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Office real estate market holds steady while residential remains in doldrums

The future sentiment score in Q2 2019 dropped to 52 compared to 63 in the first quarter, suggesting that the industry is exercising caution. The sentiment score of the developers and the financial institutions significantly plummeted in Q2 2019.

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New Delhi : While things are not looking up for residential real estate sector, stakeholders remain positive on the office front and expect leasing rates to be on an upward swing in the coming six months. A survey by consultancy Knight Frank India Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and National Real Estate Development Council (NARDECO) shows that market sentiment towards new office supply is expected to remain strong. About 83 per cent of the respondents believe that the second half (July to December) of calendar year 2019 will see new supply additions and continue its momentum in key office markets across the country. According to Knight Frank Research, office leasing recorded a decadal high of 2.6 million square metres (or 27.4 million square feet) for space transacted in a single period during H1 (January to June) 2019 due to demand from IT/ITeS and co-working spaces. “Stakeholder outlook with regards future rental appreciation remains upbeat in Q2 (April to June) 2019 with 86 per cent of the stakeholders expecting rents to either remain stable or inch upwards in quality office space in key locations due to limited options,” it said. However, the residential sector remains in doldrums.

 

“The overall slowdown in economy coupled with factors like the non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) crisis, developer defaults and bankruptcies have slackened the sentiments of sector, especially for residential segment,” said the research report. The situation is further compounded by factors like ongoing liquidity crisis and a diminutive demand scenario.

The future sentiment score in Q2 2019 dropped to 52 compared to 63 in the first quarter, suggesting that the industry is exercising caution. The sentiment score of the developers and the financial institutions significantly plummeted in Q2 2019. Financial institutions have moved into the pessimistic zone at 48 (versus 64 in Q1) while developers were at 52 (versus 64 in Q1). Developers are possibly more optimistic because they anticipate a growing affordable housing business. About 74 per cent of stakeholders in the survey opined that the economic situation will be the same or may even worsen in the coming six months, showing low confidence in the market situation.

Knight Frank stated that a slowdown in consumption, lower investment and tightening of borrowing ecosystem has further compounded to negativity in outlook. Global rating agencies and multilateral institutions like International Monetary Fund (International Monetary Fund) (IMF) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) have lowered India’s GDP outlook. About 53 per cent of the stakeholders in Knight Frank’s Real Estate Sentiment Index Q2 2019 opined that the funding scenario may worsen in the next six months with lenders exercising caution in lending to sectors such as real estate, automobile and other consumption-driven sectors.

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Commercial

Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitely cremated with State honours

Wrapped in the national flag, the mortal remains were brought to the BJP headquarters on the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Marg at around 11 AM from his Kailash Colony residence amid the chants of ‘Jaitley amar rahein’ (long live Jaitley).

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Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was cremated at the Nigambodh Ghat here with full State honours on Sunday in the presence of leaders from across the political spectrum and scores of his admirers and party workers.

Jaitley’s son Rohan performed the last rites.

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, BJP veteran LK Advani, party president and Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, party’s working president J P Nadda, Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Smriti Irani and Anurag Thakur; BJP MPs Vijay Goel and Vinay Sahasrabuddhe; Congress leaders Jyotiraditya Scindia and Kapil Sibal were among those present at the cremation ground.

Chief ministers of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Bihar and Uttarakhand, Devendra Fadnavis, Vijay Rupani, B S Yediyurappa, Nitish Kumar and Trivendra Singh Rawat, respectively, were also there.

Earlier in the day, his body was taken to the BJP headquarters from where it was carried in a flower-decked gun carriage to the cremation ground, amidst slogans of ‘Jaitley ji amar rahein’ (long live Jaitley).

BJP workers and mourners queued up in large numbers outside the party headquarters since morning to pay their last respects to the leader.

Posters remembering Jaitley have been put up on the roads leading to the Nigambodh Ghat, on the banks of the Yamuna river.

