Teji Mandi: Overall trends of real estate sector improve as recovery sustains in December

Real estate industry ended the year 2020 on a high as the pace of recovery sustained in December. The month saw the highest-ever demand in over a decade. It was led by decadal-low interest rates and attractive festive schemes offered by developers. The industry reported a demand growing 54% YoY. Maharashtra continues to gain from the stamp duty cut as MMR (up 120% YoY) and Pune (up 75% YoY) sees the maximum traction during the month.

Despite the impressive ending of the year, overall sales declined during the year. Sales fell by 18% YoY in CY20. MMR again emerged as the least impacted market with a fall of -2% compared to a year ago. It was followed by Pune and Hyderabad. These markets registered degrowth of -15% to -16% respectively. NCR fared worst with sales down 37% YoY in CY20.

New launches declined :

December 2020 also saw the pace of new launches declining across most cities. It was largely due to the healthy traction witnessed during the festive season in October-November. Overall, new launches declined 34% MoM and 50% YoY in the top 7 cities. New launches in CY20 declined 30% YoY, NCR being the most affected with a decline of 63% YoY.

Unsold inventory declines:

With high demand and a declining number of new launches, unsold inventory levels also came down in December. On the quarterly basis, inventory months improved QoQ to 35 months in December from 39 at Sep-end.

Pune and Hyderabad remained the best markets with 19-22 months of inventory. It was followed by MMR, Chennai, Bengaluru and Kolkata at 33–43 months. NCR remains the worst real estate market with 76 months of inventory.

Flat pricing :

In CY20, average prices rose to 8% YoY in NCR, followed by 5% in Bengaluru. Prices rose moderately in Chennai and Hyderabad (3-3.5%), while they remained broadly stable in other cities.

Closing comments:

Real estate industry struggled under the covid-19 crisis in the first half of CY20. But, the recovery has been strong in the second half. It makes us believe that the gradual improvement will continue into CY21.

Over the medium to long term, the consolidation in favor of organized developers is expected to gather steam. Rising capital requirements and the inability of smaller developers to raise funds are likely to aid developers with strong balance sheets. Moreover, home buyer's preference for builders with strong execution capabilities is also working in favor of established brands.

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