Emerging funds in India’s real estate
Real estate may be down but it is certainly not out.
“Commercial office space was the most vibrant and active asset class in 2018, followed by the retail sector, particularly good quality malls,” observes Shobhit Agarwal, Managing Director & CEO, Anarock Capital. He expects this trend to continue in 2019.
“The high-end office space segment is at an interesting point in its cycle with very little space under construction,” observes Karan Bolaria, CEO, Godrej Fund Management.
“Real-estate funds are expressing greater interest in industrial, commercial and retail real assets, given that the residential sector is struggling with slow sales and unsold inventory,” agrees Suresh Castellino, Executive National Director, Capital Markets & Investment Services, Colliers International India. “With the introduction of GST, the industrial sector has gained immense potential and large pools of capital from real-estate funds are chasing this sector. This class is closely followed by income-yielding commercial assets, which is where most foreign institutional investors have exposure.”
“Logistics and warehousing transformed rapidly in 2018 after being accorded infrastructure status in November 2017,” continues Castellino. “Owing to implementation of GST, increased interest from national and international investors, strong economic fundamentals, proactive reforms and increasing use of technology, warehousing stock supply is expected to see substantial increase over the next two years.”
“While the residential segment is currently at a low, it has strong fundamentals behind it and will revive soon, although it is hard to say exactly when that will happen, in six to eight months or 12 to 18 months,” says Bolaria. “That makes now the right time to invest in residential projects.”
“In the near future, we believe housing for the middle income group will see the highest demand, essentially because India has a large middle class and Indians favour putting down money on their own homes,” says Khushru Jijina, Managing Director, Piramal Capital & Housing Finance. “Demand for affordable housing is expected to touch Rs 6.25 trillion by 2022, supported by a growing population, a young demographic profile, the shift towards nuclear families, rapid urbanisation and high real-estate prices vis-à-vis the average household income of would-be buyers. Over 50 per cent of the launches over the past year have been in the affordable category.”
What are some new products that might attract real-estate funds?
“In future, we may invest in data centres and/or co-working spaces; these seem to be emerging spaces with potential,” says Bolaria.
“Emerging asset classes in 2018 that saw growing interest of institutional funds included living spaces for seniors, housing for students and co-living spaces,” says Agarwal. “Although these segments are at a nascent stage, the stage is set for them to grow.”
- CHARU BAHRI