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A PropEquity report on Wednesday said that around 55,138 housing units were sold across the major cities during the first quarter of the Covid-hit January-March quarter.
In a report comparing the scenario in the real estate sector, data from PropEquity showed that the sale of apartments during the first quarter of 2020, which was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic to some extent, was 119 per cent higher than 25,139 units sold during the October-December quarter of 2008, which was the first quarter to be impacted by the global financial crisis as a fallout of the Lehman Brothers' collapse.
Total new supply across the nine major markets in the country also was higher by 38 per cent at 50,361 during the quarter ended March compared to 36,532 units in the fourth quarter of the 2008.
The survey was done across Bengaluru, Kolkata, Pune, Mumbai, Thane, Gurugram, Noida, Chennai and Hyderabad.
Samir Jasuja, Founder & MD, PropEquity said: "While the situation may look similar to the 2008 crisis, the real estate market has evolved during this period. The residential market now is an end user driven market and people are now preferring nearing completion and ready to move in properties. Furthermore, in the present scenario the demand in the residential segment is higher than the supply which is contrasting to the situation in 2008."
He noted that the pandemic has affected the operations of almost all sectors which has created a cash crunch in the market which may have a significant impact on smaller firms.
The past policy reforms have already forced the unorganized developers out of the market and the pandemic will further check the sustainability of the developers in the realty market which will further lead to more consolidation, he added.
"There were more affordable units in the market post-2008 crisis and people were ready to buy under construction properties due to which the market witnessed a good pace in recovery. However, it may take some time for the market to recover in the current scenario," Jasuja said.
Ankush Kaul, President, Sales & Marketing at Ambience Group said that all catastrophes like the COVID-19 pandemic and the global economic recession seen in 2008 have proven that such events have a finite impact despite their long turbulent existence.
"Like how the market revived over time post the global financial crisis, it is highly likely that business in general and specifically the real estate sector will come back to normalcy after the lockdown is withdrawn and the fear of the virus subsides," Kaul said.