CHENNAI: The first residential realty market to rebound in early 2010 from the 2008 slump experienced a 200% plus appreciation over the past three years. But Chennai isn’t insulated from the present downturn. Builders, who a year ago sold 30 to 40 suburban units a month are struggling to touch double digits.
Statistics put out by realty market analysts are often disputed by builders. A study by consultant Jones Lang LaSalle is worth noting.
Chennai’s unsold housing stock stands at a bothersome 45,000 units, it says. India’s apex body of builders, Credai, disputes this. Credai’s Prakash Challa says: “We did a count of completed unsold flats in Chennai and suburbs. It’s about 4,500. JLL apparently counted projects on the outskirts without checking how many were complete. A builder who started an 8,000-apartment project a year ago, will take eight years to complete it. It’s unfair to list 8,000 units as unsold when the first phase construction of 1,000 flats is still on”.
Even in a slow market, some builders do volumes. City builder Akshaya got 241 bookings for a new project in August over four days. It was below his target of selling all 600 flats.
NRI enquiries are up by 40% since the rupee slide in May, but not many are converting into sales, says T Chitty Babu, chairman of CREDAI’s grievance redressal committee.