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Changing Dynamics of the Indian Realty Sector











India is facing a cyclical downturn in its economy at present; but we believe this phase to be a short one. Though recent downturns in investment activity have contributed to the overall deceleration in manufacturing and construction, this in no way indicates a long-term slowdown. The country's strong economy coupled with existing domestic demand in the realty sector will continue to attract investments. In this paper Cushman & Wakefield Research projects the robust demand of the Indian real estate sector for the next five years, highlighting the current investment scenario with its challenges and sectoral opportunities.
The country's economy has been growing at an average rate of 8.8% in the last four fiscal years (2003-04 to 2006-07), with the 2006-07 growth rate of 9.6% being the highest in the last 18 years. The industrial and service sectors have been contributing significantly to this effect. Projections made by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) earlier this year indicated that global growth was expected to slowdown to 4.1% in 2008 – down from estimations of 4.9% made last year, due to intensified market conditions led by the U.S. subprime crisis. It is however expected that the strong domestic demand from emerging markets, such as India and China, will lessen the impact on capital inflows by positively affecting world economic growth. India's GDP growth for the current fiscal year is expected to be in the range of 7.5-8.0% which is an impressive figure by itself though down from earlier expectations of 9.0%. This is essentially due to the tight monetary measures that have been called in to control the country's inflation rate, which has reached a 13-year high. The average growth of the economy for the last five years has been impressive; but such a continuing growth pattern cannot be predicted for the next five-six years, considering the general global economic slowdown and oil price crisis. Though certain economists argue that India is isolated and 'Decoupled' from global uncertainties, present market realities indicate otherwise. Despite the global slowdown, India is expected to be the second fastest growing economy in the Asia Pacific. India's long-term growth story continues to remain intact, against the backdrop of an increase in FDI over the last fiscal year, which stood at USD 24 billion. According to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), the country is expected to receive USD 35 billion of FDI in the current fiscal year, with the first quarter having attracted USD 10 billion. A sizeable portion of this FDI inflow went into the real estate and housing sectors, with services and infrastructure being other the recipient sectors. According to ASSOCHAM, currently the domestic real estate market in India is expected to be USD 15 billion, of which FDI contributions are estimated to be less than USD 4 billion. India Snapshot
? Real GDP ? Projected ? GDP as

Growth 2007-08: 9.10%

Real GDP Growth: 7.5-8.0%

per Economic Activity: ¡ Trade, hotels, transport and communication – 12.0% ¡ Financing, insurance, real estate & business services – 11.8% ¡ Construction – 9.8% #2 in the Global Retail Development

? India ranked

Index 2008 With the gradual relaxation of ceiling in construction space permitted to foreign developers, the share of FDI in real estate is expected to increase manifold over the decade. A growing trend also points to an increasing number of global direct real estate investment deals that are going through India-specific real estate funds, rather than taking the FDI route. According to Cushman & Wakefield research estimates, the pan-India cumulative demand projection for the real estate sector across office, residential, retail and hospitality is expected to be approximately 1,098 million sq.ft. by the year 2012. The residential segment will continue to drive real estate demand in the country accounting for nearly 63% of the total space demand during the period 2008-12. While the demand for commercial office space is expected to be 243 million sq.ft. during this time frame, the retail and hospitality segments are expected to constitute 95 million sq.ft. and 73 million sq.ft. of this total demand, respectively.


Ever since India's inflation rate accelerated to 11% in June 2008, peaking since the mid '90s, fears of a spectre of the 1995 scenario loomed large. Thirteen years ago India's economy presented eerie similarities with circumstances today, leading to current and popular speculations of a 1995 revisit. After hovering at around 1.4% during 1991-92, the GDP growth rate had shot to 6.4% in 1994-95 depicting increased confidence in the economy post liberalisation. This resulted in many firms (including those in the realty sector) to embark upon expansion plans, encouraging them to go in for huge investment outlays. The euphoria, however, did not last long and the country was confronted with double-digit inflation of over 11% during April-May 1995. Much like today, the RBI had hiked interest rates to contain inflation that point in time as well. On the realty front, the property market had crashed, creating widespread turmoil as demand and money supply witnessed constraints. Faced with a severe liquidity crunch, companies had found it difficult to fund their ambitious plans and by 1997-98, India's economic growth had fallen to a growth rate of 4.3%. Thirteen years later the situation looks apparently similar or worse considering the general global economic slowdown and the oil price crisis. The economy was growing at 9% per annum; Forex reserves had risen to over INR 300 billion; the dollar-rupee conversion stood at less than INR. 40 to a dollar. But by mid-June 2008 inflation hit the country with double digit figures (for the week ended 6th September 2008, the inflation rate stood at 12.1%). Food prices and those of other essential commodities like steel and cement went soaring, with little signs of coming under control. There has been a progressive slowdown in the sale and lease of real estate since early 2008 across the residential, commercial and retail segments. Demand has moderated with the sharp increase in real estate prices, coupled with rising interest rates that have made housing loans increasingly unaffordable for the common man. The RBI's decision to yet again raise the repo rate and cash reserve ratio have caused tightening of liquidity for developers and put a dampener on end-user demand by putting pressure on home loan rates. But despite all such apparent similarities, it would be unfair to liken the economy's performance in 2008 with that in 1995. The economy continues to remain strong in comparison to that in the mid-'90s. Consumption demand too has remained
Economic Performance of India 8 7 6 Growth (%) 5 4 3 2 1 0 1970-71 to 1991 (pre-reform) 1992-93 to 2007-08 1992-93 to 1999-00 Per Capita Growth (%) 2000-01 to 2007-08

GDP Growth (%)
Source: Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)

strong despite dire predictions. The savings rate is at a high of 35%; and as interest rates rise, the likelihood of investors to save money will rise too. Taken together, that should help the
Indian Economy: Then & Now Returns from Various Financial Instruments Bank deposit rates (1-3 year deposits) Post office deposit rates (1-3 year deposits) NSC* Kisan Vikas Patra** PPF PF 91-day treasury bill 364-day treasury bill 10-year treasury bill Corporate bonds Interest Rates (%) 1995¹ 2008² 11.50 10.50 - 12.50 12.00 13.43 12.00 12.00 12.60 12.00 13.99 NA 9.50 6.25 - 7.50 8.00 8.25 8.00 8.50 8.81 9.17 9.13 10.50

Source: RBI's Handbook of Statistics on the Indian Economy ¹ Inflation rate as on 6th May 1995 was 11.11% ² Inflation rate as on 8th August 2008 was 12.44% * National Savings Certificate ** Maturity period in 1995 was 5.5 years, now it is 8.7 years

economy to sustain a growth rate in the range of 7.5-8.0%. This in comparison to the 6.4% GDP growth rate in 1994-95 followed by its fall to 4.3% during 1997-98 makes the current situation rather different.


