The real estate sector is one of the most globally recognized sectors. It comprises 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 favored property investment destination for NRIs, followed by Ahmedabad, Pune, Chennai, Goa, Delhi, and Dehradun.
By 2040, the 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. The real estate sector in India is expected to reach US$ 1 trillion in market size by 2030, up from US$ 200 billion in 2021, 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 the 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 the 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 centers 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.
According to JLL India, in the third quarter of 2021, India’s net office absorption reached 5.85 million sq. ft., up 8% YoY in key cities. Three cities—Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, and Pune—accounted for ~62% of the total volumes recorded in the quarter.
Between July 2021 and September 2021, a total of 55,907 new housing units were sold in the eight micro-markets in India (59% YoY growth).
In the third quarter of 2021 (between July 2021 and September 2021), the new housing supply stood at ~65,211 units, increased by 228% YoY across the top eight cities compared with ~19,865 units launched in the third quarter of 2020.
In 2021-22, the commercial space is expected to record increasing investments. For instance, in October 2021, Chintels Group announced to invest Rs. 400 crore (US$ 53.47 million) to build a new commercial project in Gurugram, covering a 9.28 lakh square feet area.
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.
The Indian real estate sector has witnessed high growth in recent times with rising demand for office as well as residential spaces. According to Colliers India, a property consultant, institutional investments in the Indian real estate sector are expected to increase by 4% to reach Rs. 36,500 crore (US$ 5 billion) in 2021, driven by the rising interest of investors towards capturing attractive valuations amid the pandemic. According to a recent report by Colliers India, private equity investments in Indian real estate reached US$ 2.9 billion in the first half of 2021, which was a >2x increase from the first half in 2020.
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 the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade Policy (DPIIT), construction is the third-largest sector in terms of FDI inflow. Construction is the third-largest sector in terms of FDI inflow. FDI in the sector (including construction development & activities) stood at US$ 51.5 billion between April 2000 and June 2021.
Some of the major investments and developments in this sector are as follows:
- Between January 2021 and September 2021, private equity investment inflows into the real estate sector in India stood at US$ 3.3 billion.
- Home sales volume across seven major cities in India surged 113% YoY to reach ~62,800 units in the third quarter 2021, from 29,520 units in the same period last year, signifying healthy recovery post the strict lockdown imposed in the second quarter due to the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
- In the third quarter of 2021, the Institutional real estate investment in India increased by 7% YoY. Investment registered in the first nine months of 2021 stood at US$ 2,977 million, as against US$ 1,534 million in the same period last year.
- In November 2021, Ascendas India bought Aurum Ventures’ 16-storey commercial tower in Navi Mumbai for Rs. 353 crore (US$ 47 million), making it the largest deal of a standalone commercial tower by a global institutional investor during the past few years.
- REA India-owned online real estate company Housing.com tied up with online legal assistance start-ups LegalKart, Lawrato, Vidhikarya and Vakil in 2021 to offer legal advice and assistance to homebuyers.
- Top three cities—Mumbai (~39%), NCR-Delhi (~19%) and Bengaluru (~19%)—attracted ~77% of the total investments recorded in the third quarter of 2021.
- 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.
- 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’ 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.
- Private market investor, Blackstone, which has significantly invested in the Indian real estate sector (worth Rs. 3.8 lakh crore (US$ 50 billion), is seeking to invest an additional Rs. 1.7 lakh crore (US$ 22 billion) by 2030.
- 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.
The 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:
- In October 2021, the RBI announced to keep benchmark interest rate unchanged at 4%, giving a major boost to the real estate sector in the country. The low home loan interest rates regime is expected to drive the housing demand and increase sales by 35-40% in the festive season in 2021.
- 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 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 kinds 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 globalization, 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 centralized processes to the source material and organizing 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 an US$ 8 billion capital infusion by FY22.
References: Media Reports, Press releases, Knight Frank India, VCEdge, JLL Research, CREDAI-JL, Union Budget 2021-22