NAVI MUMBAI: City-based builders have noted that over 31,000 properties (residential and commercial) were registered in various registration offices in Navi Mumbai in the last fiscal year that ended March 2021, despite the major lockdown period of last year.

However, the developers have urged the government not to extend the ongoing curfew to May or June, as that will be bad for the real estate business once the monsoon season begins.

The senior vice president of Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI-Navi Mumbai) Manohar Shroff told TOI: “A total of 31347 properties, which include a major chunk of housing units, were registered in the city till March 31 this year. This means that realty sales were quite active despite the Covid situation of 2020. Two reasons for this good business are the reduction of stamp duty from 6% to 3% in Navi Mumbai and the general reduction of interest rates on housing loans by the banks.”

Shroff further stated: “However, the current lockdown like situation in the new fiscal is just not good for the real estate industry which contributes to the state coffers. We suspect that if the curfew is further extended to May or June, then it can lead to a sharp slowdown in the sales of properties. Hence, we have asked the state government to ensure that the curfew does not persist for long.”

RTI activist Anarjit Chauhan commented: “It is a bit ironical, if not surprising, that people do have the money to invest in real estate since last year despite a `war’ being fought by the government against coronavirus. The fire fighting is still on, but since the business sector is also facing losses due to the lockdown, I guess a balance or an equilibrium will have to be found between economy and public health. Hence, the next few weeks are going to be interesting to watch.”

Vashi based Real estate observer, Yatin Bansal, told TOI: “The driving principle of showbiz — that the show must go on — does, to some extent, also applies to the business of real estate. So, if the sales totally stop in the next few months due to the lockdown, then the state will also not get its indirect and direct tax revenues. Only those developers with deep pockets will then survive by playing the game of patience.”

He added that while many have purchased properties as investments for securing their future funds, there are also those who are purchasing dwelling units only so that they can be rented out to home seekers who at present cannot afford to buy their own units.

“Given the ongoing uncertainties in the stock market and financial sector, housing is currently being viewed as one of the safest long-term investment bets,” said Prashant Thakur, Director and Head – Research, ANAROCK Property Consultants, in a recent media statement.

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