Festivals are considered as an auspicious time to invest in property. Consequently, developers offer freebies and various lucrative schemes as incentives to home buyers during such festivals. While many home seekers try to purchase their homes during festive months, there are also those who do not wait for these seasonal offers.
A Delhi-based developer, who didn’t wish to be named, shares that “The market is already flush with offers, such as subvention schemes and discounts.” This trend is likely to continue, adds the developer, attributing it to the high levels of unsold inventory. Sluggish sales and uncertain economic conditions resulted in subdued sales in the previous year, in metropolitan cities such as Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai.
Based on past trends, Rajesh Prajapati, MD of the Mumbai-based Prajapati Construction, feels that development firms will take a decision on festive season prices, based on the off-take in the market. Mumbai and the Delhi-NCR markets have similar offerings, with prices being the only differentiator. “Prices will continue to inch upwards, with more reforms and expected stability over the next two quarters,” he predicts.
While developers are divided on offers, industry experts believe that the upsurge in buying during festive months is a thing of the past.
According to Akshit Shah, AVP – capital markets research, Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) India, “The hypothesis that residential property sales pick up markedly during the festive season, was valid in the pre-2010 period but it does not hold water today. This is primarily on account of the fact that the average age of home buyers has come down, from the mid-50s to the mid-20s. The younger generation prefers to take informed decisions and focuses on better bargaining opportunities, rather than just the auspiciousness of a day.”
A buyer’s market?
“Over the past year or so, quoted prices have remained low and have not changed much. However, while buying there is always a discount that is being offered by developers,” points out Delhi-based consultant, Sameer Arora.
Prabhat Ranjan, MD of Olympeo Infrastructure, maintains that “The current market remains a buyers’ market.” Discounts are likely to be available on new launches, where the sales are not significant. However, projects that are nearing completion will have a higher price. Despite the tough stance adopted by builders on pricing, discounts are available for actual buyers, as developers continue with their offers and schemes to lure them.