The real estate sector is one of the most globally recognised sectors. In India, real estate is the second largest employer after agriculture and is slated to grow at 30 per cent over the next decade. The real estate sector comprises four sub sectors – housing, retail, hospitality, and commercial. The growth of this sector is well complemented by the growth of the corporate environment and the demand for office space as well as urban and semi-urban accommodations. The construction industry ranks third among the 14 major sectors in terms of direct, indirect and induced effects in all sectors of the economy.
It is also expected that this sector will incur more non-resident Indian (NRI) investments in both the short term and the long term. Bengaluru is expected to be the most favoured property investment destination for NRIs, followed by Ahmedabad, Pune, Chennai, Goa, Delhi and Dehradun.
India’s rank in the Global House Price Index has jumped 13* spots to reach the ninth position among 55 international markets, on the back of increasing prices in mainstream residential sector.
The Indian real estate market is expected to touch US$ 180 billion by 2020. The housing sector alone contributes 5-6 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
In the period FY2008-2020, the market size of this sector is expected to increase at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11.2 per cent. Retail, hospitality and commercial real estate are also growing significantly, providing the much-needed infrastructure for India’s growing needs.
A total of 2,17,900 new houses in six Indian states were sanctioned by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) (PMAY) to push affordable housing in the urban areas of the country.
The private equity investments in real estate increased 26 per cent to a nine-year high of nearly Rs 40,000 crore (US$ 6.01 billion) in 2016.
Sectors such as IT and ITeS, retail, consulting and e-commerce have registered high demand for office space in recent times. The office space absorption in 2016 across the top eight cities amounted to 34 million square feet (msf) with Bengaluru recording the highest net absorption during the year. Information Technology and Business Process Management sector led the total leasing table with 52 per cent of total space uptake in 2016. Mumbai is the best city in India for commercial real estate investment, with returns of 12-19 per cent likely in the next five years, followed by Bengaluru and Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR).
The Indian real estate sector has witnessed high growth in recent times with the rise in demand for office as well as residential spaces. The real estate sector in India is expected to attract investments worth US$ 10 billion by 2020. India has been ranked fourth in developing Asia for FDI inflows as per the World Investment Report 2016 by the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development. According to data released by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), the construction development sector in India has received Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) equity inflows to the tune of US$ 24.54 billion in the period April 2000-June 2017.
Some of the major investments in this sector are as follows:
- Private equity (PE) investments in the Indian real estate sector are estimated to cross US$ 4 billion in 2017, supported by Government of India’s regulatory reforms over the past two years.
- Fundraising and investments in India’s office space sector, which have already reached more than US$ 2 billion in 2017, are poised to rise higher with further foreign investment of US$ 1.4 billion expected, as local developers and foreign investors expand their portfolios through fresh investments, acquisitions or launch of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) to build and acquire office assets.
- South Korea’s Mirae Asset group is planning to expand its Indian operations and enter the real estate sector in the country and will invest US$ 500 million in commercial leased properties.
- A Rs 400 crore (US$ 62.39 million) investment platform is being set up by private equity firm ASK Property Investment Advisors and Emerald Haven Realty, which will focus on property markets in Chennai and Bengaluru.
- The realty sector of India received investments of over Rs 16,000 crore (US$ 2.51 billion) as both debt and equity in the first half of 2017 and 56 per cent of these investments were in residential projects.
- Piramal Realty, the real estate arm of Piramal Enterprises Ltd, has decided to invest Rs 2,400 crore (US$ 376.71 million) in a 16-acre corporate park project in Kurla, Mumbai, its first ever commercial project.
- Indian real estate developer, BPTP has raised funds around Rs 190 crore (US$ 29.5 million) from L&T Finance Holdings Ltd, which will be used to finance the construction of its two residential projects in Faridabad, Haryana.
- International Finance Corporation (IFC) will invest US$ 200 million in Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd (HDFC) via five-year non-convertible debentures (NCDs) or masala bonds which will be used by HDFC to provide loans for affordable housing projects across India.
- Godrej Properties Ltd has tied up with Taj Palaces Resorts Safaris for developing its mixed-use project called ‘The Trees’, spread across 9.2 acres, that will include a 150-room Taj Hotel, a luxury residential property called ‘Godrej Origins’ as well as a high-street retail court.
