In a major trend reversal in the post-COVID-19 pandemic world, ‘bigger is better’ has once again become the catch-phrase in the Indian housing market. ANAROCK data confirms that the average apartment size in the top 7 cities has risen by 10% on a yearly basis – to 1,150 sq. ft. in 2020 from 1,050 sq. ft. in 2019.
The trend in the past four years indicates that the average apartment size has been reducing yearly since 2016. 2017 saw the maximum yearly decline of 13% in the average apartment size 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 the consumer preferences amidst the backdrop of COVID-19 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. amongst the top cities – approximately twice that in MMR where, at 932 sq. ft., the average apartment size continues 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 the average apartment size – from 878 sq. ft. in 2019 to 986 sq. ft. in 2020.
ANAROCK Chairman Anuj Puri said, “The two main reasons for the drop in the apartment size in the 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 work from home (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 the average apartment size in the top 7 cities increase by approximately 10%. MMR and Pune, which had the smallest average flat size amongst all the top cities, saw the maximum increase in 2020 over the previous year – by 21% and 12%, respectively.