The real estate sector, which witnessed gradual recovery after total halt in the first wave of Covid-19 and resultant lockdowns last year, is again witnessing a slowdown in the current Covid crisis across the country.
Sales and construction in the sector have come to a near halt. Developers and experts have sought relief amid these tough times including additional liquidity support.
Axis Ecorp CEO & Director Aditya Kushwaha said: “Just when recovery was in sight, the second wave has derailed the growth momentum for the real estate industry.”
He suggested that proactive measures that can cushion the impact on the industry such as loan restructuring, interest moratorium, and additional liquidity support should be considered by the RBI.
According to Kushwaha, real estate companies are facing challenges to give timely deliveries of their ongoing projects and on top of it, new launches have been put on hold.
“To enable the industry to recover faster from the impact of this wave, the RBI will have to step in and offer some relief measures,” he said.
AMs Project Consultants Director Vinit Dungarwal observed that the second wave of the pandemic has had a widespread impact on all businesses.
Describing the announcements made by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das on Covid relief measures for small businesses, individuals and MSMEs is a welcome move, he said: “The resurgence of the pandemic and resultant concerns of its impact on the economy and businesses demands a resilient approach and we are hopeful that appropriate measures will be taken to address the needs of the real estate sector.”
Savills India’s MD, Residential Services, Shveta Jain, however, was of the view that it is too early to assess the outcome of the ongoing second wave of the pandemic.
“The residential market was seeing an upswing post opening of the first lockdown last year. We expect the same momentum to continue once the current situation stabilises.”
At the moment, given the severity of the ongoing heath crisis and non-mobility due to the lockdown, businesses are on a standstill and transactions are likely to remain low for at least next few months, Jain said. “As the vaccination drive catches up, we expect the end-user demand to return similar to what we saw post the first wave of the pandemic.”
She said that measures such as reduction in stamp duty and circle rates should again be introduced by the government to boost housing demand during the pandemic.