Real estate sector is one of the most globally recognized sectors. It comprises of four sub sectors – housing, retail, hospitality, and commercial. The growth of this sector is well complemented by the growth in the corporate environment and the demand for office space as well as urban and semi-urban accommodations. The construction industry ranks third among the 14 major sectors in terms of direct, indirect and induced effects in all sectors of the economy.
In India, the real estate sector is the second-highest employment generator, after the agriculture sector. It is also expected that this sector will incur more non-resident Indian (NRI) investment, both in the short term and the long term. Bengaluru is expected to be the most favoured property investment destination for NRIs, followed by Ahmedabad, Pune, Chennai, Goa, Delhi and Dehradun.
By 2040, real estate market will grow to Rs. 65,000 crore (US$ 9.30 billion) from Rs. 12,000 crore (US$ 1.72 billion) in 2019. Real estate sector in India is expected to reach a market size of US$ 1 trillion by 2030 from US$ 120 billion in 2017 and contribute 13% to the country’s GDP by 2025. Retail, hospitality, and commercial real estate are also growing significantly, providing the much-needed infrastructure for India’s growing needs.
As per ICRA estimates, Indian firms are expected to raise >Rs. 3.5 trillion (US$ 48 billion) through infrastructure and real estate investment trusts in 2022, as compared with raised funds worth US$ 29 billion to date.
The office market in top eight cities recorded transactions of 22.2 msf from July 2020 to December 2020, whereas new completions were recorded at 17.2 msf in the same period. In terms of share of sectoral occupiers, Information Technology (IT/ITeS) sector dominated with a 41% share in second half of 2020, followed by BSFI and Manufacturing sectors with 16% each, while Other Services and Co-working sectors recorded 17% and 10%, respectively.
According to Savills India, real estate demand for data centres is expected to increase by 15-18 million sq. ft. by 2025.
In 2020, the manufacturing sector accounted for 24% of office space leasing at 5.7 million square feet. SMEs and electronic component manufacturers leased the most between Pune, Chennai and Delhi NCR, followed by auto sector leasing in Chennai, Ahmedabad and Pune. The 3PL, e-commerce and retail segments accounted for 34%, 26% and 9% of office space leases, respectively. Of the total PE investments in real estate in Q4 FY21, the office segment attracted 71% share, followed by retail at 15% and residential and warehousing with 7% each.
Retail real estate and warehousing segment attracted private equity (PE) investments of US$ 220 million and US$ 971 million, respectively, in 2020. Grade-A office space absorption is expected to cross 700 msf by 2022, with Delhi-NCR contributing the most to this demand.
Housing launches were 86,139 units across the top eight Indian cities in the second half of 2020. Home sales volume across eight major cities in India jumped by 2x to 61,593 units from October 2020 to December 2020, compared with 33,403 units in the previous quarter, signifying healthy recovery post the strict lockdown imposed in the second quarter due to the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
According to the Economic Times Housing Finance Summit, about 3 houses are built per 1,000 people per year compared with the required construction rate of five houses per 1,000 population. The current shortage of housing in urban areas is estimated to be ~10 million units. An additional 25 million units of affordable housing are required by 2030 to meet the growth in the country’s urban population.
Indian real estate sector has witnessed high growth in the recent times with rise in demand for office as well as residential spaces. Indian real estate attracted U$ 5 billion institutional investments in 2020, equivalent to 93% of transactions recorded in the previous year. Investments from private equity (PE) players and VC funds reached US$ 4.06 billion in 2020. The real estate segment attracted private equity investments worth Rs. 23,946 crore (US$ 3,241 million) across 19 deals in Q4 FY21. Investments in the sector grew 16x compared with Rs. 1,470 crore (US$ 199 million) in Q4 FY20. In value terms, these investments were 80% of that in 2020 and 48% of 2019, according to a report by Knight Frank.
Exports from SEZs reached Rs. 7.96 lakh crore (US$ 113.0 billion) in FY20 and grew ~13.6% from Rs. 7.1 lakh crore (US$ 100.3 billion) in FY19.
