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By – Mitu Mathur, Director, GPM – Architects and Planners

With the effect of the pandemic of Covid – 19 the real estate industry is steering towards a once-in-a-lifetime paradigm shift. In the time of crisis when everything has abruptly come to a halt, it has caused a state of not just physical, but both psychological and financial lockdown. Over the subsequent months, all the stakeholders will witness the long-term impacts, but the immediate impacts have also been quite substantial to shudder the entire industry.

Typically, Spring is the season of real estate investments in India, as with the onset of Navratras and auspicious calendar, people seek investment opportunities, especially in housing and commercial sectors. Unfortunately, as the market has succumbed to the Pandemic, the real industry has been deeply affected by the entire industry. All across the spectrum, the effect is austerely visible, ranging from heavy financial losses to developers who were either ready to deliver projects or launch new ones; to the helpless situation of workers and labour force who depend on daily wages and live far away from the homeland, the shock is tremendous

As a forethought, since the entire economy has been hit, there will be an uncertainty towards investment in the real estate market, be it residential or commercial. As these are long-term investments, a lot of people would be sceptical to invest in the sector for a long time now and would focus more on personal savings. As a result, the whole economy would witness a shift and there would be a change in the way people look at investment options in future.

Our fraternity who works closely with industry has also felt the consequences. As most of the work is collaborative and depends on teamwork and heavy software integrated into highly configured work-stations, suddenly moving towards the work-from-home system is not very effective. Though there is an evident decrease in productivity in the beginning, we feel this situation will invariantly compel the majority of us to re-think the way architectural practices operate and gradually shift operations on cloud and explore more flexibility in the work culture.

On a positive note, as consultants of the built environment, I feel life has given us an opportunity to appreciate our immediate surroundings so closely, our homes, our families, our neighbourhood and explore endless possibilities in a confined space while strengthening the ties with our loved ones. Though the effects of this epidemic will take a long time to recover, one needs to find opportunity in scarcity while exploring potentials for the future.

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