With builders reluctant to lower property prices, the value of unsold apartments across the top seven cities remains over Rs 4 lakh crore. This is despite the fact that there have been few new offerings. Data from PropEquity shows the number of new homes fell a sharp 36% year-on-year between September and November to around 45,800.

Nevertheless, it could take anywhere between three to five years before buyers walk into unsold homes, which number approximately 7.58 lakh, slightly lower than in September-December 2014. These are what are called affordable apartments, priced between R40 lakh and R1crore.

While builders have been trying to woo borrowers with attractive schemes for more than three years now, the pile-up in the inventory continues. One reason for this is that prices haven’t come off meaningfully and builders have managed to hold out despite being heavily leveraged.

Ashwinder Raj Singh, CEO (residential services), JLL India, points out that the average price of a two-bedroom apartment in Mumbai, priced at around Rs 3 crore in 2014, has dropped to around Rs 2.9 crore in 2015. As for MMR, Singh says the reduction is prices has been miniscule from Rs 1.32 crore to Rs 1.31 crore.

“The drop in prices has been barely in MMR and about 3.25% in Mumbai,” Singh observes adding that the average rate per-square-foot has reduced from Rs 13,020 to Rs 12,896 in MMR, while in Mumbai it has dropped down to Rs 19,681 from Rs 20,125.

The top seven cities include Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), Delhi & NCR, Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata. The property markets of MMR and Delhi & NCR continue to remain stressed due to sluggish sales; the sharp rise in the levels of unsold stock in the last few quarters seems to have been arrested. This, however, will be solely on the back of a drop seen in new launches, as absorptions are either falling or remain where they were a few quarters back.

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