2BHKS TOP THE SALE CHART IN HOUSING - TOI
Two-bedroom apartment category is the fastest moving segment in the housing industry today. NAMRATA KOHLI reports

2BHKS TOP THE SALE CHART IN HOUSING - TOI

Did you know that smaller apartments are selling big! Currently, the maximum demand is for 2BHK residential apartments and the supply is following this demand. No wonder, some developers claim 55-60% of their current inventories are 2BHK units.

Atma Sharan, the GM (Marketing) of Ashiana Housing Ltd, says: "About 55-60% of our inventory comprises 2BHKs. This is definitely the fastest moving segment, particularly since the first-home buyers are at the beginning of their careers and married life."The maximum demand for the 2-bedroom units is from the middle-income group nuclear families. A 2-bedroom home buyer is typically a middle-class salaried employee hailing across sectors, like government employees, school teachers, or employed in the BPO, IT, banking and service sectors.

They also include middle-level self-employed professionals, says Harinder Dhillon, the GM Marketing of Raheja Developers Pvt Ltd. He says that at least 30% of their inventory now is 2BHK. A typical 2BHK buyer (end user) is attracted by the affordability tag, as they come with lower EMIs. He is likely to be in a nuclear family with small kids where a third bedroom is not a necessity and not worth the additional cost.

A lot of developers, who were primarily focusing on plush housing earlier, have changed their focus to the smaller-units category like DLF, Unitech, and Jaypee. Jaypee Greens' Manu Goswamy, head of business development, says: "Like they say, the pot of gold lies at the bottom of the pyramid, and that is where everyone wants to get. Our 2BHKs are doing particularly well as they tend to attract the first-time buyer who is young, has just married and taken the first few steps of his or her professional life. Our parents' generation retired in their own home while our generation starts out in their own homes." Jaypee has also launched affordable housing projects like the Jaypee Kosmos and the Jaypee Aman.

Investors are also found interested in this segment. A 2BHK unit is eliciting interest from a lot of second-home buyers. Atma Sharan of Ashiana says: "A typical investor would also find a 2BHK more appropriate as it would be easier to liquidate and may also give higher rental returns per sq ft or initial-cost-to-rental ratio. Besides, in the rental market too there is a higher demand for 2BHK apartments and getting tenants is easier and faster." Some developers are specifically keeping the price tag lower than Rs 20 lakh, so that investors and end users can benefit from the lower interest rates on home loans below Rs 20 lakhs.

However, the quantum of such units required to bridge the demand-supply gap in the smaller-units category is enormous. Devinder Gupta, the CEO of Century 21 (a real estate consultancy), says: "A bulk of the buyers fall in the 2BHK-segments as it fits in with their requirement; additionally, the government also gives them fiscal incentive to purchase a 2BHK. As the buyers mainly come from the service class, builders should have more 2BHKs in their inventory to fill in the demand as, at present, there is a serious demandsupply gap."

Size of 2BHKs in the market

While the size of 2BHKs ranges from 750 sq ft to 1,400 sq ft, their price ranges from Rs 16-30 lakhs. For instance, a 2BHK of 1,200 sq ft at Ashiana Aangan at Bhiwadi will cost between Rs 22 lakh and Rs 28 lakh, depending on the floor and the terms of payment (instalment or down payment). The size of this unit at Raheja Builders varies between 1,200 sq ft and 1,400 sq ft and comes in a price band of Rs 2,475-2,875/sq ft, depending upon the location, the specifications and facilities. At Alpha G Corp in Karnal, the size of a 2BHK would be between 1,100 sq ft and 1,200 sq ft with an approximate value of Rs 20 lakhs, depending upon the parameters at the time of booking. At Jaypee, it ranges from Rs 22-30 lakhs. There is a lot of variation in the market and a 2BHK is now available in different sizes as well as price points, which is the sign of a maturing market.

However, Alpha G Corp's Prodipta Sen cautions that end users must beware of buying 2BHK as some developers are "only looking at encashing on this big bubble called 'affordable housing', as many find their premium residential projects not selling".

QUICK BITES

A 2-BEDROOM HOME BUYER IS TYPICALLY A MIDDLE-CLASS SALARIED EMPLOYEE HAILING ACROSS SECTORS, LIKE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, SCHOOL TEACHERS, OR THOSE EMPLOYED IN THE BPO, IT, BANKING AND SERVICE SECTORS. THEY ALSO INCLUDE MIDDLE-LEVEL SELF-EMPLOYED PROFESSIONALS

A TYPICAL INVESTOR WOULD ALSO FIND A 2BHK MORE APPROPRIATE AS IT WOULD BE EASIER TO LIQUIDATE AND MAY ALSO GIVE HIGHER RENTAL RETURNS PER SQ FT OR INITIAL-COST-TO-RENTAL RATIO. BESIDES, IN THE RENTAL MARKET TOO THERE IS A HIGHER DEMAND FOR 2BHK APARTMENTS AND GETTING TENANTS IS EASIER AND FASTER
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  • Yes, this is very true that 2 Bhk in affordable housing won't come down because of the demand. Projects where the construction is going on currently would easily appreciate by 15-20%, whether it is RNE, Bhiwadi, CR or anywhere.
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