Ola and Uber than buy a car, look after its repair, fuel, and pay EMIs. The same logic applied to owning a house too. They would prefer to rent a house than buy one, pay maintenance and EMIs.

This behaviour by the millennials held true till early-2020 before the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. The same millennials have shown a marked change in their habits. Reports indicate that this largest spending cohort of people is now turning serious in their spending. Two factors could be playing a part in this behavioural pattern change, one is the coming of age of the millennials and in many cases, they are the sole providers of their families. Experts believe that the second reason for the change in spending priorities is the pandemic induced lockdown that revealed the handwriting on the wall - the non-sustainability of the ‘reckless’ spending and the advent of WFH with its wide acceptance.

What’s driving this change in sentiment?


A recent news report highlights this shift in the spending pattern of millennials from borrowing for lifestyle and recreational purposes to serious priorities like home repairs and medical emergencies in the family. Another study by Standard Chartered Bank discloses that as a cohort the millennials are the most inclined to conscientiously strive for their far-sighted monetary objectives. The study specifically shows that 48% of the Indian millennials who are saving for a substantial buy like a car or a house whereas only 28% of the 45+ generation.

This matured approach to financial matters also reflects in a recent study by 360 Realtors, a renowned name in real estate advisory services, wherein 3/4th of millennials expressed their desire to purchase a residential property in the next three years.

A similar report by Anarock Property Consultants echoes the same intent mentioning that 55% of total buyers looking to buy their own homes are from the millennial age group. This number stood at 42% last year. 68% of the millennials polled by Anarock indicated that these home purchases were for their own end-use., a leading real-estate platform, says that millennials as a group constituted 63% of all its buyers amongst its entire user base, up from 49% from the pre-covid period. For the city of Mumbai, the millennials buyers were 74% of all the buyers across all the age groups.

The COVID-19 impact & rising need to own a home among millennials

While the pandemic has largely been instrumental in the shift in millennials’ mindsets towards buying homes, other significant factors are influencing this decision. The success of the WFH model means both employers and the millennial employees view a hybrid model of work wherein one does not have to go to an office every day as a sustainable framework of the future of work culture. This also means that the idea of career mobility and city-hopping for jobs is not at the forefront and a hybrid model of work.

The major constituent, which is fulfilling the millennial aspiration of buying a house of their own in Mumbai into a real possibility is the lowest ever interest regime prevailing in the current times. The easy availability of credit and having experienced the flexibility and commute-less remote work means that the millennial buyer can now fulfil his bigger home dreams away from the island city to accommodate his/her remote WFH and their children’s online schooling in extended suburbs of MMR.

The combination of record-low interest rates that have limited scope to reduce further and incentives by government augur well for both the millennial buyers of first-time home as an end-user and ones looking at a second home for investment.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored article in partnership with Lodha Group

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