Revival in demand for quality real estate: Amarjit Bakshi2 min read . Updated: 03 Aug 2020, 06:01 AM IST
Digital tools helped in closing transactions, says Central Park chairman Amarjit Bakshi
NEW DELHI : While housing sales plunged across major cities during the covid-19-led nationwide lockdown, some developers are seeing a gradual return in demand. In an interview, Amarjit Bakshi, chairman and managing director, Central Park, talks about the NCR realty market, luxury projects and future challenges. Edited excerpts:
How did the covid crisis impact project sales and launches in Delhi-NCR?
There’s no doubt that the pandemic has had an adverse effect on the real estate industry at large. Initially, there was a negative impact on sales and we did hold off on product launches, but the lull was actually temporary. There is so much latent demand for real estate that we soon started reviving the sales impetus; we have witnessed an increase in queries, site visits and sale of assets in our township, Central Park Flower Valley, as well as Sky Villas at Central Park Resorts. The current quarter has shown signs of increased sales activity, especially in the investor segment.
Are you seeing a revival in demand?
There is a definite revival in demand for good-quality real estate. Footfall and sales have increased. We have also seen an increase in unique visitors on our website, and our call centre is also getting positive response from customers. Perhaps, there is more focus on developers with a strong track record and penchant for style and design.
How is the luxury housing market faring?
The luxury housing market is a niche by itself; it rarely wavers, though it stalls and often sits on the fence. There will always be demand as it is linked to quality lifestyle desired by the consumer, along with the hospitality services and construction offered by Central Park. The reason behind this is also the social and upward mobility of the professional and business classes of India.
What’s the outlook on the sector and challenges?
The real estate sector is an important contributor to the economy and provides employment and livelihood to different strata of society. I believe that the market will bounce back. Due to covid-19, many customers were apprehensive about site visits and meetings, but we have seen a significant revival of activities.
Digital tools like virtual reality, augmented reality and video-conference meetings have helped in closing transactions and the decision-making processes. The challenges in our industry are manifold. The “ease-of-operations" and “one-window" approach to government regulatory bodies is something we urge the authorities to continue pursuing. The fiscal and banking policies for home loans and the “industry-status" approach towards developers will be beneficial to customers and developers. Special focus is required for the government’s vision of “Housing for All" by 2020, and Smart Cities implementation.
What are Central Park’s plans for this year?
Central Park will promote new investment opportunities in the Bellavista suites project. We are also focusing on our township Flower Valley, looking at the promotion of plotted development Mikasa Plots and low-rise independent floors from 2 BHK to 4 BHK.
We will be making a world-class club house and offering possession of homes this year, starting with the plots.
We are looking at new product launches at Dwarka Expressway and Goa.