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Construction material prices continue to zoom

Real estate sentiments down, prospective homeowners put dream house plans on hold

OUR STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI, Feb 26: While the real estate and construction sector across the country is still reeling from demonetisation impact, continuous rise in prices of construction materials in Assam is putting beyond reach the dream house of many an aspiring homeowner.

Eliciting reactions from stakeholders in the construction sector, this reporter has learnt that since demonetisation in November last year, real estate activities in the State have seen a slump. Some stakeholders rued that even three months after the Central government’s currency ban move, the situation has not changed.

Normally, the dry season from October to March-April is boom time for the construction sector. But sentiments are glum this year with prospective homeowners wary of making investments. 

“People are now reluctant to invest in construction activities due to the restrictions on cash transactions and tough fincial guidelines,” Bubul Deka of Kailash Enterprise dealing with sale of construction materials told this reporter.

Besides demonetization, price rise of construction materials has dampened the spirits of many people with dreams of building their dream house. Despite strict directive by Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal, cement companies in the State have been hiking prices sharply.

Sources said leading cement companies Star, Dalmia and Topcem recently increased prices of cement. Cement, which was costing Rs 340 per bag in November, is now being sold at Rs 370 to Rs 380 in the State. Lafarge and Ambuja companies too have raised cement prices from Rs 355 to Rs 375. Low cost cement like Taj, Best and Classic have followed suit, their prices jumping to the range Rs 280 – Rs 320

Prices of branded Tata Tiscon TMT bars have also gone up from Rs 45,000 per ton (in November) to Rs 50,000 this month; the local TMT bar varieties too are going dearer, up from Rs 33,000 to Rs 45,000 presently.

There has also been a sudden spike in prices of sand, stone and brick. Prices of sand have increased from Rs 1,000 per cm to Rs 1,200. Stones per cm now cost Rs 1,500, rising from Rs 1,200 in the last three months. Bricks (2500 pieces) now cost Rs 18,000 against Rs 14,000 in November.

“Under such circumstances, many people have shelved their plans to construct, reconstruct or renovate their houses. The situation is unlikely to change till April,” a contractor of building construction said.