Bhubaneswar: Odisha’s real-estate business that suffered a meltdown during the Covid-19 pandemic, is recovering now, said Tapan Kumar Mohanty, Managing Director, Z Estates.
In an interview, Mohanty talked about the effect of the pandemic on the industry, it’s current situation and more. Here’s a peek into the conversation:
How has the real-estate sector changed in the last few years?
A few years back, many realtors were active in the business, ranging from local to agencies established on national levels. But things changed after the implementation of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) Act. All those who were running their real-estate business casually are no longer in the field.
What was the effect of Covid-19 pandemic on the business?
The pandemic shuddered the industry. Though things didn’t seem concerning from the customers’ end but the labour force was terribly affected. Companies had to cut down on their white-collar workers. Many labourers returned to their homes and that put a lot of projects on hold. However, this sector has not gone a major staff cut. I’m guessing, only 20% employees would have been affected during these adversities.
What is the current scenario?
The situation has improved now and the industry is on the path of accretion. A lot of projects are gradually lining up. Seeking bank loans is not much of an issue now as the lending companies are willing to extend loan to anyone with proper and complete documentations and permits. Not many new projects are being announced currently and that is affecting the sale of properties. Actually, new flats are short in supply.
What about the commercial real-estate market?
Commercial complexes are a huge success in cities with more population. Bhubaneswar will take some more time to that. A lot of buildings are vacant in the state capital. They are not being taken on rental facilities either. Parent organizations of those establishments are struggling to avail their returns. So, until some profit-making businesses thrive on those establishments, commercial complexes are going to keep struggling.
Apart from Bhubaneswar, which other cities in the state is the real-estate industry growing?
Berhampur, Balasore, Rourkela, Sambalpur, Puri, Cuttack, Jharsuguda and Jajpur are some of the cities. But, unless the residents of these cities don’t opt for flats and a modern lifestyle, the industry won’t grow there. In some of these cities, there are establishments where not all the flats are sold.
Which classes of people are showing more interest in purchasing houses?
People from all classes are buying houses, from locals to wage earners, business men and resident NRIs. They have different requirements and accordingly, opt for houses with more facilities. They are even willing to pay more for it.
What is your opinion on Brands of Odisha Pride of India?
It’s a great initiative. I have attended few of its programs earlier and there are absolutely no second thoughts about this being a great motivating factor for the entrepreneurs of our state.