The cloud of gloom and hesitancy that had overshadowed the nation’s real estate market since 2010 has finally lifted. With the arrival of a strong, business-savvy and very determined government at the centre and the positive budget announced recently, stock markets and overall sentiment have revived. In a nutshell, financial confidence has returned to the Indian household, and this has special pertinence to the upcoming festive season.
While the previous year obviously had all the auspicious days on the calendar, the ‘can do’ spirit that traditionally embodies this period in India has still conspicuously absent. Fence-sitting, cash conservation and risk aversion were the watchwords. It is remarkable how this scenario has changed for the better this year. The real estate market, which had been more or less holding its breath, has finally opened up again. The fact that home ownership is again high on the priority list of the Indian citizen is already reflecting in the building crescendo of festive fervour this year.
It is important to note that the Indian festive season is not just a collection of dates historically designated as auspicious for wealth building and property acquisition. This season is also a major fulcrum of financial planning for Indian households. It sets in only after the closure of annual accounts and clearing of income taxes, leaving families with a clear oversight of their monetary capabilities. This factor, combined with the prevailing economic sentiment, will provide the cues for either extended caution or investments decisions.
Apart from the lifting of political instability and renewed confidence in the government, there are other key factors that have helped the Indian property market to revive this festive season. Developers in most cities have prudently desisted from raising their property prices despite the high escalation of input costs. They are aware that revival is not an event but a process, and that this process must be nurtured from green shoots to full-fledged bloom. As a result, the festive season of 2014 brings home buyers a vast spread of options that they can invest in.
It is inevitable that sustained market revival and the resulting improvement in demand will eventually come to bear on property prices. However, this is still at some point in the future. For now, it is still very much a buyer’s market and aspiring home buyers hold a clear advantage. While this festive season will bring the usual gauntlet of freebies, astute buyers should not be swayed by inconsequential offers. This is an opportunity to zero in on the best of the available options, negotiate the best deal and finally make their dream of a self-owned home a reality.