Sometimes downturns are an opportunity for real estate companies to consolidate

By Accommodation Times Bureau

Mr. Vishwajeet Jhavar, Chief Executive Officer of Marvel Realtors and Developers Ltd.
has 16 years of experience in the areas of automation, engineering and construction. He manages key portfolios like land sourcing, automation and business development. Mr. Jhavar holds a degree in engineering from College of Engineering, Pune, with a specialization in instrumentation and controls. He has shared his knowledge with this newspaper.

According to builders lobby there are less chances of reducing property prices, what do you say?
As there is good demand from buyers, with demand exceeding supply, we do not see prices coming down.
The increase in both raw material costs – steel prices have reached Rs. 48/kg and cement Rs. 290/kg – and the time required to get approvals, have increased the financial and construction costs of projects. High taxation, by way of service tax and VAT, has also increased property prices.

According to reports, property rates are high and home loan rates too, so it means affordable housing remains a dream for Aam Aadmi in Metros particularly in Mumbai, isn’t it?
Marvel operates in the luxury segment, and no more than 15% of our total sales are financed by home loans, so the increase in home loan rates will not affect us that much. But yes, it is becoming difficult for buyers at entry level to purchase homes.

In the past two months there were several property exhibitions held in Mumbai, will these efforts be able to heal the wounds of the property market?
Sales promotion undoubtedly helps to increase sales, as well as provide information to potential buyers.

Will real estate market go down as new norms are introduced by the state government such as, it is essential to produce a building sanction plan and structural safety certificate as a pre-requisite to any form of registry? Average of registration of property 100 per day, but now 7 to 8 registrations per day after introducing new norms as per sub registrar officials?
At Marvel we do not sell any buildings before the plans are sanctioned and we have structural stability certification, so we don’t believe the introduction of these norms will affect us.

Will slowdown in International Real Estate market affect the Indian Real Estate market?
Most international real estate markets are speculative. The Indian real estate market however is driven by end users, so we don’t foresee it being affected. In addition, our markets are governed more by local factors, such as good monsoons.

What is your expectation from the upcoming budget and suggestion for realty players how to get over from downturn crisis?
We expect the real estate sector to receive industry status, so that real estate can be financed by regular sources of financing, as with other industries. This would result in more transparency in finance, as well as other aspects of the industry. With real estate being a priority sector, reversal of service tax and VAT will help the industry and make the product more affordable for end users. Presently service tax and VAT accounts for 4% of the total cost of an apartment.
Although in the Pune market we do not see a downturn at present, sometimes downturns are an opportunity for real estate companies to consolidate, increase the efficiency of their operations and acquire new properties.

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