Online searches for residential properties touched an all-time high in September 2021, with Delhi-NCR topping the chart. This was on the back of positive consumer outlook amid easing concerns on the Covid-19 front, historically low home loan interest rates and flexible payment plans being offered by realtors to attract homebuyers, the Housing.com ‘IRIS index’ reveals.
IRIS (India residential index for online search) is a monthly index that tracks potential homebuyers’ activity in primary and secondary residential markets on the Housing.com portal, the leading online real estate platform in the country. It has been created to give an in-depth view of buyer activity in India by tracking 42 key cities driving the residential market.
Providing insights into the IRIS index findings, Mr. Dhruv Agarwala, Group CEO, Housing.com, Makaan.com & PropTiger.com, said, “Online activity of high-intent buyers looking to buy a house post the second wave of the COVID pandemic, is in line with overall market sentiments and the pick-up in economic activity.
Mr. Agarwala added “All key high-frequency indicators of the health of the economy, such as manufacturing & services PMI, GST collections, credit growth and fuel & power consumption, are pointing towards a robust recovery post the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country. The index, which saw a new peak in September 2021 signals a positive turnaround for the residential realty market over the coming months”.
The online property search volume in September 2021 surpassed the historical peak that was witnessed September 2020. The growth momentum in high-intent homebuyer activity has continued to stay above-100 mark sequentially since the last three months, recording a smart recovery post the second wave. The index is a weighted average of 42 cities limited to buying interest alone and is calculated on the basis of high-intent homebuyer activity observed on the Housing.com platform.
“The IRIS index closed at an all-time high in September 2021. The India online property search volume moved up five points to reach 116 points post the second wave of the pandemic – a faster resurgence as compared to the same period in 2020,” Housing.com said.
IRIS index revealed the maximum search volume was for 2 BHK and 3 BHK configurations. The majority of homebuyers were searching for 2,3 BHK apartments in the sub-Rs 50 lakh price bracket, closely followed by those who were ready to spend Rs 50 lakh-Rs 1 crore.
Also, the share of buyers looking for 3 BHK and 3 BHK plus properties is increasing constantly as the work-from-home culture is here to stay in the post-Covid world.
DELHI-NCR TOPS IRIS index
Delhi-NCR continues to take the top spot on the index. The capital region has been topping the high-intent buyer activity since June 2021. It is worth mentioning that Delhi-NCR has been plagued with various woes of litigations, unsold inventory and trust deficit in the past, which derailed the residential realty momentum in the region.
“The sustained online property search activity in Delhi NCR, is a leading indicator on the improving consumer sentiment in one of the largest residential markets in the country. The coming months will present a clear picture regards the conversion of online interest and search queries into actual residential sales,” said Ms. Ankita Sood, Director & Head of Research, Housing.com, Makaan.com & PropTiger.com.
In Gurugram, micro-markets of Sector 57 along Golf Course Extension Road and Sector 67 along Sohna Road witnessed heightened online searches with most of the potential homebuyers in these micro-markets looking at apartments with good infrastructure and connectivity in the price bracket of INR 1-2 crore.
In Noida, IRIS index revealed, most of the searches were concentrated in sectors along the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway such as Sector 150 and Sector 137. The searches were mainly around 2 BHK and 3 BHK configurations in the price range of Rs 50 lakh to INR 1 crore. Noida Expressway due to its connectivity and the now functional metro has been garnering a lot of interest for office leasing which in turn is cascading into residential demand along the expressway. Greater Noida is emerging as a choice for buying residential plots as the upcoming international airport at Jewar and the proposed metro rail extensions have made the region an attractive destination for homebuyers.
Surat recorded the highest jump of six points to reach fourth rank amongst the top-20 cities. The maximum search queries in this Gujarat city was recorded for apartments in the micro locales of Vesu and Dindoli. The majority of the homebuyers in Surat are searching for apartments with 2 BHK configurations in the sub INR 50 lakh range.
Patna and Coimbatore registered an improvement of four positions each on IRIS. In the capital of Bihar, most of the search queries were concentrated in localities such as Danapur and Phulwari Sharif.
A large chunk of homebuyers in Patna was looking for residential plots, while apartments with 2 BHK configurations are most searched in Coimbatore. In the case of Coimbatore, Saravanampatty and Vadavalli recorded a majority of queries for buying a home.
Most of the searches in both cities are concentrated in the less than INR 50 lakh price category.
The formalisation of work-from-home in many business organisations has provided the workforce flexibility to shift their base to their hometowns and smaller cities.
Kolkata registered the highest decline in online search volume.
In the case of most homebuyers, the buying process starts with searching for the desired residential properties online, which then translates into purchases in the ensuing months.
CITIES COVERED IN IRIS
Top Eight Cities: Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune.
Delhi NCR includes Delhi, Faridabad, Gurugram, Ghaziabad, Greater Noida, and Noida. Mumbai includes Greater Mumbai, Thane, and Navi Mumbai.
