Remote work arrangements and online classes, which don’t require professionals to stay near their workplace or kids’ school, salary cuts and job losses are among the factors that have triggered a reverse migration of sorts. Essentially, more renters now seem to be searching for accommodation outside the city than inside.
Property websites are seeing more house vacancies in core areas. On Quikr.com, a marketplace that also has a platform for buying and leasing property, listings of rental homes in Bengaluru increased by 112 per cent in June compared to May. “This could be because residential property owners and brokers are looking for tenants to occupy vacant houses,” said a company spokesperson.
The average rents for 1, 2 and 3BHK units in the city have decreased. “The average rent of a 1BHK was Rs 6,900 in June as against Rs 8,000 in May; 2BHK, Rs 31,000 in June and Rs 48,000 in May. Even 3BHKs are seeing a dip in the average rental pricing in the city,” according to an analysis by Quikr.
Experts say rent levels may reduce further if the pandemic doesn’t ease and companies decide to extend the WFH option for a few more months.
“Given the current situation of job cuts and salary losses, tenants are also vacating some properties or demanding rent relief. With WFH becoming the norm, we see a lot of demand from peripheral areas of Bengaluru due to affordability and fresh supply. Going forward, the increase in supply will make rentals more affordable across all major markets,” said Sudhir Pai, CEO of MagicBricks.com.
The demand for spacious and affordable houses is growing on the city’s outskirts. “Our recent surveys have revealed that the major reason for renting a new place now is the need for a bigger house. Bengaluru West has outperformed other regions, witnessing 7 per cent higher average per day query in June compared to February,” said Maneesh Upadhyaya, chief business officer of 99acres.com.
Saurabh Garg, co-founder and chief business officer of Nobroker.in, said renters’ requirements had changed. “Before Covid-19, proximity to the workplace mattered a lot because of traffic issues. People were ready to compromise on space as long as the house was close to their office. Now, the priorities have changed since many professionals are working from home and several companies are going to stick to this even after Covid-19. People are looking for a larger house, one that can accommodate a workstation as well,” he said.
Garg added: “People are giving more preference to amenities, safety, hygiene and water supply while choosing a place to rent. Our survey also indicates that professionals with PG accommodation would now prefer a single room, and not a shared one.”
Quikr.com saw a 35 per cent increase in demand for rental properties in June on outer areas such as Bommanahalli, Electronics City, Byappanahalli, Kanakapura, Devanahalli, Bannerghatta Road, Yelahanka, Whitefield, Sarjapur Road, and Gottigere.