Lockdown: sops help realty survive in Siliguri
Developers and builders here have come up with incentives to attract home buyers amid the economic impact of the pandemic-induced lockdown.
The incentives, which include a slash in booking amount and price protection of the property, has helped the realty sector in Siliguri to beat the lockdown blues to an extent and clock 40 per cent of pre-Covid sales in the last three months, said sources.
Ankit Mittal, managing director, Ankit Begraj Group, said: “We set a booking amount of Rs 50,000. Normally, booking amount is 10 to 20 per cent of the property value, depending on whether the property is under construction or complete. We are also introducing price protection.”
Price protection refers to the buffer for the buyer. In case cost escalates, the buyer won’t have to pay more.
“This has been one of the most difficult phases for us as sales have dropped drastically...but slowly, we are turning around and have reached 40 to 50 per cent of our pre-Covid sales,” Mittal added.
It was largely expected that people would not invest in real estate during the pandemic. Real estate developers in Siliguri, however, maintain that there is a steady stream of enquiries for residential properties. They said residential units within the Rs 12 lakh to 40 lakh bracket were helping the sector find its feet at a time demand for commercial and high-value properties was low.
Naresh Agarwal, president of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (Credai) in north Bengal said many people wanted to own a flat or home.
“Having one’s own home instead of a rented place makes people feel more secure during a pandemic,” a builder added.
Rajesh Agarwal, another prominent realtor in Siliguri, said: “We are giving concessions like low booking amount and deferment of GST payments. We said if the price of the property increases, we will sell it to the buyer for the cost fixed at the time of booking.
He added many developers were offering price protection on the downside too for six to 12 months, which means the developer protects the buyer if the property price falls and gives him an easy exit option.
Animesh Chowdhury, who recently booked a flat in Siliguri, said: “I used to stay in rented accommodation. There were several other tenants and some facilities were common. We felt the need to have our own flat and that’s why we booked a flat recently. The concessions offered by developers and banks gave us the courage to book a flat.”