Over 31,000 properties registered in Navi Mumbai last fiscal – ET RealEstate

NAVI MUMBAI: City-based builders have noted that over 31,000 properties (residential and commercial) were registered in various registration offices in Navi Mumbai in the last fiscal year that ended March 2021, despite the major lockdown period of last year.

However, the developers have urged the government not to extend the ongoing curfew to May or June, as that will be bad for the real estate business once the monsoon season begins.

The senior vice president of Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI-Navi Mumbai) Manohar Shroff told TOI: “A total of 31347 properties, which include a major chunk of housing units, were registered in the city till March 31 this year. This means that realty sales were quite active despite the Covid situation of 2020. Two reasons for this good business are the reduction of stamp duty from 6% to 3% in Navi Mumbai and the general reduction of interest rates on housing loans by the banks.”

Shroff further stated: “However, the current lockdown like situation in the new fiscal is just not good for the real estate industry which contributes to the state coffers. We suspect that if the curfew is further extended to May or June, then it can lead to a sharp slowdown in the sales of properties. Hence, we have asked the state government to ensure that the curfew does not persist for long.”

RTI activist Anarjit Chauhan commented: “It is a bit ironical, if not surprising, that people do have the money to invest in real estate since last year despite a `war’ being fought by the government against coronavirus. The fire fighting is still on, but since the business sector is also facing losses due to the lockdown, I guess a balance or an equilibrium will have to be found between economy and public health. Hence, the next few weeks are going to be interesting to watch.”

Vashi based Real estate observer, Yatin Bansal, told TOI: “The driving principle of showbiz — that the show must go on — does, to some extent, also applies to the business of real estate. So, if the sales totally stop in the next few months due to the lockdown, then the state will also not get its indirect and direct tax revenues. Only those developers with deep pockets will then survive by playing the game of patience.”

He added that while many have purchased properties as investments for securing their future funds, there are also those who are purchasing dwelling units only so that they can be rented out to home seekers who at present cannot afford to buy their own units.

“Given the ongoing uncertainties in the stock market and financial sector, housing is currently being viewed as one of the safest long-term investment bets,” said Prashant Thakur, Director and Head – Research, ANAROCK Property Consultants, in a recent media statement.



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Mumbai region unsold housing stock eases 8% in Q1, highest drop in 7 years – ET RealEstate

Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) has emerged as one of the most buoyant residential property markets in the country in the first quarter of 2021 with seven-year high decline in unsold units led by sales momentum despite new launches, showed data from Anarock Property Consultants.

The Mumbai region including the country’s financial capital and neighbouring Thane and Navi Mumbai saw the highest yearly decline of 8% in total unsold housing stock by the end of this quarter to 1,97,040 units.

This is the highest on-year reduction in unsold housing inventory in the last seven years. In previous years, MMR’s stock either increased y-o-y or declined by no more than 3%.

Interestingly, the overall stock fell despite ample new supply hitting the market during this and the preceding quarter. MMR saw 14,820 new units added during the quarter – the highest among the top 7 cities – yet robust sales in the last two quarters significantly helped reduction in the overall unsold stock.

Housing sales are driven by bottomed-out property prices, limited-period stamp duty cuts, developer discounts and lowest-best home loan rates.

During the quarter, around 20,350 apartments were sold in MMR, of which 68% were sold in Mumbai, 18% in Navi Mumbai and 14% in Thane.

“Mumbai is one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world. A reduction in overall acquisition cost by anything between 5-15% made a huge difference in buyer sentiments. Low home loan interest rates and developer discounts, and timely intervention of the government by ways of stamp duty reductions and a 50% cut in premium charges also helped the region get its mojo back even during COVID-19,” said Anuj Puri, Chairman, Anarock Property Consultants.

While overall unsold stock in MMR declined by 8%, individually, Thane reported the highest yearly decline of 14%, followed by Navi Mumbai with 12% and Mumbai with a 5% reduction. Mumbai saw the least decline among the three despite increased housing sales because it was the only city in MMR that added ample new supply in the first quarter this year and the preceding quarter.

Mumbai saw its unsold stock declined by 5% in the year to around 1.33 lakh units as of the first quarter of 2021. The city recorded robust sales of 13,750 units during the quarter, increasing by 51%. As for new supply, in contrast to other cities in the region, Mumbai saw a 132% yearly jump to 12,920 units.



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Top seven cities residential sales surge 29% in Q1, surpass pre-Covid 19 levels – ET RealEstate

Residential real estate across top seven property markets of the country has staged an impressive comeback post-COVID-19 with a surge in housing sales breaching the pre-pandemic level driven by record-low interest rates, discounts offered by developers, eased property prices and stamp duty reduction in key markets.

Improved sales momentum has also propped up confidence among realty developers to launch more projects as indicated by the rise in new offerings across markets.

Residential property sales grew 29% to 58,290 apartments in the January-March quarter so far led by robust performance of Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Pune and Hyderabad. New Launches also rose 51% to 62, 130 apartments, showed data from Anarock Property Consultants.

MMR, Pune, and Hyderabad that led the sales velocity also together contributed 66% of the total new supply in the quarter.

