In India, the real estate sector is the second-highest employment generator, after the agriculture sector. Real estate sector in India is expected to reach US$ 1 trillion by 2030. By 2025, it will contribute 13% to country’s GDP. Emergence of nuclear families, rapid urbanisation and rising household income are likely to remain the key drivers for growth in all spheres of real estate, including residential, commercial, and retail. Rapid urbanisation in the country is pushing the growth of real estate. >70-75% of India’s GDP will be contributed by urban areas by 2020. According to India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra), the Indian real estate sector may stage a sharp K-shaped recovery in FY22. However, the overall sales in FY22 could still be ~14% below the FY20 levels.
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.
India's Global Real Estate Transparency Index ranking improved by a notch to 34 in 2019 on the back of regulatory reforms, better market data and green initiatives according to property consultant JLL.
According to Savills India, real estate demand for data centres is expected to increase by 15-18 million sq. ft. by 2025.
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 rising interest of investors towards capturing attractive valuations amid the pandemic. 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.
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. The office space leasing activity is expected to pick up in 2021 and is likely to be at par with the 10-year average, i.e., 30-31 million sq. ft. 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. Between January 2021 and June 2021, office absorption in six key cities stood at ~10.9 million sq. ft., which declined by 38% from the corresponding months in 2020. According to JLL India, in the second quarter of 2021, India's net office absorption reached 4.39 million sq. ft., up 32% YoY, in key cities.
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 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. In FY21, the top seven listed real estate companies collectively sold 32.61 million sq. ft. of residential space, up 7% from FY20. Within the next two years, these seven companies plan to launch ~92.5 million sq. ft. of additional residential space.
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.
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 Government of India has been supportive towards the real estate sector. In August 2015, the Union Cabinet approved 100 Smart City Projects in India. The Government has also raised FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) limits for townships and settlements development projects to 100%. Real estate projects within Special Economic Zones (SEZ) are also permitted for 100% FDI. 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. 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. 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. As of June 30, 2021, India formally approved 427 SEZs.
Government of India’s Housing for All initiative is expected to bring US$ 1.3 trillion investments in the housing sector by 2025. As of December 2019, under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) [PMAY (U)], 1.12 crore houses were sanctioned in urban areas, with a potential to create 1.20 crore jobs. The scheme is expected to push affordable housing and construction in the country and give a boost to the real estate sector. On July 09, 2020, Union Cabinet approved the development of Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (AHRCs) for urban migrants and poor as a sub-scheme under PMAY–U.
Government has also released draft guidelines for investment by Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) in non-residential segment.
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has recommended all the states to consider reducing stamp duty of property transactions in a bid to push real estate activity, generate more revenue and aid economic growth.
In July 2021, the Securities and Exchange Board of India lowered the minimum application value for Real Estate Investment Trusts from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 10,000-15,000 to make the market more accessible to small and retail investors.
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