For the last three months, the exhibition grounds in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad have seen back-to-back property exhibitions. With the real estate market witnessing sluggish growth, realtors hoped these exhibitions would attract footfalls which they could convert into buyers.
According to consultants, the first quarter saw three major property exhibitions in the city that attracted good footfall, thanks to discounts on the offer. Industry insiders say this was one of the easiest methods to set the buyer interest in an increasingly despondent market. “We believe that once the buyer sees various projects that are going on, there are chances of them zeroing in on one,” says a builder.
That the property market in Pune is anything but good is borne out by the first quarter report published by consultants Cushman and Wakefield. According to the report, the city saw a 17 per cent dip in the number of launches during the first quarter of the current year as compared to the corresponding period the last year. A total of 3,300 units were launched during this period.
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With core sectors like automobile and IT witnessing sluggish growth, home buyers are playing it safe. Industry watchers also say that the marginal reduction in the home loan rates post the Reserve Bank of India’s reduction of repo rates twice this year has not been enough for home buyers.
However, realtors flatly refuse to do any rate correction to boost sales. Shantilal Kataria, member, governing council, CREDAI, says high property rates are due to soaring prices of building material and various taxes to be paid to the state and local bodies. “The prices will remain intact and will only get higher,” he says. Kataria says while high-end projects might have piled-up inventories, demand for houses in middle and lower segments remains high.
Another realtor, D S Kulkarni, rejected the claim that the Pune market has unsold inventory. “Actually, the reason why people feel that builders have a large stock of flats or inventory, as we call it, is because many of them sell flats by the dozen and then these investors wait for the rates to go up,” he said.