Festive season 2014 is replete with significance for the world of Indian realty. After two successive dry years, buoyed by a stable government at the Centre, the sense is very strong of a turnaround. Already about 100 projects comprising about 60,000 units are being readied for launch across the big cities while average annual sales are expected to scale the 200,000 units mark. Expectedly the market is abuzz amid a rich rain of gifts, special schemes and offerings.
It’s that time of the year again when developers hope for a big push to their sales and clients, particularly the homebuyers, scout for the best possible bargains to strike a deal. Yes, the festival season is here and the real estate sector is abuzz with activity, again!
Beginning Ganesh Chaturthi, peaking during Navratras and Durga Puja and culminating with Diwali, the over six-week period is considered the most auspicious time for buying property in our country. Though there is a lull in the air after the Diwali revellery, spirits revive as the countdown to Christmas and the New Year begins. So, broadly speaking October to December is considered as the festival season in business and trade circles. That’s the period when the realtors and the brokers come up with attractive discounts and freebies to lure maximum number of customers to their projects. For buyers, in turn, this is the most opportune time to buy the top-of-the-shelf icon of financial security — a house.
The festival season 2014 carries a special significance as it comes after two consecutive dry years of property launches and the developers are gearing up for some real action this time around. Reports speak of about 100 projects lined up for launch across big cities — the highest of these in NCR — ahead of the festival season. This is in stark contrast to the years 2012 and 2013 which passed by without any launches.
An added reason for the upbeat, and rather aggressive, mood of the realtors this season is the formation of a stable government at the Centre which has instilled a positive economic sentiment across sectors. Bolstered by some realty-friendly initiatives announced in the Union Budget, the industry is hopeful that this festival season will surely leave them with sweet memories to take home.
CBRE South Asia Chairman & MD Anshuman Magazine has been quoted in the media as saying that the festival season would be better than the previous two. “Sentiment is positive and encouraging, but it is too early to assess the impact. Business during the festival season is expected to be better than last year. A complete revival might take a year or more. The key is improving liquidity in the market and mobilising investments from domestic and foreign funds and investors,” Magazine said.
The three-month period is expected to garner sales of at least 60,000 units across seven major cities, almost double of that recorded in the past two years. “The festival season will be much better in 2014. Sentiment is positive and enquiries have gone up substantially ,” said Ashutosh Limaye, head of the research and real estate intelligence service at JLL India.
Average annual sales for the sector are expected to reach 200,000 units this year, with a good festival season contributing 30-40 per cent to the total. In the last two years, sales were 120,000-140,000 units annually, with very few of those during the festival season, according to industry estimates.
In contrast to last year, discounts and alluring schemes are being planned aplenty this time. Seeing the surge in enquiries, brokers are offering discounts of 8 to 15 per cent, depending on location. Inducements by the developers, like flexible payment plans, free modular kitchens, LCD TV sets, gold coins, or foreign junkets are the other offerings during this festival season across the country.
Majority of the developers in NCR contacted by Realty & More have stacked up varied schemes, gifts and attractive payment plans for the customers. Real estate firm Ajnara India Ltd. has come out with a unique scheme for its projects located at Greater Noida West. It has introduced the payment plan along with ‘No Pre-EMI’ clause till offer of possession of the units. The customers will be asked to pay 10 per cent as the booking amount followed by 80 per cent amount within 45 days from bank funding and finally, the remaining 10 per cent on possession offer.
Ashok Gupta, CMD, Ajnara India Ltd.,said: “Navratras are considered to be an auspicious time for investing. And the best investment in today’s time is property as the returns are higher and any scheme is a big draw for any buyer.” He added: “Till we do not offer possession of the unit, we will be liable to pay the installments to bank on behalf of the customers”.
JM Housing, another leading real estate company in the NCR, has also launched a 20:80 buying scheme for Navratri. The offer is for its ongoing project JM Florence located at Greater Noida West. Under this scheme, buyers will pay the initial 20 per cent of the amount at the time of booking and the remaining 80 per cent will be loan taken from the bank on which the pre-EMI will be borne by the company till the offer of possession. At the same time, a 100 per cent guaranteed return on the contribution of the customers will be offered as an option at the time of possession of the unit.
Rupesh Gupta, Director, JM Housing, said: “Owning a home for self is everyone’s dream. Keeping this in mind, we have launched this scheme which will prove to be one of the easiest methods of buying a property for the customers or even earn a 100 per cent return on the contribution.
Realty major Ansal Housing has planned to offer a new payment scheme for its ongoing projects. The company has devised a scheme in which 30 per cent of the total amount will be paid at the time of booking and the remaining 70 per cent on possession. Kushagr Ansal, Director, Ansal Housing, said: “The demand for real estate has been on a rise recently as the final festive season of the year is approaching. Keeping this in mind, we have launched a new scheme to allow flexibility in payment for the customers. We have provided the scheme on three of our best projects in Gurgaon. Looking at the way demand is shaping up in the region, it is very important to offer something new to the customers, especially when they are anticipating the most”.
