This Diwali, the country’s realty sector did not shine as brightly as it did in the past. According to Assocham, the demand for real estate around the festival of lights and wealth went up 20 per cent, a fifth of the growth normally seen during Diwali.

“There has been a surge in demand of only 20 per cent on the eve of the festival compared to the normal average sales per month,” an Assocham survey found. Builders and investors observed that like in the past, they had been expecting 100 per cent jump.

Resale or secondary market was also dull this festival season as very few investors were there in the market, said Assocham Secretary General D.S. Rawat.

Property analysts have predicted that till March next year the demand for plots, houses and flats may drop by at least 15 to 20 per cent.

Survey findings

The survey found out that “huge inventories” were lying owing to lack of adequate demand.

The survey was carried out in major cities like Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Hyderabd as also places such as Pune, Chandigarh and Dehradun.

The survey involved 250 property dealers, noted 40 builders or developers and 20 housing finance outfits.

Assocham said that despite aggressive marketing and special festival offers, investment in properties has remained lukewarm.

Property prices

High property prices, particularly, in and around the NCR region, has been a deterrent.

Developers, however, cited that higher prices of land and cost of construction materials have been the reasons for the increase in property prices.

Majority of the developers complained about inordinate delays in getting necessary approvals from multiple regulations and authorities resulting in cost and time overruns.

Banks “apathy” in financing real estate projects was also evident this time, the survey findings underlined.

(This article was published on November 15, 2012)
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