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Real Estate Industry in India

November, 2014


The Indian real estate sector is one of the most globally recognised sectors. In the country, it is the second largest employer after agriculture and is slated to grow at 30 per cent over the next decade. It comprises four sub sectors - housing, retail, hospitality, and commercial. The growth of this sector is well complemented by the growth of the corporate environment and the demand for office space as well as urban and semi-urban accommodations.

According to a study by ICRA, the construction industry ranks third among the 14 major sectors in terms of direct, indirect and induced effects in all sectors of the economy.

It is also expected that this sector will incur more non-resident Indian (NRI) investments in the near future, as a survey by an industry body has revealed a 35 per cent surge in the number of enquiries with property dealers. Bengaluru is expected to be the most favoured property investment destination for NRIs, followed by Ahmedabad, Pune, Chennai, Goa, Delhi and Dehradun.

Private equity (PE) funding has picked up in the last one year due to attractive valuations. Furthermore, with the Government of India introducing newer policies helpful to real estate, this sector has garnered sufficient growth in recent times.

Market Size

According to data released by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), the construction development sector in India has received foreign direct investment (FDI) equity inflows to the tune of US$ 23,874.1 million in the period April 2000-September 2014.

The Indian real estate market size is expected to touch US$ 180 billion by 2020. The housing sector alone contributes 5-6 per cent to the country's gross domestic product (GDP). Also, in the period FY08-20, the market size of this sector is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.2 per cent. Retail, hospitality and commercial real estate are also growing significantly, providing the much-needed infrastructure for India's growing needs.

According to a study by Knight Frank, Mumbai is the best city in India for commercial real estate investment, with returns of 12-19 per cent likely in the next five years, followed by Bengaluru and Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR). Also, Delhi-NCR was the biggest office market in India with 110 million sq ft, out of which 88 million sq ft were occupied. Sectors such as IT and ITeS, retail, consulting and e-commerce have registered high demand for office space in recent times.


The Indian real estate sector has witnessed high growth in recent times with the rise in demand for office as well as residential spaces. Some of the major investments in this sector are as follows:

  • Assotech Realty has tied up with Lemon Tree Hotels to manage and operate its serviced residences. The first project, 210 apartments under the branding of Sandal Suites, will be launched in Noida in 2015. The companies will launch 8-10 similar projects in a phased manner over the next seven years with an investment of Rs 800-900 crore (US$ 129.37-145.57 million) approximately.
  • Blackstone Group LP is all set to become the largest owner of commercial office real estate in India after a three-year acquisition drive in which it spent US$ 900 million to buy prime assets. Blackstone has acquired 29 million sq ft of office space in cities such as Bengaluru, Pune, Mumbai, and Noida on the outskirts of New Delhi.
  • L&T Infra Finance Private Equity (PE) plans to raise Rs 3,750 crore (US$ 606.54 million) in an overseas and a domestic fund, and launch a real estate fund.
  • IDFC Alternatives Ltd has sold two of its real estate investments to PE firm Blackstone Group LP. The assets - a special economic zone (SEZ) in Pune and an information technology (IT) park in Noida - were sold for a combined enterprise value of Rs 1,100 crore (US$ 177.92 million).
  • Goldman Sachs plans to invest Rs 1,200 crore (US$ 194.1 million) to build a new campus in Bengaluru that can accommodate 9,000 people. The new campus is being developed in collaboration with Kalyani Developers on the Sarjapur Outer Ring Road, Bengaluru.
  • Snapdeal has entered into a strategic partnership with Tata Value Homes to sell the latter's apartments on its e-commerce platform, which marks the first time that an e-commerce company has tied up with a real estate venture.

Government Initiatives

'Under the Sardar Patel Urban Housing Mission, 30 million houses will be built by 2022, mostly for the economically weaker sections and low-income groups, through public-private-partnership, interest subsidy and increased flow of resources to housing sector', according to Mr M Venkaiah Naidu, Union Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation.

The Government of India along with the governments of the respective states have taken several initiatives to encourage the development in the sector. Some of them are as follows:

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has notified final regulations that will govern real estate investment trusts (REITs) and infrastructure investment trusts (InvITs). This move will enable easier access to funds for cash-strapped developers and create a new investment avenue for institutions and high net worth individuals, and eventually ordinary investors.
  • The Telangana Real Estate Developers' Association (Treda) plans to host the Fifth Treda Property Show 2014 at Hitex Centre, Hyderabad. The show will be open to a mix of the populace, including prospective property purchasers, investors, architects and others.
  • The State Government of Kerala has decided to make the process of securing permits from local bodies for construction of houses smoother, as it plans to make the process online with the launch of a software called 'Sanketham'. This will ensure a more standardised procedure, more transparency, and less corruption and bribery.
  • The Government of India has proposed to release the Real Estate (Development and Regulation) Bill which aims to protect consumer interest and introduce standardisation in business practices and transactions in the sector. The bill will also enable domestic and foreign investment flow into the sector.

Road Ahead

As the Indian economy grows, the real estate sector keeps benefiting. With the increase in foreign tourist arrivals (FTA) every year, there is demand for real estate in the tourism and hospitality sector. Also, with the entry of major private players in the education sector, the major cities, that is Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Chennai and Kolkata are likely to account for 70 per cent of total demand for real estate in the education sector. Demand for improved healthcare facilities is also expected to provide a boost to the construction sector in the country.

Exchange Rate Used: INR 1 = US$ 0.016 as on November 27, 2014

References:Ministry of Finance, Press Information Bureau (PIB), Media Reports and Publications, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), CREDAI.