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RBI keeps repo rate steady, EMIs to stay still

On the expected lines, Shaktikanta Das, Governor, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), on Friday announced that the monetary policy committee (MPC) has unanimously decided to keep the repo rate unchanged at 6.50 per cent.

Shaktikanta

Announcing the policy, Das said, “After a detailed assessment of the evolving macroeconomic and financial developments and the outlook, RBI’s Monetary Policy Committee decided unanimously to keep the Repo Rate unchanged at 6.5 per cent.” 

The apex bank kept the real GDP growth projection for FY24 unchanged at 6.5%. CPI inflation forecast for FY24 is also maintained at 5.4%.

The RBI’s decision of keeping Repo Rate unchanged has gone down well with the realty players, especially among those operating in the housing segment. The decision, though on the expected lines, has come as relief for housing loan borrowers, both new and existing, as repo rate pause implies no rise in home loan EMIS. 

Following are the excerpts of realty bigwigs’ reactions on RBI’s announcement: 

Manoj Gaur, CMD, Gaurs Group and President, CREDAI NCR

Even though the real estate sector would have wished for a rollback, RBI maintaining the status quo on the repo rate is a laudable step. With festival season around the corner and consumer sentiment high, the sector will continue performing well. However, the current figure is still at an all-time high. Therefore, we hope that RBI succeeds in its intention to curb inflation, and we may witness the low-rate regime again.

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Amit Modi, Director, County Group

RBI’s move to keep the repo rate unchanged is an appreciable move as this would bring a boost to the already growing real estate industry. With the festive season around the corner and buyers showing keen interest in real estate investments, the stable interest rates would further encourage their participation in the transactions. This would foster considerable investment in both residential and commercial segments of the real estate.

Nayan Raheja, Raheja Developers

RBI’s commitment to maintain the repo rates has been in resonance with the hope of buyers. This will encourage the real estate market, with buyers from every walk of life approaching to make an investment in the auspicious festive season. The rates have been stable at 6.50% for the past few months, showcasing RBI’s measure to balance inflation without burning a hole in buyers’ pockets. This move is profitable for both developers and buyers.

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Kushagr Ansal, Director, Ansal Housing

With the festive season approaching, the Reserve Bank of India’s praiseworthy choice to retain repo rates at their current levels brings significant advantages to the real estate sector. This decision ensures stability and a foreseeable climate, which in turn appeals to investors and fosters enduring investment initiatives. The decision to maintain repo rates at their current level means that borrowing expenses for both homebuyers and developers will stay consistent, establishing a favourable atmosphere for real estate investments.

Ashwinder R Singh, CEO of Residential Bhartiya Urban

In the backdrop of steadfast repo rates, controlled EMIs, and robust developer funding, the Indian housing and real estate sector stands on solid ground. With healthy economic indicators and anticipated strong corporate earnings, our future is bright. As crude prices cool, the Indian economy benefits. We foresee a promising era for the sector, driven by stability and optimism.

Rajesh K Saraf, MD, Axiom Landbase

The decision by the Reserve Bank of India to keep the current interest rates unchanged represents a positive move aimed at alleviating the financial burden on prospective homebuyers. In recent months, the notable increase in monthly EMIs has placed significant constraints on the budgets of individuals from middle and lower-income groups who aspire to become homeowners. By maintaining a stable interest rate environment, there is an optimistic outlook that these potential buyers will feel encouraged to proceed with their plans to buy a home.

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Uddhav Poddar, MD, Bhumika Group

The unchanged repo rates will further encourage more customer engagement in commercial real estate. With the festive season set to begin, buyers are already prepared to book their spaces to mark an auspicious beginning. Stable repo rates have strengthened their decision as the interest rates would remain the same without putting a burden on them. RBI has made a smart move to balance inflation as well as encourage investments through this announcement.

Tejpreet Singh Gill, MD, Gillco Group

“The unchanging repo rates, a policy that greatly benefits the markets by ensuring a stable rate and a supportive posture, persist. However, there are specific challenges within the real estate market that require addressing. With the festive season on the horizon, this decision will serve as a blessing for the real estate sector.

Sanjeev Arora, Director, 360 Realtors

RBI has kept the repo rate unaltered; however, it could have thought otherwise. The Indian economy is showing resilience and there is a visible growth in the manufacturing and service sectors.  Inflation has eased out in September despite turmoil in the global economy. India is poised to become the growth engine of the global economy. In such a conducive environment, the central agency could have thought to increase liquidity in the market by lowering the repo rate. It should have helped in the long run.

