Go online, pay later: Buyers get special builder offers
REALTY CHECK Compensation for price corrections also being promised
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.