Driven by stamp duty rate cuts, discounted deals and an all-time low in home loan interest rates, property sales continued to rise in Q1 2021. Of the 25,500 housing sales in the period, Mumbai and Pune accounted for the maximum share as homebuyers rushed to book the benefit of reduced stamp duty rates until March 31 2021. Chennai and Kolkata closely followed and registered healthy sales conversions in the quarter. End-user demand thrived across cities, especially in relatively affordable pockets, which offered homes priced within Rs 75 lakh.
Ready homes or projects nearing completion continued to be the prime choice of homebuyers, and thus commanded a premium. Under-construction projects by financially stable builders, too, gained some traction, albeit transactions remained low. The premium market picked up some pace, especially on the back of NRI demand in cities like Bangalore and Pune.
Unsold inventory diminished at a much faster rate than ever as end-users preferred newly delivered ready units. Moreover, a few Category A and B developers indefinitely deferred their new launch plans in March 2021 owing to a fresh surge in COVID cases. Maximum absorption of units was noted in the affordable segment, which is driven by government initiatives, subsidies and rebates. Mid-income and luxury housing segments are yet to start moving. At the end of March 2021, the quarters to sell the existing inventory stood at 12, up from 10 in March 2020.
The rental market continued to be grim as the slightest hope of reopening of offices and educational institutions was slayed by a fresh spike in COVID cases. With vacancy rates rising consistently across cities, the rental values suffered a dent of 10-15 percent, YoY. The fast-paced dissemination of the COVID vaccine, however, may turn the tables in the next two quarters.
- Within Rs. 40 Lakh
- Within Rs. 40 Lakh - Rs. 1 Crore
- Above Rs. 1 Crore