Realty sentiments turn positive; realtors, stakeholders optimistic over business comeback


MUMBAI: The combination of gradual unlocking of the economy, improving macro-economic parameters along with record low home loan rates, attractive discounts and offers have helped sentiments in the real estate sector turn optimistic. The recent increase in real estate sales momentum has added to the positive sentiment among real estate stakeholders as the business confidence makes a comeback.

The future sentiment score for the next six months has demonstrated significant improvement at 52 point, up from 41 in the previous quarter, showed a survey jointly conducted by Knight Frank, FICCI and NAREDCO. This revival in sentiments is attributed to the remarkable upturn seen in the real estate activity, especially in the residential segment, in the third quarter of 2020 as a result of the unlocking process.

A score of above 50 signifies ‘Optimism’ in sentiments, a score of 50 means the sentiment is ‘Same’ or ‘Neutral’, while a score below 50 shows ‘Pessimism’. A cumulative score is arrived at on the basis of responses and assigned weightage.

“The return of the end -users in the market, especially in the residential segment is a matter of cheer for the entire sector, as it indicates economic confidence and long-term commitments. The festive season in the ongoing quarter is likely to further support the revival of the real estate sector. We are hoping that the government and allied agencies will encourage this growth with more supportive decisions,” said Shishir Baijal, CMD, Knight Frank India.

The current sentiment score for the past six months also recorded a significant improvement from the previous quarter low of 22 points to 40 points in the September quarter.

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Baijal believes although volumes are yet to catch up to the pre-Covid levels, the spurt has been instrumental in perking up sentiments. Similar positivity is visible for the office sector as well, where we have seen a revival of leasing activities.

An increase in real estate activities has been a great morale booster for the sector. The September quarter saw residential sales volumes increase to 55% of pre-Covid levels, showing signs for revival and catching up of sales velocity.

“The sentiment Index score for Q3 2020 indicates the gained momentum in the economic activity as a cumulative outcome of the economic unlocking phase and policy measures driven by the Government and RBI. Industry is optimistic with renewed consumer confidence with unclogging of the economy. The housing demand is expected to rebound strongly due to the pent-up demand on the parameters of safe and secured investment,” said Niranjan Hiranandani, National President, NAREDCO and MD, Hiranandani Group.

According to him, the snowball effect will be visible in the upcoming festive season as developers put across their best offers and schemes to clock sales which will further give impetus to the economic demand. The consumption cycle has once again moved back in an optimistic zone salvaging the economic recovery.

In September quarter, residential launches and sales bounced back from the Covid-induced decline, across property markets. The office sector also resumed operations, at varying occupancies across markets as occupiers took steps to ensure continuity in business operations to their highest potential. These developments have turned the stakeholder outlook on the real estate sector to optimism.

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“There is a temporary slowdown phase in terms of maintaining rents growth and new expansions etc. Rental collection is approx. 97%-98% stable amongst Grade A developments where majority of tenants are Fortune 500. Going forward, social distancing as a basic principle will lead to less dense space requirement. The office interiors layouts and organizations offering flexible timings and remote working would likely be a new norm,” said Sanjay Dutt, Joint Chairman, FICCI Real Estate Committee and Managing Director and CEO, Tata Realty and Infrastructure.

The outlook on financing also improved during this period. Over 38% of the survey respondents, up from 25% in the previous quarter, opined that the funding scenario will be better in the coming six months while 31% of respondents felt that the current levels of credit availability would continue for the next six months.





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