According to a research report by real estate consultancy firm Liases Foras, property sales in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) have hit a record low in 23 months. Builders are sitting on unsold inventory equal to 58 months. A ‘month’s inventory’ reflects the number of months required to clear the stock of residential units at the existing absorption rate. A healthy market maintains an eight- to 12-month inventory level. As many as 140,000 housing units measuring 1,000 square feet remained unsold in Mumbai and MMR in the second quarter of the current fiscal.
The average cost of a 2BHK flat in MMR has gone up from Rs1.12 crore last year to Rs1.24 crore this year. This is just a 1% increase sequentially. Mumbai recorded the lowest sales of only 7.85 million square feet in the current quarter against 20.98 million square feet in the National Capital Region (NCR) and 10.97 million square feet in Bengaluru.
According to Liases Foras, to avoid causing a panic among home-owners and the public, builders are trying their best not to drop prices even if it leads to higher vacancy rates. According to the firm, the properties sold during the current quarter comprise just 5% of the total unsold inventory in the city. Another interesting point is that the highest inventory comprises flats costing more than Rs2 crore, while sales have occurred in flats costing between Rs50 lakh and Rs1 crore.
In Noida, a developer was found to have sold apartments to multiple buyers while banks and finance companies, such as Axis Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce and Syndicate Bank, and housing finance companies, like HDFC, LIC Housing, Dewan Housing, Punjab National Bank Housing Finance and Indiabulls, provided home loans to two or more buyers for the same dwelling unit. Shiv Kala Charms has allegedly ripped off more than 400 people, defrauding them of monies ranging from Rs25 lakh to Rs35 lakh.
The scam first came to light on 31 August 2011 when HDFC Bank published a list of 78 apartments in Shiv Kala Charms, stating that these were legally mortgaged to the Bank. Home-buyers were shocked to find their apartment numbers on the list.
National Housing Bank, looking into the matter on the RBI’s instructions, found that banks financed several ‘non-existing flats’ and identified several cases where more than one mortgage was granted on a single flat.
The Gurgaon administration has made it mandatory for housing societies in the district to install CCTV cameras. The order also covers pubs and bars. It says cameras must be installed at the entry and exit gates, be of good quality, and store footage for at least 30 days. Violators will be punished under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code. Installation of CCTV cameras will cost each society around Rs30,000.