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RBI Keeps Repo Rate Unchanged, Increases Growth Forecast In Its Monetary Policy

December8, 2023: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), on the expected lines, kept policy rates and stance unchanged in its Monetary Policy announced on Friday. 

RBI’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of was unanimous in keeping the repo rate unchanged at 6.5 per cent after its December meeting. The MPC maintained the policy stance of ‘withdrawal of accommodation’ by the majority of 5 out of 6 members.

The Reserve Bank raised its real GDP projections but maintained its CPI estimate for the ongoing financial year (FY24).   

RBI raised real GDP growth estimate for FY24 to 7 per cent from 6.5 per cent earlier with Q3 GDP at 6.5 per cent against the earlier estimate of 6 per cent. Q4 GDP is pegged at 6 per cent which it earlier estimated to be 5.7 per cent.

The projection for the retail inflation was also kept unchanged.

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The real estate industry in its reaction to the policy announcement, gave a thumbs up! Here are views of some of the realty bigwigs on the policy announcement – 

Manoj Gaur, CMD Gaurs Group and President CREDAI NCR

The housing sector, which has been on a positive trajectory, receives a further boost with the RBI’s decision to maintain the status quo. The market is receptive to the current 6.5% repo rate. New launches by leading developers have received enthusiastic responses; unsold inventory is at an all-time low, and demand for premium and luxury projects has reached unprecedented levels. 2023 has been a spectacular year for the real estate sector. RBI keeping the repo rate unchanged for the seventh consecutive time signals stability will benefit the sector.

Deepak Kapoor, Director, Gulshan Group

RBI’s decision to keep the repo rates stable at 6.50% is in favour of the real estate sector and resonates with both developers’ and buyers’ sentiments, as this would increase investments in the sector. The stable interest rate would allow buyers to invest in their desired projects without burning a hole in their pockets. This would maintain the upward trajectory of the sector, also encouraging buyers who have been inclining from mid-segment projects towards high-end projects. With the festive season already being a boon for real estate, the stable repo rates have marked the end of the year quite well.

Pradeep Aggarwal, Founder & Chairman, Signature Global (India) Ltd

The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) decision to maintain the status quo on the repo rates was expected and well-received. This decision is poised to maintain inflation stability while providing support to economic activities. The consecutive decision to pause the repo rate hike, since February of this year, is a positive development for both borrowers and real estate developers. The stable borrowing rates will be advantageous for potential homebuyers, fostering increased demand. This uptick in demand is expected to catalyze growth in the real estate sector, ultimately making a valuable contribution to the country’s GDP.”

Mohit Goel, MD, Omaxe Group

RBI’s decision to maintain the repo rates at 6.50% is truly commendable, as this would stabilize the upward trajectory of the real estate market. The consumer demand has been at par for quite some time, with the festive season also turning out to be promising for the sector. Stable interest rates would further elevate buyers’ trust in investing their finances in the sector, benefitting the developers. The entire year of 2023 has been a promising one for real estate as the rates have remained stable since the past few announcements. The availability of sound projects and the advent of festivities as an auspicious time for investment have also played a vital role in the sector’s growth.

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Amit Modi, Director, County Group

The RBI’s decision to maintain the repo rates at 6.50% is good news for the real estate industry and aligns with the hopes of developers and purchasers alike. This move will further spur investment in the sector as buyers can invest in the projects they choose without worrying about high-interest rates, thanks to the consistent interest rate. This would keep the sector growing and encourage investments in high-end projects as well. The steady repo rates have done a great job of signaling the end of the year, especially after the festive season turning out well for real estate.

Nayan Raheja, Raheja Developers

The RBI’s decision to maintain the status quo on the repo rate is a welcome move. Despite the real estate sector’s desire for a slight rollback, this decision signals stability. It will boost confidence among developers and homebuyers, offering clearer long-term financial commitments and EMIs. With a positive consumer sentiment, the sector is poised to sustain its record-breaking performance. However, the current rate of 6.5% is at an all-time high. We hope the next MPC meeting will consider the sector’s request and pave the way for a return to a low-rate regime

Rajjath Goel, Managing Director, MRG Group

The RBI’s decision to maintain the repo rate at 6.5% for fifth consecutive time will attract a positive momentum in housing market. Amidst the escalating housing prices, the unchanged home loan rates will provide some relief to homebuyers. So, we expect both buyers and developers to gain from stable interest rates as buyers would feel more comfortable spending their money in the sector. And the new launches, expansion of projects in emerging hotpots, will all be backed by this decision of RBI.

