Like always, during Diwali this year, several developers announced festive offers to lure homebuyers, offering possession of units and innovative financial schemes, among other things. Though there was interest among buyers, not many of them bought residential properties. They preferred to wait to reap the benefits of a likely market recovery because of the new government at the Centre and the tax sops announced in the Budget.
Surprisingly, it was the secondary market that did fairly well this season and that was primarily because ready-to-move-in products were available “off the shelf” at a “comfortable” price for buyers.
“Sales velocity during this festive season remained uninspiring despite the various attractive pricing schemes and discounts that developers have been offering to attract buyers. However, the current scenario is in no way indicative of what lies ahead for the real estate market, for which the outlook remains very positive. To my reckoning, we are currently at the cusp of growth, and the tangible manifestations of the current market recovery will become visible over the next 12 months. The old dictum ‘what cooks slowly, cooks well’ is very pertinent in the present scenario,” says Anuj Puri, chairman and country head, JLL India.
The benefits of a recovering market could not be harnessed during the festive season. The events that catalysed the recovery – namely the new government at the centre, its pro-business policies, the encouraging Union Budget and its provisions favouring real estate, are likely to take more time to impact the market. Likewise, the RBI held on to current interest rates as safeguard against further inflationary trends. It will take several more months for the market to gain convincing momentum again, so the festive season did not bring the kind of momentum that was hoped for, Puri adds.
Vineet Relia, managing director, Sare Homes, says, “Post 2011, offers during festive season don’t work. Customers buy houses when they get a good deal. Interestingly, we get more enquiries during shradh (a period of mourning when transactions are considered inauspicious). Many customers leave behind post dated cheques with a Navratra date. Freebies do not help shore up sales. A free trip to a foreign country on booking is no longer a decision maker or a trigger to close a deal. Only an affordable price and a good location is.” There has been no significant improvement in sales this season.
Interestingly, the resale market is taking off in a big way and has seen an improvement of about 10%. “Overall activity in this segment has increased as fence sitters are taking fast decisions. This being a ready-to-move product, there is more traction in this segment this season,” says Shveta Jain, executive director, residential, Cushman & Wakefield India.
There have also not been too many new launches. With reference to the high levels of unsold inventory, launches have decreased consistently since the first quarter of 2013, with the exception of the first quarter this year, in which launches increased.
iPhone6, smart tabs and more on offer
Supertech gave possession to over 1000 units in projects such as Ecociti project, Sector 137, Noida-Greater Noida Expressway, Noida and at Capetown, Sector 74, Noida. Sare Homes had 200 apartments on offer under an innovative payment plan through which buyers just had to pay 2% of the total cost as down payment. The company was aiming at breaking the booking amount entry barrier.
A fully-loaded smart tablet came with every new booking on low-rise independent floors at Wave Executive Floors located on NH24, Ghaziabad. Also, customers of Wave City – IBM powered smart city needed to pay 10% at the time of booking to avail the special festive offer and pay the rest on possession.
Prateek Group offered an inaugural discounted price for Grand City, Sidhharth Vihar, Ghaziabad; a free iPhone 6, five KVA power back-up and covered car parking for booking a unit in Prateek Edifice, Sector 107, Noida.
Logix Group is running a special 30-70 payment plan in three projects, Blossom County, Blossom Greens and Blossom Zest. The plan gives customers a chance to pay 10% of the basic cost at the time of booking, 20% of the basic cost and add on within 30 days of booking and balance at the time of possession.
Tata Housing launched the ‘pay your way’ scheme, enabling customers to choose from deferred, upfront and construction-linked payment plans with six flexible payment options at three of the company’s marquee luxury projects. These included The Gateway Towers in Mumbai, Primanti in Gurgaon and The Promont in Bangalore with different schemes for each project.
Mahagun launched a 10:80:10 offer on Mahagun My Woods, Mahagun Meadows, Mahagun Mirabella and Mahagun Moderne. Car parking charges have been exempted from Mahagun MyWoods project.