Hyderabad and Bangalore reported a relatively slow recovery due to the resurgence in COVID cases; however, Chennai and Kolkata surpassed the pre-COVID demand levels. Delhi NCR, Mumbai and Pune showed consistent growth despite the second wave of COVID-19 in the month of March 2021.
The quarter witnessed the launch of about 600 new residential projects in top eight metro cities. Despite increasing COVID cases, Mumbai led all cities for the third quarter in a row with a 38% share in new and re-launched projects. Hyderabad surpassed Pune and took the second position with a 21% share. Interestingly, Delhi-NCR again contributed the least with a 3% share in the overall new unit additions.
“The first quarter of 2021 witnessed a resurgence in sales volume across metro cities, particularly in Pune and Mumbai, amid a stamp duty cut till March. The green shoots of recovery seen so far will have to stand the test of time with a steep surge in COVID-19 cases and the resultant restrictions in some cities may impact economic recovery, project construction timelines and buyer site visits,” said Maneesh Upadhyaya, Chief Business Officer, 99acres.com.
In the first quarter of 2021, Delhi and Mumbai topped the demand chart for luxury housing, followed by Bangalore, and Hyderabad. However, understandably, affordable housing remained the most popular choice with Kolkata leading the demand followed by Chennai, Ahmedabad, and Pune. Bangalore saw the least demand for affordable houses while it leads maximum demand for mid-income housing within the price bracket of Rs 40 lakh to Rs 1 crore.
Ready homes or projects nearing completion continued to be the prime choice of homebuyers, and thus commanded a premium. The premium market picked up some pace, especially on the back of NRI demand in cities like Bangalore and Pune.
The average property prices went up by a percent across cities like Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Ahmedabad, and maintained status quo in Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore and Pune, the report said. The rental market continued to be grim as the slightest hope of reopening of offices and educational institutions was slayed by a fresh spike in COVID cases. With vacancy rates rising consistently across cities, the rental values suffered a dent of 10-15% from a year ago. The fast-paced dissemination of the COVID vaccine, however, may turn tables in the next two quarters for rental spaces.
Driven by stamp duty rate cuts, discounted deals and an all-time low in home-loan interest rates, property sales continued to rise in Q1 2021. Of the 25,500 housing sales in the period, Mumbai and Pune accounted for the maximum share as homebuyers rushed to book the benefit of reduced stamp duty rates until March 31 2021. Chennai and Kolkata closely followed and registered healthy sales conversions in the quarter. End-user demand thrived across cities, especially in relatively affordable pockets, which offered homes priced within Rs 75 lakh, the report said.