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Affordable homes signal revival for big builders

After suffering a severe slump for almost six months, leading real estate firms are showing strong signs of revival on the back of affordably priced middle-income homes and flexible payment terms that are fuelling demand, reports HT Correspondent,

business Updated: May 19, 2009 21:59 IST

After suffering a severe slump for almost six months, leading real estate firms are showing strong signs of revival on the back of affordably priced middle-income homes and flexible payment terms that are fuelling demand.

Bookings for new flats are surging as the price tags are well below the heady highs two years ago, say builders like national leader DLF and the Vatika Group.

DLF ‘s Capital Greens project in West Delhi launched last month at Rs 4,500-Rs 5,500 per squre foot sold close to 1,400 units within a day. In Bangalore, DLF launched a project with 1,800 flats priced at Rs 1,850 per sq foot. It sold 600 flats on the first day itself.

“As the largest real estate company, DLF took a conscious decision to reduce prices. The correction in prices have ensured that speculators stay out from the market as returns are not galloping,” said Rajeev Talwar, group executive director, DLF Ltd.

Earlier this month, the Vatika Group introduced new projects in four Gurgaon sectors, pitching an 850-sq-foot flat at
Rs 21 lakh and a 1,450-sq-foot apartment at Rs 43 lakh.

“Till last year, all developers were focused on upper middle class as margins are higher but the markets taught everyone a lesson. Now, players have changed gear to compact units to make up for reduced margins through volumes,” Pankaj Pal, president, sales and marketing, at Vatika Group told Hindustan Times.

Unitech has already sold 2.5 million square feet of apartments in new affordable housing projects spanning 9 million square feet in NCR, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. The company plans to launch 40 projects involving 27 million sq. feet by next March.

“There has been a turnaround for well located projects from reputed builders although buyers are still cautious and showing a preference for projects that are ready to move in or nearing completion. Flexible payment terms of developers have also led to some activity in the market,” said Sanjay Dutt, chief executive officer at property consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj.

Delhi-based BPTP Ltd is selling independent floors in Faridabad, offering1,296 sq feet starting at Rs 16 lakh. “Within a week, we sold out close to 480 units of the total 600,” said Amit Raj Jain, BPTP’s vice-president, marketing.

Parsvnath Ltd says it has sold 480 units of its 510-apartment ‘Royal Floors’ project in Lucknow, where a 1,135 square foot floor is priced as low as Rs 12.85 lakh.