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January 31, 2024
The Changing Landscape of Indian Real Estate: The Rise of Spacious Flats

As the urban Indian skyline continues to evolve, gone are the days when the average Indian apartment was characterised by compact space. The mounting population and soaring price are among the factors that led to this preference, driven by a need for space optimisation. However, in the recent period, a noticeable trend has been witnessed: more and more developers are offering larger, more spacious apartments to accommodate the shifting pattern of homebuyer demand.

Homebuyers today are hankering for more spacious apartments owing to multiple factors. For one, the country has been undergoing a significant demographic shift, with a surge not only in the population of middle-class people but also in the rising urban populace. Another reason for this shift in consumer preference is often attributed to the rising aspirations of modern Indian families for an elevated lifestyle. Influenced by global trends, Indians today are opting for homes that provide ample space for relaxation and recreation. 

This trend towards larger flats has dynamically reshaped the Indian real estate sector. As it turns out, a recent study by a leading real estate consultancy released a report that studied these shifting patterns. While in 2020 and 2021, the average flat size was 1,170 sq. ft. in 2021 and 1,167 sq. ft. in 2020 in the top 7 cities, this number has only increased since then. In 2022, the average apartment size in these prime cities grew to 1,175 sq. ft., further growing by 11% in 2023 to 1,300 sq. ft.

It is the Delhi-NCR region that witnessed the highest growth amongst these seven cities, with a massive 37% average increase in apartment size between 2022 and 2023, from 1,375 sq. ft. to 1,890 sq. ft. Over the last five years, average apartment size has surged from 1,250 sq. ft. to 1,890 sq. ft., jumping by a whopping 51% from 2019 to 2023.

While NCR had the highest growth, it was the city of Hyderabad that came out at the top with the largest average apartment size of 2,300 sq. ft. in 2023. The average apartment size in the city grew by 35% yearly, with 30% growth during 2022–2023, with the average apartment size varying from 1,700 in 2019 to 1,775 sq. ft. in 2022 and 2,300 sq. ft. in 2023.

Over the period of five years, NCR followed close after with the aforementioned 1,890 sq. ft., Chennai with 1,260 sq. ft., Bangalore with 1,484 sq. ft., and Pune with 1,086 sq. ft. The study also revealed the average apartment size increase in the rest of the top cities in the previous year, with a 26% increase in Bangalore from 1,175 sq. ft. to 1,484 sq. ft. Pune showcased a 11% jump from 980 sq. ft. to 1,086 sq. ft. and Chennai from 1,200 sq. ft. to 1,260 sq. ft. during the period. The study also shed light on the five-year average increase in flat size in these cities, with a 16% average yearly jump in Silicon City, 19% in Oxford of the East, and 15% in Gateway of South India.

However, amongst these top cities, Kolkata and Mumbai Metropolitan Region were the exceptions, with the average apartment size dropping by 2% and 5% in these cities, respectively. While the average flat size in Kolkata dropped from 1,150 sq. ft. in 2022 to 1,124 sq. ft. the following year, in MMR it diminished from 840 sq. ft. in 2022 to 794 sq. ft. in 2023. Despite this, there has indeed been an increase in the average apartment size in these cities over the last five years. On one hand, in Mumbai, this increase was a meagre 1% from 2019 to 2023; on the other hand, there was a 12% increase in Chennai during this period.

Final Thoughts 

While the demand for bigger homes was indeed kicked in during the pandemic, the soaring real estate prices ever since have in no way discounted the momentum of increasing apartment sizes. Given the positive impetus recorded in the study, it is clear that demand for spacious homes is not slowing down anytime soon. As developers respond to the demand for spacious homes with innovative offerings and premium amenities, the concept of homeownership in India is being redefined to encompass not just shelter but also comfort, luxury, and a higher quality of life.

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