GDP Composition: Then & Now 1995-96
28% 44% 53% 29% 28% Agriculture
Source: Central Statistical Organisation (CSO)




Even if one goes by the differences in GDP composition between then and now, the increase in the share of the services sector is glaring while the industry segment has remained more-or-less constant and the agricultural sector has declined. With the services segment comprising sub-segments like trade, hotels and restaurants, real estate, banking and insurance, etc., the growth of the segment clearly indicates a space demand for commercial office, retail and hospitality verticals. It is important to reiterate that with a moderate growth rate predicted for the time being, the real estate sector will revert

to its strong uptrend over the long term, performing in line with the overall economy. The long term robustness of demand for real estate in India will remain intact and we will probably see resurgence once the market finds its own level by responding to these short to mid-term global and domestic factors. The BRIC report citing indian economy's potential with the view of surpassing the richest countries by 2050 is indicative of it being among the fastest growing markets. In the following section we present real estate demand projections for the country over the next five years.


The real estate demand projection has been based on a model that is leveraged on a correlation between GDP estimates, historical commercial office real estate demand and current market scenario. Based on this, the demand in India's real estate sector has been forecasted for the next five years. Having first computed the demand in the commercial office segment, the projections for the other realty segments have been based on their respective sectoral shares in relation to office space in 2007, together with the estimated future supply of each. Demand Projection - Pan India
250 200 Million Sq.Ft. 150 100 50 44 0 2008E Commercial 2009E Residential 2010E Retail 2011E 2012E Hospitality 47 48 50 54 0 2008E Commercial 2009E Residential 2010E Retail 2011E 2012E Hospitality 125 132 136 142 152 13 17 14 18
14 19

203 million sq.ft., retail at 79 million sq.ft. and hospitality at 66 million sq.ft. The real estate demand is expected to increase marginally over the period with the Tier I cities expected to generate majority of the demand during 2008-2012. The Indian economy is expected to perform well with growth driven by domestic factors which will add momentum to the real estate sector in addition to expected improved global economic situation with Demand Projection - 7 Cities

15 20

16 21 Million Sq.Ft.

50 50 50 97 50 37 39 40 42 12 14 13 15 13 16 14 16

15 17






Source: Cushman & Wakefield Research

Source: Cushman & Wakefield Research

According to Cushman & Wakefield Research, the pan-India demand projection across office, residential, retail and hospitality segments is expected to be approximately 1,098 million sq.ft. in the coming five years. The residential segment continues to drive real estate demand with 687 million sq.ft., contributing 63% throughout the term under consideration. Despite the expected slow down in the office market, the demand for commercial office space is projected to be 243 million sq.ft, which is around 22% of the total demand projections for the next five years. The retail and hospitality segments are expected to constitute 95 million sq.ft. (9%) and 73 million sq.ft. (6%) of this total demand, respectively, driven by an increase in income levels as well as by accelerated travel in the domestic and international sectors. The top seven cities in India account for nearly 80% of this pan-India demand with around 877 million sq.ft. The residential sector still remains the largest segment for the top cities with 60% share, the commercial office segment coming up to 23%, followed by the retail (9%) and hospitality (8%) segments. The residential segment is expected to be the major demand contributor over the next five years with a total space requirement of 529 million sq.ft., followed by office space at

reinforced investor confidence in the coming years. COMMERCIAL SPACE The demand for commercial office space, which is estimated to be approximately 243 million sq.ft. across India, reflects the performance of the economy at a micro-level, helping to generate further demand in the residential, retail and hospitality segments. Commercial real estate demand is essentially driven by the performance of the economy, infrastructure developments, inherent talent pool and statelevel policies to encourage investment. In sync with corporate India's expansion plans, these demand dynamics lead to a few cities continuing to remain the preferred destinations with buoyant demand in the country. According to Cushman & Wakefield Research projections, Bangalore is likely to lead the pack with an estimated office space demand of 51 million sq.ft. by 2012. The city is the largest IT hub in the country and the infrastructure improvement initiatives of the city will only add impetus to commercial office space demand. National Capital Region (NCR) and Chennai are expected follow with approximately 48 million sq.ft. and 33 million sq.ft. demand respectively,


foreseen in each city by 2012. NCR has witnessed emergence of business districts like Gurgaon and Noida over the years that has strengthened the presence of corporate firms in the region. The highest growth in demand during the period is likely to be witnessed by Chennai although it lags in terms of absolute demand numbers through the term under review. The city is likely to emerge as a promising location for real estate developments due to large skilled workforce and huge floating population. The thriving services and manufacturing sectors will provide the much needed momentum for the same. The Silicon Valley of the country, Bangalore, depicts the second largest compounded annual growth in demand for commercial office space over the next five years and represents the highest cumulative demand among the top seven cities. Mumbai ranks Commercial Office Demand Projection (2008-2012)
17% 8% 20%

segment. The high residential demand witnessed in NCR is most likely because of the buoyant corporate sector in the region, which requires a huge migrant working population with residential needs, in addition to working professionals in the city aspiring for a second home. However, the highest growth rate is depicted by Chennai (9%) which is attributed to the increasing migrant population driven by the buoyant Residential Demand Projection (2008-12)
22% 17%


