1st July 2024  Delhi NCR, India  In recent years, the residential sector has witnessed a significant shift away from the “Uberisation” trend, where renting was preferred over owning homes. This trend, which mirrored the disruptive influence of ride-sharing services like Uber in the transportation industry, gained momentum, particularly among younger generations who prized flexibility and were wary of long-term commitments associated with homeownership. However, recent data and insights suggest a notable change in consumer preferences post-COVID, indicating a resurgence in the desire for homeownership.

Anshul Jain, the Chief Executive for India & South East Asia at Cushman & Wakefield, highlights this shift. “The housing demand in India was quite muted from 2013 to 2019, with prices remaining stagnant. There was a significant inclination towards renting during this period, especially among youngsters who didn’t want to commit to owning properties,” he stated in a recent video interview with PTI. “However, the COVID pandemic fundamentally altered this mindset. People realized the stability and security that comes with owning a home. The demand for larger houses and the low-interest-rate environment post-pandemic further fueled this trend,” he added.

This sentiment is echoed by industry leaders from major real estate groups. Mohit Goel, Managing Director of Omaxe Group, remarked, “The pandemic made people rethink their priorities. The value of having a stable and secure home environment became paramount. We have seen a significant increase in inquiries and sales as people look for long-term security.”

Similarly, Deepak Kapoor, Director of Gulshan Group, observed, “Flexibility was a major driver for renting. However, the uncertainty brought by the pandemic has shifted consumer preferences back towards owning homes. There’s a renewed sense of investment in one’s future, which is driving the market.”

Rajjath Goel, Managing Director of MRG Group, provided further insight, “The Uberisation trend, while significant for a time, was always limited by the inherent desire for ownership, particularly in a country like India. The post-COVID era has underscored the importance of owning a home, not just as an asset but as a fundamental part of one’s life and security.”

The trend is also corroborated by Ankush Kaul, Chief Business Officer of Ambience Group, who stated, “We’ve seen a clear shift in the market dynamics. The demand for quality housing has surged, and consumers are more inclined towards reputed builders who can deliver on their promises. The Uberisation trend was never a permanent shift but a response to economic and social conditions at the time.”

According to market reports, the housing market in India has seen a sharp revival post-COVID. Sales reached an all-time high last year, with prices increasing by an average of 10 percent annually across eight major cities. In certain micro-markets, prices surged by 40-70 percent over the past two years. This growth is driven by end-user demand and a shift towards reputed builders with a proven track record.

Anshul Jain of Cushman & Wakefield notes that while there has been a steep rise in prices post-COVID, the market is expected to stabilize with nominal growth in the coming years. “We are near the peak of the market right now. The prices have risen sharply, but going forward, we can expect more stability and nominal growth driven by normal market parameters like inflation and steady demand,” he explained.

In conclusion, the residential sector is experiencing a decline in the “Uberisation” trend as the desire for homeownership resurges. The COVID pandemic has been pivotal in reshaping consumer priorities, emphasizing the security and stability of owning a home. As the market stabilizes, the focus remains on delivering quality housing to meet growing demand, reaffirming the enduring value of homeownership in India.