Square Yards CEO Tanuj Shori was one of the esteemed guests at TechSparks 2020, YourStorys annual flagship event and Indias largest and most important technology, innovation and entrepreneurship summit. He discussed the impact of COVID-19 on both residential & commercial real estate while Policy Bazaar CEO Sarbvir Singh talked about the huge increase in demand for insurance products and how Policy Bazaar Health Insurance is benefiting strongly as a result of this major change in customer perceptions.
Impact on real estate post-COVID and demand for insurance products
While Tanuj Shori talked about the travails of the Indian real estate sector, Sarbvir Singh talked of how panic buying has gone up exponentially for the insurance sector and from a time when falling seriously ill was taken as a low probability event, people have realized that health coverage is really essential since the virus may infect anyone, even celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan or political leaders like Amit Shah. Singh also highlighted growing awareness about insurance policies and products, highlighting how this has been a major boon for the sector.
Real estate has seen the opposite end of the spectrum and people who had invested earlier in projects are not paying on time while new projects that sold out in just a few weeks before COVID-19, are now finding fewer buyers. Corporates are shifting towards working from home and have stopped expansion in the commercial real estate category.
Real Estate News & Updates from Shori
Shori highlighted the demand-supply roadblock for real estate, which has led to a major issue for the commercial real estate sector. Some traction was observed from investors and buyers who were sitting on the fence earlier but have now found the right moment for making their investments. The market collapse has thrown up new opportunities for investors who were looking for lifetime deals in the market. Shori has also stated that not every developer has the required balance sheet for sustaining business upon absolutely zero sales volumes. Smaller companies downed shutters while larger ones have managed to survive till now.
The positive development is that owing to developers desire to renegotiate prices and lower price points in general across the market, demand may increase steadily with residential realty touching pre-COVID levels by the coming quarter according to Shori. He added that real estate requires intervention by the Government through multiple pro-active measures including a cut in stamp duty, land prices and other indirect costs that account for close to 30% of overall property/project cost. He added that the Government should also forge ahead with RERA which has still not reached its full potential. He stated that India cannot reach 9% GDP again with the real estate sector in doldrums. While sentiments are steadily improving, the Government needs to come up with significant measures for reviving demand 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.