Amidst the pandemic Vasco based realty developer, Amit Prabhu, partner, Prabhu Realtors, Dabolim, talks on the current market situation in Goa’s real estate industry. He says to Shoma Patnaik, that home buyers have started showing interest in purchasing property and the housing demand has started reviving among middle class buyers
While we are still in the pandemic, do you think the worst is over for the real estate industry or still to come?
Initially when the coronavirus infection started things looked really tough for builders because of the lockdown. And even when the unlocking began the outlook did not improve because there was no confidence in the market. People had lost jobs and businesses were struggling to survive. The news in the market was that the real estate industry will be crushed by the pandemic. But now the situation is slowly coming back to normal and expectations are of further revival in the coming months as housing demand is improving. At the national level builders are launching projects. Yet the worst is never over for any industry. Every business has its own problems. One cannot run a business without problems. There will be problems always but we have to overcome it. The positive signs are that home buyers have regained confidence. They realize that the current property prices are as determined by the market and they have to book if they want to purchase property.
Have construction activities picked up in the state considering that the economy is emerging out of lockdown?
Yes builders have certainly started construction activities again. However for the industry to come back to its pre-COVID state it will take at least one more month. I expect it to pick up fully after Diwali.
How is the festive season demand for housing in the state?
The festive season demand is there despite the pandemic. We are getting enquiries and deals are being done but overall business is not likely to be better than last year. We expect to do about 60 per cent of our previous year festive season sales in the current year. Actually there is always a demand from locals for affordable housing in the price range of Rs 50-65 lakh for 2/3 BHK apartment. But the luxury and the investment segments are badly affected. The NRI Goan segment is also in the cold as several NRIs have lost jobs and face uncertain future. As realty developers we mainly cater to service class buyers. Basically residents who work in central and state government offices, in Goa Shipyards, companies around Verna, etc, who are genuinely interested in purchasing homes. Goa’s middle class buyers are interested in purchasing homes during the festive season.
What is your strategy to induce home buyers to sign on the dotted line?
Our focus now is more on integrated housing complexes that offer the gamut of amenities such as club house, gym, garden and swimming pool. The pandemic is made buyers lose interest in single housing projects. They now want to live in complexes where the family elders and children feel safe. To energise the market in pandemic times we are topping our services. We are trying to pursue clients by offering more such as furnished kitchens with modular furniture. Previously we sold just the flat but now we are emphasizing on the top quality finish where the buyer has a ready to use kitchen and only needs to purchase living and bedroom furniture.
What is the current situation like on the labour and raw material front for Goan builders?
Most builders are getting back their workforce who left the state during the lockdown. All the workforce has not returned but are in the comeback process. The raw material situation is also improved.
How many new projects have you launched post pandemic and which are your upcoming projects?
We have two ongoing housing projects in Dabolim and have yet to finalise our new projects. We also have two hotel properties under construction in Palolem.
Prabhu Realtors completes 20-year milestone
Founded in the year 2000, Vasco based Prabhu Realtors completed 20 years yesterday. The company started out with a residential-cum-commercial project in Curchorem and after completing couple of small projects and looking at the limited prospects in Curchorem decided to shift base to Dabolim, Vasco. Presently most of its projects are located around Vasco- Verna area. Since 2019, the company diversified into construction of hotel projects. “Over the years we have completed construction of about 2,500 units comprising of flats and shops. Further our focus is on housing complexes with at least 200-350 flats. Our projects are RERA registered,” said Amit Prabhu, partner, Prabhu Realtors. The other partners of the company are CS Prabhu and Sumit Prabhu.