Realtors see recovery from Covid-19 impact by December-end

Last Updated 02 September 2020, 07:20 IST

The real estate industry expects to recover from the slump, seen during the Covid-19 induced lockdown during the first quarter this fiscal, by the end of the third quarter.

According to top real estate developers in the country, the recovery will be gradual in the coming days. The second quarter of this year has begun on a positive note for the industry. Serious home-buyers have searched properties through digital mediums during the lockdown period and they have started visiting property sites, property developers said.

“Home buyers are still not coming out of their homes to visit property sites due to restrictions and local lockdowns. We expect the normalcy to return by the middle of October. The construction activity is currently in the range of 65% as many workers are yet to return. We expect the construction activity to become normal by the end of the third quarter,” J C Sharma, Vice Chairman and MD, Sobha Ltd told DH.

Further reduction in interest rates for both home buyers and builders coupled with lower stamp duty, and GST would help revive the demand, he said.

"Due to a good number of ready-to-move-in inventories available with us, we have witnessed rise in the number of enquiries and visits at our project locations," Surendra Hiranandani, Chairman & MD, House of Hiranandani said.

The company has seen 100% attendance of its workers at construction sites in Bengaluru and Chennai.

However, the demand level is yet to return to pre-Covid levels across the industry. "The second half of the year is always a better period from the sales point of view. We are hopeful that by year-end, things will bounce back," said Sarvesha, MD, Bhadra Developers.

The company has seen 50% drop in sales during the first quarter of this year.

According to Ashish R Puravankara, MD, Puravankara Limited, the construction is slowly inching back to pre-Covid times. He expects all their workers to come back shortly. During the lockdown period, the company leveraged on its online home-booking portal 'BookMyHome' and has seen good number of enquiries. It virtually launched three new projects. "Customers are looking at projects that fulfill their post-Covid needs, and projects offering those will see good number of sales," Puravankara said.

Brigade Group has seen around 70-75% of workers return to work. "There are workers in transit and in the labour colony who are waiting to be inducted post quarantine. We hope to see good improvement from the first week of September," Rajendra Joshi, CEO-Residential, Brigade Enterprises said.

Brigade has seen 65% of last year's monthly average sales and hopes to improve further towards the festive season. The company sold just about 4 lakh sq. feet during the first quarter compared to 1.13 million sq. feet space in the same quarter last year.

"With the RBI reducing key interest rates and bringing in targeted long-term repo operations to ease liquidity in the system, moratorium on loans, and RERA timeline extensions, the residential market is expected to pick up pace gradually in the next 6 months," Shrinivas Rao, CEO, APAC, Vestian Global said.

Prestige Group has seen a return of 60-70% of its workers back at its construction sites. The company is witnessing pre-Covid level in its sales from June onwards. It is also launching two new residential projects in Bengaluru. "Presently, the lowest rate of interest is available in the loan category up to Rs 30 lakh, with most of the institutions. We would like to see this cap raised substantially," Swaroop Anish, Executive Director, Business Development, Prestige Group said.

(Published 02 September 2020, 05:46 IST)

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