Thousands pay last respect

Union Ministers Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh and senior leaders from across the political divide paid last respects to former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at the BJP headquarters on Sunday afternoon before his final journey.

Wrapped in the national flag, the mortal remains were brought to the BJP headquarters on the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Marg at around 11 AM from his Kailash Colony residence amid the chants of ‘Jaitley amar rahein’ (long live Jaitley).

The body was kept there for over 2.5 hours as a stream of mourners — from top leaders to common people including schoolchildren — filed past the body to pay their respects. Some of them overwhelmed with emotions as they had the last glimpse of the leader.

BJP working president JP Nadda, Union ministers Harsh Vardhan, Prakash Javadekar, Piyush Goyal and Anurag Thakur, and AAP leader Sanjay Singh also paid floral tributes.

“Jaitley’s loss is irreparable. He will always be remembered for his contribution,” Harsh Vardhan said.

The body was taken to the Nigambodh Ghat on the banks of Yamuna, on a flower-decked gun carriage, for performing the last rites.

The 66-year-old passed away at the AIIMS here on Saturday. He was undergoing treatment at the hospital, where he was admitted on August 9.

Among others who paid their respects are Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Yoga Guru Ramdev.

Rupani said the BJP would seek his strategy whenever there was an election in the state.

“He has been a Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat. We have won several elections in the state by working on his strategy. We will always feel his absence,” Rupani told reporters.

On Saturday, Jaitley’s body was kept at his residence where President Ram Nath Kovind, BJP chief Amit Shah and several leaders across the political spectrum offered him floral tributes.

Shah on Saturday said Jaitley was a crusader against corruption and credited him for the successful implementation of the GST and demonetisation, and taking the Jan Dhan Yojana to the masses.

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Commercial

Puravankara enters co-living segment

The Bengaluru-based company has identified a project in Goregaon, Mumbai to enter into this growing segment, its Managing Director (MD) Ashish R Puravankara said.

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To develop first project in Mumbai

Realty firm Puravankara Ltd is entering into co-living segment and will develop its first project, comprising over 1,000 beds, in Mumbai, a top company official said.

The Bengaluru-based company has identified a project in Goregaon, Mumbai to enter into this growing segment, its Managing Director (MD) Ashish R Puravankara said.

However, the company is yet to decide whether it would foray in this business under a separate brand or would partner with some existing co-living operators, he said.

“Over the past few years, there has been a significant change in the buying behaviours of our customers, especially the millennials. They are more inclined towards co-living spaces that is more dynamic as compared to the usual rented space,” the MD said.

The market has evolved to suit the needs of this demand, he added.

“However, existing buildings are fitted out for co-living space and most of the times, it may not meet the requirements. There is a lacuna in terms of designs specific to co-living space,” said Ashish.

To address this lacuna, he said, the company would build projects that suit the co-living requirements.

“As of now, we have identified Goregaon in Mumbai as our foray into the co-living space which would be about 3,50,000 sf ft. At this juncture we are in the process of deciding if this is something we should start a new brand for or if a tie up with an established co-living operator would work better,” he said.

In this project, the company would develop 1,000 plus beds in 1 and 2 BHK configuration.

“We see this business as definitely being viable. Also the location in Goregaon is very strategically located. Also it’s a part of our strategy to have a diverse portfolio and not just pure play residential,” said Ashish.

The company is in talks with few co-living operators and it is in the process of analysis between an operator based model or having its own separate brand for the same.

On investment, he said it would depend on the model that the company finally adopt.

In its latest report, News Corp-backed PropTiger has said that co-living has potential to become $93 billion market annually and termed this segment as “real estate goldmine that remains largely untapped.

OxfordCaps, Stanza Living, Zolo, Yourspace, Coho, Stayabode, Colive, Hamstead, Placio, NestAway, RentMyStay, Rentroomi, SimplyGuest and Flathood are major players in the co-living segments providing rented space for students and working professionals.

OYO and Housr have recently entered into this space. PropTiger has recently acquired Fastfox.com that helps people in getting rental accommodation.

