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Indian Millennials And Home Ownership: Back To The Basics

By Arvind Jain, Managing Director - Pride Group

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Arvind Jain, Managing Director - Pride Group

Millennials are by far the most redefining generation to have appeared over the past five decades. Several traits drive their lifestyle choices, not least among them being a much higher acceptance of diverse lifestyles than previous generations. However, millennials have also displayed a decisive return to conservative behavior and choices. In a clear departure of their preceding generations of adventurousness and even rebelliousness, millennials show a marked tendency towards traditional values.

Especially in India, millennials see a good education as very important in achieving their life goals, and will diligently pursue a degree in their chosen academic fields. They consider loving and respecting their parents as a very desirable trait, will conscientiously avoid putting their health at risk with vices, seek to have stable marriages and will bring their children up with the right kinds of values.

Because stability is such an important factor for millennials, owning a home earlier rather than later is a given for them. The previous generations often gave less importance to this very important ingredient of financial and emotional security, choosing to live in rented homes and using their funds to play the market. 

This approach was based on the assumption that property is just another investment instrument, and that it does not give the exciting returns that the stock market can yield. It ignored the fact that a self-owned home sets the family free from a lifetime of bondage to landlords, and that its value lies not only in appreciation but also in the fact that it negates the negative monthly outflow of rental money for good. For this reason, Indian millennials have placed home ownership very high on their list of priorities.

Another defining characteristic of the Indian millennial is a high level of savvy. With the country's unprecedented Information Technology explosion now influencing almost all minutiae of day-to-day life, the Indian millennial is an avid seeker of knowledge, especially in subjects that affect his or her life goals. As a result, the process of finding and buying a home is driven by a need to understand all the variables, study all available options and make the best possible purchase decision.

Even in other fields, Indian millennials are dedicated investors, but the kind who are not given to high risk. This is one of the reasons why mutual funds have proven to be so popular among them, since they present an acceptable level of risk couples with reliable returns. Though they are conservative with their hard-earned money, they will not purchase into inferior goods - one of the main reasons why the cheap, unreliable electronic devices which found so much favor with the previous generations are completely passé today. Millennials will only buy goods that come with a guarantee of maximum utility lifetime. 

This attitude also reflects in their choice of homes, which is why most of them will deal only with branded developers who are adequately capitalized and have a proven track record for consistent quality and timely delivery of their projects. Indeed, when it comes to buying a home, the Indian millennials appetite for risk is at its lowest point.

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