10% 9% 16% NCR Chennai Bangalore Hyderabad Mumbai Pune 6% 4% Kolkata Others

Source: Cushman & Wakefield Research

8% 14% NCR Chennai


3% Bangalore Hyderabad

9% Mumbai Pune Kolkata Others

manufacturing as well as the IT/ ITeS sector; the latter having envisioned the need for multi-storeyed residential developments. Bangalore (6%), Pune (4%) and Mumbai (3.7%) are most likely to be second in line with regards to growth in residential demand forecasts. Other cities that are expected to witness an increase in residential demand through 2008-2012 are Mumbai, Pune, and Hyderabad accounting for 6%, 10% and 9% respectively, of the total residential demand projected across india. RETAIL SPACE The demand drivers for retail space in a city typically include demographics, such as resident consumer age profile, dominant consumer occupation, spending capacity, etc., in addition to macro policy decisions, such as allowing FDI in single brand retailing and cash-and-carry formats. The projected retail demand figures (essentially representing shopping mall development) depict a large variation in demand among the Tier I, II and III cities. With the share of organised retail in the country likely to increase to USD 30 billion by 2010, according to Ernst & Young estimates, there exists immense prospect for retailers to consider expansion plans in this growing sector. Incase of the city ranking NCR leads with 19 million sq.ft. of the total estimated retail demand (20%), followed by Mumbai at 15 million sq.ft. (16%) owing to the high consumer spends.

Source: Cushman & Wakefield Research

fourth in terms of the cumulative absolute numbers and the demand growth because of its sky-high real estate values that only a few corporate firms can afford. As validated by the projections, Pune is gradually gaining prominence, set to be the third fastest growing city with favourable demographics resulting in IT/ ITeS companies increasing their presence in the city. The state government too has helped by initiating infrastructure developments such as the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) there in. RESIDENTIAL SPACE The total demand estimated for the residential segment is approximately 687 million sq.ft. across India, of which nearly 77% is accounted for by the top seven cities. NCR surpasses all other cities with 114 million sq.ft. of demand projected through 2008-2012, followed by Bangalore and Chennai that account for 16% each of the total demand projected in this


Retail Demand Projection (2008-12)
18% 20%



10% 8% NCR Chennai 16% 9% Bangalore Hyderabad Mumbai Pune Kolkata Others

Source: Cushman & Wakefield Research

In terms of aggregate growth, Hyderabad(59%) and Chennai(59%) take the lead, followed by Bangalore(28%). The growing Indian middle class (with income levels ranging from INR 200,000 to 1,000,000) is expected to surpass 153 million by 2009, which would provide opportunities for retailers to explore newer geographies. HOSPITALITY SPACE The growing economy and increasing commercial activity, coupled with the entry of several trans-national corporations in the past few years have provided the necessary impetus for the growth of the Hospitality sector in India. The demand for the sector continues to be fuelled by the rising number of business and leisure travellers within the country as well as by a significant increase in foreign travellers coming to India. Major cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, NCR, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata are witnessing significant developments in this sector and are likely to generate demand of more than 60 million sq.ft. over the next 5 years. This accounts for over

90% of the all-India hospitality space forecasts that is nearly 73 million sq.ft. Bangalore and NCR are expected to generate majority of the demand in this sector (together adding 31 million sq.ft or 43% share of pan-India demand projection), followed by Mumbai with 12 million sq.ft. (16%). The forthcoming Commonwealth Games in 2010 scheduled in NCR have brought the region in focus, where bed-andbreakfast (B&B) formats and home stays are being promoted by the government in anticipation of the large volume of expected visitors to the city. Apart from the seven major cities under consideration, other locations such as Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Kochi and Goa too add a significant share with approximately 6 million sq.ft. of upcoming hospitality space in the rest of the country between 2008-2012. This is largely due to the government's initiatives to promote tourism in the Tier II and Tier III cities of India. Of course the growth in inventory in these cities is nothing compared to their bigger cousins but in relative terms to inventory and quality available, the future looks rather bright for these cities. Hospitality Demand Projection (2008-12)
9% 5% 10% 25%

11% 5% 16% NCR Chennai Bangalore Hyderabad Mumbai Pune


Kolkata Others

Source: Cushman & Wakefield Research

Cumulative real estate demand (2008 - 12) by sectors
Rank Bangalore NCR Chennai Mumbai Pune Hyderabad Kolkata 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Office Estimated demand (mn sq.ft.) 51 48 33 23 21 21 7 Rank 3 1 5 2 7 6 4 Retail Estimated demand (mn sq.ft.) 11 19 6 15 8 10 10 Rank 3 1 2 5 4 7 6 Residential Estimated demand (mn sq.ft.) 107 114 108 41 67 61 30 Rank 2 1 4 3 6 4 6 Hospitality Estimated demand (mn sq.ft.) 14 17 8 12 4 8 4

Summary At 114 million sq.ft., 19 million sq.ft. and 17 million sq.ft. NCR leads in the demand requirement among the top Indian cities in the residential, retail, hospitality sector, respectively. While Bangalore tops the commercial office

space requirement (51 million sq.ft.), followed very closely by NCR (48 million sq.ft.) Chennai also indicate healthy demand with nearly 108 million sq.ft. required in the city's residential sector, followed by a robust demand of nearly 33 million sq.ft. of office commercial space by 2012.


