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Stalled construction activities hit homebuyers

Stalled construction activities hit homebuyers

As construction activities came to a halt due to the 21-day national lockdown, anxiety hit thousands of home buyers in the country.

Most housing projects will be delayed by several months, said analysts. Sale of newly built residential units could also fall drastically. The Mumbai-based Anarock Real Estate Consultancy said in a report that project delays could run into several months for well-funded projects, and a couple of years for others. “Nearly 4.66 lakh units across the top seven cities earlier slated for completion in 2020 now face a high risk of delays,” the report added.

The report indicated that housing sales could witness a 25-35 per cent yearly drop in 2020 against the preceding year. Residential sales in 2019 stood at about 2.61 lakh units across top seven cities. However, this could now fall between 1.70 lakh and 1.96 lakh units. Likewise, new launches may also witness a 25-30 per cent decline during the same period—from 2.37 lakh units in 2019 to anywhere between 1.66 lakh and 1.78 lakh units.

Projects launched by real estate majors such as Unitech Ltd, Amrapali Group, the 3C Company, Gardenia Group and Jaypee Group have already run into massive delays. However, with the spread of the novel coronavirus within the country, the wait for buyers to own their own homes could be longer.

Experts also said that construction activities may not start immediately after the lockdown period is over. The government, a source said, could still insist on limited business activities—as was being followed before the announcement of the lockdown.

On top of that, many construction workers, engaged as daily laborers have gone back to their homes and this could lead to shortage of manpower too.

Meanwhile, with many economists and think-tanks predicting a sharp economic slowdown and several businesses already starting to slash salaries of their employees, the number of new homebuyers will also come down..