Every aspect of our lives, be it personal, professional or financial, has been impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A sense of security seems almost like a luxury now. The crisis has made everyone realise the importance of shelter and protection in these difficult times. The result? Rising demand for residential properties. The aftermath of the present pandemic situation has established the fact that owning a house is the most viable option at this moment.
This sentiment has been felt across all age groups, especially by millennials who, up until the pandemic, preferred rented apartments. However, due to COVID, many landlords have asked their tenants to vacate, especially in metros. And these dwellings have a high density of people where maintaining social distancing is almost impossible. These circumstances have added up to the growing sense of safety and assurance amongst the millennials, which has seen a sudden spike in online property searches.
However, buying a house is a vital decision in a person’s life, considering the quantum of investment associated with it. There are elements and advantages which need to be cross-checked basis the present scenario. Here, amongst varied benefits of owning a house, safety is the most important factor, considering the situations at the moment.
Ensuring health and hygiene would be much easier in an owned space, in comparison to a rented place. Moreover, with remote working culture gaining gradual prominence even in the post COVID-era, the traditional work culture is taking a paradigm shift.
Therefore, proximity to the workplace, which used to force people to live in rented accommodations, is no longer a concern. People can buy homes according to their choice of areas and still maintain the continuum of work. With every passing day, people also realise the importance of having real estate as an asset class in their investment basket; as a more reliable option, offering steady returns compared to the highly volatile stock market that comes with intensified risks.
Besides, with RBI slashing repo rates from 4.4% to 4% and reducing reverse repo rate further to 3.35%, home buying has become more attractive. The steep cut has brought interest rates on home loans by public and private sector banks to their lowest, in over a decade. A potential buyer, however, can still be wary about buying an under-construction house considering the volatility of the changing real estate policies and prolonged lockdown. In this scenario, going ahead with ready-to-move-in properties can be the ultimate solution to avoid handover deferments.
Understandably, the current pandemic must have made people rethink their decisions before taking a significant step like investing in a property. But, being a homeowner during these times, will put you in a better and more secure position than you ever were. The present economic slowdown has kept the prices of residential properties considerably low, and the government has also provided relief to real estate developers regarding their project loan payments, to support them in completing projects during this time.
Keeping in view the current scenario, the combination of lower interest rates along with stagnant and abridged property prices now would be a good time to own your own home, if you have been contemplating this for a while.
This article is contributed by Adrija Agarwal, Strategy Advisor, Salarpuria Sattva.