Property sales in the residential sector witnessed a hike in metro cities in 2018. With RERA gaining more traction across cities, 2019 will see a definite transit from the old pattern of the developer-led industry to consumer-oriented industry, shares Amarjit Bakshi, Chairman and MD, Central Park.

amarjitWhat is the general home-buying sentiment towards the end of the year in your city?

The investment in the residential real estate sector has been a matter of concern this year. The faith of consumers and investors went for a toss due to frequent project delays, malpractices by certain developers and insolvency of leading players which adversely affected sales. However, with the implementation and rise of RERA, customers’ faith is expected to be restored in the sector but will take more time than expected. This increase in consumer confidence is gradually pacing and the sentiment of investors is resulting in positive growth.

How have sales, property price movement and new launches been in 2018? Is the trend expected to continue in 2019 as well?

The implementation of RERA and GST in the sector has resulted in developers taking a cautious approach when it comes to new projects. With the existing inventory piling up due to no takers, the focus is on selling them even at lower than the market price. Sales in the residential sector recorded a good response in the top cities in 2018. With RERA gaining more traction across cities, 2019 will see a definite transit from the old pattern of the developer-led industry to consumer-oriented industry. Additionally, with MNC culture being adopted and skinned in cities such as Gurgaon, Mumbai, and Bangalore, 2019 will certainly see a new light of optimism.

How have the city developers prepared for 2019?

Real estate in Gurgaon or Delhi NCR region has witnessed significant changes over the past few years. With increased commercial activities and onset of MNCs in the city, many people from different cities of India are shifting here, which is creating housing demand. Moreover, the widening of NH-8 and the expansion of Sohna Road and the rapid metro also bodes well for the realty sector in the region and the future looks bright for Gurgaon real estate. With Central Park gearing up to introduce a pollution free complex, we are optimistic that the coming year is certainly going to be greener and brighter for us.

Do you see any increase in property prices in 2019?

Today, customers are looking for an abode that is not just confined to a fully-furnished luxury home but rather something that also offers greater and better amenities. Henceforth, the cost will rise. However, it would be solely due to the facilities and value addition that the home will come packed with.

How has your city’s realty market performed this year? Is it on the expected lines? Which areas are expected to see high demand in the upcoming year?

Gurgaon is a hub for MNCs and leading corporates today. It is considered as a preferred locality for both, commercial and residential developments. The city has done very well on the commercial front and the residential front is gradually picking up pace. We are expecting that in the coming years, it will be a vibrant realty destination. Sohna, popularly known as ‘South Gurgaon’, has emerged as a favorable destination for affordable projects in the city due to its proximity to various business centres and industrial clusters. Since the area is backed by well-planned infrastructure, it has witnessed healthy demand and will continue getting a similar response in future.

Do you think that the real estate sector has recovered fully by the end of this year?

The realty sector has witnessed ups and downs this year, resulting in muted sales across the country. The initial effect of RERA can be seen in certain parts of the country where it has instilled confidence amongst buyers. Additionally, developers have also shifted their focus from profit building to earning consumers' trust as part of their long-term growth strategy. The real estate sector has improved as the developers are more organised and customer-centric. Having said that, the recovery is an ongoing process as of now and will take some more time to recover and come out of it completely.

How do you sum up 2018 for the city’s real estate sector? What can we look forward to in 2019?

The year 2018 has been a transitional year for the realty sector. With the rise in adoption of RERA and callous players winding up operations, this year can surely be called as a year of consolidation. The focus from developers end would be to create a debt-free enterprise with ample consumer trust.