Pradeep Aggarwal, Founder & Chairman, Signature Global and Chairman – ASSOCHAM National Council on Real Estate, Housing and Urban Development
The year gone by was a good year for the real estate sector but anything substantial did not come out. A lot of announcement were made and we hope that in the coming year at least some of them will come to fruition. In affordable segment we expect that government should seriously look into the issue of raw material cost and land prices.
A push for affordable housing has been the Haryana Cabinet’s decisions to increase the total limit for grant of Affordable Group Housing Colony in a sector from existing 15 acres to 30 acres and extending the Deen Dayal Jan Awas Yojna to Gurugram Development Plan. The latest development came a few months after the announcement of DeenDayal Jan Awas Yojana (DDJAY), an affordable housing scheme to encourage the development of ”high density plotted colonies” in Low and Medium Potential towns of Haryana through a liberal policy framework.
To meet this burgeoning demand, a coordinated effort on policy part is required where every state should have such policies and the supply should come up everywhere to meet the target of ‘Housing for All’.
Manoj Gaur, MD, Gaurs Group and Chairman, Affordable Housing Committee, CREDAI
From an industry perspective, the year 2019 turned out to be a rather challenging one. Despite various measures announced by the Government as well as RBI, the going was tough for the industry. The sluggish economic growth during the first two quarters of the current fiscal added to the misery of the sector. As a result, both sales as well as launches fell during the year.
However, 2020 may be a different year. The impact of some of the measures is likely to bear fruit is next couple of months. Accordingly, we expect 2020 to be a better. There is also an expectation that Government may cut personal income tax as well. If materialised, this will certainly boost the economy as well as real estate sector.
Rajat Goel, Joint Managing Director, MRG World
The year has been a phenomenal one for the real estate as it saw the revival of buyer’s faith in real estate. From repo rate cuts to the passing of the benefits to the homebuyers, announcement of packages for the sector to the hopes of likely infusion of funds have all made 2019 a year that will be remembered for the maximum a government has done to show seriousness towards the primary need of the citizens, which is housing. In the coming year, we hope that the tempo will be maintained and that infusion of funds will see the light of the day making it possible for the sector to function smoothly.
The announcement of INR 10,000 crore fund that has to be used for last-mile funding of stuck affordable and mid segment projects was an important move. The move was appreciated as it came at a time when delays were causing apprehensions. Also, the special window will get investments from institutions like LIC, SBI and others which will take the corpus to nearly INR 25,000 crore. More importantly, many NPA projects and those facing bankruptcy proceedings under NCLT are to be included and this gave relief to the aggrieved homebuyers.
Uddhav Poddar, MD, Bhumika Group
When the government announced to invest Rs 100 lakh crore in infrastructure over the next five years, the news was a blessing in disguise for the tier II cities. The announcement takes care of the most important aspect in real estate which is infrastructural development that leads to flourishing real estate market. The announcement made it possible to address the long pending concern regarding the exodus of people from the smaller cities to bigger cities. The development will lead to employment creation along with the movement of MNCs to these cities due to increasing cost of operation in bigger cities.
Another reason for the residential markets in tier II cities performing better than tier I cities is the budget, which is affordable as compared to high property prices in metros. The subdued demand in metros can also be attributed to the availability of projects in areas that are preferred by the buyers.
Going forward, the prices in these cities will assume an upward trajectory as the demand will increase in near future. The growth in prices will be faster in cities that are coming under the Smart Cities program, which means that the buyers in these cities should not delay their decision. Not all tier 2 are performing uniformly well but the supply will follow demand.
Deepak Kapoor, Director, Gulshan Homz
2019 was a hectic year for the sector with so much happening almost every month. The government was seen concerned and willing to help but all these measures are likely to have effect in the coming year. All the segments of real estate — commercial to residential — saw a healthy movement but the pace was not the way it should have been. Multiple policy measures were announced but something was left wanting and it is this gap that has be plugged in with the coming of new year. We hope that 2020 would be much fruitful in terms of funding for real estate and finance options for the buyers.
Sagar Saxena, Project Head, Spectrum Metro
The commercial segment which includes industrial, retail and frontier segments such as co-living, did well in 2019 and same is expected from 2020. The need to get good return in short and long-term, the investors with real estate know-how diverted their attention towards commercial real estate. Commercial office stock is likely to cross 600 million sq ft and office space leasing in major cities is expected to cross 100 million sq ft by 2020.
However, the retail segment is getting affected by the economy and if there is slowdown in business or MNCs shutting down or curtailing their operations, the demand will nose dive. With the government taking necessary steps such for fuelling the economy, the sector is likely to bounce back and continue with its good run. Growth in this segment is good as investors show great interest in commercial and recently NRIs have also started investing in this segment mainly because of lucrative returns. The demand for good office property, which can yield good rental returns, is on the rise because of the coming up of REIT listing in the Indian market and also because of the increasing number of requirement coming from the new employment generation options. With residential real estate becoming end-user driven, commercial real estate has emerged as a more attractive investment proposition for individual investors as well as institutional funds and it will remain so in 2020 too.
