New home sales, supply show significant improvement in Q4 2020: Report

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Updated: January 11, 2021 2:03 PM

The spike in supply numbers could be attributed to the increase in home-buying interest in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic and also the fact that new launches were muted over the prior three quarters.

Units in the sub-Rs 45-lakh category were the largest contributor to the overall supply, with nearly 46% share, followed by the mid-segment, which contributed 25%.

Supply of new homes and sales showed a significant improvement in the fourth quarter of 2020 (October-December) in line with the ongoing economic recovery with the government’ initiatives, and increased market confidence providing an added growth impetus.

“All factors considered, the sector has shown remarkable tenacity in 2020 against unprecedented odds that have caused the economy to contract and impacted consumer spending. The fact that housing sales in India’s key markets have started to bounce back, despite the general gloom caused by the pandemic, shows the immense potential of the real estate sector, which employs the highest number of unskilled workers in the country,” said Dhruv Agarwala, Group CEO, Housing.com, Makaan.com, and PropTiger.com.

The sector’s performance, in fact, seems particularly impressive given that the pandemic has impacted the income-generating capacity of a large number of people. End-users and investors continue to feel confident about investing in real estate. Prices continued to remain stable and overall outlook looks positive.

New supply improves amid expectations of a growing appetite for property ownership

According to Real Insight Q4 2020, a quarterly analysis of India’s eight prime residential markets by PropTiger.com, 54,329 new units were launched during the three months, amidst the phased easing of restrictions put in place in India as part of one of the most severe lockdowns in the world to contain the spread of the Corona virus. New launches grew by 173% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) to 19,865 units that were launched in the eight key markets during the July-September period. This also reflected a 12% year-on-year (YoY) growth over the 48,530 new units that were launched in the December quarter in 2019. This was the first quarter since the onset of the pandemic where the industry witnessed a YoY growth, signaling a turnaround in the market.

However, only 122,426 units were launched in the entire 12-month period in 2020, about half the new supply in 2019 (244,256 units).

A city-wise break-up of launches also shows that there has been a quarterly increase in the October-December period across markets, barring Ahmedabad. Hyderabad, Pune and Mumbai were the top three cities in terms of new launches.

Units in the sub-Rs 45-lakh category were the largest contributor to the overall supply, with nearly 46% share, followed by the mid-segment, which contributed 25%.

The spike in supply numbers could be attributed to the increase in home-buying interest in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic and also the fact that new launches were muted over the prior three quarters. Some cities like Mumbai and Pune showed good performance, driven by stamp duty cuts by the Maharashtra government, overall low interest rates, stagnant housing prices and attractive offers by developers.

“While the trends point to a market recovery and positive news given the imminent launch of a vaccine that will ease the pandemic concerns, our optimism should be cautious. Buyers continue to expect low home loan rates, extension of developer offers and prefer ready to move inventory than those under construction. We believe that the government should continue to support the sector through moves such as lowering stamp duty, re-evaluating circle rates and increasing tax deduction limit for interest on home loans to ensure that the sector continues to revive. The sector is digitizing at a rapid pace and more than 90% of potential home buyers have moved online to shortlist properties to buy. We have seen a strong growth in online booking throughout 2020,” said Mani Rangarajan, Group COO, Housing.com, Makaan.com, and PropTiger.com.

Sales numbers improve in Q4, but full-year numbers are 47% less than 2019

Even though home sales in markets covered in the analysis declined by 27% compared to the December quarter of 2019, they showed a 68% improvement compared to the preceding quarter.

While 58,914 units were sold during the three months, only 182,639 units were sold through all of 2020. Compared to the overall sales registered in 2019, the numbers achieved in 2020 show a 47% decline.

Except Ahmedabad, home sales increased across all other cities when compared to the preceding quarter. Housing units in the Rs 45 lakh and below category accounted for 48% of the overall sales numbers during the quarter ended December 31, 2020.

Mumbai and Pune contributed over 50% of the sales during the quarter with 31% and 20%, respectively.

Developers launched attractive offers that effectively lowered the overall cost for buyers, prompting more people to invest in property during the festive season in 2020. Low home loan interest rates together with the lowering of circle rates by some states have also contributed to the improvement in the sales numbers. After the RBI lowered the repo rate to 4% through consecutive rate reductions, most banks in India have brought the home loan interest rates to sub 7% levels. Maharashtra and Karnataka were also proactive in lowering stamp duties on property registration that provided a much-needed additional impetus to the residential sector in the aftermath of the pandemic.

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