Dussehra, Diwali: India set for new property launches

The biggest of the Indian developers have started to unveil their new projects overseas, with Dubai being the favourite destination.

In the past few months, Lodha Group, India Bulls, Kalpataru Limited and many others have launched their projects in the emirate with Assocham, India’s top industry body, stating developers will see a 100 per cent increase in inquiries from non-resident Indian (NRI)-based buyers.

Indian property developers are expecting a 35 per cent rise in inquiries from NRI-based buyers against last year's about 18 per cent, Assocham has said.

"NRIs feel confident about the new government in India and are waiting for an investment friendly market in various fields," it added.

Giving the much-need push is the festive season of Dussehra and Diwali, which may push NRIs to book properties in India.

The last two Dussehra-Diwali seasons having done dull business, this time there have been over hundred new launches taking place in cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Pune.

Developers such as Lodha, Ekta, Rustomjee, Omkar and Marathon are targeting the residential market in Mumbai, while up north, in National Capital Region, developers — Godrej Properties, Ansal API, Vsquare Development Company, Pratham Housing and Ajnara India — have unveiled properties. Down south, Brigade Group, Puravankara and Mahindra Lifespaces have launched projects.

Lodha’s new 55-storey tower, in the new Cuffe Parade project in the eastern suburbs of Wadala, Mumbai, has reportedly been offered at a pre-launch price of close to R17,500 (Dh1,042) per square feet, about R1,000-1,500 below the current rate.

Abhishek Lodha, Managing Director, Lodha Group, is hopeful demand for real estate will pick up in the next three to six months.

“The market has already started showing strength,” Lodha told the newspaper.

Vishal Malik, director, Coldwell Banker India, the Indian arm of North American residential real estate franchise Coldwell Banker, said his agents were flooded with enquiries and that he was hoping to close some good deals soon.

“This season could be the beginning of a revival in the real estate sector,” Malik said.

Gaurav Gupta, director, Omkar Realtors believes the mood this festive season is upbeat.

“We are already seeing conversions on enquiries made by buyers in the last four to five months and hopefully the momentum will pick up,” Gupta said, adding that two projects in the western suburbs of Andheri and Bandra Kurla Complex will be thrown open soon.

Pointing out that projects need to be priced realistically, Vivek Kumar, Head, primary sales (Mumbai), Jones Lang LaSalle India, said that if a two-bedroom apartment was priced at R10 million (Dh602,409) buyers might bite but at a 20 per cent higher level, the product would be hard to sell.

Property prices falling

Separately in New Delhi, Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan said property prices in real terms - that is, after adjusting for inflation - are coming down.

“The value of real estate will increase in a growing economy, but the housing data suggests that with seven to eight per cent inflation, prices are coming down in real terms and become more affordable as wages are going up,” the governor said.

The central bank has not cut its benchmark interest rates, signaling banks to continue with tight liquidity policy to contain retail inflation at around six per cent.

The real estate sector has been pushing for a rate cut so that consumers' affordability to buy a house improves, local media reported.

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