Published date | 30 December, 2020

How Indian real estate is coping in the aftermath of COVID-19

Square Yards, India’s foremost online platform for real estate transactions, has highlighted how sales figures in the housing sector came down by a whopping 80% for the quarter between April to June in 2020 due to the impact of the coronavirus induced nationwide lockdown and its subsequent economic and societal impact. This was confirmed by Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder at Square Yards, Kanika Gupta Shori, who highlighted the drop of 80% in housing sales for Q1 and Q2 in 2020 in comparison to the same period in the previous financial year.

Some green shoots were visible with a slow but steady recovery towards the year-end and in the months of October and November. There was a pick-up in demand in cities like Mumbai and Pune, aided majorly by the stamp duty cut initiative taken by the Maharashtra Government. The push to digital also helped real estate developers with leading companies like Prestige Limited even opting for virtual launches and many projects coming with virtual tours for potential buyers. The Maharashtra Government even went one step further by implementing a system of online registration for properties.

Developers provided attractive offers and flexible payment plans to boost pent-up demand for housing projects while the Government did its bit with tax concessions and extension of the CLSS (credit-linked subsidy scheme) benefits till March 2021 to boost affordable housing. The RBI also brought rates of interest down to decade-low levels on housing loans, something which aided the slight recovery witnessed by the sector in 2020 after the lockdown. Residential real estate demand also burgeoned in Tier-II and Tier-III cities with work from home becoming a normal affair in most companies. Roughly 138,000 units were sold last year which indicates de-growth of 47% in comparison to figures from 2019. New launches stood at around 128,000 units, coming down by a whopping 46% as well while unsold inventory declined by only 2%.

Experts anticipate the launch of the vaccine to further aid consolidation and recovery in the sector and increased sales momentum going forward due to lower home loan interest rates, attractive offers and subdued housing prices alike. Demand may come back to levels seen in 2019 this year although prices may still remain majorly muted across most cities.

Square Yards Kanika Gupta Shori COVID-19 lockdown real estate developers

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Square Yards is a technology-enabled, global real estate aggregator and India’s largest player for primary residential real estate. It’s subsidiary Square Capital is one of the largest marketplace for secured mortgages in India. Square Yards platform offers an integrated consumer experience & covers the full real-estate journey from search, discovery to research, transactions, home loans and post-sales service – fully integrating buyers to an extensive network of 500+ partner real estate developers, and 90+ banks & NBFCs. Square Yards is led by accomplished professionals, ex-bankers, and Ivy school alumni and is backed by the competence of more than 2500 employees in 30 cities and ten countries.