Indian REITs are expanding rapidly as office demand surges

With a market capitalization of $8 billion, three office REITs collectively own approximately 100 MSF of space, or about 12.5% of the total office stock. 

All metrics of office demand in India are showing positive momentum, and real estate investment trusts are rapidly expanding their portfolios through acquisitions. 

When Embassy Office Parks REIT was launched in 2019, it had slightly more than 24 million square feet. In five years, it has increased its completed area by 47%, adding 12 million to 12 million square feet through acquisitions. It now has over 45 million square feet of gross leasable area. 

The three office REITs- Embassy REIT, Brookfield India Real Estate Trust, and Mindspace Business Parks REIT– collectively own approximately 100 million square feet of office space, accounting for 12.5% of India’s total office stock, with a market capitalization of $8 billion.  

India’s office sector demand is growing by double digits. The monthly rental square foot is approaching the Rs 100 mark. Occupancies have risen to the mid-80s. Most significantly, globally capability centers have focused on India, with approximately 800 GCCs expected to be added over the next 6-7 years, increasing demand for offices. 

Acquisitions 

Embassy REIT acquisitions have primarily come from its sponsor, the Embassy group, based in Bengaluru, and all of its assets are concentrated in India’s IT capital. Last month, it arrived in Chennai with another acquisition from its sponsor, a 5 MSF business park that will take its total portfolio above 50 MSF. It also has a future development area of 2 MSF.

Brookfield REIT increased its operating area by 47% last year, primarily through acquisitions, and another 16% increase is expected following an acquisition announced last week.  

In FY24, it acquired 6.5 million square feet of space in the National Capital Region and Mumbai, and it plans to add another 3.3 million square feet by purchasing Bharti Enterprises’ 50% stake in a joint venture with its parent entity Brookfield. The REIT has the first right to offer the remaining stake, while other properties developed by Bharti Realty in Delhi are potential acquisition targets.  

Its parent, Brookefield, owns 54 million square feet of office space in India, which serves as an opportunity pipeline for the REIT. 

Last year, Mindspace REIT made two small acquisitions in Chennai and Pune, while also developing a mixed-use asset for its sponsor in Mumbai. It also has the right to first offer on other assets that its sponsor owns. Its sponsor, K Raheja Corp, has approximately 15 million square feet of pipeline in the form of completed or in-development assets. This presents a potential growth opportunity for the REIT since it’s also looking into third-party assets. 

According to a recent CREDAI-CRE Matrix report, office demand will exceed 70 million square feet by 2024, due to the government’s emphasis on manufacturing expansion and investing in digital and physical infrastructure. Each of these is expected to boost office absorption and create new opportunities for REITs. 

Fractional ownership is driving a paradigm shift in real estate investment

Fractional Ownership is an investment model aimed at retail investors who can gain access to the high-value commercial segment. 

With the real estate sector expanding across key markets, driven by demand sales, investors are increasingly looking for ways to capitalize on the bullish run. The real estate sector has matured due to regulatory changes, which has sparked investor interest. What truly democratized the industry was the introduction of investment concepts such as Fractional ownership, which allows individual or retail investors to invest in high-value properties while earning fixed returns on rent-generating assets. 

While alternative investment options such as AIFs and REITs are gaining popularity in India as profitable and effective investment vehicles, they are primarily geared toward institutional and high-net-worth investors. On the other hand, investment models such as Fractional Ownership are aimed at retail investors, who can access the high-value commercial segment through this model. The good news is that this model provides new avenues for retail investors yet allows developers to consider various funding options.  

According to a report by a leading real estate consultant, the market for fractional ownership in India was USD 5.4 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 8.9 billion by 2025, growing at a 10.5%  CAGR. This is an unambiguous sign of fractional ownership’s rapid growth as a viable investment opportunity. 

Fractional Ownership became more popular among investors after SEBI proposed various Fractional Ownership Platforms (FOPs) to register with SEBI MSM REITs and made it mandatory to follow some specific registration procedures. According to the proposal published by a leading real estate firm, MSM REITs should include separate and distinct entities serving as trustees, sponsors, and investment managers. SEBI also proposes that MSM REIT be established as a Trust under the Indian Trusts Act, with the ability to create separate schemes for owning real estate assets. This would be accomplished through SPVs (Special Purpose Vehicles) established as companies under the Companies Act of 2013. MSM REIT Scheme shall have complete control and 100% equity share capital in all SPVs. 

These regulatory changes benefited investors because they can now leverage benefits such as fair pricing, transparent transactions, and the flexibility and opportunity to exit or liquidate their investment at any point. 

With the digitization and technological advancement of the real estate industry, investors can also benefit from easy tracking via web-based FOPs, making it easier for them to make data-driven decisions. It also provides visibility previously unavailable when proper real estate investment space was not in place. 

Diversification is another important factor that has redirected investors to fractional ownership, particularly since the pandemic, when the stock and commodity markets have become volatile. The uncertainties caused by global economic headwinds necessitated the exploration of more promising avenues and markets. In contrast, India’s real estate market has continued to show promise, with the commercial segment breaking records for leasing and demand. According to a report, the Indian Commercial Real Estate Market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 21.1% between now and 2028, from USD 33.62 billion to USD 87.57 billion. 

As India’s ease of doing business index ranking improves in the coming years, more global corporations will establish their headquarters here. Global occupiers in sectors IT, manufacturing, BFSI, startups, and the booming service industry will require high-quality workspaces for their employees. These will result in more Global Occupier Centers (GCCs) operating from India’s key cities, thus increasing and accelerating demand for Grade-A office assets. In this scenario, fractional ownership will benefit both developers and investors. As the sector grows, fractional ownership will continue to open up new opportunities for investors in the coming years. 

The survey reveals strong post-COVID growth in the Indian real estate market

According to a recent survey by Shree Katariya & Associates (SKAA), the Indian real estate sector has demonstrated remarkable resilience and growth following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey, titled “Consumer Outlook on Indian Real Estate Market- Post Covid-19 Growth Analysis,” sought to understand home buyers’ evolving preferences and sentiments in the aftermath of pandemic-induced changes. 

Positive Growth Trends 

Despite global economic uncertainties, the Indian real estate market is expected to reach an all-time high in 2023, with over 2.82 lakh units sold. Forecasts predict that sales will exceed 3,00,000 units by 2024, with annual growth of 10-15%. 

Several factors contribute to this resilience, including government initiatives, consistent economic indicators, and infrastructure projects such as the Smart City initiative. Low unemployment, inflation, and significant wage increases contribute to a positive market outlook. 

Changing Consumer Preferences. 

The survey reveals significant shifts in buyer preferences and budget allocations since COVID-19. The growing demand for larger homes and dedicated office spaces reflects the changing dynamics of remote work culture. Homeownership is increasingly recognized as a tangible asset in investment portfolios. 

Investment Preferences 

Real estate is the preferred asset class for investment in 2024, with 58% of respondents indicating a preference for property. This sentiment stems from the perceived importance of homeownership and the potential for high returns on investment. While stocks and mutual funds receive 26% of the votes, gold and fixed deposits receive only 4% and 12%, respectively. 

Optimistic market outlook 

The vast majority of respondents (71%), see the current period as an ideal opportunity to buy property, citing the importance of homeownership during the pandemic and the promise of higher returns on investment. Only 2% hesitate due to rising property prices and personal circumstances. 

Property Price Expectations

The survey shows widespread optimism about property prices, with 87% expecting further growth. Sixty-nine percent expect a steady increase, while 18% believe they will rise, but not as quickly after COVID-19. 

Ideal property types and budgets. 

Residential plots are the top choice for 41% of respondents, followed by villas/row houses (27%), and flats/apartments (24%). 78% of property seekers prefer properties under Rs 50 lakhs, making affordability a top priority. 

End users vs. Investors 

While 53% of respondents buy property for personal use, 47% are investors, indicating a balanced market dynamic. Surprisingly, 67% of investors are salaried, showing a shift in investment behavior toward long-term property ownership. 

Prefer ready-to-move properties. 

More than 42% of respondents prefer ready-to-move-in properties to avoid delays and ensure immediate occupancy. However, as the pandemic fades, Millennials and Generation X are turning towards properties in their early stages, indicating a shift from end-users to investors. 

Challenges ad Opportunities 

Lack of funds, a limited understanding of financing options, exploring other options, and personal circumstances are all major roadblocks to deciding on a product. However, there is some hope because 37% of respondents are willing to buy if they find the right deal. 

Summary 

Anil Katariya, Founder & CEO of Shree Katariya & Associates, emphasizes the importance of SKAA’s survey, which provides valuable insights into the changing landscape of the Indian real estate market. Despite challenges, the sector is growing due to changing consumer preferences, positive market sentiment, and attractive investment opportunities.  With this information, stakeholders can make more informed decisions about the best way to handle the market’s fluctuations. 

5 Things You Should Know About India’s Ghost Shopping Malls and the Challenges of Repurposing Them

While the number  of Grade A malls has  increased across the country, there has also been a 59% year-on-year increase in low-performing shopping malls, with approximately 13.3 million square feet of retail space classified as “ghost shopping centers.” Here’s a look at why  Indian shoppers are leaving Grade C malls and how some of these assets are used to monetize land parcels. 

