MMR housing market likely to improve in next 6 months

Knight Frank India's real estate outlook report report released on Wednesday shows that the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) saw a steep fall of 9% in apartment sales in 2014 even though it registered the highest sales among Bangalore, Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad and the NCR. The MMR had 2.04 lakh unsold flats by 2014-end while the figure for all six cities was 6.47 lakh.

Knight Frank's chief economist Samantak Das said the second half of 2014 showed a steady increase in sales in the MMR—36,500 compared to 32,700 in the same period in 2013. "This has led to a marginal lowering of unsold inventory levels. We foresee the market to show further signals of recovery in the next six months," he said.

The report said residential prices showed a positive growth in the second half of 2014 across all cities. The maximum rise was in Mumbai, which experienced a 10% year-on-year growth. MMR recorded a weighted average price (WAP) of Rs 7,800 per sq ft in the second half of 2014, compared to Rs 7,085 per sq ft in the same period in 2013. The lowest increase—3%—was in NCR, where the WAP went up from Rs 4,330 per sq ft to Rs 4,444 per sq ft.

Residential launches and sales across the six cities were at a three-year low during July-December 2014. Sale volumes fell by 17% last year, while new launches dropped by 28% in all six cities put together.

On office space vacancy, Das said, "Vacancy levels will move in the narrow range of 22-23% in the coming six months at the back of an increase in new completions in MMR. Business districts in central Mumbai and Bandra Kurla Complex is likely to experience an increase in rent owing to receding and controlled supply pipeline."

Source: The Times of India, Mumbai