The real estate market in the country saw recovery after the first wave of the pandemic started to ebb. The buyer confidence saw a renaissance of sorts immediately after the lockdown was eased last year and home sales improved significantly and went on to get better with each passing month since then. However, the recent surge in coronavirus cases across the country is threatening to partly slow the ongoing recovery process in the coming few months. These are cautiously optimistic times for the industry and the recovery is far from coming to a screeching halt.
“After the lockdown was eased last year, the jump in buyer confidence was partly due to efforts of the central and state governments. Various state governments took steps like lowering stamp duties, reducing circle rates, etc. Buyers were also facilitated by the developers and brokers to buy properties with digitization which was adopted in a big way. They also made possible virtual tours of the properties from their homes with the use of technologies like 3D Walkthrough, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), says Mani Rangarajan, Group COO, Housing.com, Makaan.com & PropTiger.com.
Mani also adds, “The period of lockdown gave an opportunity to developers to expedite the assimilation of technology that they have been doing over the past few years and bring all the steps in a home purchase process online in an effective manner. It gave an opportunity to the real estate industry in India to be at par with the best in the world in terms of client servicing.”
The homes sales in the first three months of the current calendar year saw a decline of 5 per cent as compared with the year-ago period. This can be described, at best, as marginal considering the magnitude of the pandemic impact on various industries. The recovery process in the industry, although witnessing a slight derailment presently with the second wave of corona, is likely to resume in the coming months with the vaccine becoming a reality and being given out to the masses.
Mani says, “Even the home loan rates at almost at their lowest levels in the last many decades and this is encouraging a lot of buyers to come forward and buy properties, especially for end use.
The prices of properties remained stable amid all the chaos. The annual growth in property prices among the top cities remained more or less flat. But the Hyderabad and Ahmedabad were exceptions to the rule and recorded about 5 percent growth in the first three months of the current calendar years as compared to the same period of previous year. The prices are likely to remain range bound with single digit increase expected in the coming quarters.”
Second Wave of COVID
“The current surge in corona infections seems to be a temporary phenomenon as it has not been long since the corona vaccination process has been started in the country. Also, the fast pace of digitization adopted by the industry will help it stand in better stead as compared to the last time when the pandemic took a toll. The industry is better poised this time than last year in sales and even new launches of homes by developers will come on track by the next few months.”, concludes Rangarajan.