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 Kochi has been voted as the best real estate destination among the 19 tier-II Indian cities, driven by better infrastructure and growing economic activity, according to a PropEquity report.

The report by Gurgaon-based company said the total market size of the 19 tier II cities in terms of annual sales stood at Rs326 billion, which is 20 per cent of the total market size of 14 tier I cities.

Kochi took the top slot, thanks to its superior connectivity, economic activity, better project delivery and low inventory. Besides, the city witnessed highest absorption in new launches.

“In top 10 cities, six are from south India as this region is end-user market. The developers in southern region are focusing on construction and delivery. Supply-demand mismatch and delays are much lesser," said PropEquity MD and Founder Samir Jasuja.

The rankings are based on 10 key parameters including price, supply, sales, unsold inventory, and new launch trends.

Nashik ranks second, followed by Vishakapatnam, Vadodra, Trivandrum, Jaipur, Mangalore, Indore, Goa and Coimbatore.

The last four ranks went to Agra, Lucknow, Bhiwadi and Mohali – cities in the Northern region.

Though tier II-III cities have performed better, the current slowdown witnessed in the tier I cities have had an impact on them. In fact, housing sales in the tier II cities fell by 17 per cent as against a 32 per cent decline in the Tier I cities in the last two years.

In terms of launch prices, tier II cities saw an annual increase of 9 per cent compared with 10 per cent for tier I cities.

“Southern cities have proven to be resilient, and their conservative nature in even better times actually has helped them sustain traction in the troubled times that the industry is going through,” the report said.

Festive season discount

Meanwhile, Asian Age newspaper quoted Sunil Mantri, chairman, Mantri Realty, as saying that developers were likely to offer a 10 per cent discount during the festive season (Diwali) even as many were still providing different schemes and offers to entice buyers.

“Across the country, developers are trying to reduce inventory and want to offer attractive discounts to lure customers,” he said.

A recent survey by Assocham, an industry body, found the National Capital Region residential market was stuck with an estimated unsold stock of 170,000 units, while JLL India and Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India estimates 77,460 unsold inventory across Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai.

A month ago, the Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan, however, had advocated developers to reduce prices to clear the current high levels of unsold stock.