MUMBAI: To say that the property market of Mumbai has been subdued for quite some time would be stating the obvious. Reports of inventory pile up and appreciation despite slow sales have only made the sentiments bearish. The macro-economic outlook in the last year, has also not supported the cause of real estate market in the city. Amidst this gloomy scenario, comes the festival of Akshay Tritiya, which has traditionally been known for property acquisition in the city. It has not only got the emotional high quotient to ignite the buyers’ psychology but on many occasions has been a catalyst to the revival of the market as well. Will Akshay Tritiya revive the Mumbai property market this year too, is a question that is on everyone’s mind in the city of Mumbai.
Analysts tracking the property market in this part of the world maintain that the indications are definitely positive close to Akshay Tritiya. It is generally believed that the property market will be more receptive this time and the beginning of the revival of Mumbai’s property market seems to be on the cards. This optimism stems from a number of facts that suggest the festival of Akshay Tritiya to be the focal point of the property market movement. First and foremost, is the fact that the property cycle has already touched its rock bottom in terms of sentiments and transactions in Mumbai and the only way it can go is up. Everyone in the market, buyers, developers and analysts, understand that post the results of general elections, the market will rally fast with a new government in the office. That definitely makes it the right time to buy, and what better can be the time than the festive spirit of Akshay Tritiya.
Developers, on their part, also sound bullish after a long phase of living with a stagnant market. They believe right from the emotional factors behind property purchase on Akshay Tritiya, the fundamental logic of economics also suggests that the time has come for picking the right property now. The wishful thoughts, and a few reports, of price correction, have only led the buyers to shell out more money as in the final cycle of demand and supply that defines the market price point, supply in a city like Mumbai, has always been less than the demand for property.
Manju Yagnik, vice-chairperson, Nahar Group, agrees that like in the past, this year too, the occasion of Akshay Tritiya is expected to bring in the much needed positivity and vibrancy in the real estate sector. She expects that homebuyers who have been holding on their plans to buy a new home, will go ahead with their decision to buy a home on this auspicious occasion. Expecting some new launches and offers on this occasion, she feels the market is poised to go northwards on Akshay Tritiya. “Akshay Tritiya is one of the auspicious occasions as per the Hindu calendar. It is mainly an auspicious time for buying gold but with the changing times, people look out for more returns on investment and thus, real estate is another investment that people look out for. In the past, the real estate market has been receptive to this occasion. Both, the developers and the home buyers, have shown immense interest in property transactions on this occasion, thereby, making it an important occasion for the real estate market,” says Yagnik.
Hiral Sheth, director, marketing, Sheth Creators, also maintains that in a country like India, festivities fetch requisite reprise to the market sentiments. Investing in real estate is considered to be auspicious during this time. The demand in Mumbai’s realty market has been stable but festive spirit is bound to bring in a new array of demand for the housing projects. “In fact, festivities are an ideal time to invest in real estate. Hence, this period records maximum number of bookings for projects catering to the diverse needs of the market segment. With the positive outlook in the minds of the investors, this will further boost the buyer sentiment,” says Sheth. There are some developers who confirm more enquiries have already indicated the market sentiments close to Akshay Tritiya. Some of the brokers and analysts maintain that even if some of these enquiries are translated into sales, the market will be back on track. To add to it, some marketing offers immediately before the festival, can also bring the fence-sitting buyers back into the market.
Dibyendu Banerjea, CEO West Zone, Pashmina Developers, feels that home buying is a very important decision as it involves an emotional as well as a rational aspect in the minds of Indian consumers. Festivals are considered to be prosperous and promising times for investments, especially Akshay Tritiya. ‘Indian property market, in recent years, has witnessed an upward trend in terms of enquires and sales. Also, developers at this time, seek to capitalise on these festive sentiments via increased marketing efforts. In that respect, festivals like Akshay Tritiya can act as a powerful market force,” says Banerjea.
Dhruv Jaywant, CMO, Ahuja Constructions, agrees that the real estate market is very receptive during this Akshay Tritiya. India is a highly tradition-oriented country, and peoperty buyers do respond to the upbeat sentiments of Akshay Tritiya. Most Indians are inclined to link property possession with auspicious dates. The same tradition has been followed in Mumbai for years. “Every year, major buying occurs during festive times, especially Akshay Tritiya. Buyers prefer to wait for an auspicious occasion like Akshay Tritiya to make new investments in realty. There is definitely a large number of buyers, who want to have the satisfaction of at least getting possession of their dream homes on this day.” Akshay Tritiya may not see many new launches this year, as has been the trend in the past, yet, the prudence of the developers to focus on sales rather than new launches, suggests that revival is on the cards. Post the elections, the buyers’ sentiments are going to have a 360 degree change. Akshay Tritiya is going to be the beginning and aims to reignite the property market.