As real estate churns, it’s the customers now calling the shots

As real estate churns, it’s the customers now calling the shots
30/10/2018 , by , in News/Views

Compact homes in the city or villas in suburbs? Credible developer or deep discounts? Ready-to-move homes or an under-construction projects? What is the elusive homebuyer looking for?

As the residential market undergoes a churn, it is the customer who is calling the shots, forcing developers to customise products and pay attention to what buyers really want.

In Mumbai, India’s most expensive property market, developers are shrinking home size and making them more affordable, with not many takers for luxury units.

An October survey of 300 builders by QuikrHomes said 50% of developers are launching affordable projects for under ₹50 lakh per home, with Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata leading the trend.

Builders also think that the blend of social media and customer experience can work wonders for sales. Virtual tours, presentations and customer experience play an important role.

“…Fulfilling customer experience matters now more than ever as the decision to take that final leap into buying a house depends on it,” it said.

NavinMakhija, managing director of property developer Wadhwa Group, said apartment sizes have significantly shrunk to make them affordable for the larger population. “There has also been a demand for homes sub-₹1crore. Large, credible developers never tried entering that space in a big way but with government’s Housing for All initiatives, they are seeing the mid-income and affordable housing segments as lucrative,” Makhija said.

This year, Wadhwa launched its township project Wisecity, Panvel on Mumbai’s outskirts with one-bedroom apartments (289 sq. ft to 400 sq. ft) priced at ₹25 lakh upwards. Nearly 1,500 units have been sold in the last six months.

Om Ahuja, chief operating officer—residential business at K Raheja Corp, said it is planning to launch a mid-income project in Airoli, with 3,000 units because of its huge potential.

Affordable homes, because of high land prices in Mumbai, are still being taken up only in the far-flung outskirts of the city, said analysts. Mumbai’s Marathon Group managing director Mayur Shah said the company is trying to bring in buyers into the city from the outskirts. Its newest project NeoSkies, in suburban Bhandup, is selling 199 sq. ft studio apartments for ₹43 lakh along with other kinds of units.

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