A huge stockpile of ready-to-move-in inventory in the NCR real estate markets and absent investors have left the field wide open for homebuyers to buy property.
Builders too are going all out to lure customers, offering all-inclusive prices, throwing in freebies such as parking, furnished kitchens and air-conditioners. They are also more than willing to negotiate with buyers.
Deepak Kapoor, president, Credai Western UP, says that the Noida market is currently a buyers’ market and prices are at realistic levels. Since the investor interest is low, the pressure right now is on selling units to actual users. Having said that, buyers should consider the delivery record of the developer before buying property, he says.
“Prices in Delhi-NCR have bottomed out. This is the right time to buy as reasonable all-inclusive deals are available in the market,” says Praveen Jain of Naredco.
Agrees Dhruv Khanna, a broker with Total Property Management, active in Gurgaon. “Gurgaon is a buyers’ market. In a full market buyers are under pressure to take quick decisions and but right now with no investors in the market, they have all the time to explore the market and negotiate hard before finally taking a decision,” he says.
Giving tips to buy property, he says, “Always try and keep three to four options open and not get stuck to a single property. The golden rule is to explore. Out of the four properties you select, at least one seller in the resale market or developer will get back to you. The buyer should be willing to negotiate hard or to walk away.”
House hunters should study the basic sale price of the project well. Keep an eye on inflated BSPs that may include free offers. Always check the price of the same property in the secondary market. Prices in the secondary market are likely to be cheaper than primary market rates but always factor in any transfer charges you might have to pay and compare that amount with the price being offered by the developer before taking a decision.
In Gurgaon, 2BHK options in sectors 37 C and 37D are available in the range of Rs 55 lakh to Rs 60 lakh. In the New Gurgaon area, largely comprising Sectors 81 to 95, prices start at around Rs 55 lakh.
In Greater Noida West or Noida Extension, apartments in some projects cost around Rs 3,500 per sq ft. For brands not established as yet it is around Rs 2,500 per sq ft. The focus of the buyer should be on the quality, brand value and delivery record.
Where the resale market is concerned, most brokers in the area say they don’t get the high commissions they used to and at best now earn 1% commission from the builder for taking buyers directly to them. “Now more direct deals happening in the marketing offices of builders, especially in projects where there is unsold stock,” says KK Setia, an agent active in the area.
“Some builders are even going to the extent of giving an all inclusive deal that includes parking, furnished kitchens etc to attract more buyers,” he says.
Prices of units depend from area to area and project to project. In most markets, prices may be high due to new infrastructure such as a Metro or new road links while in other prices may be competitive because of too much new stock. In both such markets, there is room for negotiation as demand is less than supply.
Serious buyers should remember that builders may not be willing to reduce prices upfront but only if they are sure that the buyer is serious enough to purchase property and is willing to sign the cheque.
As for selling, it is advisable not to sell unless you are planning to buy another property to move in. Swapping properties (selling residential to buy commercial) for the sake of investment or in the hope of getting higher returns, is also not advisable.
Any investment decision today needs to taken with a long term horizon in mind. Ask yourself some basic questions: why do you want to buy now? What kind of returns are you expecting? Do you have a long term or a short term goal in mind?
Buyers wanting to buy directly from the builder should be careful about the quality of the inventory, the floor they choose and the facilities being offered. “My advice is: try and negotiate the maintenance amount being demanded by the builder in advance. Also check the history of the property you want to invest in, check which floor you are buying into as most top and ground floors with the developer could be compounded properties. So, check if they are part of the original plan,” says SK Pal, a Supreme Court lawyer.