Mumbai A staggering 96.3 million square feet of residential space — or about 80,000 homes — is lying unsold in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), the highest-ever inventory pile-up for the area. Sales are down 38% over last year.

Data compiled by real estate research firm Liases Foras show that at the end of June 2010, the unsold residential space in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Mira-Bhayander and Thane was nearly twice the 58.9 million sq ft that was available in the MMR in June 2008. Liases Foras CEO Pankaj Kapoor said if flats that are currently lying with investors, which will eventually return to the market are taken into account, another 50 million sq ft will be added to the unsold space.

Analysts see in the glut a throwback to the circumstances that led to the realty slowdown of 2008-09. Builders are again looking to raise money through IPOs, and the pricing of flats is valuation- rather than sales-driven.

“Besides high valuations, the 4% VAT and service tax on under-construction flats, and the huge difference between carpet area and notional super built-up area have created an unfriendly environment for home buyers,” Kapoor said.

R V Verma, executive director of the National Housing Bank, said the recent increase in home loan disbursements has been offset in the metros, and particularly in Mumbai, by rising property prices. “The investor-centric approach is fueling speculation in prices,” he said.

The average price of residential property in the MMR works out to Rs 7,747 per sq ft; in Mumbai itself it is an eye-popping Rs 13,798 per sq ft. A 1,000-sq ft carpet area flat in Kandivli, which cost Rs 70 lakh 15 months ago today costs Rs 1.6 crore, Kapoor said.

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December 2020