OFFICE SECTOR During the first six months of 2008, the seven major cities in India witnessed commercial office space supply over and above space uptake, validating the temporary slump in the economy and in the realty sector at large. An oversupply situation was prominent in a few micro-markets, primarily in the suburban and peripheral locations of certain cities. For instance, during the second quarter of 2008 the total office demand was 9.74 million sq.ft, as against a supply of 18.07 million sq.ft. Micromarkets such as Noida in the NCR, Lower Parel and Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai and Rajiv Gandhi Salai in Chennai recorded majority of the excess supply. However, at the same time there are also instances like Chennai and Bangalore where the first half of 2008 saw a definite increase in demand over the same period last year. On the supply side, the number of new developments getting the status of Special Economy Zones (SEZs) is on the rise too, with SEZs helping in attracting investments and promising employment generation. With the sunset clause on STPI benefits which concludes on 31st March 2010, IT/ITeS firms are most likely to set up IT SEZs in the Tier I and Tier II cities where as in case of the Tier III cities with planned IT SEZ's may get attention from IT/ITES sector, however, alternative industries, such as IT hardware, auto ancillaries, gaming and animation, etc., form the preferred business options. The point to be noted here is that such locations require a longer gestation period to grow into mature markets, in terms of delivery capabilities, talent pool, supply chain logistics, etc. In order to ride over the economic slowdown, several corporate entities have deferred their expansion plans. Based on investors' varied risk appetites and risk horizons there exist several opportunities at different stages of commercial developments. Certain investors may perceive that they can manage to take the risk of investing in a distressed property and re-develop the project to get a defined rate of return. For instance, small and medium players in select cities have been seen selling projects to big developers to ride over the sluggish phase. This provides an exit opportunity for sellers, while large developers and private equity (PE) investors specialising in distressed buy-outs acquire the property at a comparatively lower valuation. However, this situation is only applicable to the case of partial or complete ownership where the project has not been launched. This correctional phase, partially gripping the office sector at present, is expected to lead to a more stable market situation in the near future. Despite the likelihood of the IT/ ITeS sector continuing as the primary demand driver of office space in the country, the share of non-IT sectors is also expected to increase

Supply Vs. Adsorption: First Half of 2008
10.0 9.0 8.0 7.0 6.0 5.0 4.0 3.0 2.0 1.0 0.0 Absorption lagging supply - Result of temporary slowdown in the econmy

Area (Million Sq.Ft.)





Hyderabad Bangalore


Supply 1H08
Source: Cushman & Wakefield Research

Absorption 1H08

Big 7: Commercial Office Space Supply
60 Area (Million Sq.Ft.) 50 40 30 20 10 0
NCR Mumbai Pune Kolkata Hyderabad Bangalore Chennai





Source: Cushman & Wakefield Research

BIG 7: IT/SEZ Supply
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Area (Million Sq.Ft.)





Hyderabad Bangalore


Source: Cushman & Wakefield Research




in this sphere. Diversification/expansion of business activities in line with the anticipated revival in the economy will support more demand for commercial office space. Hence, it is advisable for investors to stay focused on this sphere with a long-term investment horizon. In this regard, the biotech sector is likely to emerge as the next growth driver for office space demand coming up as a close second to the IT/ ITeS industry, especially in the southern cities of Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai. RETAIL SECTOR The retail sector in India is currently riding the growth phase with retailers, domestic as well as foreign, aggressively investing in this sector. India's retail boom primarily originated in the metros and then trickled down to the Tier II and Tier III cities. Leading retailers and developers have continued to plan shopping malls and hypermarkets in these locations. The increased purchasing power of the growing middle class and its consumerist aspirations are some of the factors propelling planned retail activities in the country. Mall Supply Distribution: 2006-11
35 30 25 20 15 10 5 o 2006 2007 2008 (E) 2009 (E) 2010 (E) 2011 (E)

Zegna and Hugo Boss among many others have also established their presence across major Indian cities. The Collection at UB City, Bangalore and DLF Emporio at New Delhi's Vasant Kunj are the country's first operational luxury malls for Indian consumers. However, the concept of 'Specialty Malls' though not new in India, is yet to taste success. Such developments require more expertise and planning in terms of location evaluation, zoning, pricing and promotional strategies; and therefore this space continues to attract opportunities for investors specialising in niche retail operations. HOSPITALITY SECTOR India is one of the world's fastest growing hotel markets at present. With the surge of leisure and business travellers headed towards India, it is boom time for the country's hospitality industry. A strong domestic economy, business opportunity, the government's open sky policy, initiatives to liberalise foreign investment and especially the Ministry of Tourism's (MoT) efforts to communicate the "Incredible India" campaign have together contributed to a robust demand for hospitality space in major cities across India. In keeping with the current growth rate, India's hospitality industry is anticipated to grow at 8% per annum between 2007 and 2016. As compared to office or retail development, investment in hospitality as a real estate asset class takes a longer time to generate returns. This is primarily due to the very nature of the product since a hotel takes at least 2.5 to 3 years for a full service product to become operational. However, a sound investment horizon is expected to earn good returns. While all other real estate segments are witnessing growing demand in tier-II cities, the hospitality industry has not lagged behind. Be it luxury chains like the Taj, Oberoi, Hyatt or ITC WelcomGroup, or mid-segment chains like Ginger Hotel, Lemon Tree, Formule One, Peppermint, etc., most of them are foraying into smaller cities. The development of airports, roads and convention centres in these locations has also created a platform for such hotel chains to flourish. The foray of IT/ ITeS firms in these towns and cities, coupled with tourist attractions, has generated a congenial business and leisure environment to trigger an increase in travel. Cities like Pune and Gurgaon, for instance, are witnessing a rise in demand for quality rooms due to the development of IT and BPO industries; at the same time cities like Goa and Kochi thrive on tourism. The organised








Source: Cushman & Wakefield Research

The soaring rentals of malls and main streets in major metropolitan cities have turned retailers cautious, with many stalling their immediate expansion plans or altering their business strategy by entering value retailing, for instance. This movement is likely to open a plethora of opportunities for developers and investors alike, particularly in the Tier II and Tier III cities that offer quality space and affordable rentals for retailers with product offerings that are suited for consumers at these locations. Established global retailers such as the German Metro AG, the South African Shoprite, Wal-Mart and now UK's Tesco, etc., have already made their entry into India. Luxury brands such as Armani, Aigner, Versace, Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana,


