9, Feb 2023
RBI hikes repo rate by 25 bps to 6.5%, EMIs to get costlier

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das announced the Monetary Policy statement on February 8, 2023, increasing the repo rate by 25 bps as widely expected. The repo rate hike will undoubtedly push up the home loan interest rates, which had already crept up after five consecutive rate hikes this year.

Here is what real estate industry experts have to say:

Mr. Kaushal Agarwal – Chairman, The Guardians Real Estate Advisory

“Consecutive rate hikes by the RBI this year were aimed at re-anchoring the inflation expectations and maintaining financial stability. Thus far, the rising cost of house ownership led by higher EMI, higher stamp duty and other factors has not affected real estate sales, which is a firm indicator of genuine demand for housing. But any further hike in the repo rate might temporarily limit the growth momentum of the real estate sector. Although the recently concluded budget was tailor-made keeping the salaried and the middle class in mind, a rate cut at this stage could have triggered the sentiments of the homebuyers sustaining the growth momentum.”

Mr. Pritam Chivukula – Co-Founder & Director, Tridhaatu Realty and Treasurer, CREDAI MCHI

“RBI’s decision to hike the interest rates to tackle the inflation and ensure domestic economic recovery was a no-brainer. But a rate cut would have been a big booster for the real estate sector which was overlooked in the recently concluded budget. The sharp acceleration of rates consecutively for the sixth time in a short period will have a short-term effect on the sentiment of homebuyers as low-interest rates have been the biggest factor in the resurgence of real estate demand in the last two years. We hope that the State Government will step in again to lighten the homebuyer’s load by reducing stamp duty to boost the sentiments.”

Mr. Himanshu Jain, VP – Sales, Marketing, and CRM, Satellite Developers Pvt. Ltd. (SDPL)

“Keeping the current market conditions and inflation in mind, the move by the RBI was expected to keep the economy on track in the current highly volatile scenario. The rising property prices had already added to the woes of the homebuyers and now the decision of RBI to increase the repo rate will temporarily dent the current demand momentum. Also, for first-time home buyers, acquiring a home is considered as the biggest asset and these short-term decisions are likely to have a major impact on a buyer’s decision.”

Mr. Bhushan Nemlekar, Director, Sumit Woods Limited

“Earlier, due to the pandemic and the geopolitical issues, the input costs were already high and now with these consecutive rate hikes, it will only dampen the spirit of the entire real estate value chain. The cost of borrowing for both developers and buyers will be impacted and this will result in undesired rate hikes across the spectrum. However, we did not see much impact on the buying spree in the last couple of quarters since there are genuine buyers in the market to keep the momentum going.”

Dr. Sachin Chopda, Managing Director, Pushpam Group

“RBI’s decision to hike the policy repo rate was anticipated, factoring in the rise in inflation. The rate hike is likely to shrink liquidity in the economy overall, especially impacting the investor’s sentiments. There will be a short-term pause on the minds of the investors while assessing the volatility of the current market dynamics. However, they are bound to return soon in the market once it is stable.”

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