Shraddha Kedia – Agarwal, Director, Transcon Developers
Sector performance in 2021
While India’s real estate market makes a certain move for investment due to low prices, increased transparency, and digital progression, the fact that the world is coping with the pandemic is an opportunity in itself. The stamp duty cut announced by the State Government at the end of the year 2020 gave a much-needed push to the real estate sector especially the luxury housing segment. The Indian Government has recalibrated its approach towards remobilizing the economy and introduced various reforms to ensure adequate liquidity in the system such as keeping the interest rates low, additional liquidity support to NBFC and HFCs. RBI’s accommodative stance for such a long duration too helped mitigate the effects of Covid-19 on businesses and was a key to the recovery of real estate and the overall economy. The decision helped in sustaining economic stability as well as keeping the real estate sector stay afloat during these unprecedented times. The low interest rates for the last few quarters have already given a boost to the real estate sector upticking the demand and enhancing the confidence of the homebuyers.
Today, in the post-pandemic world processes have rapidly moved to online modes offering investors much transactional ease, even if they are across borders. The recent volatile stock market and the currency benefit of the rupee-dollar exchange have made it favourable for the NRIs to invest in Real Estate in India. A large section of non-residential Indians, previously aligned to the stock market as primary investment policy have shifted more to real estate as a form of long-term investment. Also, the rupee’s decline in value against the dollar, heavy returns, good rental, improving infrastructure have been the additional key drivers.
In the post-Covid world, there is a shift in demand for sea-facing homes with large open spaces like balconies, terraces, courtyards, gardens, and parks in the vicinity. Work-from-home culture has changed the pattern for most home buyers in the post covid era. Owning a home is no more a matter of investment preference, but a necessity, given the boost that a luxury residence has come to lodge in the wider perspective of the work-life choices. The latest trends of customer preferences have shifted from premium real estate to a more sophisticated approach, buyers who want to get a lifestyle that can flawlessly include the work-from-home notion, while not giving up on the lavishness and comforts of luxury living. These trends are expected to continue in 2022 as well.
The residential real estate market in India has become more lucrative for ultra-high net-worth individuals (UHNIs) and NRIs as a result of the increased transparency and ease in investment norms. With RERA ensuring transparency and laws allowing 100% FDI in construction, Indian real estate is witnessing sharp investment infusions from NRIs. The new class of ultra-rich people is on a buying spree of luxury homes in global cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, etc. With a huge part of the vulnerable population already vaccinated, the Indian markets are proving their grit and potential, it is now time for investors to decide if they want to benefit from India’s future potential.
Rajat Rastogi -Executive Director, Runwal Group
Sector Performance in 2021
Real estate market bounced back strongly in 2021. The lockdown last year made people realize the need of owning a home, leading to a surge in demand. The incentives announced by the government and lower interest rates and various offers by developers gave further impetus to the industry. In Maharashtra, the stamp duty waiver scheme offered by the Govt. led to a significant boost in sales towards the end of last year. A lot of first-time millennial homebuyers too entered the market. Developers with quality products, strong delivery track record and sound financial health have seen a significant upswing in business.
Location, connectivity and amenities became crucial deciding factors for the consumer. Many of them also realized they needed a larger space. Homes in societies with better health and security facilities took precedence. Projects like condominiums or integrated townships are in demand because facilities like gym, recreation, gardens and daily essential stores are all located within the society premises. An extra room has become a mandatory consumer preference and open spaces & amenities have become equally important. The pandemic has changed not only buying preferences but also selling methods. Developers have invested in technology and digital channels as well to reach out to consumers in a more efficient way.
At Runwal Group, we continue to see robust sales growth across all our projects in MMR. Our rapid construction pace even during the pandemic, attractive offers and quality product offerings at a reasonable price point have been the hallmark of our consistent success. We also invested heavily in technology, digitizing our sale process, making it far more streamlined and convenient for the consumers.
