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DLF, the country's largest property developer, sold all the 1,250 apartments on offer in the second phase of its Capital Greens project near the Moti Nagar area of Shivaji Marg (Najafgarh Road) in West Delhi, within two hours of launching the booking on Tuesday evening.
While the prices were lower than the market, the lowest effective price was 39 per cent higher than the lowest price it had charged during the first phase of the project this April.
At the time, DLF had sold all 1,356 apartments on offer under the first phase in a single day; a prime factor was that their lowest effective price was 32 per cent lower than the market price.
This time, claimed a company spokesman, it was more than 25 per cent lower than the market one.
Apartment prices are upwards of Rs 6,000 a sq ft in the area. In the second phase, the company charged Rs 6,750, Rs 7,500 and Rs 8,000 a sq ft, respectively, for the apartments, which ranged from 1,210 to 2,720 sq ft each.
There was a discount of Rs 500 a sq ft for timely payment and an 8.5 per cent discount on down payment. Hence, the effective selling price, which includes both discounts, is about Rs 5,677, Rs 6,363 and Rs 6,820 a sq ft, respectively.
The company additionally charged for parking and for those wanting a preferred location.
A spokesman said the increased charges were due to the better location of the second phase, with a 90 per cent view of greenery and inclusion of four-bedroom apartments, which did not exist in the first phase.
"If buyers lap up the properties with increased prices so quickly, it shows there is a still an appetite in them to absorb that franchise,'' said Anuj Puri, chairman of property consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj.
However, Puri said if speculators had participated in the project, then it is bad for the property market, as they could go in for arbitrage later. However, the company spokesman said it had imposed a restriction of one apartment per PAN card holder and a lock-in period of one year within which the buyers cannot sell the apartments.
"We are committed to give value for money for our buyers and rates are still 25 to 30 per cent lower than the prevailing market prices,'' the spokesman said.
Unitech's Mumbai launch
In a first of sorts in the Mumbai property market, Unitech, the country's second largest developer, is planning to launch a new residential project in the Worli area of south-central Mumbai, which is expected to be 35 per cent lesser than prevailing prices in the area, sources in the company said.
But the catch is that the buyer of the apartments should pay 75 per cent of the apartment cost in one go, as against the construction-linked payment plans prevailing in the real estate market, wherein the buyer pays some money as booking amount and the rest in instalments linked to each stage of completion.
''But the project is in its very initial stages and is expected to be launched in a year's time,'' sources said. The company is also expected to return buyers the entire amount with 12 per cent interest if it is unable to finish within a year from the launch.
Ashok Kumar, managing director of Cresa Partners, a realty consultancy, said: "It will certainly put pressure in the south-central Mumbai market, where a number of new projects are coming up, resulting in oversupply.''
Developers in NCR bet big on Navratri
After a lull of almost six months, real estate developers are once again launching residential projects aggressively to cash on the Navratri festival, considered auspicious for property buying.
The festival of Navratri comes after the Shraadh period, considered inauspicious in the Hindu religious calendar, when property buyers do not book houses.
The interest from developers was so much that over a dozen residential projects by companies such as Parsvnath, BPTP and Emaar MGF were launched in the National Capital Region in the past week.
Emaar MGF, a Delhi-based developer, launched Emerald Floors Premier on Monday after it sold off Emerald Floors and Emerald Estate in the Emerald Hills integrated gated community project in Gurgaon. The same company launched plots and villa floors at Jaipur Greens on September 19, where it has sold 120 plots so far, while Parsvnath Developers also launched Parsvnath City at Saharanpur in UP last Sunday.
According to property consultants, this year the new launches were double the number of last year's Navratri launches, when the property market was in a bad shape. Home sales had fallen by over 50 per cent from the beginning of the year, and developers were offering freebies and discounts to sell their existing projects.
Though on a lower scale, Mumbai also witnessed a couple of launches of luxury projects in South Central Mumbai by companies such as Indiabulls Real Estate and Orbit Corporation last week.
"Every day, we are seeing one or two launches and every developer is launching projects. Last year, most of them were selling old products due to the downturn. This year, we have a seen a slew of new projects during Navratri," said Raminder Grover, chief executive of Homebay Residential, a unit of property consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj.
Consultants say the increased activity in home sales is giving confidence to developers to launch new projects. Residential prices have gone up by 15 to 20 per cent in the past six months or so, as developers sold projects which were aggressively priced and marketed.
"The last few months were indeed good for the residential market. There is an increased activity due to good launches and better pricing by developers,'' says Anshuman Magazine, chairman and managing director of CB Richard Ellis, South Asia.
Grover says that unlike last Navratri, developers are not giving any freebies and discounts, as they were confident of selling their products without any added attraction. Magazine adds that developers are selling homes with better amenities and designs to prospective buyers.
"Though developers are marketing their products aggressively, buyers have a high level of awareness on the available projects. It is certainly a buyers' market now,'' said Magazine.