2018 in Retrospect: Liquidity crunch, affordable housing mark Indian realty’s revival year

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The year turned out to be an eventful one for the Indian real estate marked by the improvement in sales and its return to stability after the double blow of GST and demonetisation.

For the sector, the liquidity crunch, the rupee falling to its record low, changes in the Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) and recognition of home buyers as lenders to developers under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) were other major events during the year.

Although real estate did not witness an increase in launches, developers say, the market registered higher sale of inventory in 2018 compared to last year.

“It was a year of stabilisation of reforms implemented in residential real estate over 2016-17. Sales numbers saw 25 per cent improvement over 2017,” said Ankur Dhawan, Chief Investment Officer at PropTiger.com.

Data provided by PropTiger.com showed that units sold across the country’s nine major cities in 2018 were around 3.1 lakh, around 25 per cent higher than 2.5 lakh units sold last year.

The number of new projects, however, declined this year, with around 1.9 lakh units being launched – 22 per cent lower on a year-on-year basis.

According to market players, growth and demand in the affordable housing segment outgrew the overall demand in Indian real estate in 2018.

Mumbai-based Spenta Corportation’s MD Farshid Cooper said: “Affordable housing is doing fantastically well actually. As there is an impetus from the government in terms of taxes etc, that is an added benefit to the segment.”

The Centre provides interest subsidy to home buyers belonging to the Low Income Group (LIG) and Middle Income Group (MIG) categories under the Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.