Housing sales across the country fell by an average of 13% in the quarter-2 (Q2) this year across the top seven cities in the country —Bengaluru, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai,National Capital Region (NCR), Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and Kolkata—as compared to the last quarter, i.e. quarter-1 (Q1) of this year. However, the fall in the sales was the lowest in the NCR at 8%, stated a report released by real estate consultancy firm, Anarock Property Consultants. The report also stated that the real estate market largely remained tepid in this quarter but launches of new projects in the NCR and MMR were 60% higher as compared to the previous quarter. The report compiled real estate data from the NCR, MMR, Bengaluru, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata. Experts also said that the affordable housing sector could give much needed push to the overall realty market, due to a number of benefits announced for this segment in the recent Union budget. Across the top seven cities, 68,600 residential units were sold in this quarter, compared to 78,520 units sold in the first quarter, the report stated. It is also, for the first time since 2016, that the number of units launched is more than the number of units sold in a quarter, it added. The number of new units launched in this quarter stood at 69,600 units. The NCR market showed some signs of recovery as 13,570 residential units were launched in this quarter compared to 8,030 units in the previous quarter, a rise of 69%, according to the report. Experts said that the affordable housing segment had played a key role in boosting the sentiment in the NCR, including in Gurugram, as 48% of new launches belonged to this category and the number of units stood at 6,780. The report also said that overall, the new supply of affordable housing also fell by 20% across the country, but few places, including the NCR, bucked the trend as there was an average increase of 40% in this segment compared to the last quarter. Anuj Puri, chairperson, Anarock Property Consultants, said the number of housing sales and new launches usually reduces before and during the general elections. However, housing sales jumped by 12% in Q 2 (April to June), 2019, compared to Q 2, 2018, while new launches increased by 36% during the same period. “Going forward, with a stable government in power, residential activity is likely to pick momentum in the coming quarters,” he added. Sanjay Sharma, a city-based real estate consultant, said that completing the existing projects and delivering them was crucial for the market to recover in the city. “There is still a market for affordable housing, but the premium segment will take time to recover due to oversupply,” he added.