Thursday, August 21, 2008

Realty slowdown delivers late punch to buyers

Economic times reports on the hard times facing the builders. Speculate and pass the buck to the consumer seems to the mantra of the builders.
Economic times reports
NEW DELHI: Realty slowdown is delaying delivery of homes. Several developers have postponed execution of their housing projects as funds become scarce, demand softens and raw material prices rise. While some others are deliberately delaying projects in order to reduce supply as demand weakens.
Several projects across the country are getting delayed as developers aren’t able to generate enough cash to continue construction work. Projects are delayed by as much as 6 months to over a year. “Funding is largely unavailable. Those developers who can access funds are also shying away from it since it has become very expensive. In addition, income from sales of housing units has declined with the softening of demand ,” says Cushman & Wakefield executive MD Sanjay Verma.

All developers are facing the heat on account of high interest rates, which the country’s central bank has been hiking in order to tame inflation . Mid and small developers are faring worse as banks have almost shut their door on them.

“It is a tough time for real estate firms. A weak demand is affecting cash flow. Moreover, the cost of debt and construction has risen. How can one continue construction with the same pace in this environment,” says a senior executive at Omaxe.

Some developers cite usual reasons such as delayed government sanction and unavailability of men and material for the current unusual delays. “Till the last month, steel was difficult to procure even at a very high rate delaying execution of projects ,” says Gaursons joint MD Manoj Gaur.
Not all delays are forced by just funding or material constraint. Says Sanjay Verma of Cushman & Wakefield, “Some developers are not minding delaying projects as they feel a reduced supply of homes will help them sustain prices in the face of slowing demand.”
In such cases, early buyers in the project are surely going to suffer as they will have to wait for a much longer time for delivery of their dream homes. Verma feels the scenario in real estate is unlikely to improve for at least one year as interest rates are expected to remain high.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Do early buyers litigate the builder for delay in court. If one such case with bankrupt builder come out there will be crash in RE. Bears need to give attention to this.