Realtors in South defy trend, say no to price hike

Written by Sajan C Kumar | Chennai | Updated: Oct 28 2009, 04:21am hrs
Bucking the national trend, realtors in south India appear to be in no mood to raise prices. A cross section of leading construction firms which FE contacted say after the lull, demand has just started picking up and they want to cash in by pushing up the volume. We cannot afford to drive away customers when the demand is there, said T Chitty Babu, chairman and CEO, Akshaya Pvt Ltd, one of the key realty players in Chennai. Sentiments across the realty market have seen a marked improvement, with some favourable steps taken by the Tamil Nadu government. A substantial number of enquiries are coming in and, coupled with the low interest rates, the enquiries are sure to be converted into bookings, he said.

Many of the realtors in the South say their first priority will be to clear out the inventory at the prevailing price. The builders in Mumbai and Delhi have hiked prices of residential apartments by 10% to 15% during the last three months.

Prakash Challa, president, Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India, said though there has been no increase in prices like Delhi and Mumbai, some developers have cut down on the discounts they were offering in the lull period. Sudharshan KS, CEO, Ozonegroup, said, At a time when the market has taken a positive turn with enough enquiries pouring in we will be focusing on pushing our projects with added vigour.

Ravindra Sannareddy, managing director, Sri City said the realty sector is thriving with activities. Even when the country was going through the impact of the meltdown, the commercial realty segment was very active. The only slowdown was in the residential segment, which obviously saw fewer transactions, compared to the boom period

KA Mohamed Saleem, managing director, Asset Homes said, Slowdown or no slowdown Kerala has always been a stable market for realtors with no significant escalation in prices. Though there has been a pause in construction during the height of the meltdown, the prices have not come down drastically. Therefore, we see no scope for a price hike when the realty market is on a revival path.