The numbers were down over the January-March period, but higher than the corresponding months in 2020 when the lockdown was severe. The Anarock report revealed that Mumbai finished first in sales over the period, followed by Pune (see graphic), which collectively took up nearly 46% of the seven major markets in India — the four metros, plus Pune, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
Observers attributed the drop in the numbers from April to June from that of the January-March period to the expiry of the stamp duty reductions (after March) in Maharashtra, the second wave of the pandemic since mid-April and the ensuing lockdown-like restrictions in the state.
The sales figures from April to June this year were higher than that of the same period in 2020. “The second Covid-19 wave impacted the residential property market in the April-June (2021) period. But compared to the corresponding period of 2020, the sector displayed remarkable resilience. In the backdrop of developers adopting technology in their businesses, there was a huge annual jump in both new launches and sales. Importantly, the localized lockdowns and restrictions did not dent activity as much as the complete nation-wide lockdown last year,” Anarock chairman Anuj Puri said in a statement.
A Confederation of Real Estate Developers Associations of India (Credai) official said the sales in the April-June period were also “dampened by the lack of site visits”, but expressed optimism about sales in the coming months.
“People are still a bit scared to come out of their houses and check out the available options. With the fast vaccination drives and continuing low bottomed out sale rates of real estate, we expect sales to pick up in the next three-four months. This had happened last year after the first Covid wave,” Credai Pune Metro president Anil Pharande said.
Industry observers said another stamp duty cut, which was executed by the state government in two phases from September 2020, could revitalize sales. “We saw brisk sales in the first three months of the year due to the stamp duty cut. Sales dropped from April as the stamp duty cuts expired. The second Covid wave set in from mid-April. Raw material prices have gone up by up to 60-70% in the past few months, which should be looked at. The government has been largely looking at the aspect of supply. It now should focus on demand as well. Another stamp duty cut will definitely help in increasing sales once again,” said Paramvir Singh Paul, the Pune branch head of Knight Frank.