‘Affordable homes’ remain unaffordable in metros and suburbs

From ET Realty

CHENNAI: A muted real estate market, poor infrastructure and anticipation of price revision have ensured that ‘affordable homes‘ remain ‘unaffordable’ in metros and adjoining satellite towns.

While the home loans witnessed a mere 10% growth in disbursals during the first half of the fiscal, the increase was on account of balance transfers, offtake in the resale property segment and higher growth in Tier II and Tier III markets as compared to major cities during 2015-16.

In the case of ICICI Bank, home loan saw a 30% growth in Tier II and Tier III locations when compared to 20% for Tier I markets during the current fiscal. “There has been some slowdown in sales and new launches and there is a huge stock of inventory in cities like Mumbai and Delhi,” executive director of the bank, Rajiv Sabharwal said . Within the bank’s home loan portfolio, one-fourth of advances is from the resale segment with home loans accounting for 24% of the bank’s overall loan book. As per estimates, of the 3.5 lakh units sold in the past year (October 2014 to October 2015), only 41,000 units were in the ‘affordable range.’ While the affordable house definition is tenuous and varies from market to market (it is Rs 50 lakh in Mumbai, Rs 30 lakh in Chennai and Rs 25 lakh in Jaipur), nevertheless lenders assert the loan off take during the first half of the fiscal has been skewed in the Rs 50 lakh to Rs one crore segment.

“The third quarter has been slow since most of the demand in this segment comes from salaried class wherein home buyers are holding back because of overall slowdown in the real estate market. By and large, the middle-class is expecting further decline in property prices. We expect demand to pick up from next fiscal year, and see growth potential of at least 25-30% in this segment,” executive vice president of Kotak Mahindra Bank, Shambu Singh said. While disbursals in the affordable and rural segment have seen a year on year growth it is pertinent to note that such growth is on the backdrop of a lower base.

Shriram Housing Finance which commenced business four years back has seen a 11% growth in disbursals in the affordable housing loan segment during the third quarter when compared to the same period last year.

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