Around 80% of potential homebuyers prefer to purchase ready-to-move-in or properties nearing completion, whereas only 20% of them want to buy newly launched flats, as per a survey carried out by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Anarock.
Post pricing, the study indicates that project design, developer credibility and location are the prime attributes while choosing a home.
The online survey conducted by industry body CII and property consultant Anarock was conducted during January-June this year with a sample size of 4,965 participants.
According to the survey findings, ready-to-move-in (completed) property remains a preferred option among the potential buyers with 32% in its favour.
Around 24% of respondents are willing to buy properties that will be ready within six months, while 23% will not mind buying properties to be ready within a year. A total of 21% are willing to purchase a newly launched properties.
CII and Anarock said the COVID-19 pandemic has altered homebuyers' preferences significantly, with the second wave being a significant change catalyst.
"For the first time, affordable housing is the lowest priority, with more than 34% respondent home seekers focused on properties priced between Rs 90 lakh to Rs 2.5 crore," Anarock said in a statement.
The survey shows that 35% of respondents favoured properties priced between Rs 45-90 lakh, just 27% voted for affordable housing (priced below Rs 45 lakh).
In the previous H2 2020 survey, about 36% of respondent property seekers eyed budget housing.
While attractive pricing continues to rule the roost of must-haves, established developer credibility is the second-highest priority for 77% of the surveyed buyers.
Anarock Chairman Anuj Puri, who is also Chairman - CII Real Estate Knowledge Session, said, "The budget range which this survey identifies as the hottest seller is a surprise, but it makes sense if we consider that it is precisely this segment of buyers who are least financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic."
Online home sales are gaining traction, with close to 60% of the entire property buying process now being conducted online -- against 39% in the pre-pandemic period, he added.
"From property search to documentation and legal advice to down payments, homebuyers are leveraging the new tidal wave of digital technology driving the Indian housing sector," Puri said.
He noted that only developers with sufficient online presence will remain relevant going forward.
Social media are among the most effective property marketing platforms at this stage.
Among other findings of the survey, 71% of respondent property seekers in the second wave are end-users, and only 29% are investors.
In the first wave period survey, investors accounted for 41%.
About 64% of prospective buyers are likely to respond favourably to offers and discounts during their online property search.
"Prevailing lowest-best home loan rates have been a major factor driving home sales despite the pandemic. At least 82% of respondents consider low home loan rates as a major positive factor influencing their property purchase decision amid COVID-19," the report said.
(With inputs from PTI.)
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