While the real extent of the damage is hard to grasp in a scenario where every day is making a great difference, one thing is for certain – India’s realty would suffer short term shocks on account of the COVID-19. These were the thoughts of Mr. Amrendra Shukla, National Head Sales - OLX India. In an exclusive interview with Observer Dawn, he expressed his thoughts about the on-going epidemic.
OD: Coronavirus, without a doubt, is affecting the economy worldwide. How do you think this epidemic will affect the real-estate market of India?
The coronavirus- Lockdown has resulted in the closure of Malls, Shopping Centres, Entertainment hubs, Retails, offices – This could put future Commercial Deals/ Co-Working / Co-living on hold for some time.
Home Buyers are likely to put a hold on their buying decisions due to a change in priority and clarity on job security. Delay in supply of construction materials, Labours moving to their hometown could further push delivery timelines of ongoing projects.
OD: Currently, the government has announced lockdown of 21 days. What if the lockdown extends?
In case of a longer outbreak though, the impact on overall economic activity is likely to be deeper and more sustained, which would result in a more significant impact on developer cash flows and project execution abilities, giving rise to wider credit negative implications.
OD: According to you, has the government taken sufficient steps in this direction?
We are hopeful about a recovery in the sector soon. While several steps have already been implemented by the government, many others are under-execution. These measures will help revive the Indian real estate sector.
Government should help realty players by giving them Tax benefits for a short term, helping realty players who might pay their employees who in turn will make this ecosystem function is one solution, but something needs to be done to aid this populous directly as well.
OD: What would be your piece of advice for realty players in current scenario?
It’s time to go bingo on digital. Realty players should encourage Virtual meetings, Virtual Site visits and online bookings. Developers should plan to incentivize brokers who are helping developers selling their inventory virtually along with buyers booking through online platforms.
Thanks for giving us the insights
Agree. Going digital is the future in reality sector and other domains too. However, I believe giving tax benefit to real estate customer shall be a catalyst to revive early