Housing sales rose 58 per cent to 78,520 units in seven major cities during the first quarter of 2019 driven by positive market sentiment on various incentives offered by the government in the last few months, property consultant Anarock said.
Sales stood at 49,800 units during January-March 2018 in the seven cities -- National Capital Region (NCR), Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), Bengaluru, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata.
"While we anticipated a negative spillover impact of the NBFC crisis in the first quarter of 2019, housing sales and new supply assumed an upward trajectory," Anarock Chairman Anuj Puri said.
"The sector is currently riding on a new wave of optimism following the triple benefits it received from the government in the first three months of 2019. These sops have not only increased homebuyers' sentiment but will also boost the confidence of builders and long-term investors," he added.
Anarock attributed the rise in demand to sops in the interim budget, GST rate cuts and lowering of home loan rates post RBI's February repo rate cut. In the interim budget, the government announced various incentives for purchase of second homes.
As per Anarock data, the MMR residential market saw maximum rise in sales of 95 per cent to 24,010 units during January-March 2019 as against 12,300 units in the year-ago period.
Pune followed with 80 per cent increase in housing sales at 12,340 units.
The NCR, one of the largest property markets in the country, saw 51 per cent increase to 13,740 units, while there was 42 per cent rise in sales at 3,430 units in Chennai.
Bengaluru and Hyderabad witnessed 33 per cent increase in sales at 15,580 units and 5,400 units, respectively.
Kolkata clocked a modest 18 per cent rise in sales at 4,020 units during the period under review.
Housing sales, which got severely affected in 2017 from the triple policy shocks of demonetisation, new realty law RERA and GST, have been gradually recovering since last one year.
"All in all, the realty sector looks all geared up in 2019. The slash in GST rates to 5 per cent for premium homes and 1 per cent for affordable homes without ITC (Input Tax Credit) gives the beleaguered sector the much-needed breathing room and will certainly help in maintaining forward momentum over the next three quarters of 2019," Anarock said.