In a major trend reversal in the post-COVID-19 pandemic world, ‘bigger is better’ is once again the catch-phrase on the Indian housing market. The average apartment sizes in the top 7 cities have risen by 10 percent on a yearly basis – to 1,150 sq. ft. in 2020 from 1,050 sq. ft. in 2019, ANAROCK data suggested.
The average apartment size is still highest in Hyderabad at 1,750 sq. ft. among the top cities – approx. 2x bigger than that in MMR where, at 932 sq. ft., average sizes continue to be the lowest. MMR nevertheless saw the maximum rise of 21 percent - from 773 sq. ft. in 2019 to 932 sq. ft. in 2020. Pune came next with a 12% annual increase in average apartment sizes – from 878 sq. ft. in 2019 to 986 sq. ft. in 2020, according to the data.
Developers were quick to catch on that size matters again and the second half of 2020 saw average apartment sizes in the top 7 cities increased by approximately 10 percent. MMR and Pune, which had the smallest average flat sizes among all top cities, saw the maximum increase in 2020 over the previous year – by 21 percent and 12 percent, respectively.
Bengaluru’s average apartment size also increased by 3 percent - from 1,280 sq. ft. in 2019 to 1,320 sq. ft. in 2020.
In NCR, average apartment size was 1,290 sq. ft. in 2020 as against 1,250 sq. ft. in 2019 – a y-o-y increase of 3 percent, it said.
Chennai saw average sizes increase by 9 percent during the period – from 1,100 sq. ft. in 2019 to nearly 1,200 sq. ft. in 2020. In Kolkata, avg. apartment size increased by 10 percent - from 1,000 sq. ft. in 2019 to 1,100 sq. ft. in 2020.
Pune saw average flat sizes increase by 12 percent in a year – from 878 sq. ft. in 2019 to nearly 986 sq. ft. in 2020. MMR saw the highest rise of 21 percent – from 773 sq. ft. in 2019 to nearly 932 sq. ft. in 2020.
The past four-year trends indicate that average apartment sizes were reducing year-on-year since 2016. 2017 saw the maximum yearly decline of 13 percent in avg. apartment sizes in the top 7 cities against the preceding year – from 1,440 sq. ft. in 2016 to nearly 1,260 sq. ft. in 2017.
A fairly sudden change in consumer preferences to the backdrop of COVID-19 exigencies in 2020 first halted, then reversed the ‘honey, I shrunk the flat’ effect.
“The two main reasons for apartment sizes reducing in previous years were affordability and millennials’ preference for low-maintenance homes. Keen to generate more buyer interest with smaller price-tags, developers whittled down their flat sizes. 2020 saw an almost immediate reversal of buyer preferences. With the accent suddenly being on accommodating the WFH and learn-from-home culture, flat sizes began increasing for the first time in four years,” said Anuj Puri, Chairman – ANAROCK Property Consultants.