Tier 2 Cities: Agra, Amritsar, Aurangabad, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Coimbatore, Cuttack, Dehradun, Goa, Guwahati, Indore, Jaipur, Kanpur, Kochi, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Madurai, Mangalore, Meerut, Mohali, Mysore, Nagpur, Nashik, Patna, Raipur, Ranchi, Surat, Trichy, Trivandrum, Vadodara, Varanasi, Vijayawada, and Visakhapatnam.
Online searches for residential properties pick up pace in June 2021: Housing.com’s IRIS
Online searches for residential properties picked up pace in June 2021 over the previous two months, with Delhi-NCR getting maximum traction, indicating a speedier rebound in the real estate sector as the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic abated, revealed Housing.com’s ‘IRIS’ (Indian residential index for online search).
IRIS is a monthly index that tracks potential buyers’ activity in the primary and secondary residential markets on the Housing.com portal, the leading online real estate platform in the country. It has been created with the objective of giving an in-depth view of buyer activity in India, by tracking 42 key cities driving the residential market. The index is a user-friendly tool to aid home buyers to make decisions regarding buying a home.
Housing.com’s IRIS inched up nine points MoM in June after a slowdown in online searches for residential properties during April 2021 and May 2021. “Compared to the past year, national online demand is up by 26 points year-on-year (YoY), despite a similar lockdown situation in both periods. As per our research, both, online and offline trends, hint at a speedier bounce-back from the impact of the Second COVID wave, compared to the bounce-back from the first wave in 2020,” said Dhruv Agarwala, group CEO, Housing.com, Makaan.com and PropTiger.com. As suggested by IRIS trends, the demand in tier-2 cities has recovered more quickly than in the top-cities, demonstrating resilience during the pandemic, added Agarwala.
“The entire idea behind the launch of IRIS, is to present the online residential demand dynamics in a comprehensible format to various stakeholders. In the absence of well-defined data sources, the index brings forth macro and micro-level real estate market insights, through the knowledge gathered from the search activity of millions of potential home buyers on the Housing.com platform,” said Mani Rangarajan, group COO, Housing.com, Makaan.com and PropTiger.com.
The index will provide monthly insights on buyer activity as observed on Housing.com, giving a comparative analysis at the city and locality-levels to home buyers, sellers, agents, policy makers and real estate analysts.
The index shot up in June 2021, on the back of opening up of lockdowns after active COVID-19 cases subsided. The demand uptick in June 2021 and the ebbing of the second wave of the pandemic indicates a rise in demand in the coming months. India was hit hard by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic during the second calendar quarter of 2021, leading to localised lockdowns in several parts of the country. The easing of lockdowns is still under process in some parts. Consequently, buyer demand in India is currently 18 points below the historic peak in September 2020, since the start of the data analysis. The demand was 27 points lower in May 2021 than the September 2020 peak.
A majority of initial searches for buying a home takes place online and thus, the online search trend is a leading indicator for developing offline home buyer activity in a city in the near to mid-term. Housing.com’s IRIS, with its basket of shortlisted 42 cities based on their growth potential, will gauge this online demand dynamism for not only the top-eight cities but also the fast growing tier-2 and tier-3 cities of the country,” said Ankita Sood, director and head of research, Housing.com, Makaan.com and PropTiger.com.
Delhi-NCR tops in searches. Lucknow and Jaipur make it in the list of top 20 cities.
The Delhi-National Capital Region (Gurugram, Noida, Greater Noida, Faridabad and Ghaziabad) witnessed maximum online demand by potential home buyers in June 2021, to secure the top position on Housing.com’s Dynamic Demand Progression Score. Delhi-NCR also jumped a rank up between May and June 2021. Among the cities of the region, Greater Noida, followed by Faridabad, clocked maximum buyer activity during June. Within Greater Noida, Noida Extension, Surajpur and YEIDA were the most searched localities. The online trends mirrored the offline trends as seen in PropTiger’s report ‘Real Insight (Residential) April-June 2021’.
Hyderabad and Ahmedabad rose one and two ranks up in the index, respectively, while Pune and Kolkata were down in June over the previous month. IRIS further revealed that Ludhiana and Amritsar registered the highest jump in ranking compared to the previous month. People appeared more interested in independent homes in these two cities of Punjab. In Ludhiana, the localities of Haibowal Kalan and Dugri saw maximum virtual demand in June 2021. Lucknow and Jaipur made it to the top 20 cities, replacing Dehradun and Agra.
The index is helpful for stakeholders across the real estate industry in India. Buyers can utilise the index to understand which cities are more preferred by other potential home buyers. At the same time sellers, agents and real estate analysts get comparative indications of home buyer demand in a particular city.
Cities covered in IRIS
Top eight cities: Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune. Delhi-NCR includes Delhi, Faridabad, Gurugram, Ghaziabad, Greater Noida and Noida. Mumbai includes Greater Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai.
Tier-2 cities: Agra, Amritsar, Aurangabad, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Coimbatore, Cuttak, Dehradun, Goa, Guwahati, Indore, Jaipur, Kanpur, Kochi, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Madurai, Mangalore, Meerut, Mohali, Mysore, Nagpur, Nashik, Patna, Raipur, Ranchi, Surat, Trichy, Trivandrum, Vadodara, Varanasi, Vijayawada, and Visakhapatnam.