Bankers attribute the decline primarily to falling incomes due to which the uptake of new home loans has gone down. With the pandemic-induced lockdown, not only did demand for new properties take a hit but also launches of new schemes.
“Due to the lockdown and restrictions, disbursals fell for housing finance. The demand for new homes also reduced because many people faced a fall in income and with the financial uncertainty of the pandemic, people deferred purchases,” said a top SLBC official.
Even the number of housing finance loan accounts fell. The SLBC report shows that against 2.38 lakh home loan borrowers in 2019-20 in Gujarat, merely 1.91 lakh sought loans, a 20% reduction.
On the lower demand for new homes, Balbirsingh Khalsa, the Ahmedabad branch director of Knight Frank India Limited, said, “New launches were very few in the pandemic year and therefore sales of new homes went down. This is bound to affect disbursal of housing loans. Many people lost their jobs or faced salary cuts, and some are not getting payments on time. Even businesses, particularly small and medium enterprises were adversely hit. Therefore, people’s confidence was shaken, and they did not want to add on another liability in the form of a home loan. This thus affected demand.”
Actual disbursals of housing finance in 2020-21, was barely 73.6% of the target under the service area credit plan, states the report.