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Calcutta records 45 per cent jump in home launches

It indicates that realtors rushed to showcase projects to buyers taking advantage of the rebate on stamp duty rates
Representational file image
Representational file image

Sambit Saha   |   Calcutta   |   Published 04.01.22, 02:54 AM

The city has recorded a 45 per cent jump in launches of residential units in 2021 over the pre-pandemic year of 2019, an indication that realtors rushed to showcase projects to buyers taking advantage of the rebate on stamp duty rates.

Nearly half of the launches took place during the October-December quarter when the Bengal government decided to extend the 2 per cent stamp duty rebate for three months up to January 31.

In total, 13,750 units were launched in 2021 compared with 9,420 units in 2019. In 2020, builders only took 3,530 new units to the market, a report by Anarock showed. Sales also nearly touched 2019 levels.

In 2021, Calcutta witnessed absorption of 13,080 units compared with 13,930 units in 2019. By contrast, only 7,150 units were sold in 2020.

During the fourth quarter, sales of 5,660 units were recorded.

Sushil Mohta, chairman of Merlin Group and president of builders’ body Credai (Bengal), said there has been an overall improvement in sentiment leading to higher sales.

“Mortgage rates continue to be low and property prices are still reasonable despite a moderate rise in 2021 due to cost push,” Mohta argued.

The significant jump in launches stands out more as the law to monitor real estate is not in force in Bengal.

The state is yet to appoint the chairman and members to the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA), which under normal circumstances must register a new project before it is sold to the buyer.

Several builders have taken the stand that they would register projects when the RERA starts functioning and not let go of the buoyant market condition.

The Anarock report suggested prices went up by 3 per cent in Calcutta after many years of stagnation. However, established builders suggested the rise is between 5 per cent and 10 per cent depending on the price point.

“There has been about Rs 500 a square foot rise in prices due to the cost push in 2021. How this year will pan out is going to depend on the market condition and raw material cost push,” Sidharth Pansari, director of Primarc, said.

While launches in the city stood out, real estate did well across seven major cities, the Anarock report noted.

“The fact that launches were back to pre-Covid levels is very significant, and housing sales fell short of 2019 by a mere 10 per cent,” Anuj Puri, chairman of Anarock, said in a statement

“Of the four quarters, Q4 2021 was by far the best, with housing sales in the top 7 cities attaining a new high of approximately 90,860 units. This was the highest quarterly sales performance since 2015,” Puri said.

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