Housing sales in top eight cities of the country dropped by 54 per cent year-on-year to a 10-year low of 59,538 units during the first half of 2020 on account of COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report released on Thursday by property consultancy firm Knight Frank India. New home launches also fell by 46 per cent to 60,489 units during the period, the report suggested. The pricing environment weakened with developers either offering a discount or some form of a financial benefit scheme to prospective homebuyers, said the report.
In the office segment too, the top eight cities witnessed a historic decline in terms of both transactions and new completions. In the first half of this year, office transactions declined by 37 per cent year-on-year to 1.6 million square metres, the lowest in the last 10 years. New completions were lower by 27 per cent to 1.6 million square metres.
As far as overall activity in the real estate industry is concerned, the report said that the ongoing pandemic stalled the economy and caused sales to fall a massive 84 per cent year-on-year to 9,632 units in the second quarter of this year while sales of 49,905 units were reported in the first three months..
"With economic uncertainties creating significant headwinds, we expect the office space take-up to remain cautious. Most occupiers are expected to hesitate in committing to expansion in the current market scenario and may delay their leasing decisions for later," said Shishir Baijal, chairman and managing director of Knight Frank India.