When will all Indian millennials own homes?

December 6, 2017 / By  

“Millennials are the world’s most important generational cohort for consumer spending growth, sourcing of employees, and overall economic prospects”, said a speaker during a recent talk during JLL’s D&I week.

This spurred me to think about the difference in mindsets between Gen X and millennials, especially when it comes to home ownership.

The 2016-17 Economic Survey published by India’s Ministry of Finance indicates that India will become the youngest country in the region by 2021, with 64 per cent of its population consisting of millennials or Generation Y with a working age group of 20-35, meaning born between early 1980s and the early 2000s.

For most Indians, owning a home is strongly associated with a feeling of security and social integration. We, Indian millennials, unlike our global counterparts who are maybe perfectly happy living out a rented home; prefer home ownership.

Although owning a home is still a fundamental life goal for us, recent studies point that the average Indian millennial population is far behind its prime home-buying age of 28 to 55 years. Morgan Stanley’s survey findings show that Indian millennials prioritise spending money on travel and buying a car, instead of buying a home.

This could probably be related to similarities with our ‘job hopping’ mindset, to be able to experience different companies with varied work cultures before we ‘settle down’.

As a millennial, I believe there needs to be a major paradigm shift in preferences of home buying and real estate.

What would appeal to millennial Indians?

Cities – We would definitely love cities that are affordable, provide ample career opportunities, and offer vibrant lifestyle options.

Location – Travelling to work is always a hassle, especially with long working hours. Most of us would prefer living close to our work place, in the suburb than a ‘central location’. There is nothing better than walking or cycling to work.

Organised townships, especially those designed by well-known developers, make life more convenient with ample parking space, parks and club houses, their own schools, healthcare and shopping/entertainment facilities. They also provide a secured environment for families and children.

Living environment – Personally, I would prefer a ready-to-move-in house with low maintenance. Office homes are a big plus and spaces such as dining rooms can be exchanged for a well-defined workspace. Eco-friendly, energy efficient homes are attractive too, as a little way of giving back to mother nature.

Costs – Nobody wants to be bogged down by maxed-out mortgage payments. Compared to the previous generation, sensible equated monthly instalments (EMIs) and affordable value-for-money homes are hot favourites.

Indian millennials, despite of our diverse lifestyles, often tend to be pulled back to tradition. We all seek the perfect blend in a home that fulfills our modern day requirements with the basic fundamentals as listed above. We might be a different generation from Generation X, but buying a home is still a crucial milestone for any millennial in India.

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