Authored by - Asha Mathew
Bangalore’s traffic menace is known to all. As a direct consequence, professionals preferred to stay closer to the office to avoid the stress and time that went into driving or riding around Bangalore. Over the last decade, real estate and property management boomed in areas around Whitefield, Marathahalli, HSR Layout, Electronic City and other major professional hubs. The prices soared for property in these areas and professionals were ready to pay too. No price seemed too big to pay to avoid the Bangalore traffic chaos. Then, came the pandemic!
Everything shut. We thought months…a whole year almost went by. Major companies like Facebook, Google, Amazon declared work from home for most employees till June 2021. Recently, companies like Ford Motors and a lot of smaller companies have followed suit. The result – residential areas around professional hubs went vacant! People neither had the resources nor the need to pay such high rents and stay closer to offices.
And thus, started the exodus to the suburbs which peaked in this quarter. People realized that with the work from home option being there to stay, it was more financially viable to look for cheaper housing in the suburbs now. Areas that weren’t earlier considered by professionals came into the purview. Suburbs had started to become the new hub!
This is not just the case in Bangalore. All the major Metros are witnessing this phenomenon now. The advantages for the customer are manifold –
- People need to pay much lesser rent
- Since it is away from the heart of the city, there is lesser hustle and bustle
- Pollution is much lesser and the air much cleaner compared to the choked professional hubs
- At the same time, all the required amenities are easily available and accessible
In case, of Bangalore, the shift has been to areas like Yelahanka, Hebbal, Hosakote, Attibele etc. Some of these places have seen a 50% rise in new occupancies in the residences.
Though this is a temporary shift, it is an important one. Property management firms need to take cognizance of it if they want their business to boost. They need to try and get more property in the suburbs under their purview and advertise them on priority basis. These are the leads that need to be aggressively followed now, especially in this Silicon Valley. In some cases, probably the only way to stay afloat during a difficult time like this. Reduced rents and deposits, other incentives need to be used to rope in this opportunity.
At the same time, it is necessary to be watchful – to keep abreast of the changing organization policies and COVID scenarios so that when the trend reverses, we are prepared for the exodus back to the professional hubs and ready for business as usual.
Till then, we have to content with the fact that the suburbs are indeed the new residential hubs and we had better make the most of it!