As of 2023, Grade A shopping center stock with enviable occupancy, strong tenant mix, good positioning, and active mall management accounted for 47% of total shopping center space, totaling 58.2 million square feet across the country.  

Grade B shopping center stock, with a decent occupancy and tenant mix, contributed  31% with 39.7 million square feet. Grade C stock, on the other hand, with high vacancy rates, inferior tenant mix, and poor mall management, contributed the least (22%), as these assets contain 27.2 million square feet of leasable space, according to a new Knight Frank India survey.  

What are ghost malls? 

Ghost shopping malls are underperforming malls with a vacancy rate of more than 40%. The number of such malls increased to 64% last year, up from 57% in 2022, across eight major cities. There was a significant in low-performing retail assets in eight major Tier 1 cities. 

In 2023, 64  shopping malls with approximately 13.3 million square feet of gross leasable area will be classified as ‘Ghost Shopping Centers’. This has grown by nearly  59% from 8.4 million square feet in 2022.

According to the Knight Frank Survey, underperforming malls were either demolished for residential or commercial projects (including co-working spaces), closed permanently, or auctioned off. 

Why do Indian shoppers prefer Grade A over Grade C malls? 

The rise of online shopping has been the primary cause of this shift in consumer behavior. 

Poor design, unappealing brands, ineffective management, a lack of maintenance, uninviting exteriors, insufficient infrastructure surrounding the mall, and fierce competition from Grade A malls all contribute to a drop in consumer foot traffic. 

Grade C shopping centers in NCR, Mumbai, and Pune were demolished to make way for the construction of housing inventory. 

According to Knight Frank India report titled ‘Think India Think Retail 2024: Shopping Centre and High Street Dynamics Across 29 cities,’ in 2023, some Grade  C shopping center assets in Tier 1  cities such as the NCR, Mumbai, and Pune were demolished to make way for the construction of residential inventory to monetize the land parcels, as demand for residential units has been strong since the pandemic. 

Many of these ghost malls nationwide have been prime targets for brownfield activity, which involves repurposing them for new uses. “Such ghost malls are repurposed primarily due to shifting consumer preferences, changes in retail dynamics, and economic factors that render their original purpose unsustainable,” Vivek Rathi, National Director of Research at Knight Frank India, told HT Digital.  

The cities with the most ghost malls are  

According to the Knight Frank survey, 64 abandoned malls in eight cities account for 75% of the total 125.1 million square feet of gross leasable area. According to the study, Delhi-NCR has the highest concentration with 21 ghost shopping centers (5.3 million sq ft), followed by Bengaluru with 12 (2 million sq ft), Mumbai with 10 (2.1 million sq ft), Kolkata with 6 (1.1 million sq ft), Hyderabad with 5 (0.9 million sq ft), Ahmedabad with 4 (1.1 million sq ft), and Chennai and Pune with 3  (0.4 million sq ft). 

Repurposing ghost malls is challenging due to zoning restrictions and strata ownership. 

Challenging repurposing into alternative types is frequently caused by regulatory barriers such as zoning restrictions and permit conversions, or, more specifically, strata ownership with multiple owners, which makes it difficult to reach a common ground for repurposing or selling out, explains Rathi. 

Furthermore, structural issues may arise, necessitating extensive renovations to convert spaces originally designed for retail into residential, office, or educational uses. 

Financial constraints can also be an issue, as repurposing projects often require large investments. He explained that once a decision is made to proceed, market demand for specific alternative uses is carefully evaluated to ensure viability and maximize returns. 

Noida directs real estate developers to pay dues and get registry permission

On May 9, the Noida authority directed real estate developers to pay their debts and obtain permission to register apartments in the name of thousands of homebuyers suffering for years. 

The direction came from the authority during an evening meeting with realtors at the Sector 6 office. The developers assured the authorities to pay the land costs fees and obtain permission for the registries. 

On December 21, 2023, the Uttar Pradesh government approved a policy to address stalled legacy housing projects. According to the policy, a realtor had to receive interest waivers for two years during Covid 19, pay 25% of the land cost dues in 60 days, and the remaining 75% in one to three years. 

Few realtors have utilized this scheme, negatively impacting homebuyers’ interests and wrestling in a revenue loss of approximately Rs 14,000 crore for the authority. 

“We have directed the realtors to use the scheme and pay the dues as soon as possible; otherwise, 5he authority will take appropriate action under the rules. According to Lokesh M.,  only  16 realtors have paid the Rs 115 crore dues and obtained a registry for approximately  1,400 apartments. 

Only 525 registries have occurred so far. 

“So far, only  525 registrations have taken place. We have directed the realtors to use the scheme. At least 42 out of 57 realtors had agreed to use the scheme. “We have asked the rest to use the scheme. “We have asked the rest to use the scheme,” he said. 

“We will send a report about today’s meeting to the state government, which requested it,” the CEO stated. 

Among 96  realtors who were held up and delayed, Greater Noida Authority recovered 276 crore. 

“We completed 2,637 apartment registries after realtors paid the dues as per state government policy. Ravikumar NG, CEO of Greater Noida Authority, stated that 40 projects will generate approximately Rs 1,200 crore in dues. 

During a meeting with realtors on Wednesday at Greater Noida’s Knowledge Park-IV office, the authority stated that if they do not use the scheme and pay the dues, the property will be attached and the housing project’s allotment will be canceled. 

This is all about the stalled legacy housing project policy. 

According to officials, Yogi Adityanath approved an interest and penalty waiver for a “stalled legacy housing project” on December 21, 2023. 

The policy was intended to assist millions of homebuyers in the Noida, Greater Noida, and Yamuna expressway areas, where an estimated 240,000 to 350,000 housing units are currently stalled reasons. 

The Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI), a lobbying group for realtors, was present at both meetings in Greater Noida on May 8 and May 9. 

“The realtors are using the scheme and getting registry permission. We are pursuing more and more realtors to use the scheme and help buyers get registry done,” said secretary (CREDAI) Dinesh Gupta.   

DLF to enter Mumbai and Goa this year with luxury homes; more information here

DLF, a real estate developer, plans to enter the Mumbai residential market in the second half of the current fiscal year (2024-25), with flats priced between Rs 6 and 8 crore, according to Akash Ohri, its joint managing director and chief business officer, who spoke with Business Standard on Wednesday. 

The Gurgaon-based realtor will be in his second inning in Mumbai. About 11 years ago, the firm exited the financial capital market. 

In an exclusive interview, Ohri revealed that the developer will also launch 62 villas in Goa, priced between Rs 40-50 crore, in the second or third quarter of FY25. 

“We plan to visit Goa next quarter,” Ohri said. 

Earlier this week, DLF reported a 62% increase in its consolidated net profit to Rs 920.71 crore for the quarter ended March 31, compared to Rs 570.01 crore in the same period last year. 

Its total sales bookings fell by 2% to Rs 14,778 crore from a record Rs  15,058 crore last year. It plans to increase sales bookings by  15% to Rs 17,000 crore in fiscal year 25. 

DLF is the country’s largest real estate company by market capitalization. 

On Wednesday, Ohri said that non-resident Indians (NRIs) contributed 22-23% of total sales bookings in FY24. 

The NRI contribution to the recently launched Rs 5,590 crore project Privana West, which sold in three days, was 27%. 

For FY25, DLF  intends to maintain an NRI contribution of 22-25  percent. 

“We will not do more than that this year; we have a lot of domestic users, so we set quotas,” he said. 

Furthermore, DLF hopes to generate Rs 3,500-5,000 crore in total sales bookings from super luxury apartments out of Rs 17,000 crore. 

Apart from Goa and Mumbai, Ohri stated that DLF would launch luxury housing projects at DLF Phase-5 in Gurgaon. It would be revealed following the launch of villas in Goa. 

The upcoming DLF phase 5 project in Gurgaon is expected to outperform its ultra-luxury housing project The Camellias, where an apartment recently sold for Rs 100 crore on the secondary market.

What is luxury real estate, and why is it booming in India? Here’s Everything you should know about the investment!

India’s real estate market is undergoing a seismic shift, with the luxury housing segment experiencing unprecedented demand growth. Rising incomes, growing aspirations for upscale living, and a preference for modern amenities have fueled this transformation, increasing luxury home sales nationwide. 

In a recent development that exemplifies this trend, DLF, India’s largest developer, sold out 795 apartments worth Rs 5,590 crore three days after launching its latest luxury housing project in Gurugram. This builds on the success of previous projects, including ‘The Arbour,’ which saw pre-launch sales of Rs 8,000 crore in a similar timeframe. 

Non-resident Indians (NRIs) have played a significant role in driving the luxury housing market. NRIs have emerged as key contributors, accounting for nearly 25% of total residential sales at major developers. The allure of luxury properties, combined with the promise of exclusivity and modern amenities, has captivated both domestic and international buyers. 

