Grappling with multiple issues like stalled or delayed projects, liquidity crunch and high property values coupled with weaker demand and low sales, the residential space has been gradually losing PE investor interest over the years, with equity investments down to 3 per cent in 2018 from 27 per cent. Institutional investors believe residential developers still have to tighten their operations, believes Ashutosh Limaye, Director & Head - Consulting Services, Anarock Property Consultants .“That’s why, PE has not really come in equity form to the residential segment, although they may consider investing as debt.”
However, this is expected to change with the impetus to the affordable housing sector. HDFC Capital has already raised a $ 1-billion dedicated platform for investments in affordable and mid-income residential projects in 15 cities. Prestige Estate Projects and HDFC Capital Advisors have committed $ 390 million for affordable housing projects. And Puravankara Developers is also in talks with domestic funds for affordable housing projects.
Further, in February this year, Blackstone announced that PE funds managed by it have entered into an agreement to acquire the entire stake in Aadhar Housing Finance, India’s largest independent affordable housing finance company. Blackstone will simultaneously infuse Rs 8 billion PE capital into Aadhar. The transaction is expected to close later this year.
- SERAPHINA D’SOUZA