Real Estate Market 2023 by Vikram Kotnis, Exec. Chairman & MD
After Russia-Ukraine war, the world collectively saw a downfall of $17 Trillion; 20% of the global output India is among the top 5 countries contributing to this loss and this may lead to a further increase in fuel and food prices. 1/3rd of global economy is in Recession. Globally, central banks have increased interest rates with an aim to reduce inflation. The housing interest rates in India have increased from an average of 6.5% to 8.75%.
The increase in interest rates along with uncertainty in jobs has made homebuyers confused on making any purchase decision. The property prices have already increased by almost 15% in most of the urban markets like Pune, Mumbai and Bangalore. There was almost no effect or say of UDCPR in this price increase.
- Property Price Trends – Pune
(*The rates mentioned above are all inclusive rates)
The overall cost of home ownership has increased by almost 58% compared to 2019. Besides that the possession dates have moved ahead by 3 years after RERA, i.e the possession that buyer would generally get within 3-4 years, would now get after 5-6 years.
Although, the demand in mid to premium segment is still intact and the momentum for listed large developers with projects in prime localities and with larger carpet is good. Decision making of the buyer with buying capacity is zeroed down to the brand value, prime location and bigger homes.
The projects in this category of pricing and location will sell but the buyer is not desperate and would not take any decision until he finds the right deal.
What are Home Buyers Saying?
Our research team spoke to over 150 homebuyers to understand their current mood.
- 86.7% people say the increase in interest rate is affecting their buying decision
- 62.3% people are waiting for economic condition to stabilize before they make any purchase
- 25% of the homebuyers have postponed their homebuying decision
The interest rate may even touch a double digit number in 2023.
Before the situation worsens, it is extremely crucial for developers to manage their cashflows.
The hottest selling micro markets of Pune for eg. – Baner, Balewadi and Wakad, have started seeing drop in real estate sales since July 2022 to the tune of almost 19%; which is indicative of the homebuyer’s sentiment. The developers with right pricing and locality are able to sell, making it a buyer’s market.
The sales trends in hottest micromarkets show a drop in sales after September 2022. There are 1.09 Lac unsold apartments in Pune alone out of which 80,000 are under construction and 28,000 are ready to move in. While there is demand to purchase, there is no desperation and buyer is ready to wait until they get the right deal.
Managing funds to fuel each stage of the project is critical for Developers. Developers need to ensure availability of construction funds so as to de-risk the project. Based on the inventory and sales velocity, developers also need to absorb 50% of their next quarter’s targets into the current one and open up all the channels for widening their top of the funnel. The target should be to sell 35% of inventory to de-risk the project, not to sign any resource-intensive JV and wait it out till the market stabilizes.
Regarding pricing, instead of having a profit-first approach (increasing the price), developers should take a cashflow first approach and stagger their pricing to maintain sales velocity. Market may further dip by 6-7%, this should be kept in mind while taking any big decisions on projects.
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