Speculator-driven NCR & MMR saw sales drop by 68% and 27% since 2013-14

Anuj Puri, Chairman – ANAROCK Property Consultants

From observing residential market trends over the past five years, it clearly emerges that 2013-14 was the last year where things still looked vibrant for the sector. Housing sales began plummeting after that, and there is no clear revival in sight as yet.

A quick trends assessment for the past 5 years reveals that during 2013-2014, an average of 3.3 lakh units was sold annually. Thereafter, with too many project launches facing off with decreasing demand, unsold inventory began piling up across the top 7 cities of India.

Housing sales dropped significantly in the 2015-2016 period. On an average, only 2.7 lakh units were sold across top 7 cities of India during 2015-16, recording a significant drop of 17% from the average sales of 2013-14.

When demonetization hit the nation during the 4th quarter of 2016, the situation turned from grave to savage. Immediately after the demonetization impact, the real estate sector was battered with RERA and GST which severely shook up the sector.

Anuj Puri, Chairman – ANAROCK Property Consultants

Traditionally, the Gudi Padwa festival season is an auspicious time to invest in real estate. Considered a time of renewal, it coincides with Punjab’s Baisakhi, Tamil Nadu’s Puthandu, Andhra Pradesh’s Yugadi and Kerala’s Vishu.

Since a large cross-section of Indians tends to link property acquisition with auspicious dates, activity levels on the property market tended to increase visibly in this period.

However, Gudi Padwa 2018 is not likely to bring the accustomed uptick, which – though almost non-existent even in the last 2 to 3 years – arrived in the backdrop of a more complex set of challenges than ever before. This year, this festive season will be juxtaposed with some interesting market dynamics.

The residential real estate market in many cities has been slowing down, and developers are hoping that Gudi Padwa will prove to be a turning point for many developers who have been struggling with slow sales as well as policy-induced compliance pressures and generally negative market sentiment.

Indian developers tend to look at the tradition-fuelled appetite for housing purchases during festivals like Gudi Padwa so as to mitigate slow sales during the rest of the year and offer lower prices under the guise of festival discounts.