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Mumbai: In a major trend reversal in the post COVID-19 pandemic world, ‘bigger is better’ is once again the catch-phrase on the Indian housing market. ANAROCK data confirms that average apartment sizes in the top 7 cities have risen by 10% on a yearly basis to 1,150 sq. ft. in 2020 from 1,050 sq. ft. in 2019.

Past four-year trends indicate that average apartment sizes were reducing y-o-y since 2016. 2017 saw the maximum yearly decline of 13% in avg. apartment sizes in the top 7 cities against the preceding year – from 1,440 sq. ft. in 2016 to nearly 1,260 sq. ft. in 2017. A fairly sudden change in consumer preferences to the backdrop of COVID-19 exigencies in 2020 first halted, then reversed the ‘honey, I shrunk the flat’ effect.

The average apartment size is still highest in Hyderabad at 1,750 sq. ft. among the top cities – approx. 2x bigger than that in MMR where, at 932 sq. ft., average sizes continue to be the lowest. MMR nevertheless saw the maximum rise of 21% - from 773 sq. ft. in 2019 to 932 sq. ft. in 2020. Pune came next with a 12% annual increase in average apartment sizes – from 878 sq. ft. in 2019 to 986 sq. ft. in 2020.

ANAROCK Chairman Anuj Puri said, ‘’The two main reasons for apartment sizes reducing in previous years were affordability and millennials’ preference for low-maintenance homes. Keen to generate more buyer interest with smaller price-tags, developers whittled down their flat sizes. 2020 saw an almost immediate reversal of buyer preferences. With the accent suddenly being on accommodating the WFH and learn-from-home culture, flat sizes began increasing for the first time in four years.”

According to ANAROCK data, Indian developers were quick to catch on that size matters again and the second half of 2020 saw average apartment sizes in the top 7 cities increase by approximately 10%. MMR and Pune, which had the smallest average flat sizes among all top cities, saw the maximum increase in 2020 over the previous year – by 21% and 12% respectively.

HIGHLIGHTS

- Avg. apartment size in top 7 cities - 1,050 sq. ft. in 2019 - increased to 1,150 sq. ft. in 2020.

- Avg. size in entire 2020 was maximum in Hyderabad (1,750 sq. ft.) - almost 2x bigger than that in MMR (932 sq. ft.)

- MMR sees max. rise of 21% - from 773 sq. ft. in 2019 to 932 sq. ft. in 2020, followed by Pune with 12% annual rise.

- 2nd half of 2020 saw avg. apt. sizes increase to 1,200 sq. ft. from 1,090 sq. ft. in H1 2020.

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