Chen­nai, B’lore lead in sales

The south­ern cities ac­count for over 45% of the to­tal hous­ing sales noted across lead­ing cities; NCR prices de­cline NOW BOOK AN APART­MENT ON­LINE

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Hous­ing sales and new pro­ject launches saw a mar­ginal dip in the first half of the year, al­though the rate of de­cline slowed down sub­stan­tially over the same pe­riod last year. Ac­cord­ing to CBRE’s In­dia Res­i­den­tial Mar­ket View for the first half of 2015, home buyer de­mand de­clined marginally by around 2% over that of the sec­ond half of 2014 across In­dia’s lead­ing cities — largely as a con­se­quence of cau­tious buyer sen­ti­ment, high mort­gage rates and sig­nif­i­cant un­sold in­ven­tory in pri­mary as well as sec­ondary mar­kets.

The south­ern mar­kets of Chen­nai and Ban­ga­lore saw pos­i­tive de­mand for res­i­den­tial real es­tate, ac­count­ing for more than 45% of the to­tal hous­ing sales noted across lead­ing cities. This was pri­mar­ily con­cen­trated in the high-end/mid-end seg­ments of the two cities. Hous­ing sales saw a steep de­cline in the Delhi Na­tional Cap­i­tal Re­gion ( NCR), how­ever, ad­versely im­pact­ing prop­erty prices in the re­gion. The res­i­den­tial mar­kets of Mum­bai and Hyderabad, mean­while, noted a slight drop in home buyer in­ter­est lev­els dur­ing the first half of the year.

Owing to sub­dued mar­ket sen­ti­ments, new pro­ject launches de­clined marginally by about 3% in the first half of 2015 over the sec­ond half of 2014. Most new hous­ing projects were launched in the high-end/mid-end seg­ments, pri­mar­ily con­cen­trated in the sec­ondary and pe­riph­eral mar­kets of the re­spec­tive cities.

Com­ment­ing on the find­ings of the re­port, An­shu­man Mag­a­zine, chair­man and managing director of CBRE, South Asia Pvt Ltd said, “The over­all mar­ket out­look re­mains op­ti­mistic as the Gov­ern­ment con­tin­ues to fo­cus on re­ju­ve­nat­ing in­fra­struc­ture to sup­port large-scale af­ford­able hous­ing de­vel­op­ment. Th­ese are cru­cial steps that can re­vive sen­ti­ments in the hous­ing sec­tor. The Hous­ing for All ini­tia­tive, along with re­vival of ma­jor ur­ban in­fra­struc­ture projects and re­moval of im­ped­i­ments to land ac­qui­si­tion, can in uni­son reap rich div­i­dends for the sec­tor in the long term.”

Ban­ga­lore emerged as the most pre­ferred res­i­den­tial mar­ket, ac­count­ing for al­most 27% share of the en­tire sup­ply of new hous­ing projects, while Delhi NCR and Mum­bai gar­nered a share of about 20% each dur­ing the pe­riod. On a half yearly com­par­i­son, Chen­nai and Hyderabad saw a rise in new pro­ject launches, while Delhi NCR and Mum­bai saw a dip in new launches due to al­ready ex­ist­ing hous­ing in­ven­tory and pro­ject de­lays. Lo­ca­tions such as Gur­gaon and Noida Ex­ten­sion in Delhi NCR; the ex­tended west­ern and east­ern sub­urbs in Mum­bai; the north-east­ern and south-east­ern cor­ri­dors in Ban­ga­lore; OMR Road and GST Road in Chen­nai saw sig­nif­i­cant res­i­den­tial pro­ject launches dur­ing the first half of 2015.

“Al­though the Cen­tral Bank did im­ple­ment mone­tary eas­ing dur­ing the first half of the year, the ac­tual im­pact on mort­gage rates has been far less. How­ever, fur­ther mea­sures of mone­tary eas­ing and re­duc­tion in mort­gage rates can have a pos­i­tive im­pact on hous­ing sales across the coun­try,” said AS Si­vara­makr­ish­nan, head – res­i­den­tial ser­vices In­dia, CBRE South Asia Pvt Ltd.

Pricing trends in the res­i­den­tial real es­tate mar­ket re­mained di­verse, vary­ing across seg­ments and neigh­bour­hoods of lead­ing cities dur­ing the first six months of 2015. Home prices re­mained largely sta­ble in the pre­mium and high-end/mid-end seg­ments of Mum­bai, Chen­nai and Kolkata dur­ing the first half of 2015; while Ban­ga­lore saw a price rise due to a mar­ginal in­crease in hous­ing de­mand.