Another developer, KPDK Buildtech has decided to offer an inaugural discount of MOO per square feet on all its units at its maiden project Newton Square at Sector 95A, Gurgaon, which will be launched during the festival season. MK Gupta, Chairman, KPDK Buildtech, told Realty & More: “This time of the year is expected to create heavy footfall as the customers are eagerly waiting to invest during the festive season. This time being considered auspicious, the demand for property is very high and this provokes the developers to launch new projects and even offer schemes and discounts. With this view, we are going to launch our very first project during this season along with an inaugural discount”.
Horizon Concept Private Limited has announced diamond rewards on all apartment bookings at its European-lifestyle inspired housing complex Orizzonte in Noida. Suninder Sandha, Director of the realty firm, said: “The festive period is usually regarded as an auspicious time by most Indians for booking houses or investing in property. In view of the popular prevailing sentiment, we, at Horizon Concepts are offering diamond gifts to all prospective homebuyers at our world-class Orizzonte housing complex. We are certain that home sales will soar this season. A positive spirit is already looming large upon the market. To top that, our alluring gift offers will not fail to attract bulk sales.”
Unnati Fortune Group is offering gold coins on booking in all product verticals and special payment plan 40:30:30 in which a buyer can pay 40 per cent now, 30 per cent after the completion of structure and the rest on possession in its project ‘Aranya’, located at Sector 119, Noida. Anil Mithas, CMD, Unnati Fortune Group, said: “Since time immemorial, most Indians tend to link property acquisition with auspicious dates. The time period of Navratri is considered to be the most propitious time to invest in property. We generally find that during this time of the year, the atmosphere and mood of the public is positive and outlook is happy.” The gift offer and special payment plan are meant “to enhance their experience”, he added.
Another developer which has come up with an attractive payment scheme during the festival season is Supertech Limited. Under the scheme floated by the company, buyers need to pay 10 per cent of down payment on booking and the rest at the time of possession. During this scheme, no EMI will be paid by the customer. RK Arora, CMD of Supertech, told Realty & More: “The festive season, especially Navratras and Diwali, is considered to be an auspicious time and customers are very keen to invest during this time. The demand of property is high at the moment and we are getting good response for both luxury and affordable housing segment.”
Gurgaon realty major Agrante Realty has come up with “a very luring and distinctive plan” for its customers during this festive season. The company is offering a combination of offers with each unit for its project, Beethoven’s 8, located at Sector 107, Gurgaon. There is a discount of 2 per cent on the total cost of the unit along with holiday packages differing with the size of the unit.
With a purchase of a 2BHK unit, Agrante is offering a tour package of Thailand along with the discount while a package of Hong Kong and Macau will figure in a 3BHK unit deal along with the discount. On the 4BHK unit, the company will provide a package for Switzerland along with the discount. Vikrant Singh, President, Agrante Realty, told Realty & More: “This time of the year is considered to be very auspicious time for investing and purchasing. The market sentiments are very positive which pushes the customers to buy at this time of the season. Our offer for this season is very different and we believe in offering something unique.”
Another prominent player, CHD Developers, is offering 1 per cent discount on payment received on or before time on EMIs. It is also offering 3 to 4 per cent discount across all properties for a purchase made during the festive season. For its channel partners, CHD is arranging foreign trips for sale conversion target achievements. The company is also offering flat commission to influencers other than a non-sales person whose referral would lead to conversion to sale of unit. Ravi Saund, COO of CHD Developers, said, “This year seems to be a fruitful year for real estate as the economy has started showing indication of growth and is expected to propel post-Diwali.”
Grihapravesh Buildteck has come up with few attractive offers for this festive season. “We are quite upbeat about the festive season and are sure that it will lead to optimism across stakeholders in the real estate segment,” Abhay Kumar, CMD of the company, told Realty & More.
The offers the firm has lined up for the customers during this festival season include cash discounts up to Rs 11 lakh, 5gm (24- carat) gold coin,1.5-tonne split A/C, nomination for lucky draw which gives a chance to win a 2BHK flat and assured gifts on every visit to the project site.
Kumar said: “The traditional mindset of the consumer has always been of festivities bringing in auspiciousness in life and hence, there has always been a demand for real estate during such festive days.” He said the fence-sitters who believe in a wait-and-watch situation also look at investing in this festive season. “Even the younger buyers who are influenced by the older generation do believe in this being the best time to invest in property or moving into a new house,” he added.
