Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Luxury Housing Boom Takes a Breather

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Around 3,700 luxury apartments are currently under construction in Mumbai and its suburbs with a price tag of $1 million or more, according to Delhi-based research firm P.E. Analytics Pvt. Ltd. Of these, around 1,440 are unsold. In Delhi and its suburbs, one quarter of the 2,300 luxury apartments under construction are unsold, according to the firm. Residential apartments in India, including those in the luxury market, are typically sold before they are fully constructed. Analysts say that developers in India sometimes delay the construction of their project to ensure that they don't have a large number of unsold units in their ready buildings.

Some of the luxury apartments in Mumbai and Delhi have become 20% to 30% costlier than they were a year ago, thanks to growing wealth in India as well as general euphoria about the real estate market.

But now, "buyers are not happy with these high rates," says Sanjeet D. Narain, managing director of Mumbai real estate consulting firm Narains Corp.

At the same time, many buyers have a lot of money stuck in the Indian stock market which has fallen more than 10% so far this year. So, they want to "wait for some more time," says Aditya Juneja, a real estate broker in Gurgaon, a suburb of Delhi.