Real estate slump may pull prices by 20%

With a slump in the Indian real estate sector due to excessive credit crunch and demand slowdown, home buyers can expect a further correction in real estate prices in the range of 15% to 20% in next six months. There are several factors working against the Indian real estate sector that can bring about such a price correction.

With the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) tightening money supply and increasing interest rates to fight inflation, the developers are facing liquidity crunch. Banks are getting jittery over loan disbursals to real estate developers. Even if the developers manage to get loans from banks, they are hard-pressed to keep more collateral with the banks.

“With debt market getting dried up, developers facing the heat of liquidity crunch and PE funds shying away from real estate investments and speculative investments at an all-time low, we can expect a 15-20% correction by the first quarter of 2009,” Jones Lang LaSalle managing director Anuj Puri said.

The global credit crunch which has affected the Indian market has taken the sheen off large property firms like DLF and Unitech. The two are seeing their market cap eroding almost completely and their fund raising plans hitting a rut due to unavailability of funds. To further aggravate the situation, the property market has also been witnessing a drop in PE fund flow.

PE investors, who had been happily picking realty deals earlier this year, appear to have tightened their purse strings now, with September witnessing only two transactions worth just $12 mn compared with August, when PE funds pumped in $427 mn into Indian realty sector.

According to data compiled by Grant Thornton, while the number of deals during January-September was higher at 45 against last year’s 39 deals, the average ticket size of the transactions has come down substantially in the first three quarters of 2008, reflecting softening valuations across the crisis-ridden real estate sector.

The rate of interest on home loans has drastically shot up from around 7.75% in 2004 to around 12.75% now. Almost 90% of home buyers opt for loans to buy homes. With interest rate on home loans on a rise and the severe liquidity crunch in the banking sector on the back of the global financial turmoil, fuelled by real estate crises, banks are unwilling to lend.

“Now the time has come when you have only genuine buyers for a property. Speculators who believed in short-term investments in properties have completely vanished from the scene. Therefore, to help genuine buyers , developers will have to cut prices,” real estate consultancy realty verticals head Rajan Ahuja said.

On further price correction in real estate, Unitech MD Sanjay Chandra said: “The prime issue is of affordability. It’s not about per sqft rate, but about the overall price tag of a house. We are reducing ticket size. We now offer three-bed room flats, which is much smaller in size than we earlier used to sell, thereby bringing down the price of a flat.”

According to a report on the Indian office market by CB Richard Ellis, a global real estate consultant, seven major Indian cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore, showed a marked decline in demand during the quarter ending September. The report also said leasing of office space had slowed down in the first two quarters of the year.

One Comment

  1. riathareja
    Posted October 31, 2008 at 2:44 am | Permalink

    Thanks to lower travel spends by enterprises, the serviced apartment players in major cities in India have seen a drop in occupancy rates. Even as global recession looms, companies are exploring cheaper alternatives such as owning apartments and resorting to video conferencing. Except for Delhi, all other major cities have seen a slide in demand for serviced apartments. Tariffs in these cities are expected to fall by 15%-20% in 4-5 years. The market in Delhi and Gurgaon has, however, managed to stay buoyant. Demand has perked up by 60-70% in the last one year and the upcoming Commonwealth Games (in 2010) are expected to drive up revenues in the medium term.For more view-

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