In July 2021, the Securities and Exchange Board of India lowered the minimum application value for Real Estate Investment Trusts from Rs. 50,000 (US$ 685.28) to Rs. 10,000-15,000 (US$ 137.06 – US$ 205.59) to make the market more accessible to small and retail investors.
According to the data released by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade Policy (DPIIT), construction is the third-largest sector in terms of FDI inflow. FDI in the sector (including construction development & activities) stood at US$ 50.8 billion between April 2000 and March 2021.
Some of the major investments and developments in this sector are as follows:
- According to JLL India, in the January-March 2021 quarter, Noida accounted for 55% of the net absorption, followed by Gurgaon at 38%.
- According to a JLL Report, Delhi-NCR witnessed a 5% increase in net absorption of office space in the first quarter of FY20 on a QoQ basis with 1.07 million sq. ft.
- India’s flexible space stock is likely to expand by 10-15% YoY, from the current 36 million sq. ft., in the next three years, according to a report by CBRE.
- In the top seven cities, housing sales increased by 29% and new launches by 51% in the fourth quarter of FY21. Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Pune together accounted for 83% sales in the same quarter.
- The performance of micro-markets in the Delhi-NCR region, including Noida and Gurgaon, posted a double-digit expansion in property appreciation prices with 11% and 13%, respectively, growth.
- To establish an investment platform for the Indian retail-led mixed-use assets, in June 2021, GIC announced to acquire a minority stake in Phoenix Mills’s portfolio (worth US$ 733 million).
- In May 2021, Blackstone Real Estate acquired Embassy Industrial Parks for Rs. 5,250 crore (US$ 716.49 million) to expand its presence in the country.
- To expand into the Indian real estate market, SRAM & MRAM Group collaborated with Area CAS Developers and Infrastructure Private Limited (Area Group), and Gupta Builders and Promoters Private Limited (GBP Group) of India. It plans to invest US$ 100 million in the real estate sector.
- According to Anarock, housing sales in seven cities increased by 29% and new launches by 51% in Q4 FY21 over Q4 FY20
- Demand for residential real estate revived in Q4 FY21 as homebuyers took advantage of low mortgage rates and incentives rendered by developers. Residential sales in this quarter recovered to >90% volumes recorded in 2020 across the top seven cities.
- Blackstone is one of the largest private market investors in India, managing about Rs. 3,694 crore (US$ 50 billion) of market value in the real estate sector. The company anticipates investing >Rs. 1,625 crore (US$ 22 billion) in the next 10 years.
- In 2021, working remotely is being adopted at a fast pace and demand for affordable houses with ticket size below Rs. 40-50 lakh is expected to rise in Tier 2 and 3 cities, leading to an increase in prices in those geographies.
- In April 2021, HDFC Capital Advisors (HDFC Capital) partnered with Cerberus Capital Management (Cerberus) to create a platform that will focus on high-yield opportunities in the residential real estate sector in India. The platform seeks to purchase inventory and provide last-mile funding for under construction residential projects across the country.
- In March 2021, Godrej Properties announced it would launch 10 new real estate projects in Q4.
- In March 2021, Godrej Properties increased its equity stake in Godrej Realty from 51% to 100% by acquiring equity shares from HDFC Venture Trustee Company.
- In January 2021, SOBHA Limited’s wholly owned subsidiary, Sabha Highrise Ventures Pvt. Ltd. acquired 100% share in Annalakshmi Land Developers Pvt. Ltd.
- In November 2020, Accor, a leading hospitality group, to launch seven new properties in India by 2022.
- In November 2020, Prestige Estates Projects Ltd. sold a large portfolio of office, retail and hotel properties to Blackstone for Rs. 12,745 crore (US$ 1.7 billion).
- In November 2020, Taj Group partnered with real estate company Ambuja Neotia Group to launch three new hotels—two in Kolkata and one in Patna.
- The Godrej Group has forayed into the financial services industry with Godrej Housing Finance (GHF) through which it hopes to build a long-term and sustainable retail financial services business in India, aiming for a balance sheet of Rs. 10,000 crore (US$ 1.35 billion) in the next three years.
- In October 2020, Brookfield Asset Management made a massive investments in India through a US$ 2 billion real estate deal. Brookfield will buy 12.5 million square feet of commercial real estate assets from privately held developer RMZ Corp. The purchase includes rent-yielding office space and commercial co-working space.
