With stable property prices and historically low interest rates on home loans, sales momentum is expected to continue during the second half of this year.
With stable property prices and historically low interest rates on home loans, sales momentum is expected to continue during the second half of this year.

Property consultant Knight Frank India on Thursday said that housing sales rose 67 per cent year-on-year during the January-June period to 99,416 units across eight cities on better demand primarily in Mumbai and Pune despite the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic.

Before Knight Frank, three more real estate consultants Anarock, PropTiger, and JLL India have released their reports on residential markets for January-June 2021.

According to Anarock, housing sales rose 43 per cent year-on-year to 82,860 units across seven major cities during January-June 2021. JLL India reported an 18 per cent rise in sales to 45,218 residential units in seven cities.

However, in complete contrast, PropTiger recently reported that sales across the top eight cities fell 7 per cent to 82,144 units from 88,593 units during the period under review.

Knight Frank India on Thursday released its report "India Real Estate - Residential, January-June 2021" in a webinar for eight cities -- Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), Delhi-NCR, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, and Ahmedabad.

As per the report, 99,416 residential units were sold in the first half of the 2021 calendar year (H1 2021) across eight markets as against 59,538 units in the corresponding period of last year.

"We expect that we will do better than 2020 in housing sales," Knight Frank India Chairman and Managing Director Shishir Baijal said when asked about the outlook of the full calendar year.

With stable property prices and historically low interest rates on home loans, he expected sales momentum to continue during the second half of this year

According to Knight Frank, new launches of housing units increased 71 per cent to 1,03,238 units from 60,489 units.

Housing prices remained mostly contained with a reduction of 1-2 per cent Year on Year (YoY). Unsold inventories fell one per cent to 4,41,742 units from 4,46,787 units.

"The gradual resumption of economic activity and increasing availability of the vaccine had sparked market traction in the second half of 2020 and this momentum carried over into Q1 2021," Baijal said.

The second wave of COVID-19 infections has impeded this momentum, he said.

However, Baijal said this should be seen as more of a "speed bump" as YoY growth in market volumes remains strong in half-yearly and quarterly terms in the January to June 2021 period.

"The limited period stamp duty cut which spiked home sales in Mumbai and Pune adequately demonstrates the need for policy-level intervention to revive the residential market," he said.

Going by the tremendous success of the stamp duty cut in Maharashtra, Baijal said other states should consider similar demand stimuli at appropriate times.

According to the data, Mumbai saw a 53 per cent year-on-year rise in sales to 28,607 units during January-June this year.

Housing sales in Pune were up 74 per cent to 17,474 units.

Bengaluru saw a 22 per cent growth in sales to 14,812 units while Hyderabad witnessed a 150 per cent rise in sales to 11,974 units.

Sales of residential properties went up 111 per cent in the NCR to 11,474 units.

Chennai saw a 93 per cent rise in sales to 5,751 units, while Kolkata witnessed a 74 per cent increase to 5,115 units.

Housing sales in Ahmedabad rose to 67 per cent year-on-year to 4,208 units during January-June this year.

Industry weighs in

Niranjan Hiranandani , National President – NAREDCO and MD- Hiranandani Group: The Future Real Estate Sentiment Index from KnightFrank-FICCI- NAREDCO report divulges several key indicators for the way forward in FY 21-22. The current Sentiment Index score in Q2 2021 reflects the impact of piecemeal restrictions in April and May followed by easing of curbs in June 2021. The calibrated reopening of economic activities with accelerated inoculation drive has resulted in an upward trajectory of home buying demand and sales in June on back of stability and securityit offers during the deep crisis.With pent-up demand on festive tailwinds, fiscal impetus in form of stamp duty waiver, unchanged ready reckoner rates, historic low home loan interest rate and deal sweetener by developers cumulatively resulted in demand impetus from domestic as well as NRI home buyers’ segment. The positive sales velocity has resulted in lowering of ready to move inventory by renters turning into the first -time home buyers and existing homeowners upgrading to the larger luxurious apartments to incorporate a new normal lifestyle. This trend will continue to garner sales traction in the following quarters as a safe bet investment portfolio.

Shweta Thakker, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, AhujaHIVE: The report cites an uptick of 185 percent YoY in Q2 2021 records despite the severity of second wave of Covid-19 containing the fall in residential prices in H1 2021. The real estate sector sentiment has benefitted from an overall drop in the unsold inventory and a noteworthy spike in sales realized as the buyers continue to fulfil their dream and aspirations of owning a home or building their investment portfolio. Real estate sales may have slowed down due to the Covid restrictions, however, there was a considerable demand witnessed for the mid-range to high-end residential property segment.An exponential rise of a whopping 388 percent in new launches indicates a positive sentiment that is certainly likely to continue in H2 2021.

Ram Raheja, Director, S Raheja Realty Pvt Ltd.The unlock measures undertaken by the government have helped address the supply-side constraints. The sentiment has turned positive due to a host of reasons ranging from government reforms, low-interest rates, easy liquidity, unlock measures, and above all the vaccination process which is full flow across the country. Mumbai has witnessed with the foresight of first-wave and partial lockdown on businesses during the second wave, businesses managed to stay afloat. From a real estate standpoint, strong growth of 67 percent YoY to 99,416 units in residential sales in H1 2021 is phenomenal and only dictates that consumption has increased.

Rohit Poddar, Managing Director, Poddar Housing and Development LtdWith an aggressive vaccination drive coupled with limited restrictions on businesses, the second wave had less impact on the real estate sector. From real estate standpoint, the reduction in repo rate, stamp duty, ready reckoner rate has been crucial in driving the sales momentum in H2 2020 and Q2 2021. Moreover, post- stamp duty revision, lucrative offers from developers have managed to sustain the momentum. As a result, real estate witnessedhistoric growth Y-o-Y in the H1 2021. With the foresight of first-wave, developers recalibrated their approach towards new launches to suit the current time while developing properties that address the current new age home buyer demand. Overall, H1 2021 has been fantastic in terms of sales and partial recovery.

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