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Housing sales, new launches hit by coronavirus, but festive season may brighten things up

Also, with several physical and operational hurdles in place, the real estate sector is expected to witness large-scale adoption of digitisation

The real estate sector is on the cusp of a new phase, largely brought upon all of us by the Covid-19 pandemic. With a number of physical and operational hurdles to encounter, this new era will be largely defined by the adoption of digitisation.

To provide a more fulfilling and comprehensive buying experience, developers have now started investing in virtual experiences to ensure complete transparency of their projects.

From virtual tours, sample walks as well as mostly using digitised mediums for transactions, this will be a major characterisation point in their constant efforts to bridge the trust gap in the eco-system.

Covid-19 has had an adverse impact on the housing sector, diminishing demand and liquidity avenues for developers. According to an internal survey conducted by CREDAI MCHI, there has been an 85 percent decline in housing sales and 98 percent decline in new launches in MMR region, during the April to June quarter of financial year 20-21.

However, with the onset of the festive season, gradual recovery and developers’ continuous efforts to sustain a conducive environment for all stakeholders, the sector is bound to witness a new era of real estate development, providing a sound foundation for reviving economic growth.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Indian real estate has been on a rollercoaster ride for the last three decades, pivoting its trajectory one way or the other. The 90s witnessed the beginning of an era which enabled homebuyers and investors to recognise housing as a viable asset class.

Coupled with government support and financial organisations liberalising housing loan rates and making them more accessible to the general public, the next 10-15 years witnessed the first phase of the housing revolution in India.

With widespread interest from investors (primarily homebuyers and global private equity players) owing to the lucrative return on investment and the tangible nature of the investment, Indian real estate became the hotspot for domestic and foreign investments in the 2000s, with both residential and commercial garnering great interest amid an asset bubble creation.

In the last decade, while commercial realty has grown substantially, residential real estate has remained the flagship category of Indian realty.

The government’s focus on providing a level playing field in the form of RERA and fulfilling every Indian’s dream to own a house by providing infrastructure status to the affordable housing segments, has proved to be instrumental in reshaping the dynamics of the sector, with developers leading the charge in providing the most conducive eco-system for homebuyers.

Primarily led by comprehensive market research and industry insights, developers have gradually redefined the architectural and liveability quotients by providing a 360-degree experience to buyers. From initially providing nominal additional facilities including a parking space and a park, developers have upped their game and started providing a range of services including gymnasiums, recreational halls, jogging tracks, among other things.

On the flip side, given the focus of the government to fulfil every Indian’s dream to own a home, developers have also actively taken up affordable housing projects on a large scale across the country.

Transparency and accountability. While the introduction of RERA played a huge role in laying the foundations in making homebuyers the key stakeholder of the eco-system, developers have largely embraced this change by building on the added trust factor and using transparency as a key USP to their products.

The author is president, CREDAI MCHI 

Deepak Goradia
first published: Sep 21, 2020 01:05 pm