While launches rose 38% on year to 76,006 units, sales grew 44% to t 71,963 units in these markets including Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), Delhi-NCR, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai and Hyderabad, showed a Knight Frank India report.
The healthy growth in sales has encouraged developers to launch new projects which is reflected in the growth.
Property markets of Mumbai and Pune have led the table in both launches as well as sales on account of significant regulatory impetus in the form of discounts in stamp duty charges that led to significant improvement in sales velocity.
While end users were keen on taking advantage of the reduced stamp duty regime, developers also thought it right to take advantage of the said growth to launch new projects. In the last few weeks of the first quarter, Karnataka also doled out stamp duty sops to home buyers for residences costing up to Rs 45 lakh. However, the impact of this may only be seen in the subsequent quarters.
“The first quarter of 2021 saw a significant rise in sales across the key markets, led by Mumbai and Pune – the two markets that received substantial backing from the state government in the form of reduced stamp duty. Other cities also recorded a rise in sales of homes due to a shift in attitude in homebuyers that has now started to prefer ownership,” said Shishir Baijal, Chairman & Managing Director, Knight Frank India. “That coupled with home loan interest rates at multi-decade lows of sub 7%, a substantial correction in apartment prices, as well as increase in household savings, seems to have convinced homebuyers that this was an opportune time to purchase their properties.”
The increasing sales volumes have also arrested the intensity of the on-year fall in residential prices of most markets while Hyderabad and the NCR have seen a marginal growth in prices compared to a year ago. The incidence of developers giving indirect discounts or freebies has been a key factor in spurring sales in 2020 but this has been observed to have reduced significantly in Q1 2021.
According to Knight Frank, on a sequential basis, housing prices have remained stable in most cities and recorded an increase in the case of the southern cities of Chennai and Hyderabad.
Homebuyers were inclined to acquire ready or near-ready inventory to minimise completion risk. This is reflected in the average age of inventory which stayed at 16.7 quarters in Q1 2021 compared to 15.9 quarters in the year ago period. This is also in line with developers focusing on liquidating older inventory before launching new products which has consistently helped reduce unsold inventory levels to 0.44 million units in Q4 2020, 2% less than a year ago.