The unsold residential stock in Mumbai truncated by over 20 percent in the period ending March 2021 in the backdrop of the all-time low home loan interest rates and the one percent stamp duty waiver, highlights 99acres Insite Report. Let us look at the magnitude of growth in the residential enquiries and transactions and the dip in the unsold housing inventory during the period.

While the residential markets across other Tier 1 cities witnessed a marginal revival in enquiries and sales in Jan-Mar 2021, the housing market in Mumbai left industry stalwarts in awe with manifold growth in residential transactions, YoY. The city recorded a historic surge in property registrations driven by home sales and captured an enormous share in the total conversions recorded across the top eight metro cities across India.  

The euphoria among homebuyers peaked in the last month of the stamp duty waiver scheme as the daily rate of units sold in the city increased to 530 units, i.e. nearly 4.3 times higher than the daily rate of units registered in March 2020. Increased absorption, thus, tumbled the unsold residential inventory in Mumbai in Jan-Mar 2021, which stood at 50,000 units at the end of the quarter. 

 Month

Number of property registrations recorded in Mumbai in Jan-Mar 2021

January 2021

10,400 units

February 2021

10,200 units

March 2021

12,600 units 

 

As per the 99acres Mumbai Insite Report Jan-Mar 2021, the unsold housing stock in Mumbai dipped by 20 percent, QoQ, from 60,000 units in Oct-Dec 2020. While the demand picked up across the city, the southern and the southwestern pockets continued to remain heavily laden with unsold stock.

Maximum unsold housing inventory was in the premium locales of South and South West Mumbai, such as Prabhadevi, Mahalaxmi, Parel and Bandra. Mira Road and areas beyond it also withheld a significant share of several affordable housing projects announced by developers in the last few years under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY).

What led to the dip in unsold housing inventory in Mumbai?

Stamp duty rate in Mumbai

September 2020- The Maharashtra government announced the stamp duty waiver scheme.

Oct-Dec 2020- Stamp duty charges in Mumbai were truncated from five percent to two percent.

Jan-Mar 2021- Stamp duty in Mumbai was four percent.

April 2021 onwards- The stamp duty rates have been reversed to five percent. 

The demand-supply disequilibrium largely emerged on the back of multiple trends. These include the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine in January 2021, re-operationalisation of local trains, online tours and lucrative schemes offered by developers, reduced stamp duty charges in Maharashtra and the steady repo rates that helped financial institutions provide home loans at all-time low interest rates. Overall, the housing sales in Mumbai recorded a 20 percent hike, QoQ, in Jan-Mar 2021. Central Mumbai, Andheri-Borivali belt and Mira Road and beyond garnered maximum traction due to the availability of mid-income segment housing units and new project launches by some ace real estate developers.

While Mira Road and beyond remained favoured for 1 BHK and 1.5 BHK units in Rs 35-65 lakh budget, the Central Mumbai and Andheri-Borivali belt lured homebuyers for mid-sized 2 BHK and 2.5 BHK units in Rs 1-1.3 crore price bracket. It was long after that the South and South-West localities also contributed to the overall housing sales. According to Rakesh Salvi, Owner, RS Properties, Mumbai based property firm, “Several transactions worth Rs 10-15 crore were registered in Mumbai, depicting the appetite for upscale properties, even in the pandemic situation. The majority of the buyers were driven by the stamp duty reduction as even one percent waiver ensured significant savings. Also, many potential sellers, unsure of the future market situation, agreeing to the price cuts put forth by buyers also boosted the trend.”

The limited supply of new projects too helped in the depletion of the unsold residential stock. Merely, 2,000 units were added in the quarter across the entire city. However, with most of the new addition being by premium realty builders, the conversions in these projects were relatively higher. A few reputed developers that launched projects in the quarter ending March include Runwal Group and Ajmera Realty and Infra India Ltd in Wadala, Godrej Properties and Mahindra Group in Chandivali, Wadhwa Group in Chembur and Kalpataru Realty in Kandivali, among others.

Nevertheless, while the sentiment remained strong in the preceding quarter. The second strain of COVID has shaken the housing markets across India, and Mumbai is no exception as property registrations in the city fell by over 40 percent month-on-month in April 2021.

Nishit Jalan, CEO, Grovy India, avers that while the times are tough, developers are equipped to deal with the second wave. They have technologies that offer project walkthroughs online. Digital tours have, in fact, maintained the enquiry momentum even in these challenging times and builders are hopeful of better deals ahead when the situation stabilises.” Overall, the homebuyers are still there in the market and exploring different options; however, amid the second strain, the home buying cycle might increase by 4-6 months due to looming financial and health concerns.