Pune realty market has expanded by only 22% in the CY June 2013: Gera Developments

India Infoline News Service | Mumbai |

Gera Developers one of the pioneers of the real estate business in Pune and the creators of premium residential and commercial projects.

Gera Developments, one of the pioneers of the real estate business in Pune and the creators of premium residential and commercial projects in Pune, Goa and Bangalore released the Gera Pune Realty Report for the period January – June 2014. The consolidated report which is now an industry benchmark presents a detailed update and analysis of the Pune real estate residential market. The current report reflects that the impact of the overall economic slowdown has finally started showing on the Pune real estate numbers over the last 6 months and clearly indicates that the same has had a bearing on the demand in the market place. The assessment of the overall gross stock (defined as projects under construction and ready projects with more than 5% unsold stock and more than 10 units) reveals that the rate of market expansion has come down in the last 12 months i.e. June’ 13 to June’ 14.

This period saw the gross stock rise from 200,944 units to 245,674 units, an increase of 22% as compared to the preceding 12 months from June ’12 to June ’13 which saw stock rising from 152,311 units to 200,944 units, an increase of 31.9%.

The half yearly price increase has been at the lowest in the years at 2.2% for the period January’ 14 to June’ 14. There is however a counter effect of increased loading and extra charges that has, to an extent added to the price rise but does not show up in the normal analysis. The average price across the city is now just shy of Rs. 5000 psf and stands at Rs. 4910 psf. The average basket of homes has delivered a 41.29% increase in rates over the last 3 years where average prices in June 2011 were at Rs. 3475 psf. The 3 year compounded annual growth rate has been 12.25%. Investors who have purchased homes 3 years ago with mortgage rates at 10.5% and loan to value of 80% would have seen an equity returns of 18.75% per annum, making real estate still an attractive investment especially when factoring in tax benefits and deducting entry load costs.

Commenting on the key findings of the Gera Pune realty report, Rohit Gera, Managing Director, Gera Developments said, “We have studied and evaluated the Pune realty market to realize that on the surface there seems to be a slowdown in the rate of increase of realty prices. However the quantum of slow down needs to be viewed with total cost of purchase rather than the traditional rate per sq. ft. model that has been used to value property. The loading of the common areas onto the carpet area is in the region of 33% to 35% for the common areas. This has had an impact of 8% - 10% on the carpet area or 5% - 7% on the saleable areas. The increase in the extra costs like club house charges, infrastructure etc. has risen more than the rates themselves thereby having a positive impact on the overall cost that the consumer pays for the home.”

Gera further added “We have gauged the market in terms of supply and unsold stock based on the category of housing. The categories we have created are Budget, Value, Premium, PremiumPlus & Luxury. These parameters have helped us to understand that the maximum stress is on the luxury segment (where current quoted prices are in excess of Rs. 7500 psf) which has seen a 61% rise in unsold stock in the last 12 months. This segment is most exposed to the vagaries of the economy which has resulted in to a deferment of purchase. Also customers seem to have found greater value in the prices between Rs. 6000 and 7000 psf.”

For today’s buyer there may appear to be a slowdown in the increases in rates over the past years, however it is interesting to note that the rate of increase in luxury specifications and amenities has only increased. Locations where Italian marble or home automation would have been considered extravagant a year ago, now have a number of projects offering higher better specifications and amenities. All these amenities end up costing the developer but are provided in a hyper competitive market. The boost to infrastructure and civic amenities have provided customers with a better bargain since homes are actually getting cheaper in real terms with lower rates of appreciation, adjusted for infrastructure, better specifications and amenities. Though the additional loading and extra costs have impacted the overall prices, customers continue to look at the cost per sq. ft. and as such, feels satisfied that the rates have not risen. In reality, the overall cost of ownership has increased over the last few years.
While commenting on the price outlook, Gera explained that, “Our previous price outlook had indicated an increase of 13% to 18% for the year 2014. The first half of the year has shown a mere 2.2% increase. Keeping this in mind, we would like to revise our outlook for the future and would recast price increase expectations for the upcoming 12 months to be in the region of 10% to 14%.”

The increase in inventories has also continued with unsold inventories at an all-time high – the unsold inventory that was at 39238 units 24 months ago increased by 30.9% to 51363 units 12 months ago and currently stands at 66279 units, an increase of 29% over the past year. On a macro level, areas like Chakan and Kondhwa saw the most infusion in terms of new supply, followed by Wagholi and Pradhikaran region of PCMC. City center, Vimannagar, Erandwane, Kothrud & Karve Nagar witnessed the maximum price appreciation in the last 24 months while Sopan Baugh, Khed, Aundh and Koregaon Park witnessed the lowest price appreciation owing to the saturation in those micro markets.

Years of the economy slowly grinding to a halt has finally seen the impact on the real estate sector. While there is a renewed sense of optimism in the air, the same has not translated into demand into the market place as yet. This enhanced demand when triggered has the potential to create an upward pressure on prices as seen in the earlier years.

The counter effect to increasing prices is the hope that that simplified procedures with reduced red tape will improve the supply into the markets thereby keeping prices in check. The question of the timing of these two significant developments will determine the impact on prices. The more likely outcome seems to be that the optimism will turn to demand sooner than the simplification of processes and reduction of red tape.
 

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