|What does Zinedine Zidane have to do with selling kitschy Indian real-estate? Apparently nothing.|
Now, using foreign sporting personalities to flog [to pitch or sell in Brit-speak] stuff abroad is not unusual. Witness the insufferable Cristiano Ronaldo selling a face massager on Japanese TV for a recent example. However, his coach (for now)--the legendary Zinedine Zidane of Real Madrid, recently crowned champions of Europe--is doing the same. That is, selling a somewhat iffy product in Indian luxury real-estate at a time when the inventory there is piling up:
Zinedine Zidane is renowned for his prowess on the football field. Now a Mumbai developer is counting on the retired French football star’s power off the pitch to revive flagging sales in the city’s luxury home market.It's a straightforward supply and demand problem, with the inventory of overpriced luxury homes unlikely to dissipate anytime soon as buyers have been cautious as the global economy shows signs of slowing down:
Kanakia Spaces Pvt has hired the former attacking midfielder to market a high-end residential project named Paris in Mumbai’s new business district in the northern part of the city called Bandra. Zidane has been signed on as the project’s wellness brand ambassador to design the development’s fitness and sports areas. The company did not disclose how much it’s paying for Zidane’s brand endorsement.
Kanakia, which is counting on the star power of Zizou, as 43-year-old Zidane was nicknamed during his career, features a four-story replica of the Eiffel Tower and a reproduction of the Louvre Pyramid at the Paris project. The builder has sold about 43 percent of the 464 apartments for sale at the development, where units range from 760 square feet to 1,300 square feet and cost between 37.6 million rupees ($559,000) and 64 million rupees, the company said.
“These marketing gimmicks won’t help to sell these homes,” said Pankaj Kapoor, founder of Liases Foras Real Estate Ratings & Research Pvt. “Prices have escalated at every level and what’s needed to boost sales is a genuine price correction.”Actually, there is a segment of the Indian real-estate market that is growing: homes real people can actually afford:
Sales of homes costing more than 20 million rupees dropped 23 percent in the quarter ended March from the previous three-month period, according to data compiled by the property consultancy and advisory firm. The average home price in Mumbai is still near a record set in December 2014, as a limited supply of land and demand created by a growing urban population have led to “exorbitant price levels,” according to Kapoor.
As sellers have resisted dropping prices, Mumbai is grappling with record inventory. The city has 266 million square feet of unsold homes, Liases Foras said. It may take developers as many as five years to unload their inventory of luxury homes at current levels, the data show.
Budget homes costing less than 2.5 million rupees is the only segment which is showing signs of demand picking up.Selling things people can actually afford; what a radical idea.