Byline: Urvi Shrivastav
Moderator: Gautam Saraf, Managing Director, Mumbai and New Business at Cushman & Wakefield
- Dhaval Ajmera, Director at Ajmera Realty & Infra (I) Ltd
- Ram Raheja Director, S Raheja Realty Pvt ltd
- Ravi Ahuja, Head Commercial Business at L&T Realty
- Vivek Soni, CEO, Westcourt
While the pandemic took a toll on the economy worldwide, we are now accelerating towards a recovery. One of the sectors grossly impacted by the lockdown and job losses was the real estate sale and purchase of property. With favourable government policies, this sector is expected to recover full swing with new investment opportunities opening up.
Discussing the same at BW Businessworld’s event ‘BW VC World..’, Dhaval Ajmera, Director, Ajmera Realty & Infra (I) Ltd notes, “Overall the real estate market is looking very buoyant and positive. Beyond the first month of the pandemic, all real estate developers were sitting at home doing business. This shows the importance of real estate. All that were ready to move in and under construction have seen a lot of development.”
Another notable point in the discussion was the return of the first home buyer in the segment. Given the culture of extensive shifting due to work, they did not want to get tied down by an expensive home loan. However now it has seen a change. “It is an investment opportunity that eventually coverts to owning a security and asset to your name, with the fact that you can come back and eventually use this space as a home. Residential real estate is a very tangible asset.”
However, a polar opposite phenomenon is being witnessed in the commercial real estate, where rental spaces being taken up as well as their price has gone down. Ravi Ahuja, Head Commercial Business at L&T Realty notes in this regard, “The dynamics in commercial real estate are evolving after the pandemic. It has evolved a work from home model which the corporates are now strategizing. Having said that India saw two of the largest investment deals in the thick of the pandemic, with Prestige Group and DRMC group sold off.” The pandemic itself has been a mixed bag, but corporates are now looking to get back, with cost, flexibility and the ability to scale up and down for individuals. There is also a rising concept of ‘neighbourhood office’.
A similar trend is seen globally, where the residential demand is sustaining. “The demand for larger residential, or residences which are plotted, pr builder floors, or standalone residences is increasing.”, notes Vivek Soni, CEO, Westcourt. The sale of apartments has not picked up, but the sale of plotted developments is spreading. “The price pf plots in DLF has gone uo 50-8-% in last one year.”, adds Soni. The trend would be, “Working near to your homes, and large floor plate offices will see maximum stress.”, he adds.
Lastly, Ram Raheja Director, S Raheja Realty Pvt ltd, notes, “Healthcare will definitely be one of the top asset classes in real estate coming out of this.” In addition he also adds, “We have seen a major upswing in the demand for second home market, it is our first home buyers that are looking for their second home as well.”
Investment in real estate will rewire itself post lockdown, however, it is yet to be seen how things materialise.