hospitality sector is just beginning to realise the potential of these untapped markets. One of the most noticeable trends in the Indian realty sector has been the emergence of service apartments. The potential of this business segment is estimated to be nearly 20% of the total hospitality industry. As the hospitality sector touches new heights, service apartments will become a lucrative investment option offering high profit margins. The typical investors in this property class include pure-play property developers, high net worth individuals and hotel operators. Organised operators, such as the Oberoi Group, Taj Group and the Intercontinental Group to name a few have already ventured into this space with high-end offerings. Major developers like Parsvnath, Ansal API and Kolte-Patil have also initiated serviced apartment projects in Greater Noida, Bhiwadi in Rajasthan, Chandigarh, and Hinjewadi in Pune. New contenders too are coming in, such as Mennen Aviation & Hospitality Ltd., with plans to set up 15 service apartments by 2010. Tourist hubs like Goa, Kochi and Jaipur will also see hospitality developments, with Hilton Hotel Corp. coming up with a five-star property in Goa by end-2008, the Intercontinental Group launching the five-star Crowne Plaza at Kochi by 2009, and the Accor Group setting up a four-star property, Ibis, at Jaipur in 2008. Total supply of rooms* projected till 2011 in prominent Tier I & II cities
23% 3% 3% 13% 7% 6% 19%
Jaipur Cochin Ahmedabad Chennai

followed by budget hotels. NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai together account for approximately 60% of the existing room stock among these major cities. By 2011 nearly 28,000 - 29,000 new hotel rooms are expected in the five star deluxe and five star segments, as compared to a total of nearly 25,000 hotel rooms in the other segments under consideration. The NCR, followed by Bangalore, Mumbai and Hyderabad are expected to lead in terms of infusion of these new hotel rooms. On the whole, the international hospitality sector has been resilient amidst tough economic conditions, with emerging economies like India having maintained its strength. The hotel industry in general has continued to witness a rise in average room rates, albeit at a much slower rate in comparison to the corresponding period in 2007. With the overall growth of travel in India and especially with a large portion of this consequent demand for hospitality space being generated within the national sector, a robust demand for further development of hotels exists across the country. Emerging trends include domestic and international hotel brands continuing to enter the Indian market at a growing pace as well as that of hotels increasingly utilising mixed-use development structures to capitalise on the surging demand for other major commercial asset classes, such as office and retail. RESIDENTIAL SECTOR Rising property prices and increased interest rates, coupled with a demand-supply mismatch has brought down the overall affordability of residential properties in the country today. Suburban and non-metro locations have mostly been affected due to this economic slowdown and some developers have even resorted to freebies and early bird discounts because of a fall in sales. Developers have also come up with innovative schemes like “Book Now & Pay Later on Possession”, as well as home loan instalment payment for the initial one to two years. A few high-end residential projects in Chennai have even marketed their property with the unique concept of an unlimited and unconditional lifetime guarantee, which includes guarantee on title deeds, complete structural guarantee against leaks and cracks and a lifetime warranty for standard fixtures. However, established developers with substantial cash reserves have up till now remained insulated from this trend. Middle income housing projects as envisaged by industry experts is gaining visibility. For instance, under a newly launched residential scheme, the Greater Noida authority has offered the middle-income group an opportunity to book and own exclusive, independent and well finished houses. In order to meet the demand for affordable housing, the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI) has

11% 7%
Mumbai Bangalore

Pune Goa

Hyderabad NCR Kolkata

* Comprises of 5 star deluxe, 5 star, 4 star & 3 star hotels in organised sector
Source: Cushman & Wakefield Research

According to Cushman & Wakefield Research, the total expected supply of hotel rooms in the country is estimated to be 52,000 for the top cities by 2008-11, while the existing stock at the below-mentioned locations stands at 64,000 rooms. The 11 cities considered include Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi NCR, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Kochi and Goa (classifications include five star deluxe, five star, four star, and three star hotel rooms in the organised sector). Five star deluxe, five star and four star hotels together form around 68% of the existing room stock,


even proposed a concept of Special Residential Zones (SRZ) as a solution. An SRZ is a notified geographical region that is free of domestic taxes, levies and duties, with special development rules to promote large-scale, greenfield affordable housing projects. The objective is to create an independent living system that is not only self-sufficient but can also offer growth potential into the geographical areas around the SRZ. The SRZ is expected to have a prescribed minimum number of dwellings of specific sizes with adequate social infrastructure, including schools and medical facilities. According to the housing ministry estimates, urban housing backlog assumes alarming proportions, especially for the economically weaker section (EWS) and low-income group (LIG), who constitute more than 99% of the total urban housing shortage of 24.71 million (11th Plan Period, 20072012). The magnitude of this backlog is evident from the fact that 21% of India's urban population lives in slum-like conditions and 35% in one-room accommodations. In this scenario, incentives from the government in the form of tax sops such as duty cuts, subsidisation of various construction inputs, procedures like the Valmiki Ambedkar Awas Yojana (which provides subsidies for construction of housing and sanitation), mobilisation of funds from various agencies, increasing private-public participation (PPP) in projects, micro-financing, developing land and infrastructural facilities, etc., would definitely boost the move towards low-cost housing initiatives. A notable initiative in this direction has come from the floor space index (FSI) increase in Mumbai, with the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) planning to build over 500,000 houses over the next six years as part of the slum rehabilitation scheme of the Maharashtra State Government.

With more structural policy reforms for the segment being implemented in recent times, low-cost housing is slowly taking shape on the agenda of developers too. If innovative approaches are taken, there is immense prospect for developers in such projects, in addition to an enormous population benefiting from such schemes. In New Delhi, for example, private developers are being provided with 40% FSI for developing low-cost housing projects. Developments such as Shapoorji Pallonji's SP City, a mass housing project at Rajarhat, Kolkata and Marathon Realty's mass housing projects in Thane, Badlapur and Karjat, near Mumbai, have already started low-cost housing projects. If housing finance firms show their interest in tapping the low-cost segment with flexible terms and innovative home loan packages, more such activities can be expected to crop up. On the larger residential front, tie-ups are taking place amongst developers and venture capital funds for development of townships, where project costs are equally shared. Redevelopment of properties has also become lucrative, where developers acquire lands or dilapidated buildings and convert them into premium residential properties. However, this process is mainly limited to Mumbai, where the state government is aggressively pursuing the re-development of such buildings. A large number of developers are keenly participating in such projects in anticipation of high returns. In view of the fact that 50% of the population of India is expected to be living in urban areas by 2041, it is necessary to develop more integrated townships in tier-II and III towns. Finally, a 10-15% fall in price or a decline in mortgage rates is most sought after in the current scenario to improve affordability and for end-users/home buyers to come back into the market. If this happens, demand is likely to pick up again with rising income levels.


