In a sluggish market, property players are dropping prices and sweetening deals in the hope of pushing sales to prospective homebuyers. Developers are hoping demand could pick up in the suburbs and peripheral areas as more people opt to work from home. Even the biggest brands are making off-season offers to attract customers and also assuring buyers prices will be protected for some time.
Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate, for instance, has reduced the booking amount which according to Sunil Varrier, chief of sales and marketing, is aimed at lowering the entry barrier. “We have been keeping right pricing to generate sales velocity, which is even 2-3% lower than the market price,” Varrier told FE.
JP Infra Mumbai is willing to pay three EMIs of a customer who buys an apartment now but loses his job later. Shubham Jain, MD, explained to FE that this has reassured customers, many of whom are buying a home for the first time.“We have sold 50 apartments on Mira Road during the lockdown and are expecting more bookings in June,” Jain said.
Godrej Properties is running a campaign called ‘HopeHasAPlan’, targeting customers who want to make deferred payments. Customers can pay 10% when they book the apartment and the remaining 90% when they get possession. The scheme is valid across 39 of the company’s projects. Mumbai-based Sunteck Realty is also running a similar offer for its ready-to-move apartments for which occupancy certificate are expected in three to six months.
Down south Embassy Group is allowing an easy payment holiday up to 18 months. It’s also offering a deferred 15-35-50% plan, with 15% to be paid immediately, 35% after 18 months and 50% on possession. One of its projects offers customers gold.
The unsold inventory at the end of December 2019 was close to 4.5 lakh units, according to Knight Frank India. Anuj Puri, chairman, Anarock Property Consultants, said it is not surprising developers are resorting to such aggressive marketing campaigns. “There have been no sales in the last two-and-a-half to three months so the offers are understandable,” he said. Shapoorji Pallonji is allowing customers a 60-day period to re-evaluate their decisions to book homes.
With site visits and walk-ins out of the question, builders are hoping the online campaigns will catch the attention of customers. However, as analysts at ICICI Securities point out even a few transactions will boost cash flows.