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Real estate sales set to get a leg-up this festive season

National, November 12, 2020: As the real estate sector witnessed a price crash impact due to the pandemic, end users are queuing up to buy their dream homes. With fantastic Navratri sales, developers and lenders are now pinning hopes for better Diwali sales.

Private sector lender ICICI Bank on November 11 said it has seen a significant pick-up in home loan disbursements in October both in terms of the number of customers and in terms of value. Bank’s mortgage loan portfolio has crossed Rs 2 lakh crore, the bank said.

“We have seen a resurgence in demand for home buying,” said Anup Bagchi, executive director of ICICI Bank in a conference call with reporters. The numbers are substantially more than September, Bagchi said, adding, the bank is aiming to ramp up its digital channels for business and the process is already underway. Part of the growth is due to the affordability of homes, Bagchi said.

The real estate sector, which is considered to be one of the biggest contributors to GDP, has a significant presence in Delhi NCR and the builders are expecting a jump in sales figures.

“Aspirations have grown. We are seeing a lot of first time home buyers, who were not able to reach a decision in the previous quarters due to lockdown are eager to conclude the deal in this auspicious season and both banks and developers are coming with lucrative offers to attract buyers,” said Rajeev Talwar, chief executive of DLF Ltd and chairman of industry body Naredco.

Renewed buyer interest is what is helping developers look at clearing stocks and come up with good options. Karan Kumar, chief marketing officer, DLF Ltd, said, “We foresee renewed interest in the upcoming festive season against the backdrop of the depreciating rupee, low-interest rates on home loans. All of these have improved the attractiveness of real estate as an investment asset class against other traditional alternatives. The festive season, coupled with a number of recent measures by the government, and offers from developers, hopefully, will nudge investors to make their decision during this period.”

Attractive prices, due to price corrections during the pandemic is making inquiries get converted into genuine sales. “This year, the desire to finalise a property seems to be more intense as buyers have realised the value of real estate assets and a need for extra space for office work. The sales have started picking up pace in Q3, and we have seen a trend of a surge in sales during the festive season, and likewise, we expect this year to witness an increase in demand. Factors including low-interest rates and attractive post-pandemic schemes & offers will further motivate buyers to purchase homes. We are launching attractive payment plans to suit the needs of consumers,” said Amarjit Bakshi, CMD, Central Park.

But, it is not just the revival in buyers’ sentiment, which is driving sales, even good festive offers are pulling in end users. Pankaj Bansal, director at M3M Group, said, “As we have stepped into the festive season, consumer sentiment is strong and since we have offerings in all the spectrums – under construction – residential and commercial; delivered – residential and commercial; we are poised to meet the customer needs. M3M delivered 8 projects within a span of three months – July to September 2020 with a total of 30 lakh sq. ft. area and sales value worth 32,00 crores. We recorded 500 crores of sales in the first fortnight of having announced the ‘port your property’ campaign in October 2020.”

Developers also used the time they got during the lockdown to focus on innovation and technology to ensure ease in the process. Developers are using technology to bring homes to buyers according to the reports published in cnbctv18.com.

“The festivals of Dhanteras and Diwali have been traditionally associated with achievement and prosperity in Indian society. We have an omnichannel approach where we are using both traditional and new-age mediums to put our vision across potential homebuyers. We also use a mix of all major social media platforms for lead generation, which have been giving us positive results. With travel taking a backseat due to covid-19, people are now more inclined to invest in their future than looking at experiences, hence the prospects of real estate are positive in this festive season,” said Ashish Sarin, chief executive officer, AlphaCorp, said.

“We foresee the sales to peak in the festive season. It is an opportune time for real estate purchases due to favorable demand and supply-side dynamics, value-added deals, and government’s thrust to the sector in select cities and bright prospects of real estate investment against alternative asset classes,” Ravish Kapoor, managing director, Elan Limited, said.

“We foresee robust sales in the festive season. Real estate has emerged as a relatively safe mode of investment, and interest rates on home loans are low. Also, the value-added offers by developers and banks will also attract consumers,” Rahul Singla, director, Mapsko Group, expressed his opinion.

To watch out for is, how banks expand their retail loan book and whether the festive season brings back some cheer to the struggling real estate sector or not.

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