Realty portal Housing.com on Monday said online searches on its platform for renting and buying of residential properties touched an all-time high in September, signalling revival in demand.
Housing.com, which is owned by Australia-based REA, has launched the Indian residential index for online search (IRIS) to track potential buyers activity on its platform on a monthly basis across 42 cities.
The index is a weighted average of these cities limited to buying interest alone and is calculated on the basis of high-intent homebuyer activity observed on the Housing.com platform.
The portal attributed the rise in online searches during September 2021 to low home loan interest rates, flexible payment plans being offered by realtors and fall in COVID-19 infections.
The online property search volume in September 2021 surpassed the historical peak that was witnessed September 2020.
“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.
Earlier this month, PropTiger, which is a group firm of Housing.com, reported that housing sales across eight major cities registered an annual growth of 59 per cent during July-September at 55,907 units, while demand jumped over three-fold against the previous quarter.
Commenting on the index, 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.”
The index, which saw a new peak in September 2021 signals a positive turnaround for the residential realty market over the coming months, he 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,” Agarwala said.
The 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, it noted.
Housing.com said Delhi-NCR has topped the IRIS index. Surat, Patna, and Coimbatore emerged as gainers in the top-20 cities witnessing maximum online property search volume. However, Kolkata registered the highest decline in online search volume.
“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 Ankita Sood, Director and Head of Research, Housing.com, Makaan.com and PropTiger.com.
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-Rs 50 lakh range.
Patna and Coimbatore registered an improvement of four positions each on IRIS. In Patna, most of the search queries were concentrated in localities such as Danapur and Phulwari Sharif.
A large chunk of homebuyers in Patna were looking for residential plots, while apartments with 2 BHK configurations were the most searched in Coimbatore.