An empty cloverleaf tells the story of a city on lockdown in Bogota, March 20, 2020. (Federico Rios/The New York Times)
Stating that adoption of technology is a must during COVID-19 times, Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra on September 11 emphasised that urban planning too needs to undergo changes accordingly and real estate developers must find ways to deliver projects in lesser time and with minimum damage to the environment.
Mishra was addressing real estate experts at a virtual seminar organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and JLL.
He implored realtors to incorporate technology to derive more benefits from lesser efforts.
"Developers also need to find ways so that they can deliver projects in lesser time and with minimum damage to the environment," Mishra Mishra said on the second day of the CII Realty & Infra Conclave titled, 'Adapt, Survive, Thrive: Imagining the next normal in India real estate'.
The sector, he said, will have to find new solutions and be future ready as the country is aiming to move towards becoming Atmanirbhar (self-reliant).
Addressing a session on 'Reimagine workplaces: The next normal for design and build', MV Harish, MD- Project and Development Services, India, JLL, said: “In the pre-COVID era, changes in workspaces were made from a business point of view, be it space per employee or densification. But now, design needs to have a more human approach. And that is the major change that we are witnessing.
Coordinating the session on 'Residential: Restarting the game', Siva Krishnan, MD – Residential Services and MD Chennai and Coimbatore, JLL, said the green shoots of recovery have already started surfacing in the residential space.
“June was better than the lockdown period and July and August have been even better. Price has remained mostly stable, with low sales velocity,” he said.
Real estate experts said demand for large, ready-to-move-in-homes has gone up and brisk sales have been reported for finished inventory, especially for those in the affordable and mid-segment, during the pandemic.
“There is a rising preference for homes that are located close to employment hubs, well managed, efficient in design and ready-to-move-in, as the latter offer lesser risk,” said Reeza Sebastian Karimpanal, President - Residential Business, Embassy Property Developments.
Millennials (25-35 age bracket) are key demand drivers today as since the start of the pandemic, they have understood the importance of home ownership, which living on rent does not offer, she said.
As share of women workers continues to rise (35 percent in the IT/ITeS industries), women as a segment, need to be offered incentives to encourage them to be homebuyers, she added.
JC Sharma, Vice Chairman and MD, Sobha, said housing products in the range of Rs 1 crore are reporting healthy sales.