According to property consultant Anarock Group, the share of luxury homes sold in India has tripled over the last five years, with luxury properties accounting for 21% of all residential units sold across the top seven Indian cities in the first quarter of 2024, up from 7% in 2019. 

Ashish Kukreja, Founder and CEO of Homesfy.in emphasized the underlying reasons for the underlying reasons for the rise in luxury home sales. Luxury real estate investments are attractive in India due to economic growth and the projected doubling of affluent individuals within three years. 

Kukreja stressed that investing in luxury real estate provides not only luxurious living spaces, but also long-term value and profit potential. The concentration of wealth among high-net-worth individuals has boosted demand for exclusive properties, particularly in prime locations such as  Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, and Bangalore. 

Furthermore, luxury properties have historically shown lower volatility and served as a hedge against inflation, making them an appealing asset class for sophisticated investors seeking prestige and profit. 

Kukreja stated, “Industry analysis bodes well for the future of luxury real estate in India, projecting an 8-10% increase in property prices across key cities over the next two years, solidifying its long-term investment potential.” This projection is consistent with the prevailing sentiment among affluent investors, as evidenced by a recent survey in which 56% of high-net-worth individuals (HNIs) and ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNIs) expect the Reserve Bank of  India to lower interest rates in 2024. This optimism is fueled by anticipated rate decreases and other factors such as  limited inventory and the fear of missing out (FOMO), which collectively influence purchasing  behaviors, reinforcing the appeal of luxury real estate as a compelling investment avenue for discerning investors.” 

The current trend of premiumization is a significant contributor to this surge. With India experiencing rapid wealth creation and pent-up demand from the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers are increasingly drawn to luxury products and experiences. This trend has spread to the real estate market, where wealthy individuals build their portfolios by investing in luxury properties. 

According to India Sotheby’s International Realty’s annual Luxury Outlook Survey 2023, ultra-high-net-worth individuals are bullish on real estate, with 75% expecting the sector to thrive in the coming years. Notably, 61% think about costly homes, indicating a growing demand for high-end residential properties. Key cities such as Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Goa, and Bengaluru are becoming popular locations for luxury real estate investments. 

Another factor driving the luxury housing boom is a scarcity of high-end apartments in desirable locations. Due to a shortage of luxury housing options in cities like Gurgaon, wealthy buyers are in search of exclusive properties with modern amenities and sophisticated designs. The shift from traditional bungalows to posh apartments reflects changing preferences among high-net-worth individuals, who prioritize security, convenience, and exclusivity. 

The influx of NRI investments is driving up demand for luxury housing in India. NRIs now account for nearly a quarter of total residential sales at major developers, up significantly from pre-pandemic levels. 

Meanwhile, the increase in luxury home sales has changed the trends in the property market, with the affordable housing segment losing market share. Affordable housing, which once dominated the market with a 37% share, has now dropped to around 18%, highlighting homebuyers’ changing preferences in the current climate. 

Among the top seven Indian cities driving demand for luxury homes, the National Capital Region (NCR) and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) are key hubs. In the National Capital Region, luxury homes accounted for 39% of all residential units sold in the first quarter of 2024, a significant shift from the affordable segment’s dominance in 2019. Similarly, the MMR has emerged as a luxury housing hotspot, attracting buyers looking for high-end properties with world-class amenities. 

Other cities, including Hyderabad, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai, and Kolkata, have distinct market dynamics, with strong demand for mid to high-end properties. Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, and Hyderabad saw the highest sales in the mid-range and premium housing segments in the first quarter of 2024, reflecting homebuyers’ diverse preferences across regions. 

CBRE decodes real estate through the spiritual tourism lens

The report highlights the strategic move by retail chains to leverage the increase in spiritual tourism in 14 key cities in India. 

Bengaluru: CBRE’s ‘Decoding Real Estate through the Spiritual Tourism Lens’ report highlights retail chains’ strategic move to capitalize on the surge in spiritual tourism across 14 key Indian cities. 

This report examines some of the key real estate categories and trends influencing these destinations, which include Amritsar, Ajmer, Varanasi, Katra, Somnath, Shirdi, Ayodhya, Puri, Tirupati, Mathura, Dwarka, Bodh Gaya, Guruvayur, and Madurai. 

Furthermore, the report provides a comprehensive overview of India’s tourism landscape, including information on government policies that promote community-based tourism. It also includes an extensive case study of Ayodhya, highlighting its future growth prospects and opportunities. 

Key findings of the report include: 

  • The increase in spiritual tourism can be attributed to improved infrastructure, such as well-connected roads, airports, and public transportation, along with the development of various lodging such as hotels, guesthouses, and wellness centers. 
  • Younger generations seeking cultural immersion and spiritual growth are driving the trend toward experiential travel.  
  • Wellness centers and hospitality brands are forming partnerships in response to changing spiritual tourist preferences, with hotel chains such as Marriott, Taj, and Hyatt adapting their offerings to capitalize on this trend. 

According to the CREDAI-CRE Matrix report, India’s demand for Grade-A office space will exceed 70 million square feet by 2024.

Market rentals across Grade A spaces increased by 8.7 percent QoQ in Q1CY24.   

According to a CREDAI-CRE Matrix report, Grade A office space leasing demand in India will exceed 70 million square feet (MSF) by 2024. 

According to the report, Grade A office demand in India increased by 12 percent quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) and 14 percent year-on-year (YoY) in the first quarter of the calendar year 2024, reaching 16.7 million square feet. 

Bengaluru, MMR (Mumbai Metropolitan Region), and Delhi-NCR (National Capital Region) were the primary drivers of the increase in demand, accounting for nearly two-thirds of total office demand. According to the report, the top three cities experienced a 23% increase over the previous year. 

Market rentals in Grade A spaces increased by 8.7 percent QoQ in Q1CY24 nationwide. 

The report also highlighted the size of larger deals (more than 1 lakh sqft) driving office demand. In the first quarter of CY 2024, occupiers leasing more than 1 lakh sqft accounted for  56% of the total up from 36% in the fourth quarter of CY 2023 and 33% in the first quarter of CY 2023. Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Noida accounted for 66% of these deals over one lakh square feet. 

CREDAI President Boman Irani stated that Grade A spaces have seen a significant increase in demand over the last 4-5 years, primarily from GCCs and the IT sector. 

“Our forecast for pan-India grade A office demand will be 70 million square feet by 2024 due to strong economic fundamentals and significant investment in physical and digital infrastructure.” This forecast demonstrates not only the commercial real estate sector’s resilience, but also the vast opportunities that developers, corporations, and investors face,” Irani said. 

In the resurgence of office space use, the IT/ITeS sector emerged as the dominant force in leasing demand, accounting for approximately 28% of office space requirements. Meanwhile, the BFSI sector’s share of leasing demand grew from 16 percent in the first quarter of fiscal year 2023, and 13 percent in the fourth quarter of the same year to 20 percent in the first quarter of fiscal year 2024. 

According to Abhishek Kiran Gupta, CEO and Co-founder of CRE Matrix and IndexTap, the upcoming quarters will see a rise in office supply completions. With market rentals geared toward landlords in key markets, leasing business volumes will also increase. 

“As rentals rise in prime markets such as NCR, Bengaluru, and  Mumbai, we expect to see larger deals in cities like Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Noida, where occupiers are willing to pay a premium for high-quality space. The new government’s budget is also expected to boost the infrastructure and BFSI sectors, which will likely keep rental rates rising,” he added.

Bengaluru’s rental market: Will zero deposit rentals alleviate tenants’ woes?

The return-to-work mandate has resulted in a significant migration of people back to their work cities, driving up demand for rental properties. As a result, city rentals have skyrocketed, particularly in Bengaluru. The IT city’s rent has increased by nearly 30%, requiring prospective tenants to pay landlords a security deposit of 7 to 10 month’s rent.  

Tenants in Bengaluru have struggled in recent years to keep up with landlords’ ever-changing demands, with some even checking tenants’ LinkedIn profiles. There have also been instances where property brokers have scheduled appointments for tenants for interviews with landlords, prompting many tenants to comment that passing a ‘rental’ interview may be more difficult than passing a job interview. 

Recently, the zero deposit rental scheme was launched in Bengaluru. Under the scheme, the prospective tenant enters into a rental bond with the landlord and the third party who executes it for a small one-time fee. The rental bond serves as a guarantee to landlords, providing financial security in the event of tenant default by covering unpaid rent, utility bills, violation of lock-in periods, and property damage. 

How does the zero-deposit rental scheme work? 

Harish, who works for a business processing outsourcing firm in Bengaluru, had difficulty renting homes and had to pay large rental deposits each time he moved. He recently opted for the zero-deposit rental scheme for an apartment in Sarjapura. The scheme requires him to sign a Rs 3,000 rental bond  (instead of Rs 50,000) and pay a monthly Rs 13,000. 

The zero deposit model requires tenants to pay an upfront yearly premium, typically around  6% of the probable deposit or bond value, equivalent to the minimum return on investment. In addition, tenants pay up to a 10% rent premium for access to zero-deposit properties. Rent increases and credit-verified tenants can entice landlords to increase rents.

