COVID-19 and Real Estate : What a homebuyer should know
The global health concern around COVID-19 virus spread has let the world into speculation of what the post-corona scenario will look like. With the entire market scenario becoming an uncertain question, the work-from-home culture has taken over, still leaving the non-workable sectors in the threat of uncertainty.
Real estate in particular, has faced a challenging time with the resource availability brought down and factory production at a halt. Amidst the hard facts such as an expected project delay in this quarter of 2020, real estate icons do not fail to put together the best with smart work management, to contribute to the process of building the dream houses of millions of homebuyers across the country.
But how do they do that?
Here’s what’s happening:
COVID-19 virus a.k.a. corona virus spread has been brought to a reasonable control in India only with a successful combination of government measures or alerts and the co-operation of people. The multi-class society of India has taken a considerable understanding on the income continuity of each other, arriving at practices that end up being mutually beneficial. The digitalized sectors work from home while non-digitalized sectors minimise their chances of vulnerability by restricted work hours and more. Real estate, being a recently semi-digitalized sector has been carrying out the online operations and processing while minimising the on-site work for the safety of the team. Understanding the potential impact on the customers, several real estate organisations have appealed to the government for relaxation in property-related guidelines and successfully brought the best amendments benefiting the new and interested homebuyers.
What you should do:
1. Do not panic
A market halt is not a market crash. Given the unexpected occurrence of the global bio-calamity, every sector is facing just the equal. There is no specific fear that must occur to you if you are a homebuyer or a new homeowner.
“Trust you developer”
Every developer will try their best to keep your dream homes safe and secure. The best methods specific to the projects will be adopted and all your dream homes might face is a very short-term delay in coming to form. The situation will not put you or your home at risk, which is why some eminent developers have become extended their customer care team, to help resolve any doubts or queries a new homebuyer could possibly come with.
“Buyer sentiment is crucial to us and we respect it”
“We have redirected the customer service for the office helplines to the executives’ contact to maintain a seamless connection with the customers and respond to their every query, to relieve them for any panic that the situation might encompass. Our Customer Relationship Management is more active than ever.” – JAIN HOUSING & CONSTRUCTIONS
RERA guidelines have been relaxed
If low interest rates (home loan interest rates are at 8% now) and high tax exemption (rebate against home loan interest payment is as high as Rs 3.50 lakh per annum) were going to make a change in the consumer behavior, the Coronavirus outbreak is likely to halt that shift, at least in the near to medium term.
Even though the RBI has announced a 75-basis-point repo rate cut to bring it down to 4.4%, any positive effect of the move on buyer sentiment would be seen only in the medium to long term. The step, however, would come as a major support for existing buyers, who might struggle to pay EMIs in the short-term because of the lockdown and in the medium terms in the event of job loss.
2. Understand that project delay is not an uncertainty
Project delay is the unexpected outcome of the global crisis which is curtailed to the maximum extent by the developers, to minimise the impact on the customers. It has to be understood that project delay does not point at any uncertainty in the completion of the project and it is only for the best that such measures are taken to ensure a safe future for us all.
The real estate bodies have set up upto Rs 25,000-crore stress fund for projects that are on hold, to ensure the certainty of your property development amidst the delay.
But, why is the project delayed?
The market scenario has shrinked both the material availability and manpower, in addition to the lockdown orders, ultimately decreasing the chances of resuming the construction process. With construction sector’s manpower largely based on migratory workforce, it becomes the organisation’s responsibility to leverage their sentiments over travel to native, stay arrangements etc.
In an attempt to make the post-corona scenario certain and predictable, several developers have attempted to keep close connection with the customers for updating them with latest information.
“We have numbered the possible delay in months, and intimated every Jain Housing homeowner in personal, to ensure transparency in the vision” – JAIN HOUSING & CONSTRUCTIONS
3. Lookout for the homeloan amendments
With the project-related questions on one side, the financial checks are posed on the other. To help with the situation, the developers have put forth a plea on relaxation in Real Estate guidelines along with homeloan amendments.
Homeloans have been given high tax exemptions and low interest rates, considering the careers of many that are at stake.
On March 28, RBI announced 0.75% cut in the repo rate and 1% cut in the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR).
RBI has also announced that all financial institutiond are permitted to allow a 3-month moratorium on loans including home loans, on payment of installments for all term loans outstanding, as on 01 March 2020. This can help allievate
- Short-term liquidity concerns of developers
- Loan repayment concerns of homebuyers
Rest assured, the real estate project must be soon to revive in the coming months.
4. Utilize digital means to connect
Digital communication and cashless transactions have made property purchase & tracking, safer than ever. Most real estate developers have held their digital systems more active to:
- Facilitate the interests of new buyers. New buyers can still know more on the details of the new properties and proceed to property purchase or booking over seamless online services supported by the executives.
- Update information for the existing buyers. Existing buyers can track their project status, connect with their Customer Relationship Manager/Executive and get their queries resolved.
“Built-in digital systems ensures instant clarity for the customers, which is why we have always kept our digital front active.” – JAIN HOUSING & CONSTRUCTIONS
Know more on the digital platforms and services of Jain Housing & Constructions at www.jainhousing.com
Stay remote. Stay safe. Stay happy.
Cheers to us all in bidding bye to the corona scenario!
AUTHOR PROFILE Akshaya Muralikumar is an avid architect turned writer who strives to explore the depth of details in the subjects across Construction, Architecture, Interior Design and Marketing. Being "An Architect of thoughts" she has been 'building' her thoughts across multiple web and print media.