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No major impact of fresh Covid wave on housing sales: Property consultants

Housing sales are expected to remain strong during this current quarter and there will not be any major impact on demand from the fresh wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to industry experts.

Housing market, Homes, Real estate, Realty

Press Trust of India New Delhi
Housing sales are expected to remain strong during this current quarter and there will not be any major impact on demand from the fresh wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to industry experts.
Many states imposed restrictions like weekend curfew to curb the spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus, affecting visits of prospecting customers to project sites.
However, real estate developers and consultants said there was a minor impact in the first two weeks and sales enquiries are strong.
"The impact of Omicron on housing sales is not expected to be significant as compared to the last two waves," Anarock Chairman Anuj Puri told PTI.
Anarock is one of the leading housing brokerage firms in the country.
"Unlike the last two waves, we have not had a complete lockdown and mobility has not been severely impacted. The sentiments have remained broadly positive as the fatality rate has been very low and so has the hospitalisation rate," he observed.
Though the weekend lockdowns in a few cities have impacted the site visits, Puri said the developers have maintained the sales momentum due to the rapid adoption of digital technologies.
"Another notable factor is that the affordability is still attractive for the homebuyers that have kept the inquiry pipeline of the developers healthy," he said.
Cushman & Wakefield India MD (Residential Services) Shalin Raina said sales have been marginally impacted by the new wave.
"The year 2021 witnessed a historic rebound for the residential real estate market in India.
"There were multiple reasons including low mortgage rates, stamp duty cuts by certain states, strong economic recovery across industries and the need for larger homes for WFH (work from home) professionals," he said.
The momentum was carried forward to 2022 but the Omicron variant has certainly slowed things marginally, Raina said.
"Due to restrictions and lockdowns, site visits to projects by consumers reduced significantly resulting in the reduction in sales in the NCR market," Raina said.
He highlighted that a luxury housing project has been launched in the national capital.
"The overall consumer sentiments remain positive as the macroeconomic environment in the country is stable. The general view about Omicron is that while it is highly contagious, it is less lethal," Raina said.
Therefore, he said the residential market might experience a marginal slowdown for 4-6 weeks, after which the market should rebound strongly.
"The overall view for the residential market for 2022 remains upbeat," Raina said.
Last week, Macrotech Developers MD and CEO Abhishek Lodha said there was a "minor" impact on housing demand in the first two weeks of January this year due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.
However, Lodha remains confident of meeting the Rs 9,000-crore sales bookings target for this fiscal as against nearly Rs 6,000 crore during the last financial year.
According to Anarock data, housing sales across seven major cities rose 71 per cent year-on-year in 2021 to 2,36,530 units but demand fell short of pre-COVID-19 levels by 10 per cent.
Housing sales stood at 1,38,350 units in 2020 and 2,61,358 units in the calendar year 2019.
All major listed real estate developers have reported a sharp jump in their sales bookings in the third quarter and the April-December period of this financial year.
Earlier this month, realty firm DLF Ltd sold properties worth Rs 1,500 crore in its new luxury housing project in Delhi, within few days of the launch.
In January, DLF launched its luxury housing project 'One Midtown', comprising 913 units, in the national capital with a starting price of Rs 3 crore.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Jan 30 2022 | 5:03 PM IST

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