For example, if the rent is Rs 10,000 per month, the tenant must pay Rs 10,500, nearly Rs 500 more each month, and a one-time payment of Rs 3600 when signing the rental bond. Landlords will no longer need to collect a 60,000 security deposit from tenants upfront. 

“This financial product aims to bridge the trust gap between landlord and tenant by providing much-needed security to the landlord. Amit Kumar Agarwal, CEO and Co-founder of NoBroker.com explains that the tenant only pays a one-time fee when executing the rental bond. 

The company has launched the rental product in Bengaluru and is testing it in other cities, including Mumbai and Delhi-NCR. 

Rental bonds are also popular in international markets like Brazil. QuintoAndar, a rental property startup, had previously launched a similar product in the country. The business model was based on connecting those looking for apartments with those renting them out. 

“While the problem of high rental deposits faced by tenants in Brazil was similar to that faced by them in Bengaluru, we attempted to localize the product for the Indian market,” said Agarwal. 

“We discovered that nearly 40% of Bengaluru resident’s salary is spent on rent. This often puts a financial strain on anyone moving to a new city for work. There have also been reports of people asking if they can get a personal loan to pay for high rental security deposits,” he said, adding that the rental bond aims to address these issues by requiring the tenant to pay only about 6% of the amount he would have paid upfront as a security deposit.  

The rental bond is valid for six to eleven months, depending on the length of the lease agreement. It has to be renewed every year. 

“The rental sector has seen unusually high inflation, and Bengaluru tenants, already dealing with rental inflation, are now facing exorbitant deposits. A Bengaluru landlord typically requests a deposit of four to ten months’ rent. Agarwal stated that zero deposits are a solution that meets the needs of both landlords and tenants.  

How has the zero-deposit rental scheme performed so far?  

According to a recent NoBroker survey, 35% of Bengaluru tenants are willing to rent with no deposit. The city leases 5% of its rental properties through the rental bond. The product has been available in the market for merely a year. 

However, some real estate believe won’t want to rent a property without a security deposit. No landlord will rent out a property without a security deposit because it is collateral for any wear, tear, or damage the tenant may cause. It also allows the landlord to recover dues if the tenant fails to pay them in any way, and it can be set aside as a fixed deposit for the duration of the tenancy to earn some interest,” said Prashant Thakur, Regional Director & Head- Research, ANAROCK Group. 

Are you considering investing in real estate? Here’s why non-metro cities are your golden ticket!

Tier 2 cities are outpacing traditional metros in their economic growth, thanks to numerous fields like manufacturing, information technology, education, and healthcare. For example, Nagpur is expanding in manufacturing, logistics, and information technology, whereas  Surat is rising in textiles, petrochemicals, and information technology. 

Real estate markets in non-metros or Tier-2 cities continue to grow swiftly, outperforming many metros in terms of investment and demand. Several factors contribute to the massive increase in real estate investment in non-metros. 

According to a recent analysis by Cushman and Wakefield and the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI), approximately 35% of India’s population currently lives in cities, with projections indicating that this figure will rise to 50% by 2050. 

This population growth is putting a strain on Tier 1 cities, where space is becoming more scarce. As a result, there is a greater emphasis on developing alternative urban areas with the potential to become new economic and real estate hubs. These are classified as Tier-2 cities. According to CREDAI, India’s urbanization rate is expected to exceed 50% by 2050, potentially leading to significant population migration to Tier 2 cities. 

Manaki Parulekar, Co-Founder of Claravest Technologies, shared her insights into the factors driving real estate investment growth in Tier 2 cities. 

According to Parulkar, this rise of integrated townships, which provide a mix of residential and commercial spaces, is helping Tier-2 cities grow. “For example, Panvel in Navi Mumbai is rapidly developing, with townships such as Hiranandani and Godrej, aided by projects such as the Navi Mumbai International Airport and the Atal Setu Bridge (MTHL).” 

The rise of commercial Grade A properties, affordable residential property values, and improved connectivity are driving accelerated growth in other cities like Jaipur, Bhubaneswar, Nagpur, Surat, and Kochi. 

These cities and regions have distinct advantages over traditional metro markets, attracting investors with promising opportunities for Parulekar, the following factors contribute to increased real estate investment in non-metros or Tier 2 cities.  

Diverse economic  development: 

Tier 2 cities are outpacing traditional metros in their economic growth, thanks to many industries such as manufacturing, information technology, education, and healthcare. For example, Nagpur is expanding in manufacturing, logistics, and information technology, whereas Surat is rising in textiles, petrochemicals, and information technology. 

Cost advantages: 

Tier-2 cities are significantly less expensive than Tier-1 cities. Low operational costs in these areas contribute to this advantage, making them appealing to businesses and investors.

Improved Quality of Life: 

Tier-2 cities offer a more relaxed lifestyle than larger metropolitan areas, with less traffic congestion, lower pollution levels, and a generally quieter environment. This improved quality of life appeals to businesses seeking a dedicated workforce and individuals seeking a better work-life balance. 

The government’s initiatives include: 

Government investments in transportation networks, airports, highways, and reliable power and communication systems support the growth of Tier-2 cities. 

Real-estate market growth: 

The real estate market in Tier 2 cities is thriving, particularly in the residential segment. Professionals want to live in larger apartments, remote work is becoming more popular, and there is a growing middle class with more purchasing power. Despite rising property prices, they remain less expensive than those in Tier-1 cities, creating appealing investment opportunities. 

Advancements in education and healthcare: 

Tier 2 cities are increasingly home to reputable educational and healthcare facilities, making them more appealing places to live and work. 

To summarize, these factors make non-metro areas attractive real estate investment destinations, often offering more sustainable growth and profitability than traditional metro areas saturated and high-cost environments.  

Akshaya Tritiya: Five important factors to consider when investing in real estate

Akshaya Tritiya, traditionally a festival of prosperity and success, is becoming a day for strategic investments, particularly in real estate. Fractional ownership of commercial properties is becoming increasingly popular, providing investors with accessibility, diversification, and higher returns. 

We, as Indians, value our traditions and cultural beliefs and find meaning in the rituals that shape our lives. The auspicious festival of Akshaya Tritiya, which falls on the third day of the Hindu month of Vaishakha, sends a sacred message of prosperity and success. As a result, buying gold on this day is expected to yield good long-term returns. Traditionally associated with gold purchases, this festival has become a day for foresightful investments. 

Initially, people turned to gold for financial gain, moving from physical holdings to gold ETFs and bonds. Real estate is currently undergoing a similar transformation. Fractional ownership of commercial real estate is increasingly becoming the preferred option, rather than traditional home purchases. This shift heralds a new era of investment strategies, with the advantages of fractional ownership— accessibility, diversification, and the potential for higher returns— attracting increased investor interest.  

As we honor tradition while embracing innovation, Akshaya Tritiya is recognized as a symbol of progress and an auspicious day to invest in a better future. Here are some things to consider when investing in real estate. 

Residential vs. Commercial Properties 

One of the first decisions investors must make is whether to invest in residential or commercial properties. Residential properties appeal to both homeowners and investors seeking rental income. However, residential properties may present difficulties in tenant management and offer lower rental yields than commercial properties. 

According to a recent industry report, housing prices have risen by 13 to 33 percent in seven major cities over the last three years, while commercial real estate markets have seen a 15 percent increase during the same period.  

Commercial properties, such as grade A office spaces, provide good rental yields of 8-9 percent, compared to 2-3 percent for residential properties. This enables investors to benefit from verified tenants while avoiding certain risks associated with residential properties. 

Opportunities for fractional ownership. 

As we know, Akshaya Tritiya is important for long-term real estate investments. This day seems ideal for purchasing valuable items with the expectation that they will bring prosperity and fortune.  Moreover, India’s real estate investment landscape is evolving similarly to a “mutual fund” moment, with regulators supporting fractional ownership. 

SEBI’s regulatory support for REITs, including establishing standards for Small and Medium REITs (SM REITs), marks a watershed momentum for investors, bolstering their confidence even further. These developments make real estate investment more accessible by allowing retail investors to participate in high-value properties through fractional ownership. With a lower minimum investment threshold of INR 10 lakhs, real estate investment becomes more accessible, aligning with the festival’s theme of prosperity and abundance. 

Benefits of investing through fractional ownership. 

Fractional real estate ownership offers investors several benefits, including regular income, asset security, liquidity, tax breaks, and ease of possession. This is an excellent choice for investors seeking both income and capital appreciation. 

Navigating the regulatory and legal frameworks 

Real estate transactions involve intricate regulatory and legal frameworks that differ depending on the location and type of property. Investors must follow all legal requirements and perform due diligence to ensure the authenticity of property titles, approvals, and ownership records. Seeking professional help from legal experts or real estate advisors can help investors navigate these complexities more easily.  

Tracking long-term growth potential

While short-term gains may be appealing, investors should focus on long-term growth potential when investing in real estate. Assessing infrastructure development, urbanization trends, and demand-supply dynamics can shed light on the property’s future appreciation potential. Investing in emerging markets or growth corridors with strong economic fundamentals can generate significant long-term returns. 

