Housing sales, new launches hit by coronavirus, but festive season may brighten things up
The real estate sector is on the cusp of a new phase, largely brought upon all of us by the Covid-19 pandemic. With a number of physical and operational hurdles to encounter, this new era will be largely defined by the adoption of digitisation.
To provide a more fulfilling and comprehensive buying experience, developers have now started investing in virtual experiences to ensure complete transparency of their projects.
From virtual tours, sample walks as well as mostly using digitised mediums for transactions, this will be a major characterisation point in their constant efforts to bridge the trust gap in the eco-system.
Covid-19 has had an adverse impact on the housing sector, diminishing demand and liquidity avenues for developers. According to an internal survey conducted by CREDAI MCHI, there has been an 85 percent decline in housing sales and 98 percent decline in new launches in MMR region, during the April to June quarter of financial year 20-21.
However, with the onset of the festive season, gradual recovery and developers’ continuous efforts to sustain a conducive environment for all stakeholders, the sector is bound to witness a new era of real estate development, providing a sound foundation for reviving economic growth. Indian real estate has been on a rollercoaster ride for the last three decades, pivoting its trajectory one way or the other. The 90s witnessed the beginning of an era which enabled homebuyers and investors to recognise housing as a viable asset class.
Coupled with government support and financial organisations liberalising housing loan rates and making them more accessible to the general public, the next 10-15 years witnessed the first phase of the housing revolution in India. With widespread interest from investors (primarily homebuyers and global private equity players) owing to the lucrative return on investment and the tangible nature of the investment, Indian real estate became the hotspot for domestic and foreign investments in the 2000s, with both residential and commercial garnering great interest amid an asset bubble creation.
In the last decade, while commercial realty has grown substantially, residential real estate has remained the flagship category of Indian realty. The government’s focus on providing a level playing field in the form of RERA and fulfilling every Indian’s dream to own a house by providing infrastructure status to the affordable housing segments, has proved to be instrumental in reshaping the dynamics of the sector, with developers leading the charge in providing the most conducive eco-system for homebuyers. Primarily led by comprehensive market research and industry insights, developers have gradually redefined the architectural and liveability quotients by providing a 360-degree experience to buyers. From initially providing nominal additional facilities including a parking space and a park, developers have upped their game and started providing a range of services including gymnasiums, recreational halls, jogging tracks, among other things. On the flip side, given the focus of the government to fulfil every Indian’s dream to own a home, developers have also actively taken up affordable housing projects on a large scale across the country.
Transparency and accountability. While the introduction of RERA played a huge role in laying the foundations in making homebuyers the key stakeholder of the eco-system, developers have largely embraced this change by building on the added trust factor and using transparency as a key USP to their products.