Sales of residential realty up by 8% in QE Dec’15, harbinger of revival?


New Delhi: India’s housing sector, which is facing a huge demand slowdown, witnessed an 8 per cent sales rise in nine major cities during October-December period – the first time in last 10 quarters, says a report.

In its report, Rupert Murdoch-backed realty portal  tracked real estate markets of nine cities – Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Noida, Mumbai and Pune.

Prices are likely to remain stable in the short term as most cities have already begun to display signs of recovery, said a real estate portal.

“Sales have increased for the first time in last 10 quarters, from 49,000 units (Q2 FY16) to 53,000 (Q3 FY16). This trend reversal indicates that the worst could be over for real estate residential market. At least, the downside, if any, should be limited from here onwards,” the report said.

Affordable housing segment (below Rs. 50 lakh) continued to be the hot pick in the sector with more than half of the total sales of apartments in this segment.

The share, however, has declined over the past 10 quarters, from a high of 58 per cent in the first quarter of financial year 2013-14 to 52 per cent in the third quarter of this fiscal year.

Commenting on the report, the company’s CEO and co-founder, Dhruv Agarwala, said, “The rise in sales, real estate prices and new launches, and the decline in inventory overhang suggests that the revival is round the corner.”

“If the GST (Goods and Services Tax) and Real Estate Regulatory Bill gets a nod from Parliament, it is expected to restore consumer confidence in real estate, further triggering the expected revival,” he added.

The grave concern of unsold inventory in real estate finally seems to be declining, at least for new projects, with sales in new projects rising by 23 per cent when compared to the sales in existing projects, which grew by 3 per cent, the report said.

Mumbai, Bengaluru and Noida have the most unsold inventory, accounting for almost 60 per cent of the total unsold inventory across the key nine cities.

Inventory overhang declined in the third quarter of the current fiscal year by two months to reach 35 months, driven by rise in sales.

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