In conclusion, investing in real estate during Akshaya Tritiya is an appealing opportunity for those looking to increase their wealth and secure their financial future. Using these measures, investors can make informed decisions and take advantage of the favorable timing of this opportunity to embark on a successful real estate investment journey. 

Delta Corp. and its partners set up a Rs 765 crore real estate platform for Mumbai redevelopment

The platform, with a total investment of Rs 765 crore, will be established in collaboration with Alpha Alternatives Fund Advisors LLP, its affiliates (AA Group), and Peninsula Land Limited. 

Delta Corp, a gaming and hospitality company, is establishing a real estate development platform for residential redevelopment in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), as well as plotted development in and around  MMR, Alibagh, Khopoli, Karjat, and Pune, according to a stock exchange filing on May 8. 

The platform, which will cost Rs 765 crore, will be developed in partnership with Alpha Alternatives Fund Advisors LLP, its affiliates (AA group), and Peninsula Land. 

The company also stated that the real estate platform will be the only vehicle for such projects, with an investment of Rs 90 crore (11.76) the AA group will invest Rs 450 crore (58.82 percent), and Peninsula Land (PLL) will invest Rs 225 crore.  

According to the statement, PLL will be the development manager for the platform entities’ projects. 

“This opportunity is part of our ongoing investment in growing and diversifying our business through internal accruals while remaining debt-free. 

Our focus remains on our core areas of gaming and allied hospitality, with most of our capex and investments going toward expanding those businesses,” Delta  Corp stated. 

Chief  Financial Officer Anil Malani told Moneycontrol earlier this year that the company intended to invest in its offline business over the next two years to return to a profit margin of at least 38%.  

Delta  Corp has postponed its online gaming expansion plans after the GST rate was raised to 28%.  

A comprehensive analysis of how elections affect Indian real estate

Akash Pharande, managing director of Pharande Spaces, discusses past real estate trends during elections and predicts future trends. 

The political atmosphere in India, as in other countries, has a major effect on the property market, particularly during general election seasons. Election cycles have had a noticeable impact on the real estate market in the last twelve years. What can end users and investors expect following the upcoming general elections? Let us look at the Indian housing market’s behavior before and after the general election. 

Trends before the election

In the past, we have seen that the Indian real estate market slows in the run-up to general elections. Buyers and investors become cautious when there is uncertainty about election results and potential policy changes. Pre-election data usually show a trend of lower transaction volumes and a slower rate of property price increases. 

During the 2014 general elections, for example, sales and new product launches dropped significantly. Home sales in India’s top seven cities fell by nearly 30% in the quarters leading up to the elections. Similar patterns emerged in 2019, with both the primary and secondary markets showing as prospective buyers and investors chose to wait and see. 

Recovery for the following election 

The housing market usually recovers significantly following elections. Clarity in government policy and restored consumer confidence are frequently the driving forces behind this recovery. Following the 2014 elections, which led to the creation of a stable government, the market experienced a substantial rise. According to reports, positive consumer sentiment and increased investment led to a nearly 50% increase in sales in the following months. 

These patterns were repeated in the 2019 elections. Again, the guarantee of political stability aided the market’s recovery. Another factor to consider was that people now had confidence in the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act or RERA. By the end of 2019, new investments were flooding the market, not only in the residential space but also in commercial real estate. 

Current market and future outlook 

Despite the tensions surrounding the general elections, the Indian housing market has held up well this year. The current administration has taken several steps to boost housing demand, develop infrastructure, and implement economic reforms. The general belief that this government will remain in power has provided significant protection against the typical pre-election downturn. 

Following the election, the Indian housing sector is expected to remain optimistic. The market will undoubtedly rise if the ruling party can maintain policy and economic stability. There are also industry expectations that the GST on building supplies will be moderated with upcoming regulations. 

Aside from that, there is hope that financing for the housing sector will improve and that affordable housing will once again become a government priority. All of this will undoubtedly contribute to the housing market’s ongoing improvement. 

Investment implications

The post-election period will provide excellent opportunities for buyers and investors in residential real estate. When the government announces additional measures to boost the market and stabilize the economy, real estate will rise and yield significant returns as prices rise and demand rises. Such measures will be very compatible with the growing trend of digitization and transparency in real estate transactions. 

Real estate employment skyrockets

According to recent findings, Sashi Kumar, Head of Sales at Indeed India, stated, “The construction industry provides enormous opportunities for skilled professionals and semi-skilled labor. 

According to Indeed’s recent survey, hiring in the construction and real estate sectors increased by 86% between March 2023 and 2024. This surge in demand has conceded with a 57% increase in job seeker’s interest, with Delhi, Bangalore, and Mumbai leading the way.  

According to Indeed data, the top three cities for construction hiring are Delhi (5.05%), Bangalore (4.68%), and Mumbai (4.13%). A strong business environment, a rise in warehousing and industrial needs, increased commercial housing requirements as migration rises, the opening of manufacturing facilities, and other factors could all contribute to this trend. 

However, smaller cities like Ernakulum (2%), Kochi (1.50%), Lucknow (1.38%), and Calicut (1.25%) are among the top regions attracting job seekers. This trend could be attributed to low living costs or local job opportunities that allow people to work closer to home. Ernakulum, Calicut, and Kochi are the top Tier 2 and 3 cities for job postings.  

Engineers (17.18%), project leads and supervisors (8%), and architects (5%) are the most popular job roles, accounting for the majority of job postings. Engineers (21.31%), project leads and supervisors (9.33%), and architects (4.27%) are also popular among job seekers, which is consistent with the demand. As construction becomes more complex and technical, the industry requires more skilled workers. 

The construction industry remains a key driver of economic growth, offering numerous opportunities for skilled professionals and semi-skilled workers. The significant increase in hiring signals promising opportunities for job seekers and employers, while the increase in job seeker interest reflects the industry’s strong momentum. 

Formerly a part-time courier, now a luxury real estate mogul: Meet Suraj Morajkar, a pioneer of innovation in India’s luxury

Growing up in Goa, he witnessed the influx of tourists seeking luxurious accommodations amidst the pristine landscapes and saw an opportunity to combine luxury with Goan heritage. 

Suraj Morajkar, the visionary behind Sun Estates Developers, set out to redefine luxury housing development through a deep passion for architectural elegance and an unwavering commitment to excellence. Discover his inspirational journey from humble beginnings to pioneering luxury real estate professionals. 

Venture into Luxury Housing Development 

Suraj Morajkar’s move into luxury housing development was a natural progression, motivated by a deep appreciation for architectural elegance and a desire to redefine luxury living. Growing up in Goa, he witnessed the influx of tourists seeking luxurious accommodations amidst the pristine landscapes and saw an opportunity to combine luxury with Goan heritage.  Establishing himself as a pioneer in this segment necessitated meticulous attention to detail, an unwavering pursuit of excellence, and a dedication to providing unforgettable experiences. Suraj became known not only in Goa, but throughout India, for infusing each project with innovative design concepts, superior craftsmanship, and a keen understanding of client preferences. 

Designing for High-Profile Clients 

Building luxury homes for affluent individuals necessitates a highly collaborative approach centered on understanding their distinct tastes, preferences, and lifestyle requirements. Suraj starts by encouraging open communication channels to learn more about their vision for their dream home. Using his extensive experience and expertise, he meticulously curates every aspect of the design process, from concept to execution, ensuring that each element reflects its uniqueness and goals. 

Preserving Goan History

Suraj’s commitment to preserving Goan heritage permeates all aspects of Sun Estates Develeper’s luxury housing projects, forming the foundation of their design philosophy. They approach integration with reverence, drawing inspiration from Goa’s rich tapestry of culture, architecture, and traditions. Whether incorporating Goan motifs, using indigenous materials, or embracing vernacular architectural styles, they strive to create harmonious spaces that honor their heritage while offering a modern take on luxury living. 

The Vision of Sun Estates Developers 

Suraj envisions Sun Estates Developers focusing on innovation, sustainability, and long-term growth over the next two years. They are preparing to launch an ambitious expansion strategy, leveraging emerging trends and market opportunities to diversify their portfolio and achieve new milestones. With several exciting projects underway,  including luxury residential developments and boutique hospitality ventures, they hope to redefine luxury living experiences while adhering to their core value of integrity, excellence, and customer service. 

Influence of Previous Experiences 

Suraj’s experiences with part-time jobs and cricket taught him invaluable lessons that continue to shape his approach to entrepreneurship and leadership at Sun Estates Developers. From the discipline and perseverance he learned on the cricket pitch to the humility and work ethic he developed through humble beginnings, these formative experiences instilled in him a strong sense of resilience, adaptability, and tenacity. 

Advice to Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Suraj advises aspiring real estate entrepreneurs, particularly those interested in luxury housing development, on the following: Stay true to your vision, view challenges as opportunities for growth, and prioritize integrity and excellence in everything you do. To stay ahead of the competition, you must constantly educate yourself, stay current on market trends, and innovate. 

