By Saikat Das, ET Bureau | Updated: Dec 26, 2016, 09.16 AM IST | Economic Times
MUMBAI: Housing finance firms downplayed stress in the real estate sector as fallout of the sudden demonetisation early last month in meetings with regulator National Housing Bank, but fear consumer sentiment expects prices to fall, and that could hamper home sales in the coming months, crimping growth, multiple sources familiar with the matter told ET.
In the past two weeks, NHB has held three meetings in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai with 81 housing finance companies to assess the impact of demonetisation.”We have held regional level conferences of housing finance companies (HFC) assessing the situation in light of demonetisation,” Sriram Kalyanaraman, CEO of NHB, told ET. “We also discussed the challenges and opportunities in this sector and also how the HFCs can work more towards fulfilling the Housing-for-All goal (by 2022).”
Kalyanaraman did not elaborate on the challenges but some participants said they drew the regulator’s attention to escalating consumer expectations on falling prices. Rental yield and mortgage loan yields have fallen to about 3.4% (tax adjusted), which could be a key trigger to rake up housing demand from home buyers living in rented accommodation now, a head of a large HFC said.
Many consumers are holding back their decision as they expect sharp fall in prices.This could hurt home loan demand, they said, seeking NHB’s intervention to scotch such speculation. The regulator believes that there could be some short term corrections (10-15%) in home prices but it would eventually rise when genuine tax payers line up for transparent deals.
The regulator encouraged HFCs to promote small value affordable housing finance loans to coax salaried people being keen on buying homes. “We do expect a surge in affordable housing both on supply and financing side,” said Kalyanaraman, thanks to falling interest rates, higher transparency with RERA (Real Estate Regulation Act) and expected lower land prices.