MUMBAI: A pronounced revival in sales through the December quarter, particularly in Maharashtra’s two biggest cities, has helped cushion the impact of the lockdowns on India’sresidential propertymarket that appears to have bottomed out in the current cycle after having peaked six years ago.
To be sure, top seven property markets across the country have seen total home sales of 1.38 lakh units in 2020, an on-year decline of 47%. However, these top 7 cities saw robust sales of around 50,900 units in the fourth quarter on the back of good purchase offers and benign interest rates that helped the market claw back to more than 80% of the activity seen in the same period in 2019, showed data from ANAROCK Property Consultants.
“This year has been unprecedented due to Covid-19, causing all-round upheaval… However, the residential segment was quick to pick up momentum in the last two quarters of 2020 on the back of growing home-ownership sentiment catalysed by the exigencies of the pandemic,” said Anuj Puri, chairman – ANAROCK Property Consultants. “This pent-up demand was further accelerated by the ongoing discounts and offers, the prevailing lowest-best home loan interest rates and limited-period stamp duty cuts in states such as Maharashtra.”
For instance, Mumbai, the country’s biggestreal estatemarket, continued its record-setting ride in December as homebuyers rushed to conclude deals in a ‘buyers’ market’.
The performance in December has already broken all the monthly records in just the first half, with deals set to close at records.
“Most of the variables seem to have fallen in place. Genuine homebuyers who have been waiting on the sidelines have started to take decisions,” said Deepak Goradia, managing director, Dosti Realty. “Buyers’ sentiment has seen an upturn led by record-low home loan rates and various other enabling steps taken by the central and state governments. We expect the momentum to continue.”
Registration of residential sales in the financial capital rose 53% from a year earlier to 9,827 deals in the first 18 days of December, surpassing the number for the entire November, which also logged the highest in eight years.
These numbers are 66% higher than the pre-pandemic month of February.
According to property brokers, the uptrend in housing sales is visible across all the key markets as the pandemic has made buyers realise the need for bigger homes. While initially the preference was for ready properties, now the under-construction projects are also witnessing good traction.
Due to increased new launches across cities after unlock, unsold inventory declined by 2% on a yearly basis to 6.38 lakh units during the fourth quarter.
However, in comparison to the peak levels of 2016, when unsold stock stood at around 7.91 lakh units in top markets, it has seen a significant 19% decline.
New housing supply in 2020 declined by 46% against the preceding year to 1.28 lakh units.
On the supply front, the top cities saw a 2% rise in launches at 52,820 units during the fourth quarter. Hyderabad outpaced others, adding 12,820 units in the quarter, followed by Mumbai Metropolitan Region, with over 11,910 new units.