With the real estate slowdown drastically affecting sales in Mumbai, builders are exploring various methods to boost it.
The latest on the block is a month-long online property exhibition that is being organised by the Maharashtra Chambers of Housing Industry (MCHI)-CREDAI, one of the apex builders’ associations. More than a 100 builders will display what they have to offer.
While the MCHI claims that the Great Mumbai Property Festival-2016 is part of the process to connect to the buyers, critics have dubbed it as a gimmick that will hardly boost sales.
According to Dharmesh Jain, president of the MCHI-CREDAI, the online exhibition was a part of the association’s efforts to provide a common platform to buyers and builders. “This will cater to the increase in the buyer’s online activity when it is related to real estate. We have noticed that 40-50 % of the buyers do an online research before purchasing the property. Here we are providing them with 3D views of the projects along with the special discounts that are on offer.” said Jain.
However, many still point that the real estate market is not mature enough to generate online sales. “The level of trust and transparency has not been attained in the Indian real estate market where buyers will book properties online,” said Ramesh Nair, chief operating officer, Business, James Lang LaSalle (JLL) India, a leading real estate consultancy firm. He added that in the current buyers market, the consumers are bargaining hard. “When you book online, it is a fixed price but here we have buyers who want to negotiate as they are well aware of the current market,” he said.
The Confederation of Real Estate Brokers Association of India (CREBAI), an association of real estate consultants and brokers, was of the same opinion. “Online is more of a gimmick as the sector has majority of the buyers investing a chunk of their savings in properties which are valued in crores. The buyers wants to see the property, check the papers as well as know the progress of the work. All these things are not possible online. They prefer the traditional way,” said Vikram Mehta, president, CREBAI.
Online exhibitions have been held by groups such as Tata Housing and also real estate portals such as housing.com. The real estate sector has been going through a rough phase with sales hitting rock bottom. The builders have jacked up prices to exorbitant levels, forcing many buyers to postpone their purchase plans. In addition, banks have made things difficult by posing high interest rates on home loans and also stringent lending norms. The government has made things difficult by hiking stamp duty and taxes.
According to real estate research firm Liases Foras, the online exhibition can help generate some leads but sales remain a matter of concern. “The basic issue is affordability and buyers are not in a position to purchase anything here given the exorbitant pricing,” said Pankaj Kapoor, CEO, Liases Foras.
Online exhibit details
The online exhibition can be accessed from www.mchihomes.com
The online exhibition will be held from September 21-October 20.
Approximately 100 builders will showcase their properties online.
Builders will offer discounts and deals in this exhibition.