Vijayawada: The second Covid-19 wave has battered the economy in Andhra Pradesh with real estate business taking the biggest hit.

Vizag, Vijayawada, Tirupati, Guntur, and Vizianagaram, which were the hub of reality developers, are witnessing a downturn. After initial shocks, the sector had started a slow recovery in September 2020.

Come March, everything went down the drain. There has been a sharp dip in property sales across the state. The builders are not taking up new projects citing shortage of skilled manpower, restrictions on working hours, curfew, and the lockdown.

Till March-end, homebuyers were pepped up and ready to buy flats. "From April onwards, panic creped in. Buyers avoided visited property sites or buying flats," said B Sunil, a developer in Vizag city.

Sunil said there are about 10,000 unsold flats at Vizag and Gajuwaka in the south and Madhuravada in north

The pandemic has also put a hold on the number of transactions in the real-estate sector. Consumers are now opting to reduce spending on non-essential items such as homes, lands, and few others.

"Though a house is an essential part of life, the consumers are observing wait and watch. People say they need to save some money to prepare for an emergency, if any, during the pandemic," he added.

President of CREDAI, Andhra Pradesh, B Raja Srinivas said several real-estate projects have been stalled in Vizag, Vijayawada, Guntur, Vizianagaram, and few other places.

"Secondly, due to the curfew from 12 noon to 6 am, the working hours have decreased. Nearly 2,000 projects have been stalled in the state," he said.

Raja Srinivas said they are expecting that the consumers will prefer to buy homes after the end of the second wave. "Real-estate sector may get some boost after caseload comes down and lockdown is withdrawn. In big cities like Vizag where a sharp surge in the Covid-19 cases has brought the economic activity to a standstill, the real-estate developers are suffering in silence," he said.

The demand for the 3BHK may witness a rise post-second wave in few cities as the work from home culture was expected to continue for some more years.

Compared to the first wave, the second wave has claimed more deaths. The developers are not in a hurry to complete the projects citing risk to lives.

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