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Diwali 2008 saw real estate developers struggling with cash flows & global slowdown & offers too were highly watered down. This year, the offers are meant more for end users, say Neha Dewan & E Jayashree Kurup

It’s that time of the year when you can feel the festive buzz all around you. And real estate developers are cashing in on the festive mood. Real estate developers realised that the consumer is not interested in a drop in basic sale price but more in the total outflow that is incurred towards purchase of the properties.

Ravi Saund, marketing head of Sare, a real estate-backed private equity fund developing residential properties, says there is a qualitative shift in Diwali offers across years. “The year 2007 was the height of the real estate boom and developers were riding the crest of the real estate boom. Diwali 2008 saw real estate developers struggling with cash flows and global recession and Diwali offers too were highly watered down. This year the offers are structured to be of more use to the end user.” Sare took advantage of the positive buyer sentiment to launch its Chennai and Gurgaon real estate projects. In addition, it offered a Rs 25,000 festival discount.

According to Raminder Grover, CEO, Homebay Residential, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj (JLLM), demand this festive season has been 25% higher than it was last year, when the real estate sector was already in the grip of the slowdown.

Whether this demand is on the back of varied offers or an improvement in the overall sentiment, the fact is that many real estate developers are launching special incentives to appease buyers.

Supertech is offering free LCD screens to customers in some of their projects such as 34 Pavilion in Noida, Emerald Court at Expressway Noida, Czar Suits in Greater Noida and Green Village in Meerut. R K Arora, chairman & MD, Supertech, says they have received a good response from buyers. “In the first phase during the Navratras, we had offered ACs per BHK flats in some of our residential projects. The response to the previous festival offer and the current offer (AC+ LCD) has been quite welcoming. Around 70-75 units were sold for all the residential and commercial projects put together.”

Delhi-based real estate developer Omaxe too has announced a special offer where customers can win an LCD TV on every on-the-spot booking of flat in their newly-launched group housing project in Bahadurgarh and Rohtak projects. Both the group housing projects offer a 3BHK houses and flats for around Rs 35 lakh.

Vijay Jindal, CMD, SVP Group claims that they have seen a 35% growth in booking with the launch of their festive offers. “We are offering 10-55-35 (30+5). Booking amount is 10%, 55% will be financed by bank whose EMI will be paid by SVP. Then on possession 5% will be paid by the customer and rest 30% will be financed by the bank or financial institution. The response for our scheme has been quite encouraging.”

Ditto is the case with Raheja Developers which is offering a discount of Rs 100 per sq ft till Diwali on its Raheja Shilas project in Gurgaon. Value addition was one of the reasons why the property developers chose to launch the offer. The Raheja Shilas project has been our fastest selling project so far. It is 85% booked already. Value addition is the name of the game in real estate,” feels Manoj Goyal, GM, strategic planning and group company secretary, Raheja Developers.

Down South in Hyderabad, the Manjeera Group is offering a neat slash of Rs 10 lakh in the real estate pricing for a 1,000 sq ft flat so that a 2 BHK apartments at MDT Phase II costs Rs 25 lakh instead of Rs 36 lakh. The net cost to consumer is a mere Rs 2,150 per sq ft. The price includes amenities as car parking and club house membership, which were unheard of during the real estate boom times. The offer is on till Diwali 2009

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