- In October 2020, Rajasthan-based realty developer, Bhumika Group, announced its plans to invest Rs. 450 crore (US$ 60.81 million) in two residential and one retail project in Udaipur, Alwar and Jaipur, respectively.
- In October 2020, Australia’s REA Group Ltd. announced its agreement to acquire a controlling interest in Elara Technologies Pte. Ltd, the owner of Housing.com, PropTiger.com and Makaan.com.
- In September 2020, RMZ Corp. sold 12.8 million square feet real estate assets to a fund managed by the Brookﬁeld Asset Management for Rs. 15,000 (US$ 2 billion).
- According to the property consultant, Anarock, India is likely to have 100 new malls by 2022. Of this number, 69 malls in will be built in the top seven metropolis and the remaining 31 malls will be in Tier 2 & 3 cities.
- In March 2020, the Government approved proposals from TCS and DLF to set up SEZs for IT sector in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
- In January 2020, RMZ Corp entered into a strategic and equal partnership with Mitsui Fudosan (Asia) Pte Ltd to expand its business footprint.
Government of India along with the governments of respective States has taken several initiatives to encourage development in the sector. The Smart City Project, with a plan to build 100 smart cities, is a prime opportunity for real estate companies. Below are some of the other major Government initiatives:
- Under Union Budget 2021-22, tax deduction up to Rs. 1.5 lakh (US$ 2069.89) on interest on housing loan, and tax holiday for affordable housing projects have been extended until the end of fiscal 2021-22.
- The Atmanirbhar Bharat 3.0 package announced by Finance Minister Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman in November 2020 included income tax relief measures for real estate developers and homebuyers for primary purchase/sale of residential units of value (up to Rs. 2 crore (US$ 271,450.60) from November 12, 2020 to June 30, 2021).
- In October 2020, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) launched an affordable rental housing complex portal.
- On October 27, 2020, the government announced the application of Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016 in the union territory of Jammu & Kashmir. This has paved the way for any Indian citizen to buy non-agricultural land and property, as opposed to the eligibility of only local residents earlier.
- In order to revive around 1,600 stalled housing projects across top cities in the country, the Union Cabinet has approved the setting up of Rs. 25,000 crore (US$ 3.58 billion) alternative investment fund (AIF).
- Government has created an Affordable Housing Fund (AHF) in the National Housing Bank (NHB) with an initial corpus of Rs. 10,000 crore (US$ 1.43 billion) using priority sector lending short fall of banks/financial institutions for micro financing of the HFCs.
- As of January 31, 2021, India formally approved 425 SEZs, of which 265 were already operational. Most special economic zones (SEZs) are in the IT/ BPM sector.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has given its approval for the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) platform, which will allow all kind of investors to invest in the Indian real estate market. It would create an opportunity worth Rs. 1.25 trillion (US$ 19.65 billion) in the Indian market in the coming years. Responding to an increasingly well-informed consumer base and bearing in mind the aspect of globalisation, Indian real estate developers have shifted gears and accepted fresh challenges.
The most marked change has been the shift from family owned businesses to that of professionally managed ones. Real estate developers, in meeting the growing need for managing multiple projects across cities, are also investing in centralised processes to source material and organise manpower and hiring qualified professionals in areas like project management, architecture and engineering.
The residential sector is expected to grow significantly, with the central government aiming to build 20 million affordable houses in urban areas across the country by 2022, under the ambitious Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) scheme of the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. Expected growth in the number of housing units in urban areas will increase the demand for commercial and retail office space.
The current shortage of housing in urban areas is estimated to be ~10 million units. An additional 25 million units of affordable housing are required by 2030 to meet the growth in the country’s urban population.
The growing flow of FDI in Indian real estate is encouraging increased transparency. Developers, in order to attract funding, have revamped their accounting and management systems to meet due diligence standards. Indian real estate is expected to attract a substantial amount of FDI in the next two years with US$ 8 billion capital infusion by FY22.
References : Media Reports, Press releases, Knight Frank India, VCCEdge, JLL Research, CREDAI-JL, Union Budget 2021-22