The affordable housing segment, which gained significant traction over the last few years, may also take a hit by COVID-19. The outbreak will significantly affect affordable housing’s target audience. With limited income and unemployment fears, buyers of affordable housing may defer purchase decisions, leading to an estimated 1-2% rise in unsold stock within this segment in 2020.
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It is in this backdrop that in a typical “Ravi Sinha Uncensored” tone I told a PR girl who called me for one such Press Release by one of the largest developers of Mumbai, “Listen! As a matter of principle I am not carrying any story on food distribution to construction workers. But wait! Please give my feedback to your client, “He or any other builder is not doing any charity; not worth beating its own trumpet. This is a national calamity and you are morally bound to do so. Such Press Releases only make you look really petty. You can weave this info into some other story once the dust settles and everything is normal. But glorifying humanitarian gesture at this point of time is at best Corona Tourism for Publicity which is highly deplorable.”
It is pertinent to note here that the builder has serious tussle with many of the home buyers at both his projects. Many a times the home buyers have been overtly refused the services with point blank justification that the Hawelia Facility Management is not obliged to entertain those who are unsatisfied buyers. However, in today’s pandemic it is not just unprofessional & unethical but also inhuman to not facilitate supply of day-to-day commodities when the builder’s commercial shops are not operational. Interestingly, Hawelia’s CSR initiative is called as Hawelia Humanity.
Private Equity funds, domestic and multi-national, have become major players in the Indian real estate market, investing tens of thousands of crores. While Blackstone and Brookfield have hitherto been largest foreign investors in Indian real estate, a gamut of Japanese Private Equity giants are also making waves. Heavyweight Japanese Corporations such as Mitsui Fudson, Mitsubishi Corporation, Sumitomo Corporation and Genkai Capital too have made big-ticket investments in Indian metro cities.
The habitual project delaying and absurd justifications of the builders in calling everything as Force Majeure has got another alibi – Corona. It has sparked a fresh debate within the built environment of the Indian real estate as to whether the Corona pandemic could be treated as Force Majeure in the sector.
The said project, Hawelia Valenova Park, that was launched in 2013 at Tech Zone IV of Noida Extension is yet to be worth habitation, even after seven years. The builder, on his part, claims otherwise, even though the GNIDA (Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority) has only given it a conditional TOC (Temporary Occupancy Certificate).
Apart from the top cities, Tier 2 & 3 cities are also on the radar of many PE funds which see these cities actively driving retail going forward. At least 36% (nearly USD 1 bn) retail-focused funds went to cities like Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bhubaneshwar, Chandigarh, Nagpur and Mohali. In 2019, ANAROCK Capital was instrumental in Virtuous Retail South Asia (a JV between Singapore’s PE firm Xander Group and Dutch institutional investor APG) concluding a USD 100 mn deal with TRIL for two retail malls – one each in Nagpur and Amritsar.
I&L space take-up in 2019 was dominated by small-sized transactions (less than 50,000 sq. ft.), which held a share of about 42%. The share of medium-sized transactions (ranging between 50,000 sq. ft. and 1,00,000 sq. ft.) rose from 26% in 2018 to 30% in 2019. Large-sized deals (greater than 1,00,000 sq. ft.) accounted for 28% of the leasing activity during 2019. The number of large-sized deal closures in Hyderabad, in particular, doubled in 2019 as compared to 2018.
OYO Workspaces forays into Chennai with the launch of coworking brands – Innov8 and Workflo in the premium and budget categories. Incentivising start-ups, entrepreneurs and large companies to switch to managed workspaces, Innov8 offers seats starting at INR 9000 per month while Workflo offers seats starting at INR 5000 per month.
A large share of global buyers (NRIs & HNIs) don’t wish to invest in the Indian property market. 78% of them have their own reasons to look towards overseas property market. The recent banking woes have further dented their confidence to invest in India. They also feel that the property prices in India are way too higher, compared to the overall value proposition on offer.