TechSparks 2020, Indias largest and most important technology, innovation and entrepreneurship summit, witnessed a heady conversation between the Square Yards CEO and Co-Founder, Tanuj Shori and Policy Bazaar CEO Sarbvir Singh. At YourStorys annual flagship event, the focus was firmly on the impact of COVID-19 on both real estate and insurance. The two doyens of industry discussed demand for insurance products and forecasted increase in demand for insurance products along with the impact on the real estate industry and overall experience across Policy Bazaar health insurance and Square Yards.
Shori firmly stated that Indias GDP would not return to the 9% level anticipated by the Central Government (which has projected 8.8% of growth rate by next year) with the Indian real estate sector still in the struggling mode. The discussion covered panic buying of health insurance coverage which has led to huge insurance product demand while realty demand has been muted with the nationwide dip in demand. The changing scenario was best enumerated by Sarbvir, as he stated that falling ill or sick was always perceived as an event with low probability. However, COVID-19 has been a strong wake-up call for people who have realized that they require insurance mandatorily. Awareness about insurance policies and offerings has been a major boon for the sector over the last 6-7 months according to him.
Impact of coronavirus on real estate & property- What Tanuj Shori stated
Shori talked of how there was a clear demand-supply roadblock for real estate that continues to plague the commercial real estate segment along with discussing how the mainstream real estate sector is one of the worst affected industries due to the coronavirus outbreak. This soul crushing ordeal over the last 6 months makes it near-impossible to achieve the Governments GDP forecast of 8.8% in the next year according to Shori.
He also added that the Central Government should provide more focus on real estate, taking measures like reducing stamp duty charges and others for reviving demand. Yet, Shori also highlighted the steady turnaround of the residential real estate segment which could return to pre-COVID levels within the next quarter according to him.
Real estate news for the residential & commercial real estate sectors
Tanuj Shori also confirmed that residential real estate has been recovering well over the last 2-3 quarters or so. Some improvements have been seen which were deemed almost impossible previously. New projects were sold out within only a couple of weeks, something which used to happen only in the pre-COVID era. The impact has been larger on commercial real estate owing to the gap in supply at par with demand and also due to reassessment of real estate expenditure by corporates who were expanding their operations earlier.
The situation is naturally tougher for smaller market players in the commercial property category. Shori also highlighted one big positive, namely the transforming nature of the Indian market which is now drawing more investors than before, who are willing to take advantage of lower property prices at the moment. This may be the sole silver lining for the commercial realty space according to Shori.
Square Yards is a technology-enabled, global real estate aggregator and India’s largest player for primary residential real estate. It’s subsidiary Square Capital is one of the largest marketplace for secured mortgages in India. Square Yards platform offers an integrated consumer experience & covers the full real-estate journey from search, discovery to research, transactions, home loans and post-sales service – fully integrating buyers to an extensive network of 500+ partner real estate developers, and 90+ banks & NBFCs. Square Yards is led by accomplished professionals, ex-bankers, and Ivy school alumni and is backed by the competence of more than 2500 employees in 30 cities and ten countries.