The ‘To Let’ boards are vanishing fast. For almost two years, during the Covid pandemic and more particularly the lockdown phase, these boards clamouring for attention from prospective tenants were seen hung in front of apartments and houses in most areas of the city.

The early days of the pandemic with a complete lockdown declared followed by night curfews and restrictions had city buzz remaining dissipated for months. With educational institutions closed and offices initially remaining shut and then opting for the work from home mode, many bachelors and families from other cities and towns, who were operating from here, had returned to their native places.

This trend of tenants vacating flats/portions during that phase had left many landlords in distress. For months together, they hung the ‘To Let’ boards on the premises of their properties, posted the availability of spaces on various property websites and kept waiting for responses. In the process, the rental values too took a dip and suddenly the rental market shifted in favour of the tenants.

However, starting early this year, the trend has started to change. With educational institutions reopening for the academic calendar and workplaces, mainly the IT and ITeS ones, slowly starting to get their buzz back, the scene has begun to return to like before.

With the workforce starting to return to the city, the demand for deposits, which sort of was reduced or waived in some instances in the last two years, too started to pick up while the monthly rentals are also getting restored. And similar has been the trend across major cities of the country.

The just released Magicbricks’ India Rental Housing update documents this and points out that Indian rental housing demand (searches) has grown 29.4 per cent QoQ and 84.4 per cent YoY in Q2, 2022.

The report further observes that the cumulative rental housing supply (listings) increased 3 per cent QoQ and 28.1 per cent across the 13 Indian cities it has mapped.

According to the report, Hyderabad’s residential demand grew 42 per cent QoQ while the supply increased to 9.4 per cent QoQ. The average rents also witnessed a QoQ increase of 14.3 per cent as a result of the swift reverse migration to cities for work-related opportunities. Interestingly, the residential market was dominated by 3BHK (45 per cent) and 2BHK (40 per cent).

The report observes that demand for rental housing has increased near schools with the reopening of educational institutions, and employment hubs as employees return to their workplace for at least two to three days a week.

Among the cities mapped for the update, Hyderabad stood third both in rental housing demand and rental housing supply. According to the report, the rental housing demand in Bengaluru (54.5 per cent), Greater Noida (42.9 per cent), and Hyderabad (42.0 per cent) witnessed the highest growth. The cumulative rental housing supply grew 3.0 per cent QoQ and 28.1 per cent YoY with Chennai (17.4 per cent) leading the table followed by Bengaluru (15.1 per cent) and Hyderabad (9.4 per cent) in witnessing maximum growth.

Commenting on the report, Sudhir Pai, CEO of Magicbricks, says, “with schools and offices reopening, the workforce and students are moving back from their native cities to the metros, leading to an increase in demand for rental homes.” The supply of rental homes is growing slowly compared to last quarter with available vacant homes decreasing and units not being replaced quickly by new supply as most of them are being bought by end-users and not investors, he says adding, “however, we expect the growth momentum to continue for the next few quarters.”

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