The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently declared real estate space as a sensitive sector under its prudential norms. In tune with the rising cost of funds and the need for additional capital for risky assets, banks in India have increased their lending rates for real estate projects. The prime lending rate (PLR) of most public sector banks has increased to 13.75% from 12.75% effective from August 12th 2008 in comparison to last year's rate of 10%. Since banks have to set aside a comparatively higher amount of capital for real estate exposure compared to other sectors, real estate attracts higher-risk weightages and lending too becomes closely monitored. Banks have also begun to ask for higher contributions from promoters and developers as a precautionary measure to safeguard themselves against loans. Given the inflationary pressure that the current government is facing, it is more likely that monetary policies will put more pressure on already very high interest rates and that, by no means, is good news. Increased construction cost due to rising commodity prices have already increased input costs for companies; and the increasing cost of construction materials like steel and cement, is putting further pressure on developer margins. As far as the Indian mortgage market is concerned, the share of the same in the top cities has risen steadily over the past few years, indicating that in value terms the industry is fairly concentrated. The fastest growth in mortgages among the top cities includes Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. According to the RBI, the share of the top six cities (Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata) in the mortgage market reached 47% at the end of fiscal 2007-08, in comparison to 36% in fiscal 2003-04. In addition to the above developments, the union budget announcement of February 2008 includes a few initiatives taken by the central government in the corporate tax segment: • A five-year tax holiday has been extended to existing hotel groups that intend to expand to Tier II and Tier III cities. • A five-year income tax holiday has also been granted to two, three and four star hotels established in districts that have been declared as 'World Heritage Sites'. However, to avail this, the hotels in question need to become operational by 31st March 2013. As a major relief to the IT/ ITeS industry, the Central Government has extended the tax exemption available to IT/ ITeS firms under the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) scheme by one year. Originally expected to lapse on 31st March, 2009, the extension is now in place till 31st March, 2010. For the housing sector, RBI has relaxed its norms for housing loans by cooperative banks. It has reduced the risk weightage on home loans upto INR.3 million, from 75% to 50%. This will reduce the cost of funds for home loans upto INR.3 million; earlier home loans upto INR.2 million had a risk weightage of 50%. REGULATORY CHANGES Regulatory changes are geared towards sustaining long-term growth while dealing with changing domestic economic conditions. The Indian government has so far followed a cautious approach in its macro-level policy changes by: • Hiking interest rates in various phases, • Considering venture capital investments in real estate and • Easing ECB norms The government also released regulations for REMF (Real Estate Mutual Funds) and REIT (Real Estate Investment Trusts) as an investment option for the individual investors in the country. In addition to this, these instruments also offer funding options to developer by the retail investor in the country. CRR HIKE To control credit growth and contain inflation the central bank recently hiked both its repo rate and cash reserve ratio (CRR) to 9%. This has made lending expensive, with borrowers paying a higher EMI for home loans, resulting in a slackening demand in the residential sector. These monetary measures have successfully restricted credit growth as banks have adopted a cautious approach and are being selective about extending loans, especially to the realty sector. FOREIGN VENTURE CAPITAL INVESTMENT (FVCI) Venture capital investment provides risk capital to the project/enterprise in certain sectors stated under the regulation governing venture capital investments. Current regulations permit such investments under the FDI route without


complying with the post-IPO investment lock -in period of one year, sector-specific restrictions and the entry-exit pricing regulations. The central bank has forwarded that there are regulatory variances in terms of tax treatment and capital commitment for domestic and foreign venture capital investments that needs to be rectified. The policy review is aimed at providing a level playing ground for foreign and domestic VCs on taxation jurisdiction and capital base front. As most of the FVCIs are based out of countries with which India has a double taxation avoidance treaty that exempts them to pay taxes and therefore puts them in an advantageous position to the domestic VCs. Also, the domestic venture capital funds are required to have capital base of INR 50 million while the foreign entities do not need any capital commitment. Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the market regulator, cleared 50 applications in the current year that conformed to the FVCI norms, on which the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) expressed reservations on the nature of venture capital investment. However, the finance ministry directed the RBI to approve the applications to avoid uncertainty among foreign investors and delay in procedures. Of the 50 applications, real estate sector witnessed 20 applications that raised concerns about the expected amount of money flowing into the sector. ECB NORMS External Commercial Borrowing (ECB) norms were relaxed to enable the small and medium enterprises easy access to overseas debt market and repatriation of funds to India. The interest rate ceiling was raised from 150 to 200 basis points annually over Libor having average maturity of three to five years and to 350 bps from 250 bps for an ECB of more than five years. The repatriation norms were also relaxed, under the approval route the limit for infrastructure and others has been raised to USD 100 million and USD 50 million respectively. This would provide access to the debt market for infrastructure companies which can now borrow up to USD 100 million for investments on the infrastructure sector. The easing of norms would aid higher capital flows which have been rapidly receding after the restrictions imposed in 2007 to reduce the high capital inflows, which caused the rupee to appreciate. As the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) projected a 34% decline in foreign capital flows, it has been recommended to further relax the ECB norms to assist domestic companies in raising funds overseas.

