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Slowdown mode: Five ways to boost housing real estate during festive season written by Honeyy Katiyal, published in Financial Express. September 23, 2019

As a run-up to the festival season in India, a slew of measures have been taken by the Government of India in order to boost the housing real estate sector. From making welcome moves in the real estate budget like creating additional deduction of 1.5 lakh for interest paid on home loans, to infusion of liquidity to housing finance companies from Rs 10,000 crore to Rs 30,000 crore these measures can boost up the real estate market in the right direction. Major announcements like National Housing Bank releasing Rs 20,000 crore additional liquidity to HFCs Rs 70,000 for recapitalization of banks etc. can boost the Indian economy in the right direction.


Though housing is on a slowdown mode once the liquidity is injected into the system the market scenario is bound to improve. The reforms coming right before the festival season will likely be a boon to the sector, creating opportunities for both buyers and sellers in housing real estate.


There is a boost in investment decision during the festive season and most of the property purchase is also done during this point of time. The previous year&rsquos data are self-explanatory for instance, the fourth quarter of last year has witnessed a surge in housing sales as compared to starting quarters. In 2017 too, the fourth quarter&rsquos performance was much better than the first three quarters. While real estate performance is expected to boost up the spirits of people, record numbers can be achieved if developers implement the reforms in the right direction to yield optimum results.


Linking loans to repo rate


The recent announcement of The Reserve Bank of India to link home loans rates with repo rate need to be propagated by real estate experts. The additional discount on the interest rates while taking a home loan less than 45 lakhs till March 31, 2020, will directly fall into the developer&rsquos kitty as more and more home buyers want to avail this opportunity.


While RERA and GST are helping the liquidity hit real estate in garnering sales and profit, the festive season will further act as a catalyst for developers.


Deals, deals and deals


The festive season is one of the best times to roll out special deals, in order to enhance buyer sentiment. While most real estate developers provide various offers, the catch lies in conducting market intelligence to put the best deal in front of the potential buyer. While offers like price reduction, waiver on stamp duty and registration charges, freebies have been tried and tested methods over the years developers should focus on innovative offers like collective bargaining, giving more flexibility and control to buyers overlook and feel of apartments along with the other tried and tested methods. 


Attractive payment plans


This is another way via which a developer can attract home buyers. Leaving the subvention scheme which is currently under scrutiny, builders can offer various attractive payment plans like 20:80 or assured rental either until possession or after possession. Sometimes a lucrative payment plan gel with the buyer&rsquos sentiments which helps in making a quick investment decision


Focus on affordable homes


With the government&rsquos major focus on affordable housing this year, developers should make optimal utilization of reaching out to buyers with affordable housing schemes. The festive season should be banked upon by launching new projects, especially in the affordable range. With today&rsquos millennials looking more and more for affordable yet modular and compact housing, developers can gain momentum out of this.


Build in connect with user preference- Vastu


With increased customer focus in Vastu, numerology and auspicious dates, developers should harp on these buyer sentiments, especially during the festive season. Vaastu, with time, has helped developers make the desired impact amongst buyers. Buyers of today are well sensitized about the many benefits of living in Vastu-compliant houses. Even those belonging to the millennial generation consider noting Vastu element during investment. The more developers can build connections with user preferences, the more sales and profit can be achieved.


(The author is Founder of Investors Clinic. Views expressed are the author&rsquos personal.)