Residential real estate across top seven property markets of the country has staged an impressive comeback post-COVID-19 with a surge in housing sales breaching the pre-pandemic level driven by record-low interest rates, discounts offered by developers, eased property prices and stamp duty reduction in key markets.

Improved sales momentum has also propped up confidence among realty developers to launch more projects as indicated by the rise in new offerings across markets.

Residential property sales grew 29% to 58,290 apartments in the January-March quarter so far led by robust performance of Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Pune and Hyderabad. New Launches also rose 51% to 62, 130 apartments, showed data from Anarock Property Consultants.

MMR, Pune, and Hyderabad that led the sales velocity also together contributed 66% of the total new supply in the quarter.

“Demand boosters like stamp duty cuts, further reductions in home loan rates by most banks to 6.70% and ongoing developer discounts and offers helped the residential sector stage a convincing comeback in Q1 2021. Egged on by buoyant sales and enthusiastic consumer sentiment in the October-December period, developers launched several new projects in this quarter – with some spill-over from the pandemic-dampened 2020 pipeline,” said Anuj Puri, Chairman – ANAROCK Property Consultants.

Aided by the reduction in stamp duty, MMR and Pune together accounted for 53% of housing sales in the quarter with MMR sales increasing 46% annually, and Pune by 47%. With around 8,670 units sold, Bangalore was the only city to not record a major yearly change in total sales numbers in this quarter.

“Stamp duty cut has been a game changer in spurring real estate sales across all price segments in Maharashtra. Further, historic low interest rates, improved liquidity and macroeconomic optimism have all been vital in driving buying decisions. There is a strong recognition that this is the best time to invest in real estate,” said Parag Munot, MD, Kalpataru that has projects across Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Pune, Noida and Hyderabad.

According to Puri, housing affordability will potentially remain favourable throughout 2021. If the current sops and incentives continue, one can expect sustained vibrancy in the upcoming quarters as well with end-users driving the demand.

The key cities contributing to new unit launches in Q1 2021 were MMR, Hyderabad, Pune, and Bengaluru, together accounting for 79% of supply addition.

Mid-segment housing saw the maximum new launches in the quarter with a 43% overall share, with the affordable housing segment accounting for 30%. The supply of luxury housing priced above Rs Rs 1.5 crore also rose by 31%.

Average property prices in most of these cities recorded an on-year rise of 1-2% except Kolkata, where prices remained stagnant. NCR and Bengaluru saw property prices rise by 2% during the year.

Changes in the overall unsold stock were negligible as new supply outpaced overall absorption numbers. MMR witnessed the highest yearly reduction in unsold inventory of 8%, while Bengaluru and Kolkata witnessed yearly reductions of 7% each.

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