Coronavirus that started in Wuhan, China has infected more than 400,000 people across the globe and claimed more than 20,000 lives so far. The World Health Organization (WHO) was quick to declare it a global pandemic and instructed countries to take effective measures to tackle the situation, social distancing being the most important one.
While COVID-19 has collapsed even the healthcare systems of the most powerful countries, it has equally affected the global economy. In India, PM Modi has declared a 21-day lockdown that is going to severely impact many businesses. In the midst of this virus outbreak, the Indian Real Estate Industry also cannot be spared from the downfall. So, let us see how Coronavirus affects the Indian Property Market.
India has been a heavy importer of construction material and electronic equipment from China. Though we are the second largest producer of steel, our production capacity is still not enough to fuel the high demand across the country. This is why we were dependent on the Chinese Imports for our steel and other construction needs. And now, with the COVID-19 situation, these imports will be largely impacted. The prices of construction material like steel, heavy equipment, fibre elements, electronic equipment, etc. is going to shoot up which will directly affect the profits of the developers.
Navratri, Gudi Padwa and Akshay Tritiya are almost here. NDuring this period, a number of real estate consultancies and even the developers would have started rolling out their festive season offers. Although a lot of offers can still be availed, the overall demand is low because investors are losing confidence in the market amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Most of the homebuyers and investors are from the salaried class. They are not sure about the future of their jobs and hence the demand is skewed.
Since the developers are not sure about the liquidity of their current projects, they are likely to hold back on the new launches. The market would see a fall of 15 to 20 percent in the number of new launch projects. Developers who have already made a soft-launch of their projects are already incurring loss as they have spent a substantial amount on the marketing front.
Commercial real estate that comprises office spaces, retail spaces and the hospitality sector will also be largely impacted. It can mainly be attributed to the skewed imports from China. However, with the prices going down, there would be a segment of investors who are likely to put their money in it and take the risk for a higher profit down the line.
In case of any virus outbreak, every industry takes initial hit but previous records show that the market has recovered in a better way and the same can be expected with Coronavirus as well. We suggest the buyers and investors not to panic and hope for the best. The situation will surely improve with time.