With input costs rising, property developers aren’t offering freebies or discounts to drive sales, but rather trying to tell customers that if they delay their buying decision, the cost of ownership could rise. in the next few days. This strategy is best reflected in how the developers are pushing sales around the Gudi Padwa Festival which falls on April 2.

Developers tell customers this could be their last chance to get homes at a ‘good price’ before house prices start to rise with stamp duty concessions announced by some states ending on the 31st. March, the introduction of metro in Maharashtra and builders looking to raise property prices to mitigate rising costs.

Ritesh Mehta, Senior Director and Head (West and North India), Residential Services, told FE: “Unlike the old Gudi Padwa where developers used to offer discounts, this year they are creating fear of loss in the minds of consumers to drive sales and we are seeing some impact too”.

He said that consumers are also aware that with the Russian-Ukrainian war, import materials will remain expensive for the next 6-9 months given the rate of inflation, and so the fence keepers conclude their purchases.

However, prices may not rise very quickly as the start of Gudi Padwa leading to Akshaya Tritiya in the first week of May is an auspicious month for house purchases. If prices go up significantly with the 1% increase in stamp duty, Metro cess, as well as the 15% price hike due to commodity inflation, it may slow down sales, which the developers wouldn’t want not risk. “Developers are talking about raising the rates, but it looks like it would be implemented after the holiday season,” Mehta said.

In April, a large chunk of developers said they would be forced to raise prices by 10-15% as rising commodity prices for steel and cement drove an increase of almost 30% construction costs.

Pritam Chivukula, Co-Founder and Director of Tridhaatu Realty, said, “Gudi Padwa offers incredible deals on properties that are important to both buyers and developers. As the stamp duty refund term is set to end on March 31, I believe buyers need to make the most of it before Maharashtra house prices return to normal or in some cases even rise” .

Farshid Cooper, Managing Director of Spenta Corporation, said: “After the COVID-19 pandemic, now seems like a good time to make home buying decisions as prices have yet to catch up. The added incentive this year to lock in a house purchase before March 31 is the additional 1% Metro Cess that will be charged in Maharashtra from April 1.

Granted, the developers have had a good run in terms of sales over the past couple of years despite the pandemic, and the growing sales momentum continues. The latest research from Anarock indicates that home sales in the first quarter of 2022 increased by more than 60% compared to the same period in 2021 in the seven main cities. MMR (Mumbai Metropolitan Region), NCR (National Capital Region) and Pune performed particularly well with strong business momentum.

Anuj Puri, Chairman of Anarock Group, said, “According to current trends, this Gudi Padwa also seems to be a perfect blend of auspicious weather and heightened consumer sentiment.”

For comparison, in 2018, home sales trends in the first quarter – the era of Gudi Padwa saw sales of almost 49,790 units. In 2019, first quarter home sales increased by 58%. In contrast, Q1 2020 sales began to decline and fell to 45,200 units, demonstrating negative buyer sentiments even amid the auspicious fervor. However, despite Covid, there has been an increase in residential activity both in 2021 with around 58,280 units sold and in the first quarter of 2022, Anarock Research anticipates and a jump of more than 60% per year.

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