India, March 25 -- The three-week lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) will delay residential and commercial properties by three to 12 months depending on the scale, mainly due to acute shortage of labourers in the post-virus era. This would result in real estate developers evoking the 'force majeure' clause, experts and developers said.

Developers apprehend an acute financial crunch due to disruptions in payment cycles. They are expecting the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to reduce interest rates, the government to give fiscal incentives and the sector regulator to condone construction delays, said executives working with leading developers, requesting anonymity.

This is bad news at two levels.

One, it a...