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Mohit Goel, MD, Omaxe Group

One year ago, the repo rate was 5.9% (September 2022). Despite RBI maintaining the status quo in the last few MPC meets, including the current quarter, the Repo Rate at 6.5% is still high. Even though the real estate sector has remained unaffected and continues performing well, we hope RBI meets its objective of reining inflation. On a positive note, the RBI’s stance imparts the sector with the hope that the chances of a rate increase in the future are slim.

SALIL KUMar

Salil Kumar, Director, CRC Group

RBI’s decision to maintain the repo rates at 6.5% will bring positive developments in the real estate sector. Less volatility in the loan interest rates would increase buyer and developer confidence, fostering long-term growth. The development of both residential and commercial real estate developments is accelerated by lower financing rates, which also boost employment in the construction industry. Interest rate stability will boost investment across a range of markets, from first-time buyers to middle-class strata.

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Radheecka Rakesh Garg, Director, Rajdarbar Realty

The decision by RBI not to increase the repo rate will catalyse the housing sale in Diwali. Since the festival season is considered an auspicious time in the country to buy a home, it will boost the festive spirit and the realty sector, and we expect massive traction in housing sale in the coming months.

Prateek Mittal, Executive Director, Sushma Group

RBI has decided to maintain the repo rate for the fourth consecutive time and kept it unchanged at 6.5%. This reflects RBI’s confidence in the economic outlook. Potential home buyers will directly benefit from this move as there will be no increase in loan interest rates. This step will ensure that the real estate sector is able to reach new heights without facing any financial challenges. It is a step to provide relief to the common man and home buyers.

Pankaj Kumar Jain, Director, KW Group

RBI has kept the repo rate unchanged at 6.5 bps only, which was highly anticipated. However, a cut would have been an ideal scenario for buyers and the sector, considering the festival season is around the corner and lowering of interest rate would have bolstered the already high demand but the RBI targets to keep the  Inflation 4 per cent only hence a cut was not done.

Anuj Puri, Chairman, ANAROCK Group

The unchanged repo rate is a festive bonanza for homebuyers and gives them yet another opportunity to make cost-optimized home purchases. If we consider the present trends, the overall consumer market looks bullish across sectors, particularly the automobile and housing markets, which in many ways reflect the health of the economy. We are entering the festive quarter with a very strong momentum in housing sales, and unchanged interest rates will act as a major catalyst for growth in the residential market.

Dhruv Agarwala, Group CEO, Housing.com, Proptiger.com, and Makaan.com

The decision of the RBI MPC to maintain a status quo on the repo rate is in line with its growth-focused approach. As the RBI leaves the repo rate unchanged at 6.5% on the expected lines, banks in India will have more legroom to offer homebuyers better incentives during the upcoming festive season. Considering the demand for residential property in the country is at an all-time high right now, this augurs remarkably well for India’s real estate.

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Dr. Niranjan Hiranandano, National Vice Chairman, NAREDCO

Keeping the repo rate at 6.5% reflects the importance of anchoring inflation on the radar while maintaining economic growth buoyancy. Since inflationary pressure, unaffordability, and lack of new development have contributed to persistently high interest rates on home loans, affordable housing has been adversely affected. As a result, affordable housing, which comprises a substantial portion of the housing pyramid, has seen a decline in demand. The Government of India has announced an additional interest subsidy of Rs 60,000 crore for homes up to Rs 40 lakh to boost small urban housing. Moreover, under the festive tailwind, the demand for home loans is expected to remain buoyant, which indicates strong housing sales growth. Home sales have increased by 35% yoy, demonstrating consumer demand resilience across key metros and tier cities for mid- and luxury housing. Based on current external and internal circumstances, India is undoubtedly poised to serve as the world’s new growth engine, with a GDP growth rate expected to be 6.8% for FY 23–24.”

Shrinivas Rao, FRICS, CEO, Vestian
Despite headline inflation being out of the central bank’s comfort zone in July and August 2023, it maintained status quo and kept repo rate unchanged at 6.5%. This move showcases RBI’s confidence in the market and anticipation of moderating headline inflation in the future. We anticipate both real estate demand and supply to sustain its ongoing momentum on the back of stable market conditions. However, uneven distribution of monsoon and its adverse effect on Kharif Crop planting may pose a challenge to curb inflation. This may lead to a prolonged tighter monetary policy, which in turn will impact real estate activities.

