National, January 11, 2021: New homes supply and sales showed a significant improvement in the fourth quarter of 2020 (Oct – Dec) in line with the ongoing economic recovery with 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. The sector’s performance 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,” said Dhruv Agarwala, Group CEO, Housing.com, Makaan.com, and PropTiger.com.
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 real estate brokerage firm 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) 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 we 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, 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 rate 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.
Prices remained flat
The growth in average prices for newly-launched projects across the top-eight cities remained relatively flat, with prices being range-bounded. Prices increased in Ahmedabad and Hyderabad, by more than 5% year on year. The price growth in these cities could be attributed to increased demand from end-users for housing in specific locations.
Average prices have been flat in the NCR and MMR markets, the two strongest housing markets in the country.
Unsold stock reduced but overhang increased
Unsold housing inventory in the eight cities was at over 7.18 lakh units as of December 31, 2020 as compared with the unsold inventory of nearly 7.92 lakh units in December 2019, declining 9% on a YoY comparison. However, because of a lower sales velocity in 2020 as compared to 2019, the average inventory overhang has increased to 47 months as of December 2020, as compared to 27 months in December 2019. Inventory overhang is defined as the time that builders would take to sell off their existing stock at the current sales velocity.
In keeping with past trends, Mumbai and Pune continue to hold the highest share in the unsold stock with developers. However, at 72 months, the inventory overhang is the highest in the NCR, while Hyderabad is the lowest at 29 months.
At 48%, the affordable segment contributes the highest share to the national unsold stock while nearly 19% of the total unsold inventory falls in the ready-to-move-in category.
NOTE: The cities included in PropTiger’s analysis include Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Delhi NCR (Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad, and Faridabad) and Mumbai MMR (Boisar, Dombivli, Mumbai, Mazagaon, Panvel, Thane West), and Pune.
About Elara Technologies Pte. Ltd.
Singapore-based technology services company, Elara Technologies Pte. Ltd., co-founded by Dhruv Agarwala, Group CEO, is the country’s only full stack real estate technology platform that owns Housing.com, Makaan.com and Prop Tiger.com.
It is the only player in India that offers a full range of services in the real estate space, assisting consumers through their entire home seeking journey all the way from initial search and discovery to financing to the final step of transaction closure. It offers advertising and listings products to real estate developers and agents, exclusive sales and marketing solutions to builders, data and content services, and personalised search, virtual viewing, site visits, negotiations, home loans and post- sales services to consumers for both buying and renting.
Founded in 2012, Housing.com is India’s most innovative real estate advertising platform for home owners, landlords, developers and real estate brokers. The company offers the largest selection of verified listings for new homes, resale homes, rentals and co-living spaces in India through a trained team of data collectors, analysts and auditors. The one-of-a-kind Data Sciences Lab at Housing.com analyses a significant body of data to allow buyers and sellers to make intelligent decisions.
PropTiger.com is India’s leading digital real estate advisory firm offering a one-stop platform for buying residential real estate. Founded in 2011 with the goal to help people buy their dream homes, PropTiger.com leverages the power of information and the organisation’s deep-rooted understanding of the real estate sector to bring simplicity, transparency and trust in the home buying process. PropTiger.com helps home-buyers through the entire home-buying process through a mix of technology-enabled tools as well as on-ground support. The company offers researched information about various localities and properties and provides guidance on matters pertaining to legal paperwork and loan assistance to successfully fulfil a transaction. Since inception, the PropTiger.com team has facilitated sales of over 30,000 homes worth nearly Rs. 20,000 crores.
Makaan.com was acquired by Elara in May 2015, with a vision to establish a true “marketplace” in real estate. With consumer ratings on more than 30,000 sellers, credible listings data and real-time intelligence on property search, Makaan.com has quickly emerged as the preferred partner for consumers looking to rent, buy or sell a home. Makaan.com offers its online consumers maximum property options and has become one of the largest advertising platforms in online real estate in India with over one million residential properties listed across the country.