Housing sales up 22% in Jan-June, launches dip: Report

New Delhi (IANS) Sale of residential apartments increased by 22 per cent on a year-on-year (YoY) basis during the first half of 2019, to 78,247 units across seven major cities in the country, said a JLL report.

During the January-June period of 2018, sales were recorded at 72,438 units. Compared to the previous six months of July-August 2018, the sales in the first half of 2019 rose by 8 per cent, according to the JLL's half yearly report. 

However, launches during the first six months of the current year declined by 11 per cent to 73,049 units, in comparison to the corresponding period of last year. 

"With Hyderabad being on top among the seven cities, residential real estate market witnessed an increase of 22 per cent in sales at a pan-India level during the period, it said. 

"Interestingly, the share of affordable and mid-income housing (ticket size of up to Rs 10 million in Mumbai and Rs 7.5 million across other cities), has seen an increase up to 58 per cent at the country level," the report said. 

It added that with gradual revival in home-buyers' confidence and improved affordability, markets witnessed a resurgence in sales in 2018. 

During the first half of 2019, Hyderabad recorded the highest growth in sales at 65 per cent, followed by Delhi-NCR (42 per cent) on a Y-o-Y basis. In Chennai, sales grew by 24 per cent over the second half of 2018. 

The real estate consultancy firm further said that sales would continue to increase. 

"Sales are likely to receive a further fillip with progressive policies of the government. During the first quarter this year, the government further lowered GST rates on affordable homes to 1 per cent from the earlier 8 per cent, without input tax credit (ITC). The GST on projects under construction, which are not under the affordable housing segment, was reduced to 5 per cent from 12 per cent. The rate revision augurs well for home-buyers as the process of claiming the ITC under the former system was complex," it said. 

Commenting on the findings, Ramesh Nair, CEO and Country Head, JLL India said: "Series of reforms and rising buyers' interest in the segment have propelled the sector to align itself to the market demand. Interestingly, in most cities, home-buyers continue to focus on ready to move in projects and projects nearing completion. As a result of this shift in buying preference, developers too are focused on completing their ongoing projects."

With developers focusing on delivery of already launched projects, new launches of residential units decreased by 11 per cent on a y-o-y basis across the top seven cities, the report added. 

"With the exception of Mumbai and Bengaluru, where launches grew y-o-y, all other cities saw a dip during H1 2019. Mumbai, Delhi-NCR and Bengaluru continued to dominate launches an d formed three-fourth of the overall launches during this period," it said. 

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