Despite subdued consumer demand amid an economic slowdown, real estate is still perceived as the preferred mode of investment, according to a report jointly released on Wednesday by Housing.com and National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO).
Nearly 35 per cent of respondents perceived real estate as the preferred mode of investment followed by gold (28 per cent), fixed deposits (22 per cent) and stocks (16 per cent). Homebuyers are likely to slowly return to the market in the coming six months, said the report.
The survey was conducted in April and May through a random sampling technique for a fair representation across regions. The insights entirely represent the view of more than 3,000 potential homebuyers.
"The real estate consumer remains positive with regard to the economic scenario and income stability for the coming six months," said the report titled 'Concerned, yet positive -- The Indian Real Estate Consumer (April to May 2020).'
Price-points of residential realty have remained muted for the past few years but are still a key deterrent with the perception of being still unaffordable. This was the response from nearly half of the potential homebuyers surveyed who are currently staying in rented accommodation.
A majority of respondents surveyed (73 per cent) comprise first-time homebuyers who are looking to buy a ready-to-move-in-house for end-use and are from the age group of 25 to 45 years.
While 60 per cent of respondents opined that for the next six months, they would prefer a ready-to-move-in property, 21 per cent said they were okay with a property with a delivery timeline of maximum one year.
Going forward, NAREDCO believes real estate will be positive for both end-users and investors in the post-COVID-19 world. Those living in rental homes have realised the importance of being in their own homes while NRIs facing challenging times in their present domiciles are looking at creating a safe haven 'back home' in India.
Demand for additional space for home offices is on the rise with a need for more efficient layouts. The importance of common amenities, business centres and more open spaces will be an inherent part of the new demand criteria in the post-COVID-19 world, said the report.
"We are witnessing volatility in equity markets globally but the value of properties in the real estate market has managed a stable stance," said Ram Raheja, Director of S Raheja Realty. "This is because unlike other asset-classes, real estate is tangible in nature and this strengthens the factor of security and better return on investments."
( With inputs from ANI )