According to Shubhankar Laskar, a 39-year-old doctor, the three-bedroom apartment he bought in Dwarka — a burgeoning suburb to the west of New Delhi — was a “good deal”. It came for Rs 45 lakh from a friend, who sold it at a discount because he was relocating to the US and he needed to sell off fast. But that was two years ago.
Laskar has a different take on the purchase now. He sees the flat as a liability that he needs to get rid of at the soonest. The culprit: the rising inflation and the attendant spikes in interest rates.
The doctor, who has own practice, had taken a loan of Rs 32.5 lakh on a floating rate. His monthly payout (the equated monthly installment, or EMI), which has already risen by Rs 2,000, is set to go up by another Rs 2,600 following the latest round of hikes in the home loan rates.
“If that happens, I would be left with no option but to sell,” says Laskar, who currently lives in his parental home in another west Delhi neighbourhood. He opted for the Dwarka flat because he wanted a better environment and the convenience of an apartment for his family — that is, his wife, two children, and the aging parents.
All those plans have gone haywire now.
“When I bought the house, I never expected the interest rates would go up like this,” Laskar said.
Making it worse is the sharp rise in inflation — to Laskar family, it seems like a double-whammy. Not only does the doctor family spend more on household expenses now, but they also had to give larger-than-usual increments to the staff at the clinic.
“I had to raise the salary of my six employees, which has come as an additional burden on me,” he said. “I am finding it very tough to manage.”
Laskar says he has learned his lesson. If he sells his flat now and chooses to buy another one on a later day, he would never go for a loan on floating rate.
“Next time, I will go for a fixed rate.” Some lessons are better learned late than never.