Buyers want intervention of the Union Urban Development Ministry so that over 4.40 lakh residential units, lying unsold across the country, are sold. According to a recent study, over 4.40 lakh housing units remained unsold in seven major cities at the end of 2017. Most of them, over 1.5 lakh, are located in Delhi-NCR. The study, which was conducted by JLL, covered Mumbai, Delhi–NCR, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Bengaluru and Kolkata. Out of the total unsold housing stock, 34,700 units are ready-to-move-in flats.

“At present, buyers’ confidence in builders has completely been shaken. That is why buyers are not buying flats. Therefore, the government should get the full details of these unsold inventories and declare that these projects are legal. In case of ready-to-move flats, the government should declare that all necessary clearances have been made. This may spark confidence among the buyers,” said Abhay Upadhyay, convenor of “Fight for RERA”, an organisation working for the welfare of the buyers. 

According to a prospective buyer, the builders themselves are responsible for this state of affairs. “In other sectors, pricing is done on the basis of demand-supply situation. If the demand is down, the prices of a commodity automatically come down. But in case of the real estate sector, builders prefer to ‘preserve’ the unsolved inventories for years, rather than bringing the prices down and sell them at smaller margin.” The study said Delhi–NCR has the highest volume at around 150,654 units which remained unsold in 2017, while Chennai, with 20%, has the highest percentage of completed unsold inventory. On the other hand, Kolkata has the lowest volume of unsold inventory at about 26,000 units. About the reasons for the slowdown, JLL India CEO and country head Ramesh Nair said: “The residential market has been on a wait-and-watch mode for some time on account of many structural changes that have happened in the last few years. We hope that the sales velocity will start picking pace in the second half of the year mostly on account of stable prices making entry attractive.” The real estate sector has witnessed changes like real estate law RERA, demonetisation and GST that have led to a general slowdown in overall construction activities and housing demand. As per the report, the Delhi-NCR property market has seen the highest volume of unsold inventory, spread over Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Noida and Greater Noida.

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