Prateek Mittal, ED, Sushma Group

Continuing its status quo maintaining streak, te RBI’s decision to keep the repo rate at 6.5% is a welcome step. With GDP estimated to grow at 7% in FY2024, the Sensex hitting new highs, prices of crude oil under control and inflation tapering down, we expect the real estate sector to continue with the stellar performance it had exhibited in 2023 well into the coming year. The decision indicates stability, which is much needed for robust realty growth.

Ankit Kansal, MD 360 Realtors

The central bank has maintained a watchful stance and kept the repo rate unchanged. It was on the expected lines, as global shocks and difficult weather conditions in certain parts of the country can weigh on the overall inflationary pressure. Inflation has been under control over the past 2 quarters, yet a downside risk can’t be ignored. In this regard keeping the rate unchanged is a prudent step. Meanwhile, Indian real estate will continue to expand fast in the wake of the healthy economic footing. The central agency has revised the GDP growth rate to 7% in FY 24 from 6.5%, which further indicates an upbeat economy. This is one of the best times for the industry, as both demand and supply lines appear bullish.

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Radheecka Rakesh Garg, Director, Rajdarbar Realty

The RBI’s announcement to maintain the repo rate at 6.5% is a significant boost for the realty sector. Consistent with the sector’s mood, this move will be a catalyst in promoting housing in the country. However, the repo rate at 6.5% remains at a 4-year high. It is a concern for affordable housing, which is already under severe pressure and impacting realty development in tier 2 and 3 cities.

Ashwinder R Singh, Co-Chair CII NR Real Estate and CEO, Residential – Bhartiya Urban

The RBI’s decision to keep the repo rate at 6.5% bodes well for the Indian housing and home loans sector. With interest rates stable, home buyers can enjoy a favorable environment for securing loans. The steady stance fosters confidence in the market’s stability. While maintaining an optimistic outlook, potential home buyers can take advantage of this conducive lending environment, anticipating a positive impact on affordability and accessibility within the real estate market.

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Kushagr Ansal, Director Ansal Housing

The RBI’s decision to keep the repo rate stable is commendable as it enhances investor confidence by providing certainty in interest rates. Nevertheless, despite the industry’s growth, a reduction in rates after a series of consecutive hikes would have been more beneficial. Keeping the rates unchanged allows potential buyers to invest in real estate without the apprehension of facing further increases in loan interest rates.

Surender Kaushik, MD, Aryan Realty Infratech Pvt Ltd

The RBI’s move to sustain the repo rates at 6.5% will yield positive outcomes in the real estate sector. The reduced volatility in loan interest rates is expected to bolster confidence among buyers and developers, paving the way for sustained long-term growth. Lower financing rates expedite the progress of both residential and commercial real estate projects, concurrently contributing to increased employment in the construction industry. The stability in interest rates is anticipated to stimulate investments across various segments, spanning from first-time buyers to the middle-class demographic

Vikas Bhasin, Chairman and Managing Director, Saya Group

The RBI’s stance instils hope in the sector, suggesting that good times are back again. The decision to keep the repo rate unchanged indicates macro and micro economic stability. It will catalyse year-end housing sales and contribute substantially to the sector’s growth in 2024. This decision presents the picture of the country’s resilient economy. It is expected to stimulate growth, favourably for the premium housing and commercial segment

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Pankaj Kumar Jain

Pankaj Kumar Jain Director KW Group and Vice President CREDAI Ghaziabad

RBI has kept the repo rate unchanged citing global economy is showing signs of slowdown.  The RBI decision to ensure inflation progresses along the target of 4% and CPI inflation projections to be kept at 5.4% has prompt RBI to keep the rate unchanged. The Real Estate Sector always supports for a lower interest rate for the buyers as the reduction of the interest reduces the overall loan which is important for affordable sector and mid income buyer.  We welcome the move as the rates are not increased but looking for a reduction in near future.

Sanjay Sharma, Director SKA Group

RBI has decided to stabilise the repo rates at 6.5% over the past few quarters, and the move is quite promising for the real estate sector. This showcases the government’s faith in the economy and its will to encourage the growth of the real estate sector. The stable repo rates would encourage prospective homebuyers with balanced interest rates and would also ensure that the real estate sector booms without any economic challenges. After the festive season, exciting discounts, rising demand, and stable repo rates would further encourage buyers to invest in the real estate sector.

