Realty prices face steep fall as virus stalls market

Realty prices face steep fall as virus stalls market

Mumbai, April 2

Land Prices Could See 30% Correction

  • Realty firm Liases Foras has said property prices may come down by 10-20% across geographies, while land prices could see an even higher reduction of 30%
  • The situation now is so severe that there is four to five years’ worth of real estate inventory across India
  • The country’s nine major residential markets have unsold units worth $80 billion, according to a report by PropTiger, an online real-estate portal

India’s real estate market is likely to see a significant price correction for the first time in a decade as the coronavirus pandemic stalls businesses across the country, according to a half dozen industry insiders.

“Property prices may come down by 10-20% across geographies, while land prices could see an even higher reduction of 30%,” said Pankaj Kapoor, chief executive of real estate consultancy firm Liases Foras, adding there hasn’t been such a correction since the global financial crisis. Since then, prices in most markets have held steady despite lending and shadow banking crises.

In the last year, things had taken a turn for worse because of a liquidity crunch at shadow banks — which are big lenders to both developers and property buyers — forcing companies to offer discounts. Now buyers can expect far steeper cuts.

“It is a complete buyer’s market. So if somebody really wants to do the deal, they have to reduce prices,” said Ram Raheja of S Raheja Realty in Mumbai.

Banks are also worried that if developers can’t liquidate their stocks, it could lead to defaults and add to a $140 billion pile of bad loans.

“The profits of most developers have already taken a beating, and there is no profit as such left in the system. Everyone is just trying to survive by maintaining their cash flows,” said Ashok Mohanani, vice-president of realty body NAREDCO in Maharashtra. — Reuters

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