Across Asia, particularly in India, the pandemic experience has rekindled aspirations for home ownership. As many as 14% Indians cited an inclination towards moving house within the next one year as a result of the COVID-19 even as 77% homebuyers ranked proximity to large green space, 64% considered access to good healthcare and 56% proximity to workspace as important location features post the contagion.
“In India, affordability has been at its best in recent times. Lowest home-loans rates in over 15 years, attractive house prices, purchase incentives as well as policy measures like stamp duty cut have helped the home buying momentum sustain despite the pandemic. Aided by the pandemic strong willingness to relocate across buyer categories has fuelled demand,” said Shishir Baijal, chairman and managing director Knight Frank India.
More than 50% said that they preferred moving to the cities rather than suburbs, Knight Frank’s Global Buyer Survey – The Asia-Pacific Supplement has said.
“This growing demand has arrested the decline in values that was experienced by most markets, and should the trend continue, prices are expected to firm up in the next few quarters. Therefore, we expect consumers will utilise the current opportunity to conclude their house purchase decision avoiding future price increases,” Baijal added.
The survey analyses the impact that Covid-19 has had on residential buyers’ attitudes to purchasing homes in the region. The survey represents the views of over 900 Knight Frank clients across 49 markets. With over 50% of the respondents located in Asia-Pacific, the report delves into the Asia-Pacific data in aggregate and contrasts the buying patterns among homebuyers from Asia, Australasia, and around the globe.
Among those who recently moved, 22% and 20% of Asia-Pacific respondents stated more indoor and outdoor space were the primary reasons of their shift, respectively. Indian respondents (50%) however cited being near to family as the primary reason for their shift.
Only 19% of Asia-Pacific respondents have moved since the onset of the pandemic, and of those who have not yet moved, only 15% are inclined to do in the next 12 months. 14% of Indian respondents cited more inclination towards moving house within the next 12 months as a result of the pandemic.
Out of the Asia-Pacific respondents who are more inclined to move in the next 12 months, an average of 40% preferred city and 32% preferred suburbs. From India context, 55% preferred city whereas 36% showcased preference for suburbs, the survey revealed.
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Asia-Pacific homebuyers now rank good air quality (70%), proximity to green spaces (69%), and access to good healthcare (64%) as top 3 location features. Home buyers from India ranked proximity to large green space (77%), access to good healthcare (64%), and proximity to workspace (56%) as important location features post Covid-19 pandemic, the survey showed.
As many as 44% of Asia-Pacific respondents said they are willing to pay a premium for branded residences, highest of any region in the world. Around 41% of Indian respondents echoed the willingness to pay a premium to purchase a property in a branded residence development.
From the 24 Asia-Pacific cities tracked by Knight Frank, 17 have experienced positive price growth in their mainstream residential markets since the start of COVID-19. However, Mumbai saw prices falling by 3.8% and NCR by 6%, it said.
Homebuying across Asia-Pacific may continue to be slow in the coming months while families take time to recuperate their budgets and wait for property values to plateau, the survey said.