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Builders expecting rate cuts for reviving realty sector

Property market was the economy ‘sunder belly this year and demonetisation towards the fag end only made it more isolated. But things might change in 2017 as builders are pinning their hopes on lower interest rate and transparency for the sector to come back to life.

The realty space remained weak even this year as housing sales fell on low demand and adverse impact of junking of old cash, but developers expect recovery from the second half of 2017.

The multi-year slowdown, however, did not deter investment as cash-starved developers raised Rs 48,300 crore in 2016 from private equity (PE) investors to fund their projects, up 53 per cent from last year’s, according to property consultant Cushman & Wakefield.

“Housing sales were better this year before note ban. But sales have slowed in the last two months. We feel that 2017 will be a golden year for the developers in the primary market as they will benefit from the government’s demonetisation move and a likely fall in interest rates on home loans,” realtors’ apex body CREDAI President Getamber Anand said.

DLF’s CEO Rajeev Talwar said: “There has been a lot of cleansing in the real estate sector this year. So, 2017 will be a good year for primary product suppliers of real estate.”

He said housing prices would remain stable in the primary market, but decline in the secondary (resale) one. Housing sales did rise in the first three quarters of 2016 on positives like tax sops in the budget, new real estate regulatory law and easing of interest rate by about 1 per cent, but transactions dried up post demonetisation, dragging the overall numbers down for 2016.

According to property consultant JLL India, housing sales in primary market stood at 1.2 lakh units in the seven cities during January-September 2016 as against 1.19 lakh in the year-ago period.

Total units sold in 2015 were 1,57,800. “2016 overall was a watershed year for Indian real estate, with RERA (real estate regulation Act), demonetisation and the Benami Properties Act impacting sentiment negatively. The momentum in 2016 housing sales was lower than 2015 and 2014. Prices remained stable,” JLL India Chairman and Country Head Anuj Puri said. However, he exuded confidence in a market revival in 2017.

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