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Housing sector sees sunny days as demonetisation and policy clouds clear

BENGALURU: Home sales and launches in the city are seeing some green shoots, particularly in IT hubs, as clouds of uncertainty over new legislation and civic hurdles began clearing.The number of residential apartments launched in Bengaluru rose to 13,356 units between January and mid-June from 8,240 units in the preceding six months, property consultancy Vestian Global Work Place Services said in a report. About 65% of the new apartments are priced below Rs 60 lakh a unit, it said. Of the newly launched apartments, 3,762 units, or about 28%, were sold in the first half of this year, according to the report. In the second half of last year, 2,183 of the apartments launched then, or 26.5%, had been sold.The state’s Department of Stamps and Registration confirmed the improving trend. “Over the past six months, we saw an upward trend in the sales of apartments… we are hoping this will continue,” said KV Thrilok Chandra, inspector general of registration and commissioner of stamps.Bengaluru’s property market suffered a slump last year, in terms of both sales and launches. Work on several residential projects was stuck pending approvals from a government focussed on clearing the city of encroachments of stormwater drains and lakebeds. Also, even as demonetisation hit the realty sector hard, the introduction of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority and the Good and Services Tax last year added to the uncertainty.With the dust settling on such matters, demand is returning.64864718 “South and East Bengaluru, the key IT hubs in the city, accounted for substantial demand and supply (in the first of this year),” said Shrinivas Rao, chief executive officer (Asia-Pacific), Vestian Global. “The southern zone accounted for the largest share of new launches (41%) as well as the highest sales of new launches (54%) in the first half.” Builders tweaked their projects to launch more compact homes to suit the shrinking budgets of homebuyers.In the first half of this year, most of the newly launched apartments were two-bedroom homes as compared with more three-bedroom homes between July and December 2017, Vestian said in its report. The average price of the new homes was Rs 54 lakh, 16% lower than the price in the second half of 2017, it said.“There has been an increase in our customer base as well as sales after the dust settled around RERA and GST. We expect sales to further improve in the coming quarters,” said Viswa Pratap Desu, senior vice president, marketing, Brigade Enterprises.The availability of a “good range of projects and the absence of a steep price hike are helping in the improvement of consumption,” said JC Sharma, managing director, Sobha, one of the largest residential real estate builders in the city.

Source: ET

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