BHUBANESWAR: City realtors are banking on the festive season from Mahalaya on Monday till Diwali on November 13 to maximize sales in an otherwise sluggish real estate market.
Market insiders said competition in the housing trade has become cutthroat with supply exceeding demands. "An estimated 1 lakh housing units worth Rs 15,000 crore are on the pipeline in and around the city. These houses would be ready for possession within the next three to four years. Booking, however, is not more than 30 per cent now," a real estate trader said.
Speculative buyers from both inside and outside Odisha had made a beeline to buy houses in Bhubaneswar following the hype in industrial investment in the state a few years ago. Several people had even invested in second and third properties in the city. "Buyers had then thought that prices of property would escalate due to the promise of big industries setting shop in Odisha. But the situation has changed with prolonged uncertainty over several big ticket investments in the state," said Anup Mohapatra, a developer.
"Till 2007-08, at least 30 per cent clients were IT professionals who make quick purchases round the year. Now, IT companies are not adding significant new workforce while majority of the existing ones have already invested in real estate," Mophapatra added.
According to developers, over 80 per cent of new buyers constitute employees who are staying on rent in the city. They want to buy houses for accommodation and not as a mere investment option. Such buyers are very cautious and particular about quality, locations and price. The builders hope the upcoming vacation will help them finalize the deals. "The period is regarded auspicious. Besides, people have enough time due to holidays. Hopefully, it will increase sales," said DS Tripathy, president of Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of Odisha (Credai).
Surprisingly, however, builders are not offering large-scale freebies unlike previous years. "Discounts of few thousands no more help sell houses. People are looking for locations and quality of construction while finalizing their dream houses," said another developer.