Outstanding legacy 

Suraj’s ultimate goal for Sun Estates Developers is to redefine luxury living experiences while contributing to the community and industry. He hopes to set new standards for excellence in the real estate industry by delivering iconic projects that transcend mere structures and become timeless symbols of elegance and sophistication. Their dedication to social responsibility, environmental stewardship, and community development is just as important. They hope to leave a lasting legacy that enriches lives, lifts communities, and inspires positive change for years to come by empowering future generations, preserving cultural heritage, and promoting sustainable practices. 

Mumbai’s real estate players predict robust growth within MMR

According to a report released by property consultants Knight and Frank, Mumbai recorded 11,504 property registrations in April 2024. 

With property registrations increasing by 16% in revenue to the exchequer and the state government maintaining the status quo on ready reckoner rates, real estate developers in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) predict strong growth in the sector. They are optimistic about larger purchases in areas where connectivity has been resolved through the implementation of infrastructure projects such as the expansion of Mumbai Metro, Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL), Coastal Road, and others.

Prashant Sharma, President of the National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO) Maharashtra, stated, “We are optimistic about the future of the real estate sector in MMR.” Our projections show a strong growth trajectory, driven by several key factors. First, the rising demand for residential properties, particularly in the affordable and mid-segment markets, is a good sign. We also see a resurgence in commercial real estate, fueled by the expanding IT and finance industries.”  

“Moreover, government initiatives such as the relaxation of FDI regulations and the emphasis on infrastructure development, including the expansion of the Mumbai Metro, Coastal Road, and several other projects, making real estate investments even more appealing. We are also aware of the challenges, which include regulatory hurdles and the need for faster project approvals. However, with the state government’s commitment to improving the ease of doing business and our collaborative efforts to advocate for policy reforms, we are confident that MMR will remain a vibrant and dynamic market for real estate investment,” Sharma concluded. 

Manju Yagnik, Vice Chairperson of the Nahar Group and Senior Vice President of NAREDCO, Maharashtra, stated, “The residential real estate segment has demonstrated resilience, making it an appealing investment option for those with medium to low-risk tolerance. Despite numerous challenges, this industry has remained, emerging as an excellent choice for many investors. The higher initial cost of commercial properties frequently attracts investors to the residential segment. The higher initial cost of commercial properties frequently attracts investors to the residential segment. For people with limited funds and maintenance skills, residential real estate is a more accessible and practical option. 

Nitin Singhal, the co-founder of PropFina, stated, “With most micro markets experiencing higher supply than ever before, there will be corrections by highly leveraged players.” Those who have financially engineered their project portfolios and maintain control over their brand will have the least impact. Corrections can range from 10-15% and will be specific to micromarket dynamics. There could be higher offtake in areas where connectivity issues are being resolved. 

Commercial and warehousing sectors are on the rise as real estate trends. 

Singhal said that affordable housing will largely remain the same, and “When it comes to the commercial segment, which includes retail and office spaces, lease rates are going up and vacancies are going down. Introducing small and medium real estate investment trusts (SM REITs) creates a significant secondary market absorption opportunity. “This segment may experience a northwards moment,” he said. 

“Similarly, major warehousing players are quickly acquiring the land parcels, some of which are backed by sovereign funds seeking safe havens with higher-than-inflation returns.” Clear title land parcels ranging from 50 to 100 acres will see a rise in pricing, particularly along Samruddhi Mahamag exits, DMIC Virar-Alibag Multi-Modal Corridor (VAMMC), and so on. Singhal concluded that there will be a new segment of multi-level last-mile connectivity warehousing.  

April 2024 Trends and Consumer Preferences 

According to a report released by property consultants Knight and Frank, Mumbai recorded 11,504 property registrations in April 2024, contributing more than INR 1,043 crore to the state exchequer. According to the Maharashtra Department of Stamps and Registrations, in April 2024, there was an increase in registration of apartments measuring up to 500 square feet, accounting for 45% of all registrations. Of all the properties registered, nearly 86% of the Western suburb buyers and 92% of Central suburb consumers choose to buy within their micro market. This decision is influenced by the familiarity of the area and the availability of products that match their pricing and feature preferences. 

Real estate in Kashmir faces a gloomy downturn amid declining demand

Kashmir’s real estate sector is in turmoil, with demand failing dramatically. Brokers and property developers face a concern: an increasing number of sellers but a shrinking pool of buyers. 

According to real estate firms, the percentage of property buyers in Kashmir is steadily declining, which they attribute to the stress in other sectors. “Kashmir’s real estate market is currently down. People do not have sufficient funds to invest in real estate. Imran Bhat, a property dealer at Zakura, said that very few people are coming to buy plots of land these days. 

He highlighted the unusual situation in which firms have far more sellers than buyers. “Let me give you an example: I received up to ten queries today, six of which were from sellers. People are now selling their properties, but only a small proportion of the buyers are willing to buy,” Bhat added.  Sluggish demand in the real estate sector has put downward pressure on property prices across all segments. “Property prices have fallen. For example, if a seller has a property worth Rs 1 crore, they will only receive offers of Rs Rs 70 lakh. “Purchasing power has decreased significantly in the last few months,” Bhat explained.

Another real estate agent, Javid Ahmad, claimed that the market has declined by more than 30 percent. “Several economic factors have influenced the current state of Kashmir’s real estate market. Potential buyers, deterred by economic uncertainties and a cautious approach to investments, are waiting and seeing, resulting in a supply and demand mismatch,” he said. 

However, property developers remain optimistic about the sector’s revival. “Since it is election season, we hope for a revival of the sector; rates and demand are likely to rise with the start shortly,” Ahmad said optimistically. 

As the Kashmir real estate market faces challenges from dwindling demand and economic uncertainty, industry stakeholders are waiting for a turnaround. The sector’s fortunes are inextricably linked  to the broader economic landscape, and recovery depends on restoring consumer confidence and addressing the root causes of the current slump. 

TCG Real Estate receives funding of Rs 714 crore from SBI for the World Trade Center project in Gurgaon

TCG Real Estate has secured funding of Rs 714 crore from the State Bank of India to develop the World Trade Center project in Gurgaon. The project has a leasable area of about 1 million square feet, according to documents obtained by CRE Matrix, a real estate data analytics firm.  

According to the documents, Energetic Construction Pvt. Ltd, promoted by TCG Urban Infrastructure Holding Pvt. Ltd, has secured funding from SBI. 

According to the documents, the funding was secured through a 72-month loan with a 9.6% annual interest rate. 

The hypothecation deed was registered on March 28, 2024. Energetic Construction Private Limited signed this document in favor of SBICAP Trustee Company. 

Over the years, TCG and its subsidiary acquired 7.94 acres of land in Gurgaon. “The borrower now purposes to undertake the project with mixed-use development comprising office space and high street retail in the name of World Trade Center, Gurgaon located on NH8,” according to the documents. 

The property is off NH8 on Sohna Road in Gurgaon.

According to the documents, the project will consist of four towers: two office towers covering 9.4 lakh sq ft and two retail towers covering 72, 407 sq ft each. 

According to documents, the project has an estimated cost of 1211.86 crore. 

According to the documents, the company requested financial assistance from SBI to fund the project in part. The lender agreed to provide a rupee term loan with a maximum principal amount of Rs 714 crore based on the borrower’s representations and warranties. 

Emails have been sent to both TCG Real Estate and SBI. 

The rise of offbeat destinations is a paradigm shift in residential real estate

Offbeat real estate destinations are becoming increasingly popular, reflecting a broader trend toward a balanced and enriching lifestyle. 

Over the last few years, the Indian real estate sector has experienced a significant shift, with homebuyers increasingly seeking serene and offbeat destinations far from the hustle and bustle of major cities. Sonipat, Bhiwadi, Panchkula, and Meerut have emerged as top residential investment destinations, offering a combination of natural beauty, cultural richness, and a thriving economy. This transition reflects a desire for a higher quality of life, where serenity and modern amenities coexist in a relaxed setting. 

Neoliv’s founder and CEO, Mohit Malhotra, says, “We envision that new-age cities will become the crucible of future economic dynamism. Their appeal stems from a harmonious combination of affordability, accessibility, and lifestyle amenities, creating new relaxed places to call home. Furthermore, the extended NCR is seeing significant infrastructure improvements, thanks to government initiatives to promote sustainable development. With the emergence of large global-scale industries such as the upcoming Maruti Suzuki plant in the Sonipat belt, these areas are poised to drive demand for mid-income housing projects and plotted developments, transforming into vibrant residential neighborhoods.” 

Offbeat destinations are gaining popularity, indicating a broader trend toward a more balanced and enriching lifestyle. For example, Bhiwadi, once an obscure industrial town in the National Capital Region (NCR), is quickly establishing itself as a new real estate development, with parallels to Sohna Road’s highly sought-after micro-market. Bhiwadi with its strategic location, robust infrastructure, and emerging commercial and residential ventures, is on track for exponential growth, similar to Sohna Road in Gurugram. 

