Go on­line, pay later: Buy­ers get special builder of­fers

REALTY CHECK Com­pen­sa­tion for price cor­rec­tions also be­ing promised

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Estates - - FRONT PAGE - Van­dana Ram­nani van­dana.ram­nani@hin­dus­tan­times.com ■

Hit hard by de­mon­eti­sa­tion, real es­tate builders are now com­ing up with special schemes to lure buy­ers and en­cour­ag­ing on­line pay­ments. Com­pen­sa­tion is also be­ing promised for price cor­rec­tions in the near fu­ture.

Home buy­ers are be­ing as­sured of ad­just­ment of com­pen­sa­tion if prices fall fur­ther. This has led to a sig­nif­i­cant rise in in­ter­est in ready-to­move-in prop­er­ties and projects near­ing com­ple­tion, says Brotin Ban­er­jee, MD and CEO, Tata Hous­ing.

“We have also en­cour­aged the use of the most con­ve­nient mech­a­nisms for trans­ac­tions through our on­line por­tal which al­lows cus­tomers to make pay­ments on­line, en­sur­ing trans­parency and ease for both,” Ban­er­jee says.

In Delhi NCR some de­vel­op­ers are plan­ning to pro­vide price guar­an­tees which will be in­cluded as a clause in the builder-buyer agree­ment. If prop­erty prices were to cor­rect, the bal­ance would ei­ther be re­turned to the buy­ers or ad­justed in their in­stall­ments. Realty ex­perts, how­ever, warn buy­ers about this mea­sure, ask­ing “How will you mea­sure cor­rec­tion? What is the cri­te­ria and how can the same value be true for all cities and all as­set classes?”

De­vel­op­ers who have in­tro­duced the book now, pay af­ter three months in­clude Delhi In­frat­ech. It has al­lowed buy­ers hit by de­mon­eti­sa­tion to book apart­ments in its lux­ury project De Nest on the Gur­gaon-Faridabad Ex­press­way and pay later.

It has also been re­ported that some builders, es­pe­cially those with huge un­sold in­ven­tory, have been ac­cept­ing old cur­rency notes from buy­ers to re­pay debts. Many lo­cal builders have man­aged to set­tle their old debts in this way. Sim­i­larly, broking firms are re­port­edly book­ing prop­er­ties with old cur­rency to pay off sums they owe as com­mis­sions to sub bro­kers, say sources.

Buy­ers are also be­ing en­cour­aged to trans­fer the book­ing amount for prop­er­ties on­line. PayU­money has part­nered with An­sal Builders for pay­ment of book­ing and util­ity costs. “Eight to 10 builders are live on our plat­form,” says Pradeep Shekhawat, head-SMB Business, PayU India.

What could prob­a­bly work bet­ter at this junc­ture is for de­vel­op­ers to of­fer re­bates for timely pay­ment of EMIs to cus­tomers. Af­ter the hous­ing bubble cri­sis in 2007-2009, many de­vel­op­ers of­fered 5%-10% dis­counts on the over­all cost of the prod­uct and ad­justed the dis­count with the last pay­ment. “That is a bet­ter way to ad­dress the cur­rent mar­ket sit­u­a­tion and will help en­cour­age sales,” says Shveta Jain of Cush­man & Wake­field.

Hav­ing said that, the uncer­tainty in the mar­ket is only tem­po­rary. “Right now it is more a func­tion of uncer­tainty in the mar­ket and buy­ers adopt­ing a wait and watch ap­proach. The sit­u­a­tion is ex­pected to ease by March next year,” she says.

Are hous­ing deals ma­te­ri­al­is­ing post de­mon­eti­sa­tion? Most all-cheque trans­ac­tions in the pipe­line be­fore Novem­ber 8 have more or less con­cluded. Ma­jor­ity of cash trans­ac­tions, how­ever, have failed to ma­te­ri­alise due to uncer­tainty in the mar­ket.

Pri­mary mar­kets are most of the time driven by all-cheque and all loan trans­ac­tions. An af­ford­able, well priced prod­uct still has trac­tion in the mar­ket. Many po­ten­tial buy­ers are opt­ing to wait for big dis­counts be­cause of low de­mand.

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