Will real estate bounce back this festive season?

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It is that time of the year again when festivities are in the air. The last quarter of 2017 has begun and as always will mark the beginning of the festival period in the country starting with Diwali. However, is the real estate sector in the same mood? Will the sector, which has been reeling under the pressure of multiple regulatory reforms, bounce back this festive season? Is it a good time for customers to end their wait and get into a buying mode? HDFC Realty takes a deep dive and tries to answer some of these queries.

To begin with, real estate sector has been gearing up for the festive season with full fervour and this is visible in the number of discounts and offers floating in the market today. Vikram Goel, CEO, HDFC Realty, believes that this is an appropriate time for genuine buyers to make the final move and close deals. He explains further, “Earlier, festive season in the real estate sector was marked by the pre-launch and launch of multiple projects. Buyers used to scamper towards these properties as booking prior to launch or at launch guaranteed a lower price.” “However,” he continues, “with the RERA now in place, developers are only focussing on completing their existing projects and thus what buyers get this Diwali are either completed projects or projects that are just 6-12 months away from possession.”

This seems to be a great place for a real estate buyer to be in. Not only are they being offered ready properties but are also getting discounts and offers on these.  The various offers and schemes doing the rounds in the market include cash discounts, free white goods such as ACs, refrigerators, modular kitchens, bikes and cars, holiday packages, gold coins, subvention schemes and GST waivers to mention a few.

While these look very appealing and lucrative, Goel warns buyers of getting carried away. “While we all know that Indians consider this period to be an auspicious one for property purchases, one should invest only if there is a genuine need. While finalising the property, the priority should be the actual need of size, location and amnesties and it should not be influenced by the offers. One should select the property that they would have chosen even if there were no offers.”

After having narrowed down the options to just two to three properties, one should analyse the existing discounts and offers. While analysing these offers buyers should be shrewd. For instance, getting direct cash discounts prove to be the most beneficial and buyers can sit across the table and bargain with developers for a direct cash discount instead of a free white good.

Vikram Goel adds, “Even while going for subvention schemes, one should check whether these are linked to a financial institute of repute. Such schemes prove to be beneficial for those buyers who might want to stagger their payments for want of liquidity. However, these end up being slightly more expensive than paying a lump sum amount upfront.”

So, there seems to be no doubt that both developers as well as buyers have been eagerly eyeing the festive season to conclude transactions. Market experts are hopeful that the last quarter of 2017 will see the sector coming out of the sluggishness it has witnessed over the last one year or so. Buyers are still expected to maintain their cautious approach. However, this might just prove to be the quarter that marks the end of a period that was plagued by regulations-induced sloppiness and beginning of a more transparent way of buying homes.

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