There will be no dearth of puran poli and shrikhand offerings being lapped up across homes this Gudi Padwa, but it may still leave a bitter taste in the mouth for the city’s realtors. A stagnant economy, less buying power for the masses combined with real estate prices that refuse to come down, has meant that very few people are in the market this year to buy a new home on this festive day, considered by many as one of the most auspicious days of the year to buy a home or move into a new apartment.
Even builders agree that this Gudi Padwa may well be the dullest in the past six years for real estate industry. A few builders who spoke to SMD yesterday admitted that the industry is slowly moving towards the same situation it faced after the global economic meltdown of 2008-09 when sales hit rock bottom. Stating that reducing prices of homes at this stage was unlikely, they agreed that if this trend continues for the next six months, the situation would be worse than 2008.
Speaking to SUNDAY MiD DAY, treasurer of the Builders Association of India, Anand Gupta, said, “Gudi Padwa is an auspicious time when builders and buyers meet and several deals are inked. But this year there is no such buzz in the market. Many builders are facing problems in terms of getting approvals from government authorities to finish their projects.”
When asked whether apartment prices would come down anytime soon, Gupta said, “We don’t mind lowering the prices, but at present we don’t think we have buyers to buy flats even at lower rates. Hence, bringing the prices down doesn’t seem a possibility.”
Brokers who also say times are bad, claimed they cannot understand why despite a significant dip in sales over several months, builders are refusing to lower rates. “There are hardly any new apartments being bought, but builders don’t seem to be bothered. It would be wrong to say there aren’t any buyers. But they will only buy if the price is right,” said Vibhuti Jain, of Perfect Estate a real estate brokerage firm based in the western suburbs of Mumbai.
Prakkash Rohira of Kkarma Realtors agreed. “Buyers would buy at a rate that would suit there pockets and not at any unreal rate being quoted by builders,” he said.