Mukul Baansal, MD, Motiaz

A consistent repo rate at 6.5% provides a stable financial environment for the real estate sector. This steady rate encourages borrowing at predictable costs, fostering investor confidence. With a reliable financial landscape, developers can plan strategically, homebuyers benefit from sustained affordability, and overall, it contributes to a conducive atmosphere for continued growth and performance in the real estate market.

Anuj Puri, Chairman, ANAROCK Group

With the fundamentals of the Indian economy remaining strong and the recently announced GDP rates indicating positive outlook, the RBI once again decided to keep the repo rates unchanged. This is an extension of the festive bonanza that RBI gave to the homebuyers in its last policy announcement. It gives homebuyers yet another opportunity to make cost-optimized home purchases.

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If we consider the present trends, the housing market is on a bull run and unchanged home loan rates will only add to the overall positive consumer sentiments. Additionally, given that housing prices have escalated across the top 7 cities in the last one year, at least the unchanged home loan rates will give some relief to the homebuyers. 

Going forward, we may expect the momentum in housing sales to continue in the wake of the unchanged repo rates coupled with the resultant stable home loan rates and positive economic outlook on India.

Anurag Mathur, CEO, Savills India                                                    

 “The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the RBI decided to remain focused on its stance of withdrawal of accommodation keeping the interest rates unchanged at 6.5%, leading to a rate pause for the fifth consecutive time in its policy decision. The target is now to bring inflation under the 4% amid high food prices. The decision is justified on the grounds that retail inflation softened in the recent months, latest at 4.9% in October 2023, is well within RBI’s tolerance zone of 6%. As India’s GDP growth in the first half of this FY, stood at a remarkable 7.7%, the RBI has revised the projection for the current financial year from 6.5% to 7.0%.  The stable repo rate along with the upward revision of GDP growth by 50bps augurs well for consumer confidence in domestic markets, including real estate. Consumption is likely to get a further boost for an already upbeat residential segment, apart from encouraging the supply side to access capital more freely. This bodes well for affordable as well as mid segment projects. However, near term fluctuations in food inflation will have to be monitored and tackled prudently.” –                                                                                               

Niranjan Hiranandani

Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani, National Chairman of NAREDCO

The stable interest rate outlook of the RBI will bode well for both the residential and commercial real estate markets. The unchanged repo rate will enable individuals and businesses to purchase properties at a more affordable price, stimulating demand velocity. Bullish domestic economic sentiment will also contribute to investors’ confidence index, which will encourage them to remain committed to real estate. It is expected that sustained liquidity will positively impact construction activity across key real estate markets, thereby bolstering upcoming property launches. Providing predictability in loan repayments will boost homebuyers’ confidence, since this will reduce the risk of sudden increases in borrowing costs. Consequently, the real estate sector can benefit from higher demand for housing and commercial spaces. A priority must be placed on affordable housing in order to cope with unstable economic shocks. In order to support affordable housing development, the industry body recommends that the government provides cross-subsidies. This would act as a stimulant for banks, financial institutions, and housing finance companies to assist in the development of affordable housing.

Saransh Trehan, Managing Director, Trehan Group

The decision of RBI is a reflection of its unequivocal commitment to decrease headline inflation to 4% and is an affirmation of its pointed stand to curb inflation rates as espoused by the RBI MPC members. The majority of us had an inkling that the RBI would vote in favor of the continuation of the current repo rate status so the decision was expected and there was no shock value attached. Not to say, we would have appreciated it if the RBI would have considered lowering repo rates to lease life into the market dormancy in some areas. Having said that, the property markets have undergone a steady revitalization so a disinflationary stand will also help in creating smooth operating conditions.

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Vikas Garg, Joint Managing Director, Ganga Realty

The RBI continues to endorse its disinflationary stand by maintaining the status quo of the repo rate to bring down inflation at the set target of 4%. The decision was fairly expected by the industry players as headline inflation continues to be a long-standing irritant that needs to be brought down by concerted policy-making decisions. Although the real estate sector could have benefitted from a slight reduction in repo rates, the maintenance of the current repo rate does not harm either as the market sentiments are overridingly positive cancelling concerns of a probable tepid market flow due to the repo rate being unchanged being one of the factors behind it.

Dhruv Agarwala, Group CEO, Housing.com, PropTiger.com & Makaan.com 

“The RBI’s latest decision to maintain the repo rate at 6.5% for the fifth time in a row reflects a strategic balance between sustaining economic growth and controlling inflation. This move is particularly significant for India’s real estate sector, which is currently experiencing a surge in demand not seen in over a decade. Stable interest rates are poised to boost home purchases and instill confidence in developers, enabling them to present more attractive offerings during the ongoing festive season, extending into the new year. This stability sets a positive tone for the real estate sector as we step into a new phase of growth in 2024.”

