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NRI Real Estate Scenario -Pragati Green Living
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NRI Real Estate Scenario in India

The year 2013 was a drag for the Indian economy with poor macroeconomic conditions. Slowing income growth, sustained weakness in the rupee, sky-rocketing inflation and high borrowing rates combined to make consumers vary of spending. This reflected visibly in the Indian consumer confidence index, which has been falling consistently over the last three quarters. Housing absorption statistics the first three quarters of 2013 also reflect this trend in consumer sentiment - from a largely positive QoQ growth to largely negative growth as of 3Q13. Despite this, residential property prices continued to exhibit upward movement even as the weakening rupee steadily eroded purchasing power. Over the last four years (from the trough of 2Q09 up to 3Q13), taking into account the period of economic slowdown, apartment prices have risen by over 50% on an average across India. As a result, absorption remained subdued during 2013 (until 3Q13), falling further from the already tepid levels observed during the same period last year. This was particularly true of cities where new supply rose sharply. However, affordable markets such as Kolkata and a few emerging locations near city peripheries, witnessed better absorption rates. Preliminary data indicates that a subdued sentiment continued into the 2013 festive season (the initial few weeks of the fourth quarter) when developers typically sell around a third of their annual inventories. 2014: Outlook Time to match demand with relevant supply: While the India’s gripping urbanization growth story has been fascinating global investors so far, an underlying truth gradually emerged in 2013 - economic growth, the consumption story and property prices may not rise consistently, and there could be intermittent hurdles or growth risks. The presently cautious market sentiment is likely to continue, as headwinds to growth will prevail at least until the first half of 2014. However, the second half is likely to witness gradual revival in absorption. Residential real estate capital values will increase in a subdued range of 10-12% year-on-year pan-India for the whole year. Affordability will drive growth in 2014. An emerging economy is never short of opportunities, and it is time that the Indian residential real estate industry realizes where the opportunity lies. To date, the shortage of homes in India stands at around 19 million units, and 95% of this housing shortage is in the economically-weaker section (EWS) and low-income group (LIG) categories. In India, housing for EWS is defined by the Technical Group on Estimation of Housing Shortage as having a carpet area of 21-27 square meters;

‘Right time’

From a buyer’s perspective, the realty sector players say that this is the right time to buy as it is still a buyers’ market. This situation may not last long, they feel. The property prices are beginning to see an ups wing as there is expected to be a lot of construction activity as new infrastructure is created for the new State capital.

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