As the nation crawls towards normalcy, residential real estate sales reached almost 54 per cent of the quarterly average of 2019 with 33,403 units being sold during Q3 and recovered to almost 100 per cent of pre-COVID levels with 61,593 units in Q4, a Knight Frank report highlighted.
Sales in Mumbai and Pune during the December quarter exceeded the 2019 quarterly average by a significant margin of 47 per cent and 46 per cent, respectively. This strengthening in sales can be attributed largely to a limited-period 300 basis points cut in stamp duty that the Maharashtra state government introduced in Q3.
Home sales in India's top eight cities was recorded at 94,997 units during the second half of the year, registering a 19 per cent, year-on-year fall. However, sales momentum in the Mumbai and Pune markets remained strong, growing at 10 per cent and 9 per cent year-on, the report added.
Homes priced at over Rs 50 lakh made up approximately 57 per cent of the total sales during H2 2020. While new home launches were lower in H2 by 23 per cent, y-o-y at 86,139 units, Q4 witnessed significant growth of 77 per cent on a sequential basis at 55,033 units.
In the latter half of the year, buyers were more inclined to look for larger apartments, upgrading their current accommodations, which reflected in sale of apartments priced at over Rs 50 lakh, it said. "The RBI's decision to maintain low repo rates has narrowed the margin between rent and home loan EMI paid to banks. Driving house purchase affordability to extremely attractive levels, it has emerged as a major growth driver for the housing sector," it further added.
The weighted average residential prices during this period fell significantly across markets. Prices fell the most in Chennai at 9 per cent followed by Pune and NCR at 5 per cent and 4 per cent, respectively.