Despite builders’ attractive sops, home sales not picking up

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A slew of new launches, freebies and discounts do not seem to have given the prospective home buyer much incentive, if home registration data for the past three months is anything to go by. While new house sales registered from January to March touched 17,383, April-June saw a dip in registrations at 17,205.

The new projects for luxury and affordable housing from reputed builders include the much publicised pre-launch offer of Lodha Developers in January. They sold the first lot of high-end apartments at its central Mumbai project, Codename Blue Moon, to a combination of domestic buyers and non-resident Indians.

Other launches include, L&T’s residential project in Powai and Godrej Properties residential project in Vikhroli.

“Months such as May and June typically do not see high sales because of vacations, and investment decisions do not happen during this time. However, sales have been up in July,” said Gaurav Gupta, Chief Marketing Officer of Omkar Developers.

“The past few months have also seen a rise in sales due to a combination of factors, including affordable ticket size of projects, new launches and good projects from reputed builders. These sales have happened across segments,” said Gupta.

However, a report by real estate consulting firm Knight Frank states that real estate continues to be unaffordable in Mumbai due to premium projects.

“Mumbai remains a highly unaffordable real estate market as compared to major cities such as Hyderabad and Bangalore,” the report said.

According to Knight Frank, the weighted average price in Mumbai city is high at Rs 14,400 per sq ft as in the quarter ending June (financial year 2013-14), while the weighted average price is about Rs 5,900 per sq ft for the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), which includes areas such as Thane, Navi Mumbai, Mira-Bhayander and Vasai-Virar. “However, despite the waning interest of home buyers, quoted prices in Mumbai continue to remain high as developers are increasingly offloading their unsold inventory at a discount to investors who are willing to make substantial upfront payment,” the report states.

According to a report by property consulting firm Liases Foras, data for April-June show that property prices have stagnated across the top markets in the country and inventory of unsold homes has touched a new high of 669.95 million sq ft.

“The quarter April-June was subuded for the real estate market and possibly one of the worst quarters in terms of sales across cities. A combination of discounts and flexible pricing is keeping up the sales in the past few months,” said Pankaj Kapoor of Liases Foras.

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