Home prices may fall in first quarter of 2009

Potential home buyers, who have been deferring their purchase decisions, may have to wait till April-May to get a good deal.
The ripples of the ongoing financial crunch, coupled with mounting pressure from various other circles, will peak between January and March. That’s when many developers will be forced to sell the unsold stock at a much cheap price.
Anuj Puri, chairman and country head of Jones Lang Lasalle Meghraj said, “The signals are very much visible. Developers are already offering lots of freebies. I feel, they will hold on to prices till the end of the festive season. If sales are not happening in the current quarter, the Jan-March quarter will see a price crash in some pockets, and in the first quarter of the next fiscal, developers will be forced to sell homes at a much lower rate as their loan repaying capacity will be under challenge”.
He added that in the current market scenario, if developers want to bring some cash flow into their company that will happen only by selling their residential and commercial properties. “All other routes are drying up,” he said.
India’s property market has been among the hardest hit by the global financial turmoil as high interest rates and gloomy economic prospects have driven out buyers and squeezed funds for real estate developers.
Through this year, property prices have already declined more than 10-20%, though in cities like Mumbai and Delhi, prices are still too high for a middle class consumer. Developers like Orbit Corporation have already cut prices by 20% from Rs 26,000 to Rs 21,000 at Parel in Mumbai.
Broking firm Edelweiss Securities in its recent report on real estate said property prices are likely to decline by 10% in the current calendar and another 15% by the end of the current financial year.
“I feel, by the end of the year, developers will feel the real pinch of the current financial crisis. They have to cut prices to keep the wheel rolling. It would happen early next year,” said Pranay Vaikil, chairman of Knight Frank India.
Industry official said, though the rate cut by RBI will improve the confidence level of consumers, it will not reverse the ongoing trend in the market as most buyers will prefer to wait and watch.
“While the repo rate cut signals the reversal of the interest rate cycle, it might be too early to conclude on its impact on the real estate. With liquidity remaining tight for India Inc, home loans rates might see some softening by select players, as the uptake at current rates for residential borrowers is dwindling. Such a move could revive the demand in residential real estate market, that has seen sudden drop in recent times,” DTZ director Ambar Maheshwari said.
According to industry officials, many realty companies were banking on the stock market and foreign investors for new projects. As those sources dry up with the global meltdown, they will be forced to cash out, even if it means selling existing stock at a lower price.

Deloitte Haskins Sells partner Jayesh Kariya said, “Those with a strong financial background would still be able to hold on to the inventory but the ones with leveraged positions will give in to the pressure. The picture would be much clearer by the end of the current year. This period beginning from late December ’08 to March ’09 could provide a good buying opportunity for homebuyers”.

Developers are admitting that there aren’t too many transactions taking place. The festival season between Dusshera and Diwali has traditionally been the time when most families choose to move into their new homes. “Though enquiry levels are increasing, it is not translating to actual deals. Consumers are still hesitant,” said a Mumbai-based developer.


  1. Posted October 22, 2008 at 4:01 am | Permalink

    Realty has seen a sharp slump and this has sent the world economy into a dizzying cycle, the question on everybody`s mind is . Is it time yet to invest in Real Estate? The simple rule across all investment markets is `Buy low; Sell high`, it holds good even in the Real Estate market. But what one waits for is the cycle to bottom out which will enable us to buy at the lowest point, this could be crucial as one could often miss the same. Especially in case of Real Estate where the trend reversal would happen in leaps and bounds and the cycle is long term, the trend reversal could mean significant opportunity loss.For more view- realtydigest.blogspot.com

  2. Indiainfraguru
    Posted November 18, 2008 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Buy low sell high may be theory. As per technical you shoul sell at low buy at high

  3. Emaar MGF
    Posted November 23, 2008 at 3:12 am | Permalink

    Though the Market crunch is there but I strongly believe that an up market and highend product will still sell. People are sitting on pots n pots of money and if the asset is really worthy, then no one would mind spending. Just because of the Economic Downfall and liquidity crunch, people are not spending. For Analogy, an export house businessman is not getting raw material just because the raw material supplier has built the psychy that the businessman can get bankrupt and supplier will face loss.

    Unlike Share Market – Realty is one thing where the asset will reach at a price of original value which means no profit and no loss. It CAN NOT lead to any loss. If the loss is happening then the owner should not sell as it will for sure lead to some gains and will definitely have a good appreciation in coming years.

