The rental housing sector is on the path to recovery as employees are returning to metro cities for work. While the sector was deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for rental properties is rising again, a media report said.
Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi-NCR and Mumbai were the most affected as demand for rental homes dipped by 10-20 percent as a result of the pandemic. With lockdown restrictions limiting mobility and many companies shifting to a work-from-home model, many employees went back to their hometowns. Increased vacancies in rented apartments and paying-guest accommodations led to low rental rates. But as companies are calling employees back by January, workers are making their way back and filling up the vacant lots, Economic Times reported.
"The demand is primarily driven by working professionals moving back to cities with life returning to normal and office spaces opening up gradually. We are expecting significant demand to come back in the next few months," Deepak Anand, chief executive of Housr, a co-living firm, told ET
Against the backdrop of a rapidly progressing immunisation program and a low number of COVID-19 cases, around 60 percent of companies plan to call at least some of their workers back to offices. The shift back to a fully work-from-office model will be scaled up further in June. As such, the rental market is expected to start making a healthy recovery by the first half of 2022, barring the resurgence of any new COVID-19 waves.
"Enquiry levels have started to move up as companies are asking their employees to return to work. Unlike before, both landlords and tenants are now showing preparedness to negotiate rentals and tenures. The market is seeing some stability returning for now," said Dinesh Rathod, a broker operating in Pune.