Vimal Nadar, Senior Director & Head of Research at Colliers India

On anticipated lines, RBI has continued to maintain the status quo on benchmark lending rates for the fourth consecutive time. A steady repo rate of 6.5% since February, has been providing relief for EMI-dependent homebuyers, especially in these times of elevated inflation levels. With developers likely to bring in festive offerings in the next few months, a stable financing environment will drive housing sales across categories. Overall festive tailwinds, the accommodative stance of RBI and ongoing freebies offered by various financial institutions & developers will keep the momentum in the residential segment strong for an upbeat 2023. Fence sitters and first-time homebuyers are likely to remain highly active across residential hotspots of major Indian cities.

Amit Sarin, Managing Director, Anant Raj Limited
Holding of interest rate at the same level in monetary policy is a welcome move and this move will help in a sustained recovery in economic growth which country is witnessing. Needless to say, the housing and the real estate sector stand to benefit from the decision. The demand for residential dwellings is expected to remain robust in the coming quarters. The borrowing cost for the corporate too would remain at a reasonable level, which will be beneficial for the economy as corporate will have the leeway to continue to undertake capital expenditure and investment.

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Mohit Jain, Managing Director, Krisumi Corporation
RBI’s decision to maintain the status quo on the interest rate augurs well for the housing sector and the real estate sector as a whole. Amid the festive season, the demand for housing particularly mid and luxury housing – is expected to remain robust over the next few months. The ever-increasing inclination towards buying cozy and comfortable living spaces will further get stronger in the near future

Avneesh Sood, Director Eros Group

The Reserve Bank of India’s decision to maintain the repo rate at 6.5% during the ongoing festive season is indeed a significant development for the real estate market. It brings much-needed stability and continuity to the interest rates, providing a favorable environment for both prospective homebuyers and existing home loan borrowers. A steady repo rate translates into lower borrowing costs, making home loans more affordable. This not only encourages individuals who aspire to own a home but also supports the growth of the housing sector, ultimately contributing to the overall economic development. The decision to hold the repo rate at this level also instills confidence among real estate participants, as it secures foreseeable borrowing expenses, simplifying project strategizing and implementation for developers. Additionally, the unchanged repo rate is a festive bonanza for homebuyers, offering them another opportunity for cost-optimized home purchases. It aligns perfectly with the spirit of celebration, encouraging economic activity in the real estate sector and benefiting both buyers and the industry as a whole

Dr. Nitesh Kumar, MD & CEO, Emami Realty 

“Despite global economic uncertainty, uneven monsoons and rising global crude oil prices, RBI maintains its repo rate on pause for a third consecutive time is a welcome development after six consecutive increases. Real estate stakeholders, including developers, homebuyers, and financial institutions, stand to gain and Sentiment toward homebuying will be boosted in the upcoming festival season. . Nevertheless, the current rep has already reached a four-year high. Therefore, our earnest appeal to RBI will be to reduce the repo rate in its next meeting because, at 6.5%, the rate is still on the higher side for the housing sector.”

Rajan Bandelkar, National President, NAREDCO

“We welcome the decision of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Reserve Bank of India to keep repo rates unchanged. This decision will benefit everyone, ensuring liquidity in the market and adding to the festive cheer. The stability in interest rates is a relief for developers who are navigating a complex economic scenario. Unchanged rates provide a degree of predictability, which is essential for planning and executin, g long-term projects. This decision aligns well with our industry’s need for continuity and fosters an atmosphere of cautious optimism. However, we expect the central bank to remain mindful of emerging market dynamics and to continue supporting growth-oriented measures. The body of real estate developers acknowledges the careful balancing act being performed by the RBI, considering various economic factors. As we move forward, we will build a stronger real estate industry

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Ankush Kaul, Chief Business Officer, Ambience Group 

 The MPC had previously raised this rate from 6.25 per cent to 6.50 per cent during its meeting in February 2023. Savvy homebuyers should seize this opportunity created by the MPC’s decision, benefiting from decreasing inflation and stable home loan rates. This development is particularly heartening for prospective homebuyers who are gearing up for the festive season, as it sets a positive tone for the residential real estate market. With unchanged repo rates, the momentum in housing sales, which has shown remarkable growth in the first three quarters of 2023, is expected to persist.

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