Property prices remaining stable, interest rate hovering around 15-year low, and ample ready-to-move-in property or near-completion projects being available in the market are some of the reasons which ideally make it one of the best times to invest in a piece of property. However, amid the turmoil caused by Covid-19, the real estate sales have been impacted, thus making developers as well as the industry a little bit jittery.
Recently Housing.com and the National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO) conducted a survey, titled ‘Concerned yet positive – The Indian Real Estate Consumer (April – May 2020)’, the findings of which will provide some solace to the industry. As per the report, real estate (35%) is still perceived as the preferred mode of investment, followed by gold (28%), fixed deposits (22%) and stocks (16%); and homebuyers are likely to slowly return to the market in the coming six months.
However, a lot of buyers still consider property prices unaffordable despite the fact that price-points of residential realty have remained muted for the past few years.
Commenting on the same, Dhruv Agarwala, Group CEO, Housing.com, Makaan.com & PropTiger.com, said, “Our survey clearly shows that potential homebuyers who were searching for flats have pressed a pause button for the time being because of liquidity concerns and uncertainty over the COVID pandemic. But, a majority of them will gradually start returning to the market in the coming months.”
“This survey has established again that credible developers and ready-to-move-in or nearing-completion properties are preferred by prospective customers, who are largely end-users. With the significant correction in stock markets and the continued volatility, it is not surprising that real estate has become the top choice as an investment asset class,” he added.
Pradeep Aggarwal, Founder & Chairman, Signature Global Group, & Chairman, ASSOCHAM National Council on Real Estate, Housing and Urban Development, said, “Prices are already low in real estate and developers do not have huge inventory of RTMI properties to meet the overall demand. Focus has to be on developing and completing projects in hand. However, to execute it with control over prices, developers need support from the government. The present government has come up with many measures to help real estate, but the need is to address all issues at one go. The crisis that has now engulfed the whole country calls for an immediate action so that the ‘Housing for All’ dream could be met.”
Thankfully, the impact of the lockdown on homebuyers has been positive so far. The various schemes announced by developers, apart from all-time low interest rates and subdued property prices for quite some time are the reasons enough to rekindle the interest of customers.
“After the slew of measures taken by the government, the market was seeing an uptrend and the post-lockdown schemes have provided additional reasons to invest in real estate before the market goes northward. The resilience of the government towards the economy is being reflected in the measures it is taking. Once the revival takes place, which is expected in the next 6-8 months, the prices will go up and then it would again become difficult for fence-sitters to get their hands on the best real estate asset within the fixed budget that they have,” said Dhiraj Jain, Director, Mahagun Group.
In a bid to lure buyers, some developers have also come out with innvovative payment schemes and are giving freebies – ranging from free car parking, home appliances to cars — on the purchage of homes.
Commenting on the same, Harvinder Singh Sikka, MD, Sikka Group, said, “Such schemes are being lapped up immediately by the buyers as they were waiting for the additional benefits that they can get while buying a piece of property. The market has improved and this will reflect in the overall performance of real estate in this quarter. For rates, I would say the market is stagnant as developers have realized that the rates are already at par with the buying capacity of customers. The likelihood of any increase in prices is low and we can see a change of 5-10 per cent in the coming months. At present prices in the realty sector are at their bottom, making it the best time to invest in property.”
(Source: Financial Times)