We expect demand to remain robust, especially in the affordable housing segment and in ready to move in or soon to be ready projects. Prices will firm up owing to the rising input costs as at some point developers will have to stop absorbing further increase in input costs. Keeping aside the threat posed by the new variant, real estate sector should see a great 2022.
As a group, we have seen significant increase in revenues consistently and we expect the same trend to continue in 2022. We have a positive outlook and new launches, deliveries and further expansions are in the pipeline for the year.
Bhushan Nemlekar – Director, Sumit Woods
Sector Performance in 2021
The covid-19 pandemic was a massive heat blow to the industry, where everything started displacing and changed the way homebuyers think now. The government of India along with the governments of respective States took several initiatives to encourage development in the sector. Their approach towards tackling the economy amidst the pandemic has been one of the finest. The various policy reforms along with the all-time low housing loan rates have given the much-required fillip to sales activity in the last few quarters for real estate sector. The industry was quick to respond to the changes and adjust to new advances in the past few months.
The pandemic has also contributed to the recent boom in home buying, in part due to the ability many employees now have to work from home and to health concerns, which encourages city dwellers mostly renters to look for more spacious residences in areas with lower population density. One of the trends that really caught up the eye of the developers was the demand for second homes. There is an inclination towards a healthy lifestyle that has been a catalyst in accelerating the demand for holiday homes or second homes. Consumers are willing to permanently shift their interest by considering their second homes as primary homes due to the new normal of WFH scenario and enhanced connectivity along with state-of-the-art amenities to rejuvenate and relax in tranquillity. Homebuyers are also looking for bigger, greener properties in urban communities with proximity to their workplaces. Healthy and energy-efficient homes are also gaining traction amongst the new-age buyers. The historically low interest rate, the lucrative festive offers accompanied by flexible payment options and better consumer awareness made the festive season the best of the decade this year.
Outlook for 2022
The Indian housing market is expected to recover completely next year. The trend of demand remaining buoyant can be attributed to several factors like low-interest rates, an overall improvement in the job market, resumed economic activity, and an increasing desire to own physical assets during times of unprecedented uncertainty. With the vaccination drive gaining significant momentum and the spread of COVID-19 in better control, 2022 will very likely emerge better than before. The residential sector has emerged as a major beneficiary this year which is likely to continue in the upcoming year. It will also be the year for developers to optimize cost, despite increasing input prices, in most segments of real estate development and to ensure buyers’ affordability of owning a home.
Navin Makhija – Managing Director, The Wadhwa Group
Sector Performance in 2021
The reduced stamp duty by the State Government at the end of the year 2020 set the momentum for the real estate sector at the beginning of the year 2021. The new project launches were back in the market as the sector witnessed increasing demand for larger homes with the prevalent work-from-home culture, wherein the units with extra space/study room/ decks emerged as the best-performing category.
Thereafter the second wave of COVID-19, which further hit India in March-April 2021, caused a wide surge of infections. Several parts of India were already under strict restrictions in a bid to defeat the second wave of the virus. The economic activity in many states was hit hard due to the second wave of pandemic in India and some important sectors were impacted due to the prevailing situation. It also put the brakes on the recovery of the real estate sector. We saw a lot of engagements happen on the digital platforms as clients were quite comfortable having initial information and project walkthrough online through virtual tours.
But soon India’s largest vaccination campaign picked up pace and the Indian real estate market again saw a sharp turnaround on the back of a healthy demand. The relaxation in lockdown curbs saw the buyers visiting the sites again for enquiries. We immediately saw sales volumes coming back to normal due to a boost in the consumer sentiments on the back of favourable Government policies, necessity for owning a home, all time low home loan interest rates along with various schemes from developers. Property purchase which was a sign of wealth quotient before the pandemic has become a necessity now across age groups. Millennials, who favoured rental as an option started looking for an escape from a lifelong rental web and realized the importance of owning a home due to higher affordability on account of reduced gap between loan to rent. These factors helped drive demand and boosted sales in the festive season and were the key in ridding the sector of the ills caused by the virus.
