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Needn’t hurry yet to buy that new flat

It makes sense to continue waiting and watching before putting your money into that new flat,brokers and real estate consultants advise.

Written by Shalini Nair | Mumbai |
January 12, 2009 10:57:39 pm

PROPERTY RATES Drop now is marginal,will be steeper later,say brokers and consultants,though developers don’t agree

It makes sense to continue waiting and watching before putting your money into that new flat,brokers and real estate consultants advise. They concede that prices have decreased but point out that the fall has been marginal; the real reduction is yet to come.

There had been talk of a price correction since the middle of lat year but builders continued to increase prices through the monsoon and Diwali,said real estate consultant Sandeep Sadh,CEO of the portal Mumbai Property Exchange.

“Only after November did they start decreasing prices,marginally. As of January,buyers want a reduction of more than 35 per cent; they should not buy for another six months. It is a farce of a market with builders talking in the air and buyers fishing in the market. Unless builders offer a substantial discount,the market will stagnate till October,” said Sadh.

Only in the distant suburbs does availability outstrip demand,he said,with developers having started reducing rates by 10 to 25 per cent. As per data compiled by the portal,existing rates in Mumbai on an average are not much different than those last September.

Ishwar Kakkad,a broker working in Dadar-Worli area,said that in today’s market he would rather sell than buy. “A price rise can be called healthy if it happens at the rate of inflation,say about 8 to 10 per cent year. But in the last three years,prices have increased by about 400 per cent. Right now builders are willing to negotiate depending on their urgency; an actual price cut will come when builders openly announce one,” said Kakkad.

He expects the prices to fall eventually,by 40 per cent,“but that will take at least three months to start”.

Faced with little choice as they are,home buyers are not jumping the gun. “The price of my 440 sq ft rented apartment at Seven Bungalows in Andheri is now Rs 42 lakh; a year earlier it was Rs 45 lakh. So technically the decrease in price has been less than Rs 500 per sq ft,” said Akshay Mishra,who works with a multinational financial firm. Mishra,who has been looking to buy a home for over a year now,has put his plan on hold.

Developers maintain that the market has already seen the much expected correction. “We clearly feel the prices have stabilised and that there would be no more decrease in rates. Developers haven’t increased their rates since March 2008; in the last three months,these rates have fallen by 5 to 20 per cent,” said developer Dharmesh Jain,chairman of Nirmal Lifestyle and vice-president of Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry.

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