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Fewer people buying, renting homes

The number of property registrations in the city has declined indicating that fewer people are buying or renting homes because of soaring prices.

mumbai Updated: Dec 23, 2010 01:37 IST
Naresh Kamath

The number of property registrations in the city has declined indicating that fewer people are buying or renting homes because of soaring prices.

Realty experts say property sales are likely to dip further.

A research report released by Prabhudas Liladher, a leading financial services group, said there were 14,480 registrations in November, the lowest in the last 18 months and 16% down from November 2009.

The number of registrations has dropped by 19% compared to October when the figure was 17,469.

In November last year, there were 17,018 registrations.

“Activity [in the realty sector] has slowed down and pricing is one of the major factors,” said Kejal Mehta, a research analyst with the firm.

Any property purchased or leased has to be registered with the registration office after payment of stamp duty. The report said registrations had peaked in April this year with 20,735 but gradually started declining over the last few months.

Those who are buying property are spending lesser time at registration offices because there are hardly any crowds there these days.

“I completed the process in 15 minutes. The whole place was deserted,” said Prakkash Nichanii, chief executive officer of Anchor Property Consultants, a real estate brokerage firm.

Market research firm Liasas Foras also painted a gloomy picture for sales in the realty market. “The coming months will see sales declining with registrations dipping to four-digit figures [less than 10,000],” said Pankaj Kapoor, managing director, Liasas Foras. “Properties are exorbitantly priced and even rentals have gone through the roof without any logic.”

In the last few months, realty rates have hit a record high with flats in distant suburbs such as Mira Road priced at Rs5,000 a square foot and rates in suburbs such as Kandivli going up to Rs9,000 to Rs12,000 a square foot.

Even rentals have gone up. A one-bedroom-hall-kitchen at Four Bungalows in Lokhandwala commands monthly rent of Rs 22,000 to Rs 25,000 as against Rs18,000 to Rs22,000 in the past.

Pujit Agarwal, managing director, Orbit Corporation Limited, admitted that sales have gone down. “Projects that are appropriately priced are selling but those with exorbitant price tags have no takers,” said Agarwal.