“Demand boosters like stamp duty cuts, further reductions in home loan rates by most banks to 6.70% and ongoing developer discounts and offers helped the residential sector stage a convincing comeback in Q1 2021. Egged on by buoyant sales and enthusiastic consumer sentiment in the October-December period, developers launched several new projects in this quarter – with some spill-over from the pandemic-dampened 2020 pipeline,” said Anuj Puri, Chairman – ANAROCK Property Consultants.

Aided by the reduction in stamp duty, MMR and Pune together accounted for 53% of housing sales in the quarter with MMR sales increasing 46% annually, and Pune by 47%. With around 8,670 units sold, Bangalore was the only city to not record a major yearly change in total sales numbers in this quarter.

“Stamp duty cut has been a game changer in spurring real estate sales across all price segments in Maharashtra. Further, historic low interest rates, improved liquidity and macroeconomic optimism have all been vital in driving buying decisions. There is a strong recognition that this is the best time to invest in real estate,” said Parag Munot, MD, Kalpataru that has projects across Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Pune, Noida and Hyderabad.

According to Puri, housing affordability will potentially remain favourable throughout 2021. If the current sops and incentives continue, one can expect sustained vibrancy in the upcoming quarters as well with end-users driving the demand.

The key cities contributing to new unit launches in Q1 2021 were MMR, Hyderabad, Pune, and Bengaluru, together accounting for 79% of supply addition.

Mid-segment housing saw the maximum new launches in the quarter with a 43% overall share, with the affordable housing segment accounting for 30%. The supply of luxury housing priced above Rs Rs 1.5 crore also rose by 31%.

Average property prices in most of these cities recorded an on-year rise of 1-2% except Kolkata, where prices remained stagnant. NCR and Bengaluru saw property prices rise by 2% during the year.

Changes in the overall unsold stock were negligible as new supply outpaced overall absorption numbers. MMR witnessed the highest yearly reduction in unsold inventory of 8%, while Bengaluru and Kolkata witnessed yearly reductions of 7% each.



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Share of studio apartments supply in top cities dips for first time in seven years – ET RealEstate

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Amidst rising demand for relatively bigger size apartments led by the COVID19 pandemic realities, property developers’ focus on compact studio apartments, which had emerged as a favourite option among urban millennials in the last few years, has come off.

For the first time in the last seven years, the share of studio apartments in total supply has declined to 15%, truncating the uptrend witnessed across major Indian cities due to preference for compact apartments, showed data from Anarock Property Consultants.

In the backdrop of spiralling demand for such configurations by both single and married millennials in top cities, developers increasingly launched projects that offered these in the last seven years. The share of these apartments across the top seven cities had risen to 19% in 2019 from mere 4% in 2013. But in 2020, the scenario changed with the pandemic denting its growth string.

“If we look back at previous years, out of the total 2,102 projects launched in 2013 in top 7 cities, just 75 projects or 4% offered studio apartments. The share increased to 5% in 2014 and henceforth we saw an on-year increase in the overall share of projects that offered these until 2019 when the share stood the maximum at about 19%. It was only in 2020, probably impacted by the new pandemic realities – that the overall share dipped to 15%,” said Anuj Puri, Chairman, Anarock Property Consultants.

The city-wise trend clearly reveals that the concept of studio apartments is more of a western region phenomenon with Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and Pune bucking the trend.

“Over the past few years, due to heightened real estate prices across MMR, homebuyers have preferred to settle for studio or smaller ticket-size apartments. However, the pandemic has completely transformed the decision making rationally from the perspective of quality of living. The value of owning a home has come to the forefront and this coupled with attractive real estate prices, low interest rates, reduced stamp duty and registration charges, work from home culture etc have resulted in a shift in home buying trends,” said Deepak Goradia- Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Dosti Realty.

According to him, the demand for 1 BHK and 2 BHK homes has increased significantly. Even among second time homebuyers, the aspiration levels have increased greatly pushing the average ticket size of property upwards.

Out of the total 884 projects launched in 2020 across the top 7 cities, nearly 130 projects offered studio apartments forming 15% share of total supply. In contrast, 2019 had witnessed total launches of 1,921 projects, of which 368 projects or 19% offered studio apartments.

Of the total project launches with studio apartments in all top 7 cities between 2013 and 2020, MMR and Pune together comprised a whopping 96% share. In contrast, southern cities including Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad didn’t really catch on this frenzy and saw the launch of just 34 projects during the same time period. Property prices and affordability are the key factors driving this preference or acceptance among homebuyers.

By definition, a studio apartment has a single large room combining a living room, a kitchenette and a bedroom. Only the bathroom is separated by a wall. Such apartments are usually preferred by bachelors, students, newly married couples or even those business travellers who frequently visit a city for work. Despite being small in size, studio apartments became the favoured option for many with smaller budgets but preferring to live in proximity to key employment hubs.

This drop in share of these apartments can also be related to the fact that 2020 was the year when demand for bigger homes began to rise substantially amidst the new pandemic realities of the Work from Home model and online education. Resultantly, developers changed their offerings to suit the new realities and hence curtailed the supply of studio apartments across cities.



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