Puravankara reported a 63 per cent rise in consolidated net profit at Rs 43.24 crore for the June quarter as compared to Rs 26.46 crore in the year-ago period.

Total income during the June quarter rose 64 per cent to Rs 645.55 crore from Rs 394.70 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year.

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Commercial

How Co-Living Is Addressing The Challenges Of India’s Real Estate Space

India’s co-living players are combining technology with human expertise to provide tenants with end-to-end housing experience.

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The Indian real estate industry witnessed robust growth between the years 2005 and 2008, drawing attention from deep-pocketed global investors. According to industry estimates, the market received investments worth around USD 25 billion in various forms, during this period. The real estate space continued its impressive growth trajectory until the global financial crisis, which affected almost every industry worldwide. However, India’s real estate never fully recovered from the economic crash. While the commercial and retail spheres got affected, the residential segment took the biggest hit, caused by a sharp drop in property prices. In the following years, the real estate industry continued to face major challenges, including demonetization, implementation of GST and RERA (Real Estate Regulation Act), and funding shortage owing to the liquidity crisis. 

But, things are now looking up for India’s real estate sector. An increase in demand for co-living and co-working spaces, coupled with the widespread adoption of technology and government initiatives for affordable housing, are pushing the market out of the slump. The IBEF January 2019 report states that the real estate industry in India may have a market value of USD 1 trillion by 2030. Industry watchers believe that the co-living sector will play a pivotal role in driving this growth. This nascent yet fast-growing segment of real estate is expected to present a business opportunity of 1 trillion, projects a joint report by JLL-FICCI. As the trend of co-living picks up, let us see how it can give a boost to the Indian real estate industry. 

Reaping the benefits of the Model Tenancy Law

The supply-demand gap is the biggest challenge plaguing the residential real estate sector. The newly released Model Tenancy Law not only acknowledges this issue, but also aims to organize the fragmented rental housing market. Co-living companies can grab this opportunity, providing a greater push to rental housing in India. Given the fact that co-living companies eliminate the need for a third-party, there is little room left for landlord/tenant exploitation. Further, co-living space providers offer a greater level of transparency to the entire renting process. 

Converting unsold inventories into ready-to-move-in homes

Nearly half of the country’s population, approximately 600 million people, are under 25 years old. Of these, a large percentage is moving to urban centres in search of jobs and economic opportunities. However, there is a severe shortage of quality affordable housing in tier-I cities and tier-II cities. This is despite the fact that millions of housing units are lying vacant across India. To tackle this unique problem, co-living startups vas started turning the unsold residential properties into fully-managed shared accommodations equipped with a wide range of lifestyle amenities. 

Promoting active involvement of real estate developers

In the past, buying properties and then keeping it vacant for years was the standard practice among real estate developers. This led to a surge in property prices, forcing the common man to opt for substandard housing. Co-living companies have stepped forward to solve this problem of lack of affordable housing in India through partnerships with realty builders in the country. Most players operating in the co-living space operate on an asset-light model, in which realty developers make built-to-suit properties that are managed by co-living spaces. 

Bringing in the plug-and-play concept to real estate 

Until a couple of years back, India’s real estate industry was not familiar with the plug-and-play concept. Enter co-living, and industry players are now taking a full-stack approach to provide tenants with end-to-end service and maintenance support. Co-living space providers have made the process of shifting houses hassle-free by offering fully-managed, ready-to-move-in homes, where residents can move in with just their personal belongings. To enable added flexibility, companies also provide a wide range of houses to choose from, depending on their venue, affordability and style. 

Integrating modern technology to bring in innovations

Co-living is one segment in real estate that has welcomed modern technologies with open arms. India’s co-living players are combining technology with human expertise to provide tenants with end-to-end housing experience. From offering virtual tours of the property to enable paperless tenant on-boarding process, companies are leveraging AI, virtual reality, chatbots and IoT-driven security features to attract as well as retain customers.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors’ and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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