MUMBAI: With the economy slowing down, job losses mounting and salary increments pared to the bare minimum, the real estate sector found itself in all sorts of difficulties in 2013. High property prices and interest rates on home loans also took a toll on affordability.
All these factors led to low demand for housing during the year. For once, however, the buyers enjoyed high bargaining power as builders sought to woo them with price discounts and other freebies. According to the National Housing Bank's Residex, the index rose 1.92-27.06% yearon-year (y-o-y) in the September quarter in 15 of the 20 cities.
However, in 12 of these cities the increase was less than 10%, while in five cities the index declined by 5.56-10.71%. According to the primary market data from PropEquity, a Gurgaon-based real estate firm, developers were able to raise prices by 4-19% in the country's top 12 markets. What these headline numbers camouflage, however, is that developers were willing to offer discounts in the range of 10-15% on their prices. Even steeper discounts were available in the secondary markets.