With COVID-19 cases having already crossed 1,000 in India and with the whole nation in lockdown, there is no sector of the ecomony which has not been severely hit by this crisis. Real Estate sector has also taken a major hit with construction of projects on hold as costs keep piling up.
Most experts and industry insiders agree that the lockdown will certainly have an adverse impact on economic activity across sectors including real estate.
Nayan Raheja, Executive Director, Raheja Developers, feels sales and construction are badly impacted and at standstill as per govt orders.
"This situation may remain same till lockdown is in effect but will have lasting effect on economy as project deliveries shall be delayed. However, since real estate is the only long term and stable investment asset compared to the other volatile options, we anticipate a steady investment growth once things get back to normal," he says.
An indicator of the same has been the reduced number of traffic on online property search websites.
According to Dhruv Agarwala, Group CEO, Housing.com, Makaan.com and PropTiger.com, the dip in traffic is now visible on all their platforms.
"In order to mitigate the impact, we have come out with various schemes for builders and brokers to encourage them to continue to advertise on Housing.com so that they can build their customer pipelines even when the market is slow. We have also launched video calls, virtual walkthroughs and other innovative visualisation products to enable consumers to make property purchase decisions in the comfort of their living rooms, while they are unable to venture out of their homes," he says.
However, Manoj Gaur, MD, Gaurs Group and Chairman, feels that while the sales are impacted, it is temporary phenomena.
"We will know the exact impact only when things calm down. In any case second half of March and April are generally not great from sales perspective. Also, at the moment it is more important that people remain safe and healthy," he says.
Deepak Kapoor, Director, Gulshan Homz, feels that people are deferring property buying decisions and accordingly, sales in March are likely to dip for sure.
"But as the fall in the sector is nowhere compared to other asset classes like equity, gold etc. We hope real estate will again emerge as the preferred destination for both investors and end-users," he concludes.