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Real estate sector grapples with volatility amid COVID-19 pandemic


The novel coronavirus pandemic has been a speed-breaker of sorts at a time when home buyers were gradually returning to the market, National President of the National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO) Niranjan Hiranandani said on Friday.

The shutdown of retail outlets, malls, entertainment and fitness centres has put commercial real estate deals on wait-and-watch mode, he said.

"Real estate is the second largest employment generator and has a multiplier effect on 250-plus allied industries. We need government support to face the on-going challenge," said Hiranandani, who is also President of the industry body ASSOCHAM.

NAREDCO has urged the government for intervention measures like rescheduling loan repayments, a one-time rollover for debt restructuring and deep interest rate cut. "These will help salvage the economic challenges for real estate companies," he said.

Salvaging Indian real estate is critical, said Hiranandani, not just from the GDP growth perspective but also for employment generation.

The sector has been facing dropping sales due to sagging buyer confidence and an overall slowdown in the economy. The crisis in non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) after the collapse of IL & FS and Dewan Housing Finance Ltd (DHFL) led to a severe credit squeeze.

"Now with coronavirus pandemic impacting all sectors of the economy, the troubles of real estate industry appear to have been compounded," said Hiranandani.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, March 20 2020. 17:48 IST