Chennai has done well in housing projects despite Covid-19, according to two reports. While one report said that the city has least stuck projects among top seven cities, another said that residential sales improved by 59 per cent, with new launches up 94 per cent in the December 2020 quarter.
As of 2019-end, 1,322 projects comprising around 5.76 lakh units (launched in 2013 or before) were stuck in various stages of completion in top seven cities. By 2020-end, this reduced to 1,132 projects comprising around 5.02 lakh units, according to a study by Anarock Property Consultants.
Across the country, the total value of stuck/delayed housing stock is more than ₹4.07 lakh crore. Despite all-round upheaval due to the pandemic in 2020, developers stayed on completion track amid rising demand for ready homes.
The National Capital Region (NCR), which was in second place in 2019 after Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), now has maximum stuck housing units among all cities at around 1.90 lakh units worth around ₹1,19,290 crore. MMR saw maximum completions of 84 projects comprising around 29,750 units in 2020. Currently MMR has around 1.80 lakh stuck/delayed units worth over ₹2,02,145 crore.
Covid-19 brought construction activity to its knees in 2020, followed by restricted on-site activity. Despite this, as many as 190 housing projects accounting for over around 73,560 units were completed in 2020, reveals the study.
Anuj Puri, Chairman, Anarock, said that NCR and MMR together hold 74 per cent of currently stuck/delayed units, while the southern metros such as Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad account for a mere 8 per cent. Pune has an approximately 16 per cent share, while Kolkata accounts for a minuscule 2 per cent overall share of stuck or delayed projects.
Southern suburbs submarket
A report by JLL said that Chennai witnessed a total sale of 2,500 units, up 59 per cent in December 2020 quarter as compared to 1,570 units in the previous quarter. Sales were concentrated in the southern suburbs submarket, which accounted for 60 per cent of total sales in the quarter.
New launches in the fourth quarter almost doubled when compared to the previous quarter. New launches during the quarter crossed the pre-Covid average quarterly level of around 1,900 units witnessed in 2019. The Southern suburbs (Padur, Shollinganallur, Perumbakkam, and Navalur) submarket accounted for 62 per cent of the new launches during the quarter. Moreover, 95 per cent of the new launches during the quarter were in the sub ₹1 crore category, the report said.
“The translation of pent-up demand into sales, aided by historically low interest rates, flexible payment schemes and discounts offered by the developers led to an increased momentum in the off-take of residential units,” said Siva Krishnan, Managing Director and India Head, Residential Services, JLL India.
Maximum sales traction was witnessed in the affordable and lower-mid segments. At the same time, there is a growing demand for large-sized homes as preferences are shifting towards more open spaces and study rooms,” he added.
While quoted residential prices remained stagnant, developers are offering financial schemes, lower booking amounts and other freebies to attract home buyers, the report said.