Housing sales rebound to 65% of pre-Covid, new launches at 79% of Q4FY20

Demand for residential units remained higher in non-metros like the tier-2 and 3 towns
Sales of residential units have bounced back to 65 per cent of the pre-Covid level in the July-September quarter. In top the seven metros 29,520 housing units were sold during the quarter, compared to 45,200 units in January-March quarter when the Covid-19 pandemic was yet to peak causing severe disruptions, data from Anarock Property Consultants show.

New launches too witnessed revival. With 32,530 units launched during the quarter, compared to 41,220 in Jan-Mar, new launches reached 79 per cent of the pre-Covid level. At 23,300, the affordable and mid-segment housing units (priced up to Rs 80 lakh) formed 72 percent of the total new supplies.

The resurgence comes after both, new launches and units sold, touched a new low during the April-June quarter. As the nation mostly remained locked down, only 1,390 units were launched and 12,730 units were sold in the previous quarter.

Among the top urban conglomerates, the Mumbai metro region witnessed the most number of units sold in the September quarter. Despite having the most number of reported COVID cases and severe restrictions in place, the region recorded 9,200 units of sales and 7,890 new unit launches – highest in the country. With 5,400 units sold Bengaluru captured the second spot, followed by the national capital region (5,200 units sold and 6,800 units launched).

“Despite the inexorable rise of Covid-19 cases, periodic local lockdowns across states, residential sales and new launches saw reasonable momentum in Q3 2020. On a q-o-q basis, the jump has been massive for both new launches and sales; the Apr-Jun quarter was more of an outlier with most activity at a standstill”, said Anuj Puri, chairman, Anarock.

According to him, reduced stamp duty charges in Maharashtra coupled with developers’ incentives and rock-bottom home loan interest rates remained key factors behind better sales in the region. In fact, Pune, another urban hub from the state, stood at the fourth spot with 4,850 units sold during the quarter, ahead of larger metros like Kolkata and Chennai.

As per analysis by housing.com, demand for residential units remained higher in non-metros like the tier-2 and 3 towns. Its Virtual Residential Demand Index has shown, the demand from small cities had been increasing steadily but saw a significant spike in August. Overshadowing the metros, the index jumped to 210 points for these areas, compared to 150 points for the metros post the nation entering into Unlock Phase 4.0.

“The interest in the smaller cities has been gradually increasing and the share increased to 27 percent in the first half of 2020, as compared to 18 percent in the same period in 2019”, it noted. Cities such as Agra and Amritsar grew by more than 100 per cent in the virtual residential demand over pre-Covid times, while Vadodara, Ludhiana, Mangalore, Chandigarh and Lucknow saw more than 80 percent growth in residential demand during the same period.

According to it, reverse migration of the corporate workforce and increased flexibility due to remote working is one of the key drivers cited for this surge in virtual residential demand.

The current trend indicates, during the upcoming festive season quarter (Oct-Dec) housing sales may recover to the pre-Covid-19 levels, Anarock predicted.

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