"Buy one, get one free! No, it’s not an enticing offer for shirts, soaps or shampoos. But, believe it or not, an irresistible offer for a flat.
Hit badly by the down slide in realty prices and in order to lure buyers to their new projects, builders in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai are coming up with the most extraordinary offers —- buy a house and get a free car, or buy back offers, and now, even another flat for free!
Indeed, an advertisement of the Cosmos group, known for their lifestyle projects in Thane, reads, ‘Ghar sobat ek ghar mofat’ (Buy one house, get one free) for four of their projects, three near Ghodbunder Road in Thane and one in Lonavala.
“Yes, the offer is valid on two and a half BHK, a 2 BHK flat or a bungalow. On a 2 and a half BHK or the bungalow, the offer is that of a 1 BHK flat and for a 2 BHK flat, the offer is that of a one room kitchen,” said Mahesh Patil of the Cosmos Group.
Diwali Offer: Buy 1 flat Get 1 free ! Video: Free Videos Online. Video Clips, Video Movies, Live TV & More at In.com
A Thane property consultant said, “The Swastik Group is offering a 12-month free home stay with no rentals or maintenance in Thane. Earlier this year, the same group sold several flats while giving a car free and offering discounts on interest on home loans. The group also offers a home loan at a fixed interest rate of 8 per cent, while the current rate is around 12 per cent. Some of these offers are being termed as Diwali offers, but the market situation is actually grim.”
Another major name in the property circuit, Sunil Mantri Realty, has introduced a new ‘buy-back offer’ for their projects in Mumbai. If the property price falls below the purchase value, Sunil Mantri Realty will buy it back at the same price. For this, the buyer has to keep possession of the flat for three years.
In Navi Mumbai too, realty rates have come down from Rs 6,000 to Rs 9,000 six months ago to Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000 today. Palm Beach Road, an upscale area in Navi Mumbai, has also seen rates decrease for new projects.
In the western suburbs too, the Wadhwa Group has lowered rates on 1BHK, 2BHK flats and duplexes in their projects at Goregaon.
Said property consultant Kevin Fernandes, “All over, the real estate market is depressed. People are choosing to wait. In the case of Thane, if realty rates witness a slump, Ghodbunder Road, which is far away from the station, will be the first to see people shying away. However, the ‘buy a house, get another one free’ offer is really tempting and may entice a lot of buyers,”
Individual projects apart, property exhibitions are also proving that present times call for desperate measures. At a recent property exhibition on MMRDA grounds in Bandra Kurla Complex, 85 developers had put on display over 800 properties with offers ranging from stamp duty waiver (five per cent of the cost of the flat) to a discount on interest on home loans. The four-day exhibition saw over 85,000 visitors, but the conversion of visits into sale of flats was less than 10%. (Remember, what happened at PBAP mega property exhibition 2008?)
“The deals are drying up and the volumes of transaction are going down by 60 to 70 per cent from what they were last year. It shows a clear reduction in demand. The other main reason behind this is the liquidity crunch that has affected the market. Major banks are shying away from giving loans, or extending financial support to developers. As a result, to start new projects, developers have to unlock liquidity and have to reduce property prices. This situation had prevailed in Mumbai even before the global meltdown. At the moment, however, it is not hinting at a crash but referring to a correction. Once the correction comes into effect, there will be stability,”said Ghulam Zia, National Director Advisory Services, Knight Frank (India) Pvt Ltd.
- Mumbai Mirror Online
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