Monday, October 18, 2010

Pay 10% of the flat value now and remaining 90% on possession

Unreal estate…Manic buying before a likely panic collapse

The 10:90 schemes have got such a good response. Buyers of such real estate projects have now become investors or rather traders. They are paying 10% upfront and buying a call option. If prices collapse, they will have to simply write-off the 10% they invested. We have heard enough that derivatives are weapons of mass destruction. These weapons appear to have entered the real estate now. Is it a prelude to a crash?

From the builder’s perspective, the scheme works because he gets potential buyers into the system. The supply which is coming in central Mumbai is huge, just look around the Parel landscape and you will get an idea of the number of buildings that will come up in the coming years. Kamala Mills, where our office is located, is in the epicenter; the world’s tallest tower is coming up on one side and world’s greenest tower launched by DLF is on the other. There will be about 13,000 apartments which could cost anything upwards of Rs4 crore each coming up in the central Mumbai area. To put it in perspective, in the last five years less than 6,000 apartments of somewhat similar quality have been sold. So we are talking about 21 pricey flats being sold a week over the next four years, which I think is too ambitious. Informed people tracking the real estate market say property prices overall will have to cool from these levels.

If at all prices remain high it would be due to failure by some builders to deliver their projects on time, which would reduce the supply in these areas. If all the supply materializes, then some builders will be forced to cut down their amenities and luxuries and make the prices more affordable to sell their flats.