PE inflows in residential at 4-year low, commercial at 4-year high
Real Estate

PE inflows in residential at 4-year low, commercial at 4-year high

  • Total private equity inflows in residential at US$ 266 mn in 2018 – an 82 per cent decline since 2015
  • Commercial real estate drew the lion’s share with US$ 2.8 bn PE funds
  • Average deal size increased by over 170 per cent in 4 years – from US$ 47 mn in 2015 to US$ 128 mn in 2018
  • Overall real estate sector attracted over US$ 4 bn of PE funds in 2018; a decline of 9 per cent against 2017
  • In less than 3 months into 2019, PE investment into real estate are close to US$ 1 bn

Institutional investors invested more than US$ 4 bn funds across the country's real estate segments in 2018, states Anarock Property Consultants' latest report 'Private Equity in Indian Real Estate'. The commercial office segment saw the highest inflows, accounting for a massive 70 per cent share of the total institutional investments into the industry in 2018. Retail real estate came in a distant second with 7 per cent, and the residential sector drew the least private equity among the three sectors, with less than 7 per cent of the overall share.

The report says that out of the total PE inflow of US$ 14 bn into the sector in the last four years, 2017 and 2018 collectively saw the maximum investments to the tune of US$ 8.6 bn.

Shobhit Agarwal, Managing Director & CEO, Anarock Capital, says, “Currently, funding is a major hurdle for the Indian real estate’s growth prospects – especially post the NBFC crisis. Private equity funding is the best alternative for developers who qualify for it. Despite a decline of 9 per cent in PE inflows in 2018 against the preceding year, 2019 will bring a marked increase in private equity funding because of India’s first REIT listing."

"From this point onward, commercial real estate – especially Grade-A office spaces – will attract considerable investments," he says. "Nevertheless, much of the industry's prospects also hinge on the outcome of the upcoming general elections. Institutional investors will continue to pump in funds into the real estate industry if they can rely on political stability, proactive policies and a favourable microeconomic environment.”

The report further states that despite deal numbers declining since 2015, the average deal size has increased by nearly 172 per cent in the last four years – from US$ 47 mn in 2015 to US$ 128 mn in 2018. Interestingly, the top 5 deals in 2018 alone contributed almost 50 per cent of the total investments during the year. PE investors have become more cautious about selecting and associating with developers; however, once confident, they are making larger investments.

Top 5 PE Deals of 2018



Amount (US$M)




Shapoorji Pallonji Group

Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd.





Phoenix Group






Indiabulls Real Estate






Equinox Business Park






Phoenix Group






Source: ANAROCK Research

"A segment-wise breakdown indicates that commercial realty saw an annual increase of 27 per cent in PE investments – from nearly US$ 2.2 bn in 2017 to over US$ 2.8 billion in 2018," says Agarwal. "High occupancy levels, relatively lower rentals in dollar terms, quality Grade A assets and high-quality tenants are the key reasons for commercial space to draw around 70 per cent of the overall share of the total private equity investments in 2018. Considering high demand, fund exits have been relatively easier in commercial real estate – and with REITs being launched, they will become even easier."

Q1 2019 PE Update

In 3 months into 2019, we have already seen PE equity investment touching almost US$ 1 bn, the majority of it coming through a single deal when Brookfield acquired a portfolio of hotel assets of Leela Ventures for US$ 570 mn recently.

Also, investors’ interest in long-term real estate plays with preferred developers continues to be visible with more than US$ 500 mn of additional platforms getting created in just 2.5 months. As we speak, the REIT offering by the Blackstone – Embassy Group is ongoing. If the interest for this new investment platform is as expected, it will open a new chapter in the country’s real estate space.

Key Deals in Q1 2019



Asset Class

Amt (US$ Mn)


Hotel Leela Ventures









Casagrand Distripark


Logistics & Warehousing


Source: ANAROCK Research

Other Report Highlights:

  • Between 2016 and 2017, the main Southern cities cumulatively saw just 18 per cent (in 2016) and 17 per cent (in 2017) of the total PE investments. This share increased to 54 per cent in 2018 through a series of investments.
  • The retail real estate sector is riding high on India's growing consumerism - not just in metros and tier 1 cities but also in Tier-II and Tier-III cities. Nearly 46 per cent of institutional investments in retail spaces between 2015 and 2018 were made in non-metro cities like Bhubaneshwar, Chandigarh, Indore, Amritsar and Ahmedabad.
  • Due to multiple issues like stalled or delayed projects, the liquidity crunch, high property values andlow sales, the residential real estate sector has been shedding PE investors' interest. Between 2015 and 2018, equity investments into the sector reduced from 47 per cent to a mere 3 per cent.
  • However, the affordable housing segment is gaining momentum and investors will seek to secure a slice of this increasingly lucrative pie.
Best-performing Cities:

  • At the city-level, Mumbai continued to be the most-preferred destination for overall PE investments, seeing nearly 38 per cent of the total capital inflows in 2018
  • Hyderabad witnessed a sudden burst in investments in 2018, attracting more than US$ 1.1 bn of private equity - a more than three-fold increase in investments compared to the collective previous three-year period. This growth spurt was largely led by commercial real estate, with the Phoenix Group receiving vast PE infusions through multiple deals.
  • Hyderabad surpassed Bangalore and Chennai, the other two major South Indian cities, in investment inflows.
Going forward in 2019, institutional investors are likely to continue infusing investments into the maturing Indian real estate market, which offers more scope for growth than developed countries with matured real estate markets. Moreover, strategic policy relaxations to boost the ease of doing business, coupled with the rapidly transformed business environment, will continue to attract private equity to Indian real estate.

Read the full report here:

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