44% of houses in Mumbai remain unsold; property prices likely to drop in 2014: Report

Published: 26 November, 2013 19:43 IST | PTI |

Some good news for people looking to buy houses in Mumbai, with real estate consultancy firm Knight Frank saying city's residential market may see some price correction in the early part of 2014

Weak absorption and rising inventories in the residential market here may lead to price correction in the early part of 2014, real estate consultancy firm Knight Frank said today.

Nearly 2.9 lakh residential units are under construction in the city while unsold units stood at 1.3 lakh during the January-September period, Knight Frank said in a report.

"The weakening real estate prices suggest that long- standing stalemate between buyers and builders is finally turning in the buyers' favour. The increase in inventories coupled with weakening absorption levels would put further pressure on prices," its research director Samantak Das said.

Mumbai's unsold inventory level is almost 44 per cent in comparison to NCR's which stands at 26 per cent even with twice the number of units under construction, the report said.

Owing to weakening demand, new launches in the city plummeted over 40 per cent compared to peak levels in 2010 as developers shift focus on liquidating current inventories.

As many as 47,488 residential units were launched during January-September.

"The residential market has been witnessing a steep decline in new launches as well as demandj....Unsold inventory pressure in Mumbai is the highest among all other cities and is depicting a growing trend. We expect a more pronounced price correction which may drive the market to a better equilibrium," he said.

The current environment will put pressure on prices in the medium term and the scenario is expected to last till the forthcoming general elections.

Further, the rise in interest cost and decline in net profit in 2013 will compel developers to lighten load and de-leverage their balance sheets.

"Major listed companies have defaulted their loans this year, which depicts significant stress levels on their balance sheets. Developers are now trying to salvage the situation by limiting fresh launches and boost sales by promotional activities to avoid reducing the base price.

"Overall, the right time for buyers to expect good deals in the market," company's national director Mudassir Zaidi said.

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