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NEW DELHI : Demand for completed residential properties is rising compared to that for under-construction flats, as the share of ready-to-move-in homes in the total housing sales in 2020 rose to 21 per cent from 18 per cent in the previous year, according to News Corp-backed realty brokerage firm PropTiger.

A total of 1,82,640 units were sold in the 2020 calendar year, of which 21 per cent were in the RTMI (ready-to-move-in) category and 79 per cent were under-construction, PropTiger said quoting its Real Insight report for 2020.

In 2019, a total of 3,47,590 units were sold of which 18 per cent were RTMI, it said in a statement.

PropTiger research found that the share of RTMI in the total sales has been on the rise since 2016.

The share of RTMI in total sales during 2015 was 7 per cent, which increased to 10 per cent in 2016, 12 per cent in 2017, 15 per cent in 2018 and 18 per cent in 2019, the statement said.

"Risk-averse home buyers are increasingly opting for ready-to-move-in flats. Even in under-construction properties, the preference is towards branded developers or those with an impeccable track record of execution," said Dhruv Agarwala, Group CEO, Housing.com, Makaan.com and PropTiger.com.

Among various cities, the share of RTMI units in the total sales was the highest in Chennai at 32 per cent and lowest in Hyderabad at 12 per cent, during 2020.

However, the share of RTMI units in the total sales increased the most in Delhi-NCR at 27 per cent in 2020, from 17 per cent in the previous year.

In line with the improving overall economic scenario, PropTiger said residential demand and supply are inching back towards pre-COVID levels with sales and new launches witnessing a sharp recovery in the fourth quarter of the 2020 calendar year, after a muted performance during the April-September period.

The latest December 2020 PropTiger Research survey shows that real estate continues to remain the preferred investment asset class, as 43 per cent of the respondents favoured real estate while fixed deposits and stock market investments were a choice of 21 per cent and 20 per cent respondents respectively.

In the earlier survey carried out in May 2020, when the country was in a lockdown to check the spread of the COVID-19 infections, 35 per cent of the respondents preferred real estate as an investment asset class while 22 per cent, 15 per cent and 28 per cent voted in favour of fixed deposits, stocks and gold, respectively.

In the backdrop of a work-from-home scenario becoming a long lasting phenomenon, the December survey also revealed that 47 per cent of the participants preferred larger homes. In the May 2020 survey, only 33 per cent had this preference.

"The demand for larger homes is growing after the outbreak of the coronavirus. Real estate was always the preferred investment class from the point of view of the perceived financial security it offered as well as from the standpoint of capital appreciation.

"However, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a renewed interest in home ownership, particularly from millennials," Agarwala said.

The survey was conducted between April-May 2020 and September-December 2020, through stratified random sampling for fair representation across top eight cities. Views of more than 3,000 potential homebuyers were taken during each period, PropTiger said. PTI MJH MJH ABM ABM

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