The real estate industry is going through a remarkable phase of transition and revival during this pandemic. Homebuyers started showing great interest in investing in homes and realised that now is the best time to do so. Work and study from home demands have also created interest in spacious homes. Last year the market ramped up from August to the end of February. All the pent-up demand from the lockdown resulted in mega revenge purchasing when the market opened. After a slow pick up in August, the market surged and builders saw a sizeable absorption of stocks.
Credai Chennai plays a major role in the development of the Chennai real estate market. Eighty-eight out of 100 homes developed in Chennai are constructed by Credai builders who were profitable in Q1 and Q2 of 2021. Out of eight cities in India, Chennai has the lowest unsold inventory post-pandemic. Homebuyers are facing difficulties with options to buy homes in Chennai. To help Credai members and customers grow their business and have access to homes respectively, Credai has created two portals.
CREDAI365 offers a clutter-free website for home buyers, displaying only new homes that are Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) approved. It is India's first WhatsApp-enabled portal. The homes on this portal start from Rs11 lakh with the option to interact with the builders directly with no middlemen. Home buyers can easily compare projects and also choose between home loan partners. The purpose is to give direct and easy access to new homes available in the city, which was never available before following the motto, “Transparency in home buying”.
CREDAIbuildmart365 is a B2B, MSME construction materials and services business-enhancement portal. As there is a frequent change in the price of building materials, Credai created this path between the developers and manufacturers in the real estate industry. Credai members construct 7.5 crore sq ft of residential and commercial infrastructure and the value of construction materials and services is more than Rs15,680 crores. This portal will help builders send a Request for Quote (RFQ) to vendors to select quality products at better prices and eventually help reduce the cost of buying construction materials. Construction material manufacturers, architects, consultants of electrical, plumbing, auditors, legal consultants etc. can register on the website. Before this platform, all these professions could not be connected in one place.
Both portals were inaugurated by the Hon'ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Thiru. M. K. Stalin on July 30. He chose to inaugurate these first-of-its-kind portals in the country as it supports homebuyers at large and the MSME sector. Like these two portals, the Hon'ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Thiru. M. K. Stalin and his government also believe in transparency.
Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) Chennai is the first-of-its-kind in India and was conceptualised to provide all stakeholders constant access to authentic data that equips homebuyers with real-time statistics to make informed decisions. The information age has granted easy access to information, which comes with the disadvantage of inaccuracy. On May 11 Credai decided to nip this in the bud by collating data from the most reliable, unbiased and authentic sources such as TNRERA. This marked the birth of RAW Chennai. RAW’s motto is, “Empowering You”.
The pandemic did have another positive effect on Credai. Fairpro, the largest annual event in the state that is highly sought after by every homebuyer is its flagship annual event. Credai was inspired to make the event virtual and run all year long. Virtual house hunting has naturally seen a sharp rise in the recent past so it was a clear need for both customers as well as developers.
Real estate prospects
T Padam Dugar, President of Credai Chennai says that the company is extremely bullish about real estate prospects over the next two to three years.
“We have got a new, stable government that is pro-growth. We can expect investments that will yield many employment opportunities across the spectrum. When the housing market gets triggered, there will be the first then second home etc. and the rental markets will also improve. I think the market will be good in the next few years,” he outlines.
“New projects will come in and the price escalation will cause buyers to see real estate as a more conducive investment avenue. Chennai has always been seen as a safe, good city, so now I think we will do much better.”
Catering to NRI demand
There has always been consistent demand from the Gulf bed for properties in Tamil Nadu. Dugar says that most people buy property in three cities — Bengaluru, Chennai and Kochi, which have high absorption. The NRI market is 10 to 15 per cent of the normal market size of reliable builders.
NRIs invest across various strata from apartments as low as about 30 lakhs to those upward of two to three crores. They are also parking their surplus funds in safe investment vehicles like real estate, which yields at least seven to eight per cent minimum in the long term.
Any project today in Chennai by any of Credai’s reliable builders is a sought-after project by the NRI fraternity as long as it fits into their preferred location and configuration criteria. “Our builders cater to our customers’ needs so we do not create NRI-specific projects. NRIs are exposed more so we keep evolving our products so that investing in Indian homes is worthwhile for them,” closes Dugar.
S Sivagurunathan — President Elect, Credai Chennai; Suresh Krishn — President, Credai Tamil Nadu; Thiru M K Stalin — Hon'ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu;
T Padam Dugar — President, Credai Chennai; M Arumugam — Secretary, Credai Chennai; Abhishek Mehta — Treasurer, Credai Chennai, and
Angeline Fernandez — Senior Director, Credai Chennai during the CREDAI365.com launch event.