Housing sale down 4% in 8 cities in 2015; 6.9L units unsold

Home improvement

New Delhi: Housing sales fell by 4 percent to 2,63,720 units last year, lowest since 2010, in the eight major cities of the country on account of demand slowdown in the real estate market despite interest rate cut by the RBI.

The National Capital Region (NCR) continued to be the worst performing market in India with sales and launches at six year low, property consultant Knight Frank said in its report released today.

Launches of new homes fell by 21 percent in 2015 at 2,44,944 units in the primary market of eight major cities – NCR, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Pune, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad.

The unsold inventories have declined marginally to 6.91 lakh units from nearly 7.15 lakh units in 2014. Developers would take more than 2.5 years to exhaust this unsold stock.

Commenting on the report, Knight Frank India CMD Shishir Baijal said: “2015 for Indian real estate had both the good and bad news. While the office market grew from strength to strength, residential did not perform as expected.”

Residential segment continued to face slowdown with launches at a five year low, despite the festive season.

“Sales in 2015 were lower than 2014 levels. Despite the 125 bps rate cut by RBI, demand did not see an uptake. Our outlook for 2016 remains muted. To further revive the demand, it is important to transmit the benefits of the rate cuts to consumers,” Baijal said.

In the Delhi-NCR market, housing sales fell marginally to 48,503 units in 2015 from 48,630 units in the previous year.

However, launches of new homes fell by 20 percent to 63,458 units in NCR. The unsold inventory in NCR stands at 2.06 lakh units at the end of 2015.

On housing prices, Knight Frank India National Director (Residential Agency) Mudassir Zaidi said the prices grew by an average 3 percent last year. However, he said the rate of growth has come down from 9 percent to 3 percent in the last 36 months.

In contrast to the housing segment, Knight Frank India’s Executive Director (North and Capital Markets) Rajeev Bairathi said the office space absorption stood at 40.4 million sq ft, highest since 2012, in six cities – Mumbai, NCR, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune.

Delhi-NCR witnessed absorption of 7.4 million sq ft of office space last year.

“Supply of quality office space is now a concern with vacancy levels at an eight year low. Rentals have firmed up as a result,” he added.

Among sectors driving growth, IT/ITeS continues to lead with start-ups. “This year, however, we saw e-commerce and start-ups contribute to the office space uptake in a major way. Going forward, we have to wait to see if this trend continues,” Bairathi said.

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