Construction work will resume in non hotspot Covid 19 zones. However, MMR won’t benefit much from this.

By Varun Singh

Starting today construction work in non hotspot location would begin. While this will help the real estate sector, but is a dampener for markets such as MMR, a highly impacted zone.

In a major move to kickstart at least some pent-up economic activity, the government last week released the guidelines to be followed during lockdown 2.0.

Offering some relief to construction sector, the government has permitted activity to resume in non-Covid-19 hotspots, provided they follow strict social distancing guidelines.

The guideline clearly mentions that no construction worker will be brought from outside and only those currently available on the site will be able to resume work.

The move to start at least some of the construction activity on project sites, even with limited workforce, is certainly welcome.

That said, since many migrant workers had left for their villages post lockdown 1.0 announcement, we will have to wait and see how many are actually left back to resume work.

Migrant workers comprise at least 80% share of the total 44 million workforce in the construction sector currently.

MMR won’t benefit much, which account for 30% of overall under construction stock across the top 7 cities.

Anuj Puri, Chairman, Anarock Property Consultants said, “That aside, it will definitely help real estate to some extent. However, the fact that Covid-19 hotspots will not be able to resume activity from April 20 is a dampener for markets such as MMR – a highly-impacted zone which, as per ANAROCK data, currently has the highest under-construction residential stock of nearly 4.65 lakh units. This accounts for 30% of the overall 15.62 lakh under-construction stock across the top 7 cities.”

Though in non hot-spot zones a lot of developers will be able to carry out their work provided they follow the protocol.

“The decision to allow construction activity brings in much needed relief. Like we have maintained, the beginning of construction activity, though with rightful caveats, will not just help the sector but will kick start economic activity in the country,” said Jayesh Rathod, Executive Director, The Guardians Real Estate Advisory

According to Rathod, quite a few developers will be able to start activities post April 20, as they fall within the criteria set by the Ministry of Home Affairs of having labour camps at their respective sites for construction workers.

As many workers haven’t been able to travel back to their native place and we are observing developers taking care of them at site, the order is bound to have a favourable impact.

As far as activity in non-hotspots is concerned, developers will need to focus on resuming construction on projects that are already nearing completion and have a completion deadline within 2020.

Also Read: RBI announcement a major relief for real estate

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