In the ever-changing real estate space, the possibilities for obtaining a home by 2024 may be higher than in the previous three years. Based on market dynamics, pricing, affordability, and economic factors, economists believe that homeownership will become more accessible to many in the coming year. Let us delve deeper into experts' viewpoints and predictions on whether housing affordability will reach a three-year high in 2024.
Kamaljeet Rastogi, CEO of SahiBnk, which is powered by Manipal Business Solutions, believes that while the repo rate has remained stable, the market may still alter. "The repo rate hasn't dropped since May 2022, rising by a total of 250 basis points since the COVID-19 pandemic began." However, it has been stable at 6.50 percent since February 2023. Even though things appear to be calm recently, there is a critical point where the market could alter in unpredictable ways.
Over the last decade, the average repo rate has hovered slightly above 6%, implying that significant adjustments are unlikely given present market conditions. Although affordability is at a three-year high, the post-COVID recovery saw a drop to a 4% repo rate. Increasing property rates outweigh the impact of repo rate changes in a bullish real estate market, creating a constant danger to affordability," he said. Analysts believe that if inflation falls within the lower range of the RBI's objective, the repo rate will likely be reduced in the following year.
"With current economic conditions favoring improved income growth, we anticipate that affordability in 2024 will be higher than in previous years, compared to peak affordability levels observed in 2021." Though continuous interest rate hikes by banks will raise customer EMIs, this is expected to be offset by unchanged repo rate movement and relatively stronger growth in household incomes', said Rahul Mehrotra, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Religare Housing Development Finance Corporation.
"The outlook for home affordability in 2024 appears promising, with factors such as potential repo rate reductions driving positive changes in the housing market." Despite the problems faced by rising home costs and mortgage rates in major Indian cities over the last two years, the following year promises to be more affordable', said Pramod Kathuria, Founder and CEO of Easiloan.
A city-by-city examination indicates various trends. Mumbai's affordability index is likely to fall, while Kolkata's is expected to rise somewhat. Despite continued price increases in 2023, the overall drop in affordability is small, owing to improved economic outlook and income growth over the previous year.
"In the future, a positive shift is expected in 2024." A drop in the repo rate of 60-80 basis points reflects a good lending environment. This, together with potential macroeconomic reasons and an emphasis on interest rate reduction, might herald a housing market revival, with affordability levels rising," Kathuria remarked.
In essence, the emerging dynamics in the Indian housing market, as presented in this analysis, suggest a probable improvement in home affordability in the coming year, backed up by perceptive patterns, historical context, and 2024 projections.