Preferred apartment size in Mumbai: A decadal comparison

The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic called for implementation of strict stay at home policies to curb the virus outbreak and this restricted the daily activity of millions within the walls of their home.

There is a notion of an increase in preference for a larger space, an additional balcony or a home office/study which has emerged for a post COVID-19 world. This got us curious to look back on the preferences of the home buyer in a city like Mumbai over the last decade. What was the product offering 10 years ago? Has there been a shift and what kind of a shift was it? What could have been the probable reasons for it?

Preferred unit size of an apartment in Greater Mumbai has compressed in 10 years

Our data shows a steady compression in the apartment size sold over the last 10 years.

Table shows the average usable carpet Size (sqft) trend in Greater Mumbai

Year FY 11-12 FY 12-13 FY 13-14 FY 14-15 FY 15-16 FY 16-17 FY 17-18 FY 18-19 FY 19-20 FY 20-21
Usable Carpet Size (sqft) 922    900 885 853 873  803 773 728 730  726

There has been a reduction of 195 sqft in the weighted average size of an apartment bought in Greater Mumbai in FY 20-21 compared to FY 11-12.  The weighted average usable carpet size of a flat in Greater Mumbai (weightage on annual sales), was 922 sqft in FY-12 which reduced to 803 sqft in FY-17 and contracted further to 726 sqft in FY-21.

What are the typical flat sizes?

While the total average flat size has faced a compression of 195 sqft, a flat level slit shows a compression in the size of 1BHK and 2BHK by 62 and 77 sqft respectively.

Currently, the best-selling 1BHK flat in Greater Mumbai is in the range of 350-400 while that of a 2BHK is in the range of 650-700 sqft (usable carpet).

Wtd Avg Usable Carpet Size (sqft)
Flat Type FY 11-12 FY 16-17 FY 20-21 10yr change 5yr change
1BHK 451 418 389 (62) (30)
2BHK 742 673 665 (77) (8)
3BHK 1,065 1,036 1,085 20 49
Total 922 803 726 (195) (77)

There has been a product shift from 3BHK to 1BHK

An analysis on the split of the demand (annual sales) across the flat types draws more clarity on the decrease in size of the average carpet flat area.

While the annual sales grew by 62% (decadal), the unit wise contribution has witnessed a shift.

2BHK is the best-selling product in Greater Mumbai with an average market capture of 45%. A striking shift is in the demand of 3BHK which has reduced from 38% in FY 11-12 to 22% in FY 20-21. Correspondingly, the share of 1BHK demand has tripled in 10 years from 10% to 30%.

Reasons for the shift

One of the main reasons for the shift could be attributed to the buyer’s willingness to compromise on space to match an affordable budget. In order to own a home within an affordable bracket, buyers are opting for smaller sized units rather than moving out to cheaper priced locations. Table below shows the Wtd Avg Cost of an apartment in Rs lakh in Greater Mumbai. Despite the contraction in size over 10 years, there is an average of 23% increment in the flat cost across 1BHK, 2BHK and 3BHK typology. The flat cost has not dropped in accordance to decrease in unit sizes.

Flat FY-11-12 FY-16-17 FY-20-21 10yr change 5yr change
1BHK 66 80 79 20% -1%
2BHK 124 168 157 27% -7%
3BHK 276 356 338 22% -5%
Total 170 193 168 -1% -13%

 Note: The apartment size mentioned in the article are the usable carpet sizes in sqft.