Another prominent player, Fairwealth Group, is aiming to attract the maximum number of buyers during the festival season and for that it is offering assured holiday package and easy payment option 30:40:30 in its project Fairwealth Breeze Homes in Bhiwadi. The company’s CMD Dhirender Gaba told Realty & More: “Home-buying in India is a market that is always connected to sentiments which are high during festive season. The festive season is considered a time of good investment. Thus activity levels in the property market increase substantially during this period”.
KV Developers Pvt. Ltd, the real estate arm of the KV Group, has already launched an ‘Everyday Wins’ scheme for this festival scheme.
The scheme was announced by Aman Agarwal, Director of the firm, at the unveiling of a show flat in KVD WindPark – its group housing project in Tech zone IV, Greater Noida (West).
As part of the scheme, which will last till October 31, the customers will get assured gifts when they come to book their home at ‘Wind Park’. They will be entitled to participate in a contest wherein through a lucky draw or a scratch card, the buyers can win from a host of exciting options, including, three fully-furnished flats, 32-inch LED TV, a branded fridge, a split A/C, modular kitchen, wardrobes in all the rooms and much more. The buyers can also win a free car park and club membership in this scheme.
Another developer, RG Group has decided to gift gold coins to its buyers with the purchase of a flat during this festival season. Those who buy a 3BHK will get three gold coins and respectively two gold coins with the purchase of 2BHK and one for 1 BHK. The offer will be valid till October 25.
Rajesh Goyal, MD of RG Group, said: “We always prefer to gift gold coin as it is the symbol of purity and trust and will remain with our investors for a long time. It will always remind them of their bond with us”. However, Goyal is not much optimistic about the sales prospects this season, as he says: “I’m not expecting such a boost this festive season but yes it is definitely going to be better than last year.”
Vijay Jindal, CMD of SVP Group, told Realty & More that recent steps initiated by the new Government have made a positive impact on buyers and investor sentiment and “we are expecting that this festival season will come up with some boost to this sector”. For this festival season, the SVP Group is providing flexible payment plan in which the buyer has to pay 50 per cent at the time of booking and the rest on possession. Also, during Navratras, the company offered fully air-conditioned flats in Gulmohur Residency located in Indirapuram. Jindal said: “Clients get true benefits from these offers as they provide a big relief to them”. He said: “Such schemes encourage potential buyers to invest. This is the tendency of Indian buyers to get something extra and such freebies actually help boost their sentiment”.
Another prominent player, Mahagun Group, has planned to float various lucrative schemes over an extended period of time. “We have subvention schemes like the 10:80:10 offer, ‘Pay 10 pc and nothing till possession’ and a payment plan of ‘Pay 15 pc now and nothing till possession’,” Dhiraj Jain, Director of the realty firm, informed Realty& More. Traditionally, he said, Navratras are considered an auspicious time to invest in real estate. “As a result, a large number of buyers are almost ready to invest during this time and expect developers to offer discounts and subvention schemes and so, only a slight prompting makes them take the plunge”, he said. “Prospective buyers can benefit by striking a deal at reasonable rates and make the most of the offers galore,” Jain added.
Asked which has been the best offer doled out by the company so far, the Mahagun Director said: “There is no golden rule for selling. It’s a combination that works differently for different people. Whereas a relaxed payment schedule or cash discount can be a perfect option for one, a waiver on parking and club membership works best for the other.”
According to Ajay Aggarwal, MD of Microtek Infrastructure, “We need to approach the festive season with measured aggression.” He said, “Considering the prevailing mood, the sales will definitely be far better than previous year, but to expect a miracle for realty sector from this period will be a bit too far.”
The company is not offering any discounts as such but it has introduced a 30:70 payment plan, which is “highly lucrative and favourable for long-term investments.” To a query as to how much the clients are actually going to benefit, Nagar said, “The customers are intelligent enough to choose the best offer.”
Somewhat similar is the reaction of Aman Nagar, Director, Paras Buildtech. He told Realty & More, “We should be cautious and not expect too much from this festival season. The focus would be on sales strategies and offering the best deals to the customers to maximise the sales figures. We are also sure about better sales graph than previous year. Overall, with positive sentiments around, we expect this festive season to bring cheers for Delhi-NCR’s real estate sector.”
Vikas Sahani, CMD of Property Guru, has a rather different take on festival offers. He told Realty & More, “Such offers not only help boost sales but bring buyer closer to the developer.” Property Guru is offering assured gifts on each booking for its customers during Navratra. “We are expecting this period to gain sales much higher than past quarters of the year, Sahani said and added “it cannot be denied that festival offers add value to company’s reputation”.
A run-down of various schemes and offerings by developers across cities proves beyond doubt that they are highly upbeat about the coming Diwali and are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the festival lights up their sales graph the brightest
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