After going through a rough patch for a considerable time due to various factors, realtors in the city are now upbeat, writes G.V. Prasada Sarma

The real estate sector that has gone through a rough patch for a considerable time has put the slump behind it and realtors are upbeat about the improving prospects over the past few months.

It's not that prices, at least in the city proper, are within the reach of prospective buyers, but realtors are happy that business has improved and transactions have gained momentum.

An indication to the improved business scenario is that flats which are in oversupply and remained for long on the outskirts are finding good business now. Plots in layouts are also in demand.

Any slump or downtrend generally results in buyers biding their time and waiting for prices to hit rock-bottom.

“Once that phase is over prices stabilise and everyone realises that the time has come to take a decision and the ‘wait and watch' phase is over,” says Chairman of Visakhapatnam Chapter of Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Association of India (CREDAI) K. Subba Raju. He also attributes the improvement to the economic scenario looking up in general and the stock market in particular. Developments on the Telangana front are also aiding the growth in demand.

Input cost goes up

However, the cost (of the flat) is also influenced by the spurt in the prices of steel, cement and sand. The price of cement has gone up by about Rs.100 in a span of six months.

Steel price

Steel price has increased between Rs.3,000 and Rs.4,000. While these added to the costs, the biggest problem is that of sand.

Mr. Subba Raju points out that sand has been posing problems on two grounds: its demand is going up because of non-availability and the three-fold increase costing about Rs,3,000 a ton now.

The recent rain and strict monitoring by officials of various departments has also hit the supply.