Starting young: Meet professionals buying homes before 30
Higher incomes, entrepreneurial opportunities and easy access to information are factors helping guide their decision.Updated: Nov 17, 2018 16:17 IST
In a rapidly growing economy that is also one of the youngest countries in the world, the under-30 segment constitutes a massive market. “By 2020, 65% of our population will be under 35, so developers are actively wooing the young home buyer,” says Anshuman Magazine, chairman for India and South East Asia at realty consultancy CBRE.
Demand for micro-homes is high in this demographic, particularly in prime metro areas such as Mumbai, NCR, Pune and Bengaluru. Tech is a big enabler, with young buyers opting to use smartphone apps to chat with developers’ representatives; availing of virtual tours instead of site visits; and booking online, particularly if the incentives are good.
Many are not averse to new markets as long as the promise of returns is high; they are willing to buy in one location and live in another, and are increasingly looking at value-for-money and ease-of-maintenance over frills.
Ankita Shah, 27, a software engineer from Powai, says she grew up believing that a home was the best kind to investment, and so it had been a lifelong dream. As soon as she was able, she put a down-payment on a home — but one in Mulund. Having grown up in an area with no railway station, the one thing she wanted was proximity to one, she says, laughing. She used apps to help her house-hunt.
“Popup alerts from the apps helped me keep track of offers and discounts,” she says. “I wanted to keep to my budget. After looking at about 25 properties, I found my dream home in Mulund and moved here in January.”
The new house is a 1BHK with no pool or gym, but it allows her a smooth commute and it’s in a good neighbourhood, she says.
Siddharth Lokesh, 28, a sales executive who grew up in a 1BHK in Ulhasnagar, wanted to move to a larger flat, in a more developed neighbourhood. After months of searching, he found a 3BHK in Kalyan that he could afford. He’s taken a slightly larger loan than he had initially planned, but he has the kind of location he wanted.
“Moreover, I wanted to own a house of my own and make my parents proud,” he says. “I saved on brokerage as I connected with the house owners directly, via a website. I did a lot of price comparisons online too, for places like Kalyan, Dombivli, Badlapur and Ambernath. I finally sealed the deal in January.”
“Today’s young professionals are not just earning better than the generations before them, they’re also chasing their dreams, setting up their own ventures, and hence are able to buy homes early,” says Arvind Nandan, executive director for research at real-estate advisory Knight Frank India. “Getting to know everything about a project directly on smartphone apps is helping make buying decisions easier too.”
One thing that does concern the young buyer, in an age of greater transparency and ease-of-access, is the confusion around new norms and levies such as the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Saurav Ojha, 28, an entrepreneur from Delhi who bought his first home in Noida in April 2017, says he was informed in June that he still had GST payments pending. “I do not understand how this tax system works, but I had to arrange for the money and pay it,” he says. “I hope RERA brings in more transparency about things like processes and jargon, because the technical terms and confusing conditions act to distance the customer from the industry. Hopefully this will in the next few years.”