The housing sector hit a new low during the April-June quarter with just 20,000 launches across the top seven cities of the country, down 23% compared to the same period last year, according to the estimates released by Anarock Property Consultants. Cities include Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, NCR and Kolkata. It is also the sixth consecutive quarter when sales outpaced unit launches. Fewer new launches also saw a corresponding decline in unsold inventory with the number of unsold residential units falling to 4.2 lakh homes after a period of 30 months. “The last time the overhang was close to 4 lakh units was during the fag end of 2014,” said Anuj Puri, chairman of Anarock Property Consultants. Inventory levels may decline further as developers will rush to register projects under RERA, Puri added.
Two years ago, in mid-2015, unsold inventory was in the range of 7 lakh homes at an all-India level. Since then, developers have steadily dropped unit launches, focusing more on constructing existing projects and reducing unsold stock. RERA has further delivered a blow since it deters companies from raising fund through a pre-sale process and mandates registration of such projects on the RERA website before commencing sales.
Anshul Jain, India MD, Cushman and Wakefield, said, “Developers need to make intrinsic changes to their business structure, operations and marketing strategies to comply with RERA norms,” Jain explained. Interestingly, during H1 of 2017, about 58% of the new launches were in the mid-end segment, whereas luxury- and high-end properties represented only 17% and 25% share, respectively, in the total new launches.
After RERA, new launches will reduce by 25% to 30% during the latter half of the year owing to registration requirements, Colliers International has said. A Knight Frank report states, “The baggage of unsold inventory was stilted mainly in the under-construction category. However, now ready for possession apartments are also available across markets.”