Coronavirus Pandemic to impact affordable housing sale: Report

Mumbai: The corona pandemic could derail the growth momentum of affordable housing in 2020. This will be one of the worst-affected segments as per a report from Anarock firm. Their latest report states that 6.1 lakh affordable units were under construction across the top seven cities --(MMR, Pune, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, NCR, Kolkata) until the lockdown was announced. The affordable segment contributed over 39 per cent of the total 15.62 lakh under construction units in the top cities making it the highest share of all budget categories.

While the report estimates overall unsold housing inventory to shrink annually by 1-3 per cent in 2020, the unsold affordable housing stock may actually increase by 1-2 per cent in this period. As on Q1 2020 end, there are more than 2.34 lakh unsold affordable homes in the top seven cities which are 36 per cent of the total unsold stock across all budget categories.

“The Government’s ‘Housing for All’ push coupled with multiple sops to buyers and developers brought on an avalanche of affordable housing projects in India," says Anuj Puri, Chairman, ANAROCK property consultants.

"As much as 40 per cent of the new supply added across the top seven cities in the past few years was in the affordable segment (units priced at less than Rs.40 lakhs). As a result there is a huge under-construction supply of about 6.1 lakh units in the affordable segment. This segment will be severely impacted by the current COVID-19 outbreak,” informed Puri.

As the target audience typically has limited income and unemployment fears currently loom large buying sentiment will be impacted. This could result in deferred property purchase decisions in 2020 and ultimately derail the segments’ growth momentum. As a result, unsold affordable stock can rise by 1-2 per cent on a year on year basis, " concluded Puri.

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