While property prices in the country as a whole are tanking fast, real estate in Goa is presently stagnant, but are yet to go down significantly, say real estate developers. Over the last four years, Goa has attracted huge investments for holiday homes from overseas Goans, NRIs and wealthy North Indians.
Real estate operators say that property with a good sea view is always in demand. Earlier, though, properties in interior Goa with a reasonable proximity to a city were also in great demand, sending land prices soaring.
The big property boom started in 2003, and never stopped till the US-based Lehman Brothers went bankrupt late last year. For example, land prices in Panjim nearly doubled in the last year. Other places, too, have seen better-than 20 per cent annual increases.
Since October, though, real estate demand has dropped to half, owing to the global recession and statewide protests against mega-projects. This has stabilised property prices, which have reduced by a minor 5 to 10 per cent. However, the industry expects property prices to drop by 20 to 25 per cent in the coming months, especially from small developers, who are not in a position to hold on.
Many of these small developers are from Delhi and Mumbai. They joined the gold rush to develop property in Goa but have now run out of money and are left with unfinished projects, thanks to the credit crunch. They have been the first to drop rates and resort to panic sales.
Reputed developers are hurt badly, but still prefer to hold on. They feel the present slump is the result of panic, and since land with clear titles is scarce in Goa, the prices are bound to recover and stabilise, unlike in Indias big cities and metros. Consequently, even those who bought land at very high rates in the past few years are not willing to cut prices.
The next few months will tell whether they are right or wrong. Buyers, however, are very scarce at present.
So, one sees a paradoxical situation of sellers who are unwilling to drop prices, even though there are no takers for their properties. We will have to wait and see which one blinks first