ALSO READNote ban to affect real estate sales only in the short term: Abhishek Lodha Affordable housing, EPF rules: Multiple tailwinds could perk up real estate After Budget incentives, Oberoi Realty & Lodha to enter affordable housing Amid slowdown, Lodha, Oberoi, Wadhwa clock record home sales in Mumbai PropTiger, Housing merge to make online realty giant
Realty major Lodha group's sales bookings rose by 30 per cent last fiscal to about Rs 8,500 crore driven by growth in the domestic market and foray into London.
Mumbai-based developer achieved a modest 10 per cent rise in sales bookings from projects in India at about Rs 7,000 crore during the last fiscal with demand getting affected for three months post demonetisation.
"Our new sales bookings grew by 30 per cent last fiscal at around Rs 8,300-8,500 crore. Out of this, about Rs 7,000 crore sales were from Indian market and rest from London where we launched our first project," Lodha group Managing Director Abhishek Lodha told PTI.
The group's sales bookings stood at about Rs 6,400 crore during the 2015-16 fiscal, all from Indian market, he added.
Lodha said sales were affected during November 2016 to January 2017 period because of poor demand post demonetisation.
"Sales have bounced back in February and March. We will have to see the sales number of April-May to get to know whether this demand is sustainable," Lodha said.
The group launched its first project 'Lincoln Square' in London last year and the sales have been good despite Brexit. The construction work has started and completion is expected in the next year.
"We plan to launch another project in London during this fiscal," he said.
On project execution, Lodha said the group delivered 7,200 housing units last fiscal and is targeting to handover more than 8,000 homes during the 2017-18 fiscal.
In line with the government's push on affordable housing, he said the company is developing projects like 'Palava and Amara' under this segment in Mumbai Metropolitan region.
"We sold 4,000 homes in affordable category in 2016-17 and we are targeting sale of 6,000 low-cost homes this fiscal," Lodha said.
The government has recently accorded infrastructure status to affordable housing paving way for availability of cheaper finance for such projects. It has offered interest subsidy for prospective home buyers and relaxed various norms including built-up area for developers.
"Housing sector plays an important role in any economy. There should be high level of home ownership in our country and people should be encouraged to buy property from credible developers," Lodha said.
Asked about the debt, Lodha said it is currently around Rs 14,000 crore. The overall debt level and the cost of debt is expected to reduce.
Lodha group is currently developing around 45 million sq ft area and it has over 30 ongoing projects across London, Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Pune and Hyderabad. It has a land bank of 350 million sq ft for future development.