Indians are displaying strong intention to move to another country as across age groups, the preference to move abroad is the highest in India when compared to global respondents, the latest report by CBRE South Asia said.

According to the survey, around 16% have already relocated in the past two years, while 17% of Indians are planning to relocate in the next two years. The survey also found respondents displayed a stronger intention to move to a new home in the next two years -- 44% vs 31% in the previous two years, which is significantly higher when compared to both global and APAC respondents.

The survey highlights that India’s residential sector saw unprecedented growth in the past two years, primarily due to strong policy push and incentives such as stamp duty waivers, and lower home mortgage rates, coupled with attractive discounts and schemes rolled out by developers.

"The past two years have seen a realignment in homebuyers’ priorities and the need for owning a house has been further accentuated due to the uncertainty that the pandemic ushered. Corroborating with this, almost 1/3rd of respondents moved to new homes in the previous two years," the report adds.

In contrast to the belief that most people want to move out of urban areas as flexibility at the workplace emerges as a dominant theme, areas close to the city centres still remain the most sought-after among those planning to move. Around 53% of Indians surveyed have already moved closer to the city centre in the past two years, while 49% are planning to do so in future.

At the same time, it is interesting to note that as most cities in India swell to the beam, the definition of a true city centre continues to evolve. Most leading cities, especially Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune are witnessing the emergence of suburbs that in many ways redefine the erstwhile “city centre”.

Among age groups, Gen Z and millennials display stronger intention to move, with locations near the city centre preferred amongst most age groups. "More than half of Gen Z respondents plan to move to a new home in the next two years, compared to only 29% of baby boomers."

It shows that upcoming housing demand will primarily be driven by the younger generation, the report adds. Except for Gen X, all other generations displayed a higher preference for locations near the city centres. Gen X displayed a slightly stronger preference for remote locations and a greater desire to move to another country as more experienced professionals seek overseas opportunities, according to the survey.

While choosing a home, affordability is not the sole driving factor as respondents also want a better quality property and surroundings. However, home affordability continues to figure amongst the top three factors to consider while looking at moving to a new house. The survey suggests those planning to move in the next two years could be willing to pay a premium for better quality properties and surroundings.

The survey finds that people across generations prefer to buy than rent a home and that there's a significant shift in millennial attitude towards home purchases. "When compared to other global markets, respondents in India displayed the strongest preference to buy than rent." Among all age groups, Gen X respondents displayed the highest preference (84%) towards home purchase and displayed a slightly stronger preference for remote locations and a greater desire to move to another country.

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