NEW DELHI: The first quarter of calendar year 2022 saw housing sales hit a four-year high of 78,627 units, rising 9% year-on-year (YoY), despite the third wave, according to a report by real estate consultancy Knight Frank.

Mumbai led sales at 21,548 units during January-March, while Delhi-NCR recorded the highest year-on-year (YoY) growth in sales volumes of new homes at 123% to 15,019 units during the period, making it the second largest market by volume.

Bengaluru, which was the third largest residential market by sales volume, registered 34% year-on-year growth in Q1, with sales of 13,663 new units between January and March. Ahmedabad, albeit on a lower base, also grew at an impressive 34% YoY with sales of 4,105 units.

During the period under review, new property launches were recorded at 78,171 units. The report noted that without exceptions all the top markets saw a rise in the average capital values of residential properties as demand continued to strengthen.

In the first quarter, 78,627 new homes were sold across the top eight cities. This far exceeded the pre-pandemic average quarterly sales volume for the third consecutive quarter, signifying a sustained recovery in demand across the country.

Shishir Baijal, chairman and managing director, Knight Frank India, said, “Low interest rates, best affordability levels, healthy wage growth and the waning pandemic with lower risk of further disruptions have created a favourable environment for homebuyers who have rediscovered the need for new and better housing.”

“While financial stress remains a significant factor for developers across markets, healthy and sustained homebuyer activity should pave the way for gradual price increases and enable them to tide over the rise in costs of critical inputs like cement and steel,” Baijal added.

New launches in the first quarter registered similar volumes to sales. With 78,171 new units added in Q1 2022, launches rose 3% year-on-year.

Kolkata market also registered a strong growth, new launched rising 141% on year. Mumbai (-24%) and Pune (- 49%) were the only two markets that registered a YoY decline in number of launches.

Unsurprisingly, the maximum sales were in the sub- ₹50 lakh category which made up 41% of all sales in Q1 2022. However, it is noteworthy that the higher category, that is ₹1 crore and above, actually saw an increase in its share of sales in this quarter. This category made up 25% of all sales in Q1 2022 as compared to 18% in Q1 2021.

All cities posted a YoY growth in per square foot (sq ft) prices during Q1 2022. Prices grew the most in Bengaluru at 7% on year, followed by Pune and Mumbai at 5% and 4% YoY respectively during Q1 2022.