Q: Several market reports are stating that sales are finally moving in the upward direction in Mumbai after several quarters of slow sales and launches. What do you think has caused this market turnaround?
A: The Indian real estate sector is witnessing a speedy recovery after a slowdown due to the introduction of various regulatory reforms. The industry has witnessed a slew of reforms including GST, RERA and the Bankruptcy Code. With improved buyer confidence and sector consolidation, the market sentiments have recovered and are on an upward growth trajectory. The sector is now recording rapid growth with the infusion of fresh inventory by developers across segments, increased transparency, streamlined processes and better clarity in terms of a project’s approval status, operational and financial disclosures.
Q: Piramal Realty recently clocked 750 crores worth of sales at its Aranya project in South Mumbai? Would you say this shows revived interest in the SoBo realty market? Did festive sentiments contribute to these sales figures?
A: We are overwhelmed by the response we received to the launch of Arav at Piramal Aranya, comprising 2 and 3-bed residences, ranging from 750-1,350 sq ft carpet area, with close to 175 units booked within two weeks of its launch. Situated in the heart of Byculla, Mumbai, Piramal Aranya integrates the twin aspects that define luxury, viz., premium product offering, coupled with a preferred neighbourhood advantage.
We would definitely say that there has been a market turnaround. Though the real estate market was relatively subdued in 2017, the first three quarters of 2018 have signalled a trend of healthy recovery, both, in terms of number of new launches and overall sales in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). The number of new launches increased by 28 per cent in 2018 H1 on a year-on-year (Y-o-Y) basis and improved further in Q3. Sales numbers also improved progressively over the course of the year, with 16 per cent more sales in Q3 as compared to Q2. The festive season definitely was a contributor, as it is considered auspicious to buy a home during this period. So, improved market conditions and positive buyer sentiments, coupled with the festive atmosphere, have aided and accelerated the sales numbers further.
Q: What in your opinion are home buyers responding the most to – competitive pricing; innovative amenities; convenient locations?
A: Location is the major criteria for most buyers, because of the neighbourhood and social preferences. Additionally, superior product design and amenities, coupled with attractive value propositions constitute the key parameters in customers’ decision making. Which is why, at Piramal Realty, we focus not just on being cutting edge and contemporary but on embracing a more intuitive definition of luxury, celebrating nature, greenery, space, light, ventilation, culture and arts and community living.
Q: Home buyers have been in a wait and watch mode for a while now, trying to gauge if prices will increase or decrease? What do you think will be the price movement in the market in the next few quarters?
A: With increasing customer awareness and trust in the real estate sector, both, for investment and end-use, things are finally looking up for the sector. Currently, developers are offering state-of-the-art products at very competitive price points. It is an opportune time to invest in the real estate space given the general positive outlook, which is expected to continue, going ahead.
(The writer is editor-in-chief, Housing.com News)