Initial phase of opening up saw a pent up demand for OC ready projects to avoid any risk of construction uncertainty, but as the inventory start depleting, home buyers too started preferring organized players having a good track record of execution as they were more skewed towards leading developers who assured them timely project delivery and quality construction.
Outlook for 2022
Real estate industry has played a dominant role towards the country’s economic prosperity. In the coming months, the expectation of the buyers and developers ought to rise as the sector has witnessed lots of new government policies. These policies will help the industry to be more organized and will provide a boost to both the residential as well as commercial real estate segments.
The Government has shown adequate support by bringing in reforms in policies and creating online windows for submission but we need local authorities and departments like CFO/HRC/MCGM to create a Single Window System for approvals. These initiatives will help to bring down the cost of projects, ensure timely delivery which in turn would be beneficial for the buyers and meet the actual objective of RERA.
We have witnessed a very robust demand in the past few quarters on the back of improved consumer sentiments. We anticipate the Government to announce incentives that will propel the growth of the sector such as introducing tax breaks which will increase public spending, less transaction cost, etc. Developers should focus to complete the existing projects, sales will happen as the buyer gets to see development and the project reaches a close to completion stage and therefore the demand for good developers and ready-to-move-in inventory will continue. Trusted and reputed developers have witnessed relatively better sales in mid-income & affordable housing segments and will continue to dominate in 2022 as well.
Pritam Chivukula – Co-Founder & Director, Tridhaatu Realty, and Secretary, CREDAI MCHI
Sector Performance in 2021
The year 2021 started with a mild relief to the industry, with the government pitching to support the developers and introducing various relaxations. The decreased stamp duty by the state government in the until March 2021 set a path for the property owners and developers. As the pandemic started gaining momentum, the industry witnessed a setback for a short while with multiple trends flowing in that kicked off the market. New launches dispatches were back in the market as the industry saw expanding interest for bigger homes with the predominant work-from-home culture, wherein the units with additional room and decks arose as the best-performing classification.
After the arrival of the second wave of the covid 19 in March-April, the whole of Maharashtra along with other states was under massive losses of lives and businesses. There was slow or no financial movement in many parts of the states and in addition putting sudden brakes on the real estate industry. The industry witnessed increased numbers of engagement happening on the digital platforms as clients were quite comfortable having initial information and project walkthrough through virtual tours.
Soon after the vaccination drives took pace, the industry started growing in terms of new improved launches as per the market demands and financial inflation for the better of the sector. The unwinding in lockdown controls saw the purchasers visiting the property physically for inquiries. We promptly saw the volumes of deals returning to ordinary because of a lift in the lockdown and relaxation on interests by the Government. The need for possessing a home, low home loan costs alongside different payment plans from developers helped the property purchases since July and October recording the highest property sales. People who generally opted for rental as a choice began searching for a getaway from a deep-rooted rental web and understood the significance of possessing a home. These elements assisted the huge market drive and helped pent up deals during the festive season during the current quarter and were the key in freeing the real estate landscape of the ills brought about by the pandemic.
Outlook for 2022
in spite of the pandemic exigencies in 2021, the residential housing gradually picked up momentum as compared to other segments. The disturbance brought about by the pandemic is easing back and the housing market is relied upon to recover its musicality in the following few quarters, since, the dangers of the new variant are enough contained with the least interruption in the early part of the new year.
We shall anticipate with the Government to extend further relaxations and benefitting incentives that will only help better the sector in 2022. Incentives like the Introduction of tax benefits will help in increasing public spending with less transaction cost. Various supply and demand patterns assessed over the last decade have already started putting upward pressure on residential property prices. Residential sales momentum is expected to continue in 2022 as prospective homebuyers’ preferences for bigger homes, better amenities and attractive pricing will keep them interested to seal the deals. Well-known and trusted developers shall be witnessing comparatively better sales in the mid-income & affordable housing segments and shall continue to dominate in 2022 as well.