As developers cannot source funds through this route as the SEZs are not stated in the list of 'infrastructure' or 'real sector', the government shall consider the easing of the norms. REAL ESTATE MUTUAL FUNDS (REMF) The regulations governing the REMF circumvented the mutual fund guidelines with certain conditions to be adhered which was long due keeping in mind the nascent stage of the real estate market. Recently released amended guidelines for REMF have brought clarity about the instrument that would help the entities to structure the instrument to bring liquidity, institutionalisation and transparency into the real estate market. The guidelines state the valuation disclosure and periodicity, impose cap on investment in a single city and project, spell out the requisite expertise to float an REMF, refrains the fund to transfer asset among different schemes of the Asset Management Company and the nature of the instrument i.e. close ended and listed on the recognised stock exchange. In April 2008, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) announced amendments to the SEBI (Mutual Funds) Regulations 1996 permitting the launch of REMFs. The regulations offer a wide definition of real estate to include immovable property in India located in certain specified cities or SEZs which is fully constructed and usable, transferable and free from any encumbrances, litigation and with clear title documents. Agricultural land and vacant land however are excluded. REMFs are required to invest at least 35% of the net assets of the scheme directly in real estate (in ready to use property that assures rental income and capital appreciation) not stating the maximum investment limit. The balance can be invested indirectly in the real estate sector through investment in mortgage backed securities and securities of companies dealing in or engaged in the development of real estate. According to the recent developments, the finance ministry allowed NRIs and FIIs to invest in REMFs as the investment decisions of the fund is purely dependent on the fund management company and the investors do not steer the investment decision to any asset class. REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUSTS (REITS) The market regulator SEBI released a draft guideline on REITs in 2007 with a formal regulation and more clarity underway. The draft guidelines outlined the scope of investment, structure and regulatory requirements to be complied with to launch the financial product. REITs cater to the capital requirement of the real estate sector as it enables the company


easy access to funds and preferable exit options. They are primarily income generating instruments as 90% of income shall compulsorily be distributed as dividend. These funds are managed by professional with expertise to provide diversified portfolio of the asset class. At present REITs are yet to make an entry into India. CURRENT INVESTMENT SCENARIO Since the opening up of the real estate sector in 2005, Private equity funds in India have been very active with a number of transactions taking place in the past three years at entity, portfolio and SPV level. According to Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion data, a good amount of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows have been channelled into the Housing and Real Estate (RE) sector, with approximately 50% of last years inflows already having been accumulated during the first two months of second quarter 2008. This acts as a testimony for the investor confidence in the sector.
FDI Inflow in Housing & Real Estate Sector
50 Investment (INR million) 50 50 50 50 0

An analysis of 79 deals from mid August 2007 to mid August 2008 shows an investment commitment to the tune of INR 269,000 million. If we look at the distribution of number of deals; most of the funds are still being diverted to SPV level (51%)deals as they are individual projects and cater to more focused investment approach apart from giving the funds more control on the investment. It is also suitable for investors who are looking to test the market and diversify through multiple partners, locations, assets and size of transactions. As funds grew more focused towards one sub-sector, interest for portfolio level deals (24%) has also grown as it provides a focused approach to a particular asset class and offers benefits of automatic diversification. Entity level (25%) deals were the least in number terms as these are significant ticket size which suits the appetite of very few capital providers. It can be seen that there is an even distribution in the quantum of investment in both SPV and Portfolio level deals as they attracted a total investment in excess of INR 100,000 million each. Distribution of the number of PE deals in RE sector



Apr 05 Mar 06

Apr 06 Mar 07

Apr 07 Mar 08

Apr 08 Mar 09

Source: Cushman & Wakefield Research




Recently private equity funds have adopted a cautious approach towards the kind of projects they pick up and there is an increased emphasis on the reputation of the developer particularly the execution bandwidth and corporate governance. As a result, the lesser known developers are finding it difficult to raise funds. This has in turn resulted in availability of more suitable investment terms for the funds. Private Equity players have also increased their internal rate of return (IRR) expectations from projects to cater for the increased risk. As an indication of the rising concerns over projects being undercapitalised investors are insisting on developers to achieve financial closure for debt funding before they sign the definitive agreement. Investors are also growing more restrictive about the end us of funds and their diversion to other projects.

Distribution of Investment in PE deals across the RE sector* (total quantum is INR 269,000 million)



22% SPV Entity Portfolio

Source: Cushman & Wakefield Research * Indicative samples of reported deals from mid August 07 to mid August 08 in the Indian Real Estate sector


This year investments have diversified across asset classes, with the highest share going to the residential (41%) and township (21%) sectors with the quantum of investment in the range of INR 128,600 million. Due to high composition of housing in these two sectors they have received higher investments on account of certainty of exit and high latent demand. Commercial real estate sectors (office, retail, SEZ and mixed use) have attracted significant investment to the extent of approximately INR 57,600 million which forms 28% of the pie. Logistics and Healthcare are other asset classes that found new interest from investors. Distribution of PE deals across asset classes in RE sector (INR 209,300 million)
2% 3% 4% 21% 10%

Delhi (NCR) have contributed to a large extent to the higher average size of the deals in this region. Eastern zone (primarily West Bengal) has not been able to evince significant interest amongst investors. Real Estate PE deals break up quarterwise and Tierwise
100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 24% 0% Q4 07 Tier I
Source: Cushman & Wakefield Research

4% 21% 40% 28% 34% 36% 68% 45% 29%


Q1 08 Tier II

Q2 08

Mid Aug 08 Tier III


41% 0% 7% 7%
Investment (INR million)
Retail Logistics Pune Unpecified SEZ Mixed Use

Real Estate PE deals quarterwise and tierwise
80,000 20 15 10 5 0 Q4 07 Q1 08 Tier II Q2 08 Tier III Mid Aug 08 Number of Deals

Office Healthcare

Residential Township

Source: Cushman & Wakefield Research * Indicative samples of reported deals from mid August 07 to mid August 08 in the Indian Real Estate sector Note: Does not include entity level deals

40,000 20,000 0

Region-wise distribution of PE deals (Investment quantum - INR 209,300 million)
37% 5% 32%

Tier I

Source: Cushman & Wakefield Research

26% East South North West

Source: Cushman & Wakefield Research * Indicative samples of reported deals from mid August 07 to mid August 08 in the Indian Real Estate sector Note: Does not include entity level deals

A region-wise distribution of PE deals during the period under consideration shows the western (37%) and southern (32%) zones accounting for almost 70% of the total investment which is followed by the north region (26%). South zone has seen the maximum number of deals (24) and the average size of deals in this zone (INR 2,800 million) is significantly lesser than the northern (INR 3,700 million) and western zones (INR 3,700 million). This is largely on account of southern cities showing definite market trends and rationalised valuations. Higher valuations in Mumbai and