G Hari Babu, National President of NAREDCO

The RBI’s choice to keep the repo rate unchanged reflects confidence in the country’s economic fundamentals and growth prospects. With the GDP expected to grow at 7% in FY24, this announcement sets an optimistic tone for the new year. The unchanged repo rate also signifies a conducive environment for sustained growth in the real estate market, aligning with our collective efforts to foster economic development and will positively impact both residential and commercial segments. We remain committed to contributing to the robust growth of the real estate sector, particularly in affordable housing, buoyed by the positive indicators set forth in the RBI’s monetary policy announcement. However, despite the pause, the current interest rate is at its highest in the last four years. We appeal to RBI to consider our request in its next review meeting.

Dr. Dharmesh Shah, CEO, Hero Realty Pvt Ltd.

“Hero Realty welcomes the decision of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to maintain the repo rate at 6.5% for the fifth consecutive time. This decision is expected to have a positive impact on the real estate market, particularly in the housing sector, leading to a steady increase in property transactions. The growth trend in mid-income and premium housing transactions is likely to continue, while affordable and low-income housing, influenced by interest rates, may see a more cautious pace of activity.”

Prashant Rao, Managing Director, Poulomi Estates
The apex bank announcement to maintain the current policy rates indicates the central bank’s firm stance in maintaining vigilance against inflationary pressures. The decision to keep interest rates stable is seen as a favorable factor that supports the ongoing demand. This stability not only reinforces confidence among potential homebuyers but also contributes to sustaining the positive momentum in the real estate market.

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Ashwin Chadha, CEO, India Sotheby’s International Realty

The Reserve Bank of India’s decision to maintain unchanged interest rates reflects a cautious approach aimed at stabilizing inflation within the targeted band of 2%-6%. Notably, the RBI governor mentioned a balanced risk outlook, and the projection for Real GDP growth stands at 7% for the current fiscal year, with an anticipated range of 6.4% to 6.9% for the next year. Given these positive and strong economic indicators, the probability of a rate hike in the upcoming MPC review meeting appears negligible. We anticipated that the housing sector, particularly the luxury segment, will continue to thrive amid a well-performing economy and growing purchasing power of the citizens of the country.

Vimal Nadar, Senior Director, Research, Colliers India

On much expected lines, RBI kept the repo rate unchanged at 6.5% in the backdrop of strong buoyancy in economic growth and moderation of inflation levels. At 7% for FY 2023-24, India continues to be the fastest-growing economy amongst larger economies as global outlook continues to be clouded by higher inflation, supply constraints and climate change. Indian economy remains resilient due to a coordinated effort to control inflation while maintaining growth, augmenting supply and higher public & private investments.

As the housing market continues to outperform 2022 sales, an unchanged repo rate signals steady interest rates for prospective homebuyers and developers. This will aid a stronger 2023 with sales expected to be higher by 20-30% compared to 2022. Steady interest rates will continue to fuel sentiment buoyancy in the market, keeping the housing market on a higher growth trajectory as we begin 2024.

Avneesh Sood, Director Eros Group 

“The Reserve Bank of India’s decision to maintain the repo rate at 6.5% bodes well for the Indian real estate sector. With a projected GDP growth of 7% in 2023-24 and a positive shift in rural demand, the unchanged repo rate ensures stability and affordability in the property market. As a real estate developer, we view this decision favorably, anticipating sustained momentum and increased homebuyer confidence. Despite global economic uncertainties, India’s real estate sector remains resilient, supported by robust capacity utilization and urban demand. The completion of 2/3rd of rabi sowing signals a buoyant rural economy. While mindful of inflation’s potential impact on construction costs, the overall outlook is optimistic, aligning with continued growth and encouraging homeownership”.

Manju Yagnik, Vice Chairperson of Nahar Group and Senior VP, NAREDCO, Maharashtra

The importance of keeping inflation under observation while preserving economic development momentum is reflected in the decision to keep the repo rate at 6.5%. The affordability of house loans has been adversely affected by inflationary pressure, unaffordability, and a lack of new development, all of which have contributed to historically high-interest rates. As a result, demand for affordable housing, a substantial portion of the housing structure, has decreased. To encourage small urban housing, the Indian government has granted an additional interest subsidy of Rs 60,000 crore for residences up to Rs 40 lakh. Furthermore, with the festive tailwind, demand for house loans is anticipated to continue to be strong, indicating a robust increase in property sales.”

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