Mean­while, Gurg aon’s Sohna Road (NCR) saw home prices de­cline by 5% to 6% due to a sup­ply over­hang, while re­main­ing sta­ble across other lo­ca­tions of Gur­gaon and Noida. Golf Course Road and Greater Noida Ex­press­way also saw a mar­ginal de­cline in pricing in the pre­mium hous­ing seg­ment. Ra­heja De­vel­op­ers have joined the on­line band­wagon and have booked over 1,600 af­ford­able hous­ing units within two months, 500 of them on­line.

“Cus­tomers them­selves pre­fer to beat the rush and book on­line within 10 min­utes, whereas off­line the whole process takes a few hours. Also if the units are be­ing sold at fixed prices, con­sumers do not fish around in the mar­ket for dis­counts etc.

“BookMyHouse sup­ported us in the back­end cre­ation of the trans­ac­tion por­tal and cost of sale was neg­li­gi­ble com­pared to the huge costs that we in­cur usu­ally,” says Nayan Ra­heja, ED, Ra­heja De­vel­op­ers.

Tata Value Homes, a 100% sub­sidiary of Tata Hous­ing quipped with smart­phones and web-based applications, find­ing prop­er­ties for self-use has now be­come eas­ier for con­sumers. The en­try of real es­tate por­tals in the buy­ing space has pro­vided a new window of op­por­tu­nity, cut­ting through the mo­nop­o­lis­tic con­trol that lo­cal bro­kers en­joy within the mi­cro-mar­kets. This way con­sumers come out as win­ners, also as a re­sult of the com­pe­ti­tion of pricing that th­ese por­tals bring.

Some of the well- known de­vel­op­ment fir ms are now show­cas­ing their projects on e-com­merce sites and of­fer­ing on­line book­ing of prop­er­ties di­rectly. In the fu­ture, the rest of the real-es­tate de­vel­op­ment com­mu­nity is likely to fol­low the trend and open their De­vel­op­ment Com­pany, also held its first on­line ex­hi­bi­tion for an ex­clu­sive au­di­ence through a valid in­vite code. Com­ment­ing on this on­line ex­trav­a­ganza, Brotin Baner­jee, MD & CEO of Tata Hous­ing De­vel­op­ment Com­pany says, “We at Tata Hous­ing, place our con­sumers at the fo­cus of our op­er­a­tions. Our on­line plat­form has re­ceived an over­whelm­ing re­sponse from our con­sumers with over 1,500 book­ing till date. Though it was started as an ex­per­i­ment, it has now emerged as the fastest grow­ing chan­nel of sales for the real- es­tate in­dus­try.”

Very re­cently, Tata Hous­ing launched an in­te­grated pay­ment gate­way to al­low cus­tomers to make their en­tire home pur­chase on­line.

The trans­ac­tion process

The process is like a typ­i­cal prop­erty pur­chase, but with a small dif­fer­ence: here, one needs to pay an ini­tial to­ken amount to book the prop­erty through the por­tal, and the re­main­ing t rans­ac­tion i s done off­line. As per in­dus­try in­sights, the ini­tial book­ing amount is con­sid­ered as an ‘ ex­pres­sion of in­ter­est’ or ‘ in­tent of pur­chase’, and is usu­ally con­sid­ered as part of the ini­tial 10 per cent that the con­sumer pays to the developer to book the prop­erty. While the book­ing may hap­pen at ease, doc­u­men­ta­tion still ex­ists out­side the purview of the site owner or the prop­erty por­tal. So, while one needs to pay a cer­tain book­ing amount to the por­tal, the buyer would still need to meet the developer’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives to fix the fi­nal pay­ment and com­plete doc­u­men­ta­tion.

Just like any other item pur­chase, one needs to in­form the por­tal

Po­ten­tial ben­e­fits to the con­sumers

There are some direct ad­van­tages in book­ing a prop­erty on­line. While it pro­vides more op­tions, it can also ease the al­lot­ment process. Pay­ing the book­ing amount can help en­sure that a buyer gets the prop­erty of his/ her choice. More­over, a por­tal pro­vides deeper reach and en­ables com­par­isons amongst projects avail­able across the coun­try, fa­cil­i­tat­ing ease of de­ci­sion mak­ing for buy­ers.

How­ever, the en­tire process could be seen as an ad­di­tion to the num­ber of al­ready ex­ist­ing steps in buy­ing prop­erty. Thus, for ease of business, the por­tals need to in­te­grate all ser­vices, from prop­erty search and sub­mit­ting of doc­u­men­ta­tion to the reg­is­trar’s of­fice to fi­nal pay­ment through a sin­gle window or under one plat­form.

Por­tals typ­i­cally pro­vide ba­sic in­for­ma­tion on projects such as lo­ca­tion, pay­ment


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