Housing sales to get affected with RBI’s decision to hike policy rates: Realtors

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New Delhi:

Housing sales are likely to be affected post RBI’s decision to hike key policy rates as this could lead to increase in interest rate on home loans, according to property developers and consultants.

The Reserve Bank for the second time in two months has raised its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points on inflationary concerns.

“From a real estate perspective, this hike will negatively impact buyer sentiment with the logical result on quantum of sales,” Realtors’ body NAREDCO President Niranjan Hiranandani said.

Real estate sector is facing a multi-year slowdown due to low demand and significant delays in execution of housing projects by developers.

Property consultant Knight Frank India CMD Shishir Baijal said the increase in repo rate was on expected lines given the current inflationary trend.

“However, looking at the challenging residential market scenario, we were hoping that the RBI would have paused the rate hike thereby providing a fillip to the buyer sentiment,” he added.

ANAROCK chairman Anuj Puri said this may lead to a hike in home loan rates.

However, he said the overall real estate sector now rests on a strong footing and buying decisions might not be altered by these marginal changes.

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Anshuman Magazine, Chairman, India and South East Asia, CBRE, said: “Most banks are expected to realign their deposit and lending rates following this policy announcement. However, the move is unlikely to impact the real estate sector as most of the home loans are floating in nature and come with 15-20-year tenure. Hence, the rise and fall in interest rates get balanced out during the loan life cycle.”

JLL India’s CEO and Country Head Ramesh Nair said: “This may be a mental setback for the end users as despite a healthy GDP, lending rates for homes and other desirable goods will move northwards.”

He said the hike in policy rates could affect the entry level housing market as very low-ticket size purchase decision might be pushed further.

However, Nair said the overall sales velocity is expected to remain stable for the rest of the year as most major markets have bottomed out.

Dhruv Agarwala, Group CEO, Proptiger.com, Housing.com and Makaan.com said:  With the rates now going up, borrowers can expect a further rise in loan costs after the latest RBI policy and the markets are expected to dip slightly but with the stability, it has achieved in the past, it is expected to recover from the slump eventually.”

Credai National Vice President Manoj Gaur, who is also MD of Gaurs Group, said the RBI should have reduced repo rate to boost housing demand.

Noida-based developer ABA Corp Director Amit Modi said: “It is huge blow for real estate sector which is yet to recover from the impacts of demonetisation and the implementation of GST even after a whole year.”

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He hoped that banks would not increase interest on home loans as housing segment was still in recovery mode unlike auto sector which was growing steadily.

Joe Verghese, MD, Colliers International India said: “It looks like that the opportune time for discount hunting in case of residential investments is slipping away. We should be at the last stages of the phase to buy at good bargains.”

Deepak Kapoor, Director, Gulshan Homz, said the decision of RBI to increase the rates again twice in a row is a clear indication that the apex bank wants to retain its aggressive approach in the upcoming months.

Gurgaon-based developer BDI group MD Ssumit Berry said the increment in repo rate might seem to dampen sentiments in the market but for the real estate fraternity, it might have little or no impact.

Dhiraj Jain, Director, Mahagun Group, said there is still room for financial institutions to cut down on their lending rates for their customers.

Credai Ghaziabad General Secretary Gaurav Gupta said the increase in the lending rates affects the growth in real estate as the net cost on the buyer for the housing unit gets increased, while RG group MD Rajesh Goyal said the sentiments would be hit in the real estate market.

Mumbai-based developer Sumer group CEO Rahul Shah said the home loan rate might go up thus impacting customer sentiments.

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Dhaval Ajmera, Director, Ajmera Group, said: “This move will make further dampen the already low spirits of the real estate sector, making the home loan more expensive for potential seekers. On one hand where the government is gunning big for ‘Housing for All’ and affordable housing, such moves are totally out of sync with the vision at centre”.

“The increase in policy rate will delay the revival of the country’s housing market,” Supertech Chairman R K Arora said.

Gaurav Mittal, MD, CHD Developers, said the rise in repo rate is not likely to hurt the sentiment of the buyers.

Amit Ruparel, MD, Ruparel Realty said, “RBI’s decision of increasing the repo rate is a major concern for the housing sector as it has hiked the rates consecutively...With this decision, home loans are likely to get costlier.”

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