Q4 Housing sales drop 26% in 9 top cities, new supply plunges 51%: Report

In its report 'Real Insight: Q4 FY20', the housing brokerage firm said "a total of 69,235 units were sold during the quarter ending March as against 93,936 units sold during the same quarter last fiscal." New launches too fell by more than a half to 35,668 units from 72,932 flats during the period under review.

Reports by other brokerages and consultants too pointed out that sales have been hit by 30-40 per cent in the first three months of 2020.

"The adverse impact of the coronavirus is visible on housing sales in the last quarter of the previous fiscal because March is usually one of the biggest months for sales," said Dhruv Agarwala, Group CEO, Housing.com, Makaan.com and PropTiger.com.

The lockdown, which has brought most economic activities in the country to a virtual standstill, has hurt all sectors including real estate, he added.

According to the data, housing sales declined in all the nine cities -- Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Gurugram (including Bhiwadi, Dharuhera and Sohna), Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai (including Navi Mumbai and Thane), Pune and Noida (including Greater Noida, Noida Extension and Yamuna Expressway).

In Maharashtra, housing sales in Mumbai declined 14 per cent to 23,969 units while Pune saw 15 per cent fall in demand to 15,523 apartments.

Sales in Ahmedabad fell by 36 per cent to 4,549 units, while Bengaluru saw 24 per cent drop to 8,197 units.

Chennai witnessed 23 per cent fall in sales at 3,643 units, while Hyderabad recorded 39 per cent slump at 5,554 units.

In Delhi-NCR region, Gurugram faced 73 per cent fall in sales at 1,901 flats, while Noida saw 26 per cent decrease at 3,152 units.

Residential sales in Kolkata were down 41 per cent to 2,747 units.

"While the short-term negative impact of the pandemic on sales was evident in the Q4FY20 numbers, which is also expected to continue in the current quarter (Q1FY 21), we hope that the various support measures announced by the government and the RBI would start yielding positive results in the medium term," Agarwala said.

He noted that the lock-down could bring about a major change in consumer behaviour going forward.

While physical site visits to properties have stopped completely, the online searches as well as online bookings of apartments continue to take place, Agarwala said "Much like mobile phone manufacturers that launch new products on a digital platform before a launch on traditional offline channels, we believe several real estate firms particularly the reputed names will adopt a similar strategy in the coming weeks and beyond," he added.

Singapore-based Elara Technologies, co-founded by Agarwala, owns Housing.com, Makaan.com and PropTiger.com. Its investors are News Corp, REA Group, Softbank, Accel and SAIF Partners.

Housing.com and Makaan.com are classifieds platforms.

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Free Press Journal