Ideal time to buy property in India?

Having gained a firm foothold in Delhi-NCR’s real estate market in a short span of its existence, the Morpheus Group is now eyeing a pan-India presence and has got many expansion plans up its sleeve. In an interview with ET, Mr Prithvi Raj Kasana, MD of the Morpheus Group, shares his views on the issues currently being faced by the industry and also shares his business outlook. Excerpts:

Do you think this is the right time to buy property?

The plethora of offers and discounts in the festive season makes it an ideal time to invest in properties. Customers will be able to get best deals at this point of time. The Reserve Bank of India gave a more-than-expected rate cut of 50 bps ahead of the festive season and also increased the loan portfolio for buyers looking for homes in the range of Rs 30 to 50 lakh. The festive season along with these delightful announcements came as cherry on cake for home seekers. Remarkable response from customers is more than expected this time around. Bookings during the festive season have witnessed far better results compared to the previous years, demonstrating the recovery mode of the real estate sector after years of slowdown. The fact that queries have increased and sales have picked up reflects that market sentiments are improving.

What do you think the government should do to tackle the problem of acute shortage of housing in the country?

Measures should be taken to remove hurdles, when it comes to land clearances, along with a control on prices. The PPP model should be encouraged as well. The ‘housing for all’ mission will succeed if the government offers adequate support to the realty sector. However, growth of the real estate sector has stalled to some extent owing to the stalling of key bills like the real estate regulation and development bill, single window clearance bill and GST in the Parliament. If the government streamlines these bills and provides land at affordable rates, then private developers can easily launch projects and fulfill the housing demand.

While there is a need for affordable housing, developers are mostly engaged in building luxury and super luxury flats. How would you explain this trend? What is your outlook for luxury housing?

There is undoubtedly an increasing need for affordable housing. Home buyers usually prefer property with prices ranging between Rs 30 and Rs 50 lakh. 95 per cent of our projects falls in the affordable property segment, while only 5 percent belongs to the luxury segment. But people have not stopped investing in the luxury segment. Many people are still looking for lavish living. Luxury housing, therefore, has its own place in the realty market.

What is your company doing to differentiate its offerings in a sector inundated with hundreds of players? What is your USP and what are the focus areas currently?

During the festival period, we came out with lucrative offers for our customers. Our group visualizes itself of becoming the obvious choice of each consumer in the country. To that end, we are constantly striving to gain the trust of the people whom we work with and the ones whom we work for. We offer realistic prices to our customers. However, during the festive season we offered Rs 100 per square feet discount for every new booking. Customers can get up to Rs 2.5 lakh maximum discount on booking a flat.

What are the growth and expansion plans of your company?

We believe in customer delight and satisfaction. We aim to achieve newer and greater heights in the field of creative construction and imaginative infrastructure. We are planning for a pan-India presence. In the near future we are planning to widen our presence in residential, commercial and hospitality sectors. We believe in work and not in hype. Our work gives the message of growth.

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