Coronavirus in Mumbai: Virus lockdown stalls construction, project delays for homebuyers

Mumbai: Anarock Property Consultants said lockdown due to the virus spread has stalled the construction across the country, and home-buyers should expect project delays.

More than 15.62 lakh units are under construction in the top 107 cities of which Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and National Capital Region (NCR) together comprise 57% or 8.90 lakh units.

Pune has nearly 2.62 lakh units under construction followed by Bangalore with 2.02 lakh units and Kolkata with 90,670 units. Moreover, Chennai and Hyderabad together comprise just an 8% (about 1.18 lakh units) share of overall underconstruction units.

Prashant Thakur, the Anarock Property Consultants head (research) said with the country in 21-day lockdown, homebuyers are bound to be affected by project delays.

A lot is at stake for Indian residential real estate as the country goes under total lockdown to battle the virus spread. Developers tend to schedule project launches during the auspicious festivals such as Gudi Padwa, Akshaya Tritiya, Navratri and Ugadi.

The strict advisories for complete lockdown across the nation will impact housing sales during the upcoming festivals, usually considered auspicious by prospective home-buyers.

“Another fallout of the nationwide lockdown is there will be zero construction activity at all the project sites. It will further strain several developers’ financial health. As many as 15.62 lakh units across the top 7 cities were in various stages of construction as on 2019-end.

These include all underconstruction units launched between 2013 till 2019-end. Even this figure is conservative — the number of units will be higher once Q1 2020 data comes in,” said Thakur.

Anarock in its research report said once the crisis is under control, the Government will have to dole out economic measures to bail out badly-hit sectors, reconsider fiscal deficit targets and start spending.

“That said, since this is a crisis with pan-India ramifications, all projects will have to be excused from construction delay penalties under the respective state RERA,’’ it added.

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