Anil Gupta, President of CREDAI NCR Bhiwai Neemrana, says, “Bhiwadi has enormous growth and investment potential due to its strategic location, robust infrastructure, and burgeoning commercial and residential developments. When the region is connected to the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway, its potential for growth and prosperity increases. As stakeholders in Bhiwadi’s development, we are confident in the town’s potential to become a key destination in the NCR, providing unparalleled opportunities for growth and prosperity. 

More and more families are relocating to these areas, drawn by the prospect of a better lifestyle and excellent investment opportunities. Panchkula, for example, has grown significantly. DLF’s luxurious residential project, The Valley, which debuted in 2010, has seen property values rise from Rs 2,000 per sq ft to an impressive Rs 8,000. This remarkable ascent highlights the tranquil town’s untapped potential, with DLF leading the charge. Their projects, which include The Valley, The Valley Gardens, and their most recent offering, The Valley Orchard, have paved the way for increased demand for homes in these areas. The Valley Gardens spans 34 acres (13.76 hectares) and offers breathtaking views of the Morni Hills and Shivalik Range. DLF unveiled its sample apartment, allowing potential buyers to experience luxury living firsthand. 

These tier-2 cities are expanding rapidly, thanks to improved infrastructure such as better roads, public transportation, and vibrant commercial districts. Most importantly, it provides a peaceful yet connected lifestyle, which tier-1 cities struggle with due to overcrowding and rising property prices. This development includes physical, cultural, and economic growth, creating new opportunities to revitalize local economies. 

Rahul Singla, Director of Mapsko Group, says, “In recent years, tier-2 cities like Sonipat have seen the emergence of the organized real estate market, which has provided unprecedented growth and development opportunities for the developing city. Sonipat offers an enticing combination of affordability and quality of life in an ever-changing landscape, as remote work options gain popularity. Homebuyers prefer spacious homes against a backdrop of lush greenery, which provides a respite from densely populated urban areas. Sonipat’s appeal extends beyond its economic prospects, with buyers prioritizing wellness and sustainability in their investment decisions.

This seismic change in style signals a fundamental reimagining of the Indian residential landscape. It demonstrates a growing desire for a lifestyle that transcends the mundane, promising a future of limitless innovation and steady growth. Indeed, the road ahead in residential real estate is paved with unique destinations where tranquility and modernity meet, beckoning those looking to invest in a lifestyle rather than just bricks and mortar.  

Luxury villas in the sky: Mumbai residents are now upgrading to duplex and triplex apartments

Move over, Jodi Apartments: Duplex and triplex homes are the most popular trend in Mumbai. Experiencing ‘villas in the sky’ rather than combining two apartments into a ‘Jodi unit’ is the new norm, particularly among luxury homebuyers looking to upgrade to larger properties. 

Advertisements promoting ‘the lavish lifestyle with cost-effective duplex  flats in Mumbai’ or a beautifully designed 4 BHK duplex apartment with a private terrace for sale in Bandra.’ It is appropriate for a large family, so do not be surprised. Vertical instead of horizontal spread is the trend, and Mumbai residents are going all out to get a piece of this luxury living. 

Jodi apartments, balconies, and duplex housing units 

If the Jodi apartment concept, or the trend of balconies, gained traction in Mumbai earlier, it is time for duplex and triplex apartments. Jodi apartments combine two or more housing units into one. Jodi apartments and the duplex/triplex units provide more space and privacy for large families living under one roof. Buyers willing to pay a premium are now looking to improve their lifestyle by moving into duplex or triplex apartments. 

Suraj Estate Developers is selling the 42-story Ocean Star Tower built by Prabhadevi.

“We are now offering separate floors for the 50-story project ‘Suraj The Palette’ in Dadar (W). However, we can always change the plan if there is a high demand for duplex units on our upper floors,” said Rahul Thomas, Suraj Estate Developers’ Wholetime Director. 

Ocean Star, Tranquil Bay, and Mangrish are the company’s projects, which offer duplex apartments ranging in size from 2600 to 5000 square feet. 

“The trend among Mumbai buyers to own duplex and triplex apartments reflects a shift in their tastes. Most high-net-worth individuals value spacious living over price,” he told HT Digital. 

Sky bungalows have double-height living spaces.

“We have identified an inclination towards duplex apartments, with individuals desiring ‘sky bungalows’ that feature double height living spaces with a ceiling height of 24 feet in the living room- a feature typically only in villas,” he adds.  

HNIs in Mumbai are considering upgrading their lifestyle to duplex and triplex apartments. According to Parth K Mehta, CMD of Paradigm Realty, these homes are investments and lifestyle statements. Prices range between Rs 12.5 crore and Rs 100 crore. 

Redevelopment projects meeting the demand  for duplex and triplex units 

According to Ritiesh Mehta, Senior Director and Head (North and West), of residential services and developer initiative, JJL India, the trend for duplexes and triplexes is becoming more prevalent in Mumbai, particularly as redevelopment activity increases in the city.

“Many of these redevelopment plots are small land parcels, and there is little room to turn a 1000 sq ft into 3000 sq ft apartment horizontally. Rather than Jodi apartments, demand has shifted to vertical units with greater height and larger floor plans,” he said. 

“Prices for sea-facing duplex and triplex luxury housing units typically range between 10% and 15% higher,” he said. 

Architects believe that Mumbaikars’ design preferences have changed since the pandemic. Many buyers today prefer vertically distributed housing units over horizontally distributed ones. They are currently looking for more floor height. 

“Even if you combine two apartments into one Jodi, the ceiling height remains constant. People want more volume in terms of height; they want double height homes with more space and high ceilings, which may not be possible on a single floor,” said architect Hardik Pandit, director of APICES Studio Pvt Ltd, to HT Digital. 

The number of duplex and triplex units in a building depends on its number of stories and location. “We initially plan for two to three of these units in a building, but we may decide to increase the number on the upper floors based on demand.” 

These units are typically found on the higher floors of a sea-facing building and command a premium in terms of price,” he said. 

Will the duplex replace the Jodi apartment concept? 

When asked if this concept is expected to replace the ‘Jodi trend in Mumbai, he stated that the demand for ‘Jodi apartments’ will continue because it is age-related. “If a family consists of young children, they may prefer to go in for a duplex or triplex for that bungalow experience within an apartment; however, if the buyers are elderly, they may want to go in for a large ‘Jodi apartment.” 

It is also worth noting that duplex and triplex apartments are usually only available in certain areas. “If you have quite a few of these units, sales may slow down due to their high cost.” Furthermore, these will only thrive in certain environments, particularly sea-facing buildings. “Many of these units have design features like viewing decks and terraces,” he says. 

NCR luxury real estate: Capital appreciation takes center stage as wealthy Indians and NRIs increase their investments

Luxury and super-luxury residences at DLF Golf Links, DLF 5 in Gurgaon, including The Camellias, The Magnolia, and The Aralias, have seen a price increase of approximately 125 percent between 2021 and 2024. 

Luxury real estate was once only desirable for opulent living spaces, but it has now become a popular investment vehicle for affluent Indians looking to make significant capital gains. 

According to real estate experts, the rising demand for luxury living in the National Capital Region, particularly in Gurgaon, has led to significant growth in the market capitalization. 

They stated that luxury and super-luxury residences at DLF Golf Links, DLF 5 in Gurgaon, such as The Camellias, The Magnolia, and The Aralias, experienced a 125 percent price increase between 2021 and 2024. 

Demand for high-end luxury properties has increased significantly over the past decade due to homebuyers’ growing desire to invest in a place to live and a high-quality asset with good returns. 

Aakash Ohri,  Joint Managing Director and Chief Business Officer at DLF, stated the rise in wealth creation has expanded the luxury real estate market, driven by economic resilience among the affluent segments, who see real estate as not only an appreciating asset but also one with tangible and intrinsic value. 

“Moreover, the interest of the Indian diaspora in investing back into the country, fueled by emotional ties, favorable currency exchange rates, and simplified investment processes, has further bolstered the demand for luxury properties,” Ohri stated.

Where do HNIs buy? 

In January 2024, Smiti Agarwal, wife of Hemant Agarwal, CMD of retail giant V-Bazaar, paid Rs 95 crore for a 10,813 square-foot unit at DLF The Camellias in Gurgaon. 

Similarly, in October 2023, an 11,000-square-foot apartment at The Camellias sold for Rs 114 crore. The Camellias on upscale Golf Course Road has become a popular residential development for corporate executives and start-up entrepreneurs. According to sources, the founders of at least a dozen startups have purchased luxury residencies at The Camellias. 

Deep Kalra, the founder of MakeMyTrip, Sameer Manchanda of Den Networks, Aman Sharma of Boat, and entrepreneur Ashish Gurnani have all purchased super-luxury flats at DLF The Camellias. 

Vasudha Rohatgi, wife of former Indian Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, paid Rs 160 crore for an 18,900-square-foot bungalow in Tony Golf Links in February 2023. 

Bhanu Chopra, the founder of RateGain, paid Rs 127.5 crore for a bungalow in Golf Links that month.

According to Shashank Vashishtha, Executive Director of Exp Realty India, the market has seen significant capital appreciation due to the growing demand for luxury living in the NCR. Golf Course Road, DLF 5, and Golf Links are the top choices for HNIs and NRIs seeking luxury and ultra-luxury residencies.”  

