Bengaluru: Lodha Developers Pvt. Ltd, the country’s largest realty firm, has clocked Rs.2,350 crore in sales from its residential projects in the April-June quarter, in line with the recovery in the sector that analysts have indicated.
Premium projects contributed significantly to the developer’s sales, with the newly launched Lincoln’s Inn Fields at Lincoln Square in London and Lodha Altamount on Mumbai’s Altamount Road selling well.
During the June quarter, the Lincoln Square project, launched in May, generated about Rs.150 crore in sales. Its luxury project Lodha Altamount sold Rs.275 crore of inventory in June alone, when it sold residential units to three high net-worth individuals (HNIs).
“In the current scenario, when many are finding it challenging to sell, our focus is to ensure that we maximize the sales in our projects. We also do extensive research on what buyers want, and the good thing is we are selling in every project, at various price points in the last few months,” said Prashant Bindal, chief sales officer, Lodha Group.
Compared with the January-March quarter, Bindal said sales have picked up April onwards. “In June, we crossed Rs.1,000 crore in gross sales, touching Rs.1,100 crore,” he said.
In 2015-16, Lodha generated about Rs.8,000 crore of gross sales, higher than any other developer, but fell short of its own ambitious sales forecast of Rs.9,000 crore. This year, the developer has again set a target to hit the gross sales mark of Rs.9,000 crore.
The June quarter sales number indicates that it has been a fairly good start for the firm in the current financial year.
Most real estate developers struggled to meet their residential sales guidance for the year 2015-16 due to tepid consumer sentiment and delays in securing project approvals.
Unable to launch projects and sell in line with expectations, some realty firms even revised or downsized their sales targets in the March quarter. High-end, or luxury project, launches have shrunk on the back of poor sales in most projects.
Bindal said that there are enough takers for such homes, where discerning buyers and investors are looking at the right brand and product before taking a decision. For instance, in its Trump Tower project in central Mumbai, the developer recently added six penthouses on the top floor, based on customer demand, though it was not a part of the original design. At 3,600 sq. ft, each penthouse is priced at Rs.25 crore, almost double the price of a regular apartment in the project, and Lodha has sold all of them.
While Lodha has restricted new project launches to focus on the existing projects, it will selectively launch new inventory this year.
Lodha Azzuro, in central Mumbai, is a brand new residential tower that will be launched in August. The project, which was earlier designed to have only three-bedroom homes, has now included a combination of two, three and four-bedroom homes, again based on customer demand and feedback.
Over the last three years, even when India’s real estate sector was in the grip of its worst ever crisis, what has emerged is that buyers are increasingly attracted towards larger, organized, so-called branded developers.
A July report by property advisory Knight Frank India said that the sector is on the path to recovery, citing better home sales and lower unsold inventory. Between January and June, project launches grew by 29% on a year-on-year basis and absorption or sales increased by 23% during the same period in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), the report said.
Demand in the premium residential segment, too, rose 15%, compared with the first six months of 2015. “The Mumbai property market has seen good growth this year, though it is still not at the 2010-11 level, particularly in the sub Rs.7-8 crore price category. Within the premium segment, central Mumbai continues to see degrowth in sales, while south Mumbai, where inventory is limited, has seen good improvement in sales,” said Samantak Das, chief economist and national director at Knight Frank India.