NEW DELHI: The rising interest rates, liquidity tightening in the banking system and slowing down of economy have badly affected the real estate sector. As the demand for residential real estate has softened, its prices across the markets in India have started showing a declining trend.
According to National Housing Bank residential index, the prices have shown a declining trend in 22 out of 26 cities in the April-June 2013 quarter compared to the January-March quarter. Real estate prices have softened in major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Pune. (see chart)
R V Verma, CMD of NHB, said rising interest rates have adversely affected the demand from end-users, which led to rise in the inventory of unsold property. As builders have to meet the loan repayment liability as well as complete the already started projects, they find it more prudent to cut prices to sell the units and generate cash.
Sanjay Dutt, joint MD at Cushman and Wakefield, a property consultancy, said the decline in prices is not sufficient enough to attract the buyers. But, the good thing is that a beginning has happened. He felt if the economic conditions do not change, the trend will continue and it will provide a good opportunity to the end-users to buy a house. Dutt said as the sentiment is subdued the investors are also absent from the market.
Verma too argued that the declining trend in the real estate prices is good for both builders as well as end-users. As the cost of money has gone up and the chances of making money in the short-term are not very bright, the investors are absent. This will be a positive for end-users to buy house.
Verma added that if prices come down, transactions will increase, which would improve the cash flow in the sector. In 2008 and 2009, when the entire country was reeling under the global financial crisis, real estate came out of it unscathed mainly because of its strategy to cut prices and increase turnover.
Source: The Times of India