Gudi Padwa is a festival that developers wait for. Being an auspicious day many homebuyers book homes on this day. However, with coronavirus scare, builders have decided to not launch projects now.

By Varun Singh

Gudi Padwa is an important festival for the real estate industry. During Gudi Padwa a lot of new launches take place. However, this year the developers have decided to put the new launches on a back seat.

Normally festivals are the seasons when developers come up with new project launches. Gudi Padwa is the one festival when developers in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) host several new launches of projects.

However, things have changed. The real estate community was excited with the 1 per cent reduction in stamp duty and were hoping this will bring in more customers. Many developers had planned new project launches too. 

But now they are either being cancelled or pushed forward. Arvind Goel, a developer from Navi Mumbai said, “At the start of the month it looked like things were changing for real estate in a positive way. The reduction in stamp duty was helping change the mindset of the home buyers too. Many from the community had planned to launch projects, but now all has once again come to a standstill.”

According to Goel, a project launch is an expensive affair, and also requires a lot of people to be present at one place. “We were hoping that during Gudi Padwa the industry will see some sales taking place. But now with Corona, we cannot have so many channel partners (brokers) in one place. Also, customers won’t come out either so launches have been postponed,” he said.

Goel says the one death reported on Tuesday has caused further panic in the city and nearby areas. 

Gudi Padwa is an important festival for builders, because, many prospective homebuyers look for a home before vacation starts and they finalise everything before school starts. This is done so that things like moving and even admission of kids before the academic year is planned. 

However, Rajiv Jain, of Ruchika Shelters, a realtor from South Mumbai, claims that everything in real estate is being postponed, from planned project launches to smaller and big exhibitions. “There was a top developer going to have a project launch in Central Mumbai, he has dropped the idea, Many developers have asked its staff to work from home and follow up the clients from home itself instead of travelling all the way to the office,” said Jain. 

The problem is here to stay for long, according to another developer, “The advisory for social distancing has already impacted site visits which also means no actual sales. The majority of developers will also choose to defer new launches and shall wait to see how the situation unfolds over the next month or two.”

Also Read: MahaRERA adjourns hearing of all cases due to coronavirus

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