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Group booking of property can win you big discounts

As home sales continue to nosedive, developers and brokerage houses are tying up with online sales portals offering group discounts to lure home buyers to increase volumes.

20% is the discount for buyers offered by Websites like GrOffr.com and Discounted Flats 20% is the discount for buyers offered by Websites like GrOffr.com and Discounted Flats
If you are looking at buying a new home , you can pick up a discount by going in for a group booking along with your friends and relatives. As home sales continue to nosedive, developers and brokerage houses are tying up with online sales portals offering group discounts to lure home buyers to increase volumes.

"It is very difficult for the developers to give discounts to individual buyers. But if more than four or five persons are buying together, developers can offer them a substantial discount. It also helps them to save a hefty brokerage fee," a senior executive from grouphomebuyers.com, an online portal promoted by actress Shilpa Shetty and Raj Kundra said.

The portal is not just giving discounts but is also giving away exciting holiday packages, free home-registrations and free home insurance plans on purchases.

Apart from that for every purchase of above Rs 2 crore, they give additional freebies to the buyers. According to Websites like GrOffr.com and Discounted Flats, the discounts for buyers can range from two per cent to 20 per cent, depending on the size of the group. A waiver of bank processing charges and even discounts on interest rates for loans are being thrown in to sweeten the deal. These sites also allow select buyers to choose their next-door neighbour apart from the discount.

"We get together people with similar interests. Then we negotiate with the developers who are ready to offer discounts which otherwise they may not give to an individual. So, this is a kind of win- win situation for all," an executive from grouphomebuyers.com said. As they are doing brisk business the trend appears to be catching on. For example, Discounted Flats has claimed to do business worth Rs 120 crore in the very first month of operations by selling over 300 flats.

The trend started with the Mumbai and Pune markets and now they are offering many projects in the national capital region as well. Developers, on their part, are ready to lap up this opportunity as sales have gone down drastically in the past few months.

According to Samarjit Singh, director, Agni Property, "The trend is not new as many brokerage firms also offer discounts on group purchases."

"As far as sales volumes are concerned there is a slowdown in the upper luxury segment and homes priced below Rs25 lakh. We do not see any slowdown in sales in the Rs25 to Rs45 lakh segment," Singh added.

In the last six months home sales have dropped by around 50 per cent in Delhi and Mumbai. "Property prices have risen to highly unaffordable levels and are currently quoted at around 20 per cent above their 2007 highs. This has led to stagnation in sales," Pranay Vakil, chairman of global property consultant Knight Frank told Mail Today.

"It is just a matter of time. How long can developers hold prices? Developers might be able to hold their ground if the current credit crunch eases, which is unlikely as the banking fraternity curtails lending to the real estate sector," Vakil explained.

Courtesy: Mail Today