Tier-wise categorisation of cities shows the following trends: Fourth quarter in 2007 witnessed an even distribution of investor interest across all tiers. With the market conditions changing over the first half of 2008 investors have become cautious and have chosen to remain in tier-I cites, where market trends are more definite. As a result there is a marked reduction in investors interest in projects across Tier II & Tier III cities. The southern cities of Bangalore (9) and Hyderabad (6) have been able to attract maximum numbers of SPV deals; which is closely followed by Mumbai (8) and Delhi NCR (7). Q4 07 (34%) witnessed the highest quantum of investment, which was in the range of approximately INR 77, 300 million with the average size of deal being INR 4,700 million. Conversely, the subsequent quarters saw a remarked reduction in the investment quantum largely due to the more cautious approach adopted by investors in wake of global and


Number of deals


domestic economic scenario. The average deal size reduced significantly to approximately INR 1,900 million as investors were taking smaller exposures and demonstrating enhanced preference for diversification. Notwithstanding this, the fact that there has been nearly even distribution in the number of deals (Q2 08 recording the highest) clearly shows the interest and activity of investors in the market In a nutshell, though the investor activity still remains high they are adopting a selective and more cautious approach to investments. The fact that the real estate developers are struggling with execution of projects in a market where uptake is slowing and credit is becoming tighter gives justification to this approach.

Prominent Private Equity Deals in the Market

• Deutsche Bank and a group of PE firms are investing USD 425 million (25% stake) in the Lodha Group for a SPV spread across 70 acres in three FDI-compliant real estate projects at Thane and Dahisar, Maharashtra. • German real estate fund MPC Synergy has picked up equity in various SPVs floated by real estate developer, Phoenix Mills for INR 1300 crore • Credit Suisse, the Swiss investment bank, has made investments to the tune of about USD 77 million in Hyderabad-based Indu Projects


The economic slowdown is real, it is broad and it is impacting the entire real estate sector, including many other industries. But fortunately it is unlikely to continue beyond the next 2 3 years. The Asia Pacific is expected to perform stronger than other markets; and even though transaction volumes have currently dropped across the region, the activity levels remain well above the long-term average for the Asia Pacific. The region has also seen a widening gap between values that sellers quote and what buyers are ready to shell out in the present circumstances. But this gap between reality and expectation is beginning to diminish in markets such as China and India where in case of the latter there is already a decline in quoted land prices as against soaring price points of the previous years. The current short-term stagnation in commercial and residential activity in India has led to an overall reduction in the number of land transactions as developers have deferred their decisions to occupy additional land reserves. On the bright side, the present turmoil will only strengthen the Indian realty sector, encouraging continual growth of quality developments. Reputed grade-A developers will not be as affected as small-time operators, even leading to consolidation of the industry by bigger players. From a highly fractured presence, this can only prove to be beneficial for the sector's future stability and transformation into a mature and more confident market. Pioneering developments in India by transnational developers like Ascendas, CapitaLand, Keppel Land, Tishman Spyer, Hines, IJM, etc. together with a host of fastgrowing national developers will also help the market to mature, compared to the more matured Asia Pacific markets. The country's real estate sector might be witnessing ebbs but the downturn can only make things attractive for foreign investors. The slowdown, in fact, has set in more realistic them more reasonable. A correction of land prices, together with a slow-down on the frantic run for creating land-banks may lead to a possibility of more PE investments in the real estate sector in the coming quarters. valuations and growth-oriented investment opportunities for big players to close in on lucrative deals. With the property market stagnating in many areas and a wait-and-watch sentiment developing among buyers, PE funds focussed on the real estate sector will now be better off -- forcing developers to re-work on valuations and construction timelines to make them more reasonable. A correction of land prices, together with a slow-down on the frantic run for creating land-banks may lead to a possibility of more PE investments in the real estate sector in the coming quarters. One could even term the current market upheavals to be necessary for the Indian real estate sector - a welcome correctional phase in any emerging market on its way to transforming into a strong and sustainable sector. The unabated growth of the sector over the last couple of years had led land rates to inflate irrationally, affecting the overall real estate market in the country. But it is the long term robustness of demand for real estate in India (as projected earlier in this paper) that will remain intact; and will probably see us through another business cycle once the market finds its own level by responding to these short- to mid-term global and domestic factors. In conclusion, it will help to keep in mind that the positive aspects of the Indian market -- a dynamic workforce, liberalised economy, robust demand for real estate across all sectors, investments for the future -- continue to remain in tact. It is after all the fundamentals that count. While success comes easy in a booming market, the true test of ability lies in dealing with the trough in business. Past success stories are generally not applicable to new situations and this is the time to reinvent India's real estate sector by responding to change with innovative business models and investment options.


The GRI is a global club of senior real estate investors, developers and lenders. Its mission is to help its members build personal relationships and work together in creating better places as a legacy to our children. Founded in 1998, its core constituency consists the world's leading real estate players. The GRI runs its activities through a series of Annual Meetings focused on different regions of the world, mainly across Europe and Asia to date. Individual and Corporate Membership of the GRI is open to senior players in the real estate industry that find it beneficial to belong to a global community of elite achievers in their industry.

Cushman & Wakefield is the largest privately owned real estate services firm in the world with more than 15,000 professionals in 227 offices in 59 countries. The firm delivers integrated solutions by actively advising, implementing and managing on behalf of landlords, tenants and investors through every stage of real estate process. C&W also provides valuation advice strategic planning and research, portfolio analysis, and site selection and space location assistance, among many other advisory services. Cushman & Wakefield commenced its India operations in 1997 and today has grown to over 1000 employees working from the firm's New Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune and Kolkata offices. The first international real estate service provider to have been granted permission by the Government of India to operate a wholly-owned subsidiary, Cushman & Wakefield in India is strategically poised to service the varied needs of clients throughout the sub-continent. The firm offers a full range of real estate services combining local expertise and experience with technology and standards of service that are consistent across all Cushman & Wakefield's offices worldwide. To find out more about Cushman & Wakefield, visit

The GRI welcomes industