'Work From Home' due to COVID-19 enforced lockdown norms is seeing a trend of buyers tightening their purse strings and opting for budget friendly residences rather than luxury offerings, city realtors said. Those who earlier preferred 'paying guest' accommodation were increasingly looking at owning an apartment to suit their budget.
"What has happened is that the pandemic has opened up a lot of opportunities for developers and the people. Customers have understood the necessity of a home and for developers it has opened up, if not luxury, budget segment residences", Akshaya Homes Ltd founder T Chitty Babu told.
He said people have accepted that they live in challenging times and that they need to save money. "Earlier they were stretching their budget for bigger apartments, but are now going in for properties within their budget", he said.
The younger generation was moving towards urban locations and giving up the 'paying guest' concept of sharing living space with others he said.
"They do not want to live with strangers and this has opened up a lot of opportunities for home buyers. They look at making purchases of houses if it suits their budget." Chitty Babu said work from home could have a short-term impact on commercial properties and that companies located located in big complexes may move to smaller places. He said WFH is now not a preferred option as there was no public transport and there is an increase in COVID-18 cases.
"But if productivity is good, then it is good for employers. At the same time, we have to see about infrastructure...whether there is right Internet bandwidth, connectivity... those things are there" he said.
People prefer to buy residential properties like 2.5 bed rooms with additional spaces for work, instead of the earlier 2BHK apartments to make sure they can work from home also if necessity arises, he said.
Another city based realtor opined that work from home may impact relationships and office atmosphere.
"In today's work from home scenario, relationships are getting destroyed and that is what we are seeing in the internet. He may be a friend of someone in (social media platform) Facebook. But he does not speak when he sees him in person. This is what is happening", Navin's Managing Director D Kumar said.
This work concept has also resulted in human values were also 'taking a beating'and there was a chance of relationships getting destroyed.
"You do not come to the office just to sit. A person may work for one company in an office, but tomorrow he may quit and join another company by work from home. How are you going to retain him?", he asked.
On new property launches, he said they would definitely get delayed. There was no point in going in for it as existing projects are lying idle, he said. Investments made in these projects would also take a hit, he said.
" We have invested in land, salaries, everything...," he said.
Olympia Group MD Ajit Kumar said, WFH would be a 'temporary phenomena' and once the COVID-19 outbreak comes under control, people would start returning to work.
"By working from home, the performance of an individual may get impacted. He needs to have an atmosphere and there must be some kind of recreation. WFH cannot substitute a formal office atmosphere, he said Kumar said the company now has four projects in the city and commercial projects may get affected due to the pandemic. "We expect two projects to be completed this year," he said.