    Also, this phase will make Realty a stronger industry. Moreover, this is a regular thing, which comes every 5th year – so all in all, nothing to worry about.

    This time is the Investors market, buy homes when no one has money and then sell them when the development and property will be at its peak. Because after some time the economy will become stabilize and people will have money. But at that time everyone will be running after property and hence the demand will go high which will lead to sky touching prices. Then the investor or financer will sell it at own prices.

    Don’t wait for the bus to be missed !!!

  4. Hemant Bengani
    Posted December 29, 2008 at 2:19 am | Permalink

    The Current Real Estate BUBBLE is all set to difuse as the current eceonmic cycle indicates a downturn graph and real estate is no exception.In cities like Kolkata where developers are charging like anything,this downturn will give the buyer a fair value for the deal and Government should react positively for the Upper-Middle income group to turn dream into reality.

  5. Hemant Bengani
    Posted December 29, 2008 at 2:20 am | Permalink

    The Current Real Estate BUBBLE is all set to difuse as the current eceonmic cycle indicates a downturn graph and real estate is no exception.In cities like Kolkata where developers are charging like anything,this downturn will give the buyer a fair value for the deal and Government should react positively for the Upper-Middle and Lower income group to turn dream into reality.

  6. Mahi
    Posted February 23, 2009 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    Investers and end users should stay away from Indian Property Market. It is surely heading for 40%-50% price correction in 2009.
    The reason is simple the prices are too high to afford by even higher middle class. In Mumbai, Area like Parel which was commanding 3500 Rs/sqft in 2004 is commanding 13000 Rs/sqft in 2009 which is too much price for this area. It is advisable to buy property there for 5000-6000 Rs./Sqft in 2009.

  7. David N
    Posted March 15, 2009 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Indian Real Estate Market had seen lack of buying interest from last quarter to 2007. Throught 2008, Indian Builders hung on to high price. They have been too sluggish to react to the market.

    Builders are like middle aged women. It takes a woman courageous effort, to come to terms with the harsh reality of aging. You can continue to live in a make believe world for months or even couple of years?but natural aging just can’t be stopped.

    Those who read the signals and adjust their lifestyle, carry on with minimal impact, on their lives. Those who refuse to read signals and adjust lifestyle, end up in medical care.

    90% of women are smart enough to admirably adjust and are prepared well in advance. (Salutes to women on Women’s Day!!). However, more than 90% of the builders react sluggishly to realities of the market which could affect, if not personal but definitely their financial health.

    In a booming market, builders were quick to react by resetting prices upward, every week. The possibility of making larger profits drove them to be extra alert! When market trend shows negativity, it is rightly expected that the same builders would be quick to act, to cut losses. After all, cutting losses is MORE IMPORTANT than making quicker profit. (In boom, whether one reacts quickly or not, there is profit, always. Its only the quantity of profit that varies. But in a sliding market, money gets burned. And that could be deadly)

    And this is exactly where builders have gone, dreadfully wrong. Even now, many are in a “make believe world”. Comforting themselves, with grandiose vision of early boom! Unfortunately, they are unaware that they are shooting themselves in the leg. And soon, the self inflicted injuries may aggravate.

    Cutting losses by aggressive pricing in anticipation of worsening market, should have been the mantra 9 to 12 months ago. But the opportunity was lost due to the blind belief that boom is perpetual and negative trend, a flash in the pan. Builders offered small cuts from August 08 onwards which had absolutely no impact.

    There were opportunities as late as September 08 to offer aggressive pricing and convert leads to Sales. But once the negative trend firmed into solid slide, NOTHING could work. Its only in December 08, after a whole year and a half of negativity, that few builders started to react with larger cuts. But the horses had bolted in September 08 itself. And builders who reacted late, know that the stable is empty.

    For the smarter builders, the market has indeed given an opportunity to prepare itself for the future. Those who have learned the lesson that procrastination will cause misery, may be quick to act during a slide, after the next boom!


  8. shweta
    Posted April 7, 2009 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    i hope the speculation being made about property prices to fall in india is true. the inflation has been insane…. lets hope it falls by another 25-30% so that middle class people like me can atleast THINK of buying property without selling our kidneys!

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