Dhruv Agarwala, Group CEO, Elara Technologies, the country’s only full stack real estate technology platform that owns PropTiger.com, Housing.com and Makaan.com
“To say it was a tough year for the housing sector is an understatement. Sales were anaemic despite help that came in the form of generous interest rate cuts and tax benefits from the RBI and the government respectively. Those measures fell short in reviving the sector with interest among buyers lukewarm because of a lack of confidence in builders and builders themselves struggling because of a severe liquidity crunch driven in large measure by the NBFC crisis.”
“The Rs 25,000 crore fund to salvage stalled projects and the progress made in resolutions for Jaypee and Amrapali group will go a long way in reviving sentiment in the market during 2020 and the coming years.”
“To say that there were no positives would be unjustified. The industry saw a growth in demand for affordable housing and higher sales bookings by builders with good track records. The co-living segment for students and young working professionals gained a lot of momentum. This segment can only grow more as consumer preferences get better understood and business models evolve”.
“Commercial real estate performed exceedingly well and leasing of office space is likely to end the year at record levels. India got its first REIT with more in the pipeline. This will transform the industry with the unlocking of massive amounts of capital. The co- working segment also witnessed growth, despite the WeWork fiasco, as demand for flexible and short term office space is on the rise”.
Nayan Raheja, Executive Director, Raheja Group
While the year 2019 for Real Estate shall be looked back upon as a year of New Law Changes, GDP projection downgrades, IBC law amendments, it was a good year primarily for the affordable segment, office segment, co working, rentals and Ready to Move Inventories. While new launches remained muted, the older inventory kept being steadily absorbed.
The year 2020 however comes with a fresh promise of growth. With the newly introduced AIF (Alternate Investment Fund), Proposed Thresh-hold introduction in the IBC/NCLT laws, policy frameworks for new product typologies like affordable resi. plots and commercial plots, active steps by the government to increase liquidity in the system with increased lending, and a focus on an overall higher gdp growth, India looks poised to be on its way to finally break the gridlock of stuck projects and move towards a healthy real estate cycle.
Mohit Goel, CEO, Omaxe Limited
The year 2019 was a challenging one for the economy as a whole as well as for the real estate sector. Accordingly, both the sales and launches were on the decline during the year. To arrest the slide, Government has announced several measures benefits of these will start accruing in 2020. With budget also round the corner, Government may announce some more measure to boost the economy. Accordingly, we feel the year 2020 will be a year of revival for the real estate sector.
On the Company’s front, the year 2019 was a remarkable one. During the year, we launched and delivered several projects in New Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Faridabad and Lucknow. We also launched Omaxe Chowk in association with North Municipal Corporation of Delhi (N-MCD) at the iconic Chandni Chowk. The project is the first organised commercial offering in the area encompassing retail, food court as well as multi-level parking spaces. The response has been overwhelming and the construction has restarted after a brief period of ban.
Yash Miglani, Managing Director, Migsun Group
The year 2019 was a tough one for real estate sector, but affordable housing did reasonably well. Most of our project offerings are in affordable category and we received encouraging response of the customers especially in the second half of the year. With Government announcing several measures in the last couple of months, we expect the revival of the sector is round the corner and affordable housing will play a key role in it. Adding on, the move by the government was appreciated as infusion of funds will see the light of the day making it possible for the real estate sector to function it efficiently
Ashish Bhutani, CEO, Bhutani Infra
Consecutive repo rate cuts, GST, fund allocation announcements summed up the year for real estate. This summary contains a whole gamut of expectations that real estate sector had. It meant that buyers got lower EMIs and gift in the form GST, developers got announcement of funds that will expedite the development of projects. The hectic activity in 2019 will translate into lot on the plate of the buyers to choose from and hence the coming year will definitely be a good year for the sector.
Vikas Bhasin, CMD, Saya Homes
The biggest announcement for real estate was the announcement of Rs 25,000 crore budget that will infuse much needed liquidity in the market. Apart from that various measures taken by the government meant that the pace of sales did not go down as many experts were expecting. Overall the year was good as developers saw unsold inventory declining, new projects being lapped up and stuck projects seeing ray of hope. The coming year will take it from where 2019 left and hence a renewed market is expected in 2020.
Dhiraj Bora, Head Marcomm, Paramount Group
Year 2019 will go down in history as the year that had so much in the offering for real estate developers and buyers. From policy changes to major announcement by the government change the course of the way real estate works and is perceived. The coming year will see marked change in the fortunes of real estate as buyers will throng the market riding high on varied offerings and low EMIs.