- Motilal Oswal Real Estate, a real estate-focused investment subsidiary of Motilal Oswal Private Equity Advisors Pvt Ltd, is planning to invest Rs 800 crore (US$ 124 million) in FY 2017-18 in mid-income residential projects as well as commercial office projects.
- Xander, a Private Equity Group, has signed two major property deals, which includes a special economic zone worth Rs 2,290 crore (US$ 354.95 million) in Chennai and a 2 million sq ft mall in Chandigarh for Rs 700 crore (US$ 108.5 million).
- Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), the Canadian pension asset manager, has entered into a non-binding agreement with Island Star Mall Developers (ISML), a subsidiary of Phoenix Mills, to acquire up to 49 per cent in ISML in the next three years.
- Altico Capital, a non-banking finance company (NBFC), has teamed up with American private equity firm KKR & Co LP to invest Rs 435 crore (US$ 65.25 million) in a 66-acre residential township, being developed by SARE Homes in Gurgaon.
- Gurgaon-based property search aggregator Square Yards Consulting Pvt Ltd has raised US$ 12 million from the private equity arm of Reliance Group for strengthening its team and expanding its presence to more than 25 countries.
- Rising Straits Capital plans to raise US$ 100 million to capitalise its real estate-focused non-banking financial company (NBFC), Rising Straits Finance Co. Pvt. Ltd.
- A joint venture between Dutch asset manager APG Asset Management and real estate asset platform Virtuous Retail, has acquired a portfolio of three shopping malls for US$ 300 million, and has committed an additional US$ 150 million as equity capital to expand the portfolio.
- Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) and Tata Housing Development Co. Ltd have entered into a 70:30 partnership to invest Rs 1,400 crore (US$ 210 million) and Rs 600 crore (US$ 90 million) respectively in high-end residential property projects, starting with four major cities of Mumbai, NCR, Bengaluru and Pune.
- Qatar Holdings LLC, a subsidiary of Qatar Investment Authority, has committed to invest US$ 250 million in the affordable housing fund of Arthveda Fund Management Pvt Ltd.
- Piramal Realty, the real estate division of Piramal Group, plans to invest Rs 1,800 crore (US$ 270.14 million) in an eight acre project named Piramal Revanta in Mulund, Mumbai.
- Ivanhoe Cambridge, the real estate arm of Canada’s second largest pension fund manager Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), plans to enter into a Joint Venture (JV) agreement with Piramal Fund Management to set up a US$ 250 million venture, which will provide equity capital to developers of residential projects in the country.
The Government of India along with the governments of the respective states has taken several initiatives to encourage the development in the sector. The Smart City Project, where there is a plan to build 100 smart cities, is a prime opportunity for the real estate companies. Below are some of the other major Government Initiatives:
- A new public private partnerships (PPP) policy with eight PPP options has been unveiled by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India, to push for investments in the affordable housing segment.
- The Delhi Government has declared 89 out of 95 villages in Delhi as urban areas which will ease the operationalising of the land pooling policy, thereby giving a boost to affordable housing in Delhi.
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has proposed to allow banks to invest in real estate investment trusts (REITs) and infrastructure investment trusts (InvITs) which is expected to benefit both real estate and banking sector in diversifying investor base and investment avenues respectively.
- The Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation has sanctioned the construction of 84,460 more affordable houses for urban poor in five states, namely West Bengal, Jharkhand, Punjab, Kerala and Manipur under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) scheme with a total investment of Rs 3,073 crore (US$ 460 million).
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has given its approval for the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) platform which will help in allowing all kinds of investors to invest in the Indian real estate market. It would create an opportunity worth Rs 1.25 trillion (US$ ) in the Indian market over the years. Responding to an increasingly well-informed consumer base and, bearing in mind the aspect of globalisation, Indian real estate developers have shifted gears and accepted fresh challenges. The most marked change has been the shift from family owned businesses to that of professionally managed ones. Real estate developers, in meeting the growing need for managing multiple projects across cities, are also investing in centralised processes to source material and organise manpower and hiring qualified professionals in areas like project management, architecture and engineering.
The growing flow of FDI into Indian real estate is encouraging increased transparency. Developers, in order to attract funding, have revamped their accounting and management systems to meet due diligence standards.