Capital Appreciation

Real estate brokers reported that super luxury residencies at DLF Golf Links, such as DLF The Aralias, have increased in price from Rs 12.5 crore in 2021 to Rs 27 crore as of JANUARY 2024. Prices in DLF The Magnilias have risen from Rs 16 crore in 2021 to Rs 35.5 crore in 2024. Similarly, prices for apartments in DLF The Camellias have skyrocketed from Rs 33-35 crore in 2021 to Rs 75 crore in 2024. 

They claim that the story has been similar to other ultra-luxury properties in capital appreciation, making luxury real estate an attractive investment option for HNIs. TARC Tripundra, located opposite Pushpanjali Farms in New Delhi, has seen a 70% increase in the last 18 months, with current rates reaching 26,000 per square foot. 

Siddharth S Sharma, GM of Sales at Elitepro Infra, a real estate consultancy, stated that prices in the luxury segment have skyrocketed in Gurgaon’s prime locations such as Golf Course Road, Golf Course Extension, and Southern Peripheral Road. DLF sold out a luxury housing project in 72 hours, demonstrating the high demand for such residencies. 

“Properties in other micro markets, such as M3M’s Trump Towers, have seen capital appreciation from an initial 10,500 PSF at launch to 30,500 PSF today. Another example is DLF’s The Crest, whose value has risen from 13,000 PSF to between 38,000 and 40,000 PSF today. These figures demonstrate that investing in luxury real estate is still viable,” he said. 

Why do HNIs and NRIs invest in luxury real estate? 

Sankey Prasad, Chairman, MD, India, and CMD Middle East Project Leaders at Collier’s, stated that while the US dollar’s strength against the Indian rupee attracts NRIs, capital appreciation drives HNIs to invest in the luxury residential real estate sector. 

“Approximately  44 percent of high-net-worth individuals are interested in investing in luxury real estate for capital appreciation. This is significant because it encourages them to accumulate assets for future generations and use their luxury properties to generate revenue. Wealthy homebuyers are unconcerned about the 40% increase in luxury  home prices over the last two ears because they believe the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will lower interest rates in 2024, making it more affordable for them to purchase such properties.” 

Who is investing in Indian real estate, and where? Check this report.

According to a Cushman & Wakefield report, the Indian real estate sector received USD 1.1 billion in investments in Q1 2024, with the residential real estate sector outperforming other asset classes and attracting investments of nearly $693 million. 

In recent quarters, the residential sector has been on an upward trend, driven by strong housing demand and resurgent supply. It has also attracted a great deal of capital from investors in Q1 2024, who are banking on the segment’s bull run, which accounted for more than 63% of total realty investments in the quarter. 

In absolute terms, the Q1 2024 investment inflow into the residential market is twice the quarterly average over the previous eight quarters. 

Furthermore, nearly 48% of investment in the residential sector was concentrated in the early stages of development across the top eight cities, indicating increased investor interest, a steady rise in residential capital values across cities, and a growing share of high-end luxury launches.  

Who is investing the most? 

According to the report, domestic investors maintained a strong investment momentum, accounting for 57% of total quarterly investments. Foreign investors and collaborative (or mixed) deals accounted for 43% of the inflows in Q1 2024. This is consistent with the trend observed in 2023 when domestic investors participated in Indian real estate. 

In terms of city-specific split, Bangalore led the way, accounting for 25.6% of total investments in Q1 2024, with more than half of the share going to the city’s office sector. Pune ranked second in terms of investment volume, accounting for 14%. 

Investment in equity

Equity investments in the real estate sector stood at 58% in Q1 2024, while debt investments increased to double the quarterly average level of the previous eight quarters, with almost all of that going to the residential sector. 

The office sector remained the preferred sector among equity investors, accounting for 43%, closely followed by residential investments (38%). Despite a slowdown from the previous quarter, early-stage deals remained consistent with the average in-flows over the last eight quarters. 

In addition, corporate transaction volumes increased by 65% year on year, reaching INR 12.78 billion (USD 0.15 million). Mumbai continued to drive transaction value, accounting for 57% of the total, followed by Pune at 33%. 

According to Somy Thomas, MD of valuation & advisory and capital markets at Cushman & Wakefield, “Q1 2024 saw another strong quarter of capital inflow into the Indian real estate sector, with residential dominating due to renewed customer and investor confidence. This strong performance has piqued investors’ interest, prompting them to invest in a market that is expected to grow even more. 

“Domestic investors increased their investment in the quarter, providing additional protection against potential global headwinds while strengthening India’s domestic market and investor interests. As we start the new fiscal year, we expect this momentum to continue, with potentially more diverse investments in the future. 

Hiring in real estate and construction surges by 86%; Delhi, Bengaluru, and Mumbai lead: report

A strong business environment, an increase in warehousing and industrial needs, commercial housing requirements as migration grows, the opening of manufacturing facilities, and other factors may all contribute to this trend.

Between March 2023 and March 2024, the number of construction and real estate employees increased by 86%. According to Indeed, the surge in demand has been accompanied by a 57% increase in job seekers’ interest, with Delhi, Bengaluru, and Mumbai leading the way. 

According to Indeed Data, Delhi had the highest construction hiring rate, at 5.05 percent, followed by Bengaluru (4.68 percent) and Mumbai (4.13 percent). A strong business environment, an upsurge in warehousing and industrial needs, increased commercial housing requirements as migration rises, the opening of manufacturing facilities, and other factors could all contribute to this trend. 

“Smaller cities such as Ernakulum (2%), Kochi (1.50%), Lucknow (1.38%), and Calicut (1.25%) are among the top regions attracting job seekers’ attention. This trend could be attributed to low living costs or local job opportunities that allow people to work closer to home. Indeed lists Ernakulum, Calicut, and Kochi as Tier 2 and 3 cities with the most job postings. 

Engineers (17.18 percent), project leads and supervisors (8 percent), and architects (5 percent) are the most popular job roles, according to job postings. In line with demand, job seekers are interested in engineers (21.31 percent), project leads and supervisors (9.33 percent), and architects (4.27 percent). As construction becomes more complex and technical, the industry requires more skilled workers. 

According to the findings, Sashi Kumar, head of sales at Indeed India, stated, “The construction industry continues to be a key driver of economic growth, providing enormous opportunities for skilled professionals and semi-skilled labor. The significant increase in hiring points to promising prospects for job seekers and employers, while the increase in job seeker interest reflects the industry’s strong momentum.” 

Global investors are shifting to alternative assets; institutional investments in Indian real estate are up 16% since 2021

The COVID019 pandemic, as well as interest rate fluctuations, have had a significant impact on the Asia-Pacific real estate sector. While COVID-19 is no longer considered a global health emergency, interest rate changes continue to play a role in the market’s direction. 

Global volatility has made the real estate market unpredictable. Owners and investors now value consistent yields over capital gains. Furthermore, investors and occupiers are increasingly aware of their ESG credentials. Quantifying the positive impact of green practices on property values requires collaboration among industry stakeholders. In an uncertain world, regular valuation reviews can help manage portfolio risk. 

India’s real estate investments have increased by 16% since 2021, thanks in part to central banks enforcing stricter monetary policies, slowing commercial real estate (CRE) growth in developed countries, and global investors shifting their focus to alternative investments. 

Bengaluru, India’s largest commercial real estate (CRE) market, has seen an increase in foreign and domestic investment. However, no significant cap rate compression has been detected. This lack of compression can be attributed to macroeconomic factors such as inflation, credit conditions, and interest rate policies, which affect asset valuations. 

Bengaluru’s commercial real estate (CRE) sector is expected to expand rapidly in the coming year, with rents rising modestly. These positive trends are influenced by macroeconomic factors, which keep cap rates relatively stable. While retail consumption growth is expected to slow, this will result in more consistent net operating income (NOI) growth and potentially fewer transactions in the retail asset market. Meanwhile, industrial cap rates may be slightly lower due to increased capital exposure and demand. 

Looking at the Mumbai region, there was a noticeable increase in consumption demand following the pandemic. This growth was most visible in average trade densities, which resulted in higher in-place rents for organized retail assets. These retail properties used a model that combined minimum rent with revenue sharing, resulting in higher Net Operating incomes (NOIs) and thus higher valuations.  

This hyper-growth was primarily limited to the luxury and premium market segments, with little benefit to the overall retail market, including high streets. Yields stabilized, maintenance capital expenditures increased, and gross rents remained flat, causing retail capitalization rates to remain range-bound in recent years. Cap rates for retail and commercial real estate (CRE) assets are expected to remain stable, as capital allocations and trades show no significant improvement from an institutional standpoint. 

Continued growth in private consumption, business demand, and supportive policy measures led to significant investments in industrial assets, particularly warehousing and data centers. As a result, asset valuations improved as cap rates fell 150-200 basis points below 2020 levels. Industrial cap rates are expected to decline slightly due to increased capital exposure, strong demand, and supportive incentive programs to encourage investment in this sector.