After hitting a 52-week high on Wednesday, S&P BSE Realty index continued to be in focus on Thursday as it claimed a fresh 52-week peak. Realty stocks notched gains of up to 11.5% and the S&P BSE Realty index closed the session up 2.97 % at 2,596.43 points, after hitting its new high of 2606.11 points on Thursday. The S&P BSE Realty index has delivered a hefty return of over 100% since the beginning of the year. In the S&P BSE Realty index, Unitech was the top gainer, closing 11.02% higher at Rs 8.16. It was followed by DLF, which closed 6.29% higher at Rs 263.8. DLF hit its 52-week high of Rs 266.85 during the session before retracing some gains towards the end. Other index stocks that also recorded new 52-week highs were The Phoenix Mills, Omaxe and Sobha. Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited, Godrej Properties and Indiabulls Real Estate were the other prominent gainers. Developers believe that the year 2018 will bring in the much-anticipated revival of the residential sector.
Although Rera and GST might be considered as a disruption by the industry, the government’s sustained efforts towards promoting affordable housing provided some hope to the residential sector. However, Anuj Puri, chairman of Anarock Property Consultants argued that the year 2018 is expected to be no different than 2017. He dismissed revival hopes of the residential sector and pointed to a weak job market and the slow GDP growth rate as impediments to revival. “It is expected that the Budget will be largely populistic focusing more on rural economy wherein farm loan waivers and increase in minimum support price for various agricultural produce will be announced. These measures will put pressure on the government’s fiscal position, and hence any rebate for the residential sector in the form of reduction of GST rates or increase in the tax exemption limit for home loans may not happen,” added Anuj.