With 100 launches, the great festive real estate show is on

Written by Shubhra Tandon | Mumbai | Updated: Sep 30 2014, 08:19am hrs
PropertyHome buyers can choose from new towers in existing projects and altogether new properties. (Reuters)
With more than a hundred launches, across the top real estate markets in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Pune, and attractively-priced offerings, it could turn out to be a cracker of a Diwali for developers. With the last two Dussehra-Diwali seasons having done dull business, prices have been dropped this time around and real estate players are also packaging deals to include financial schemes.

Home buyers can choose from new towers in existing projects and altogether new properties. Developers like Lodha, Ekta, Rustomjee, Omkar and Marathon are targetting the residential market in Mumbai, while up north, in NCR, six developers Godrej Properties, Ansal API, Vsquare Development Company, Pratham Housing and Ajnara India have unveiled properties. Down south, in Bangalore, Brigade Group has thrown open 540 units for sale in the micro-market of Jakkur. Puravankara has put on offer Purva 270 with 252 units in CV Raman Nagar. In Chennai, Mahindra Lifespaces is selling the affordable segment project Happinest in Avadi.

Lodhas new 55-storey tower, in the ongoing New Cuffe Parade project in the eastern suburbs of Wadala in Mumbai, has reportedly been offered at a pre-launch price of close to R17,500 per sq ft, about R1,000-1,500 below the current rate. The apartments, available in 2, 2.5 and 3 BHK configurations, have been designed by celebrity British designer Kelly Hoppen. Abhishek Lodha, managing director, Lodha Group, is hopeful demand for real estate will pick up in the next three to six months. The market has already started showing strength, Lodha observed.

That might be true given Godrej Properties Aria high-rise towers in Gurgaon, launched last month, sold over 250 of the total inventory of 386 apartments in the first three weeks. From R6,250 per sq ft, initially, the price has inched up close to R7,000 per sq ft, company officials confirmed.

Vishal Malik, director, Coldwell Banker India, the Indian arm of North American residential real estate franchise Coldwell Banker, told FE his agents were flooded with enquiries and that he was hoping to close some good deals soon. This season could be the beginning of a revival in the real estate sector, Malik said.

Gaurav Gupta, director, Omkar Realtors feels the mood this festive season is upbeat. We are already seeing conversions on enquiries made by buyers in the last 4-5 months and hopefully the momentum will pick up," Gupta said adding that two projects in the western suburbs of Andheri and Bandra Kurla Complex will be thrown open soon.

While the market believes L&T Realty should soon do a pre-launch of Emerald Isle in Powai in eastern Mumbai. Rustomjee has launched a new tower in its Urbania project in Majiwade area in Thane, a far off suburb in the north-east of Mumbai. In the affordable segment, Marathon and Bharat Infra have launched two projects in the distant suburbs of Shil Phata in the Thane district of Mumbai.

Pointing out that projects need to be priced realistically, Vivek Kumar, Head, primary sales (Mumbai), Jones Lang LaSalle India, explained that if a two-bedroom apartment was priced at Rs one crore buyers might bite but at a 20% higher level, the product would be hard to sell. Rahul Nahar, managing director, XRBIA Developers which pre-launched two projects in Pune last week, is looking to sell at least 3,000 units in the next three months. Theres a visible change in the mindset of customers and theyre serious about closing transactions,Nahar told FE.

Satish BN, executive director (south), Knight Frank India says stability in the IT/ITeS sectors, a booming equity market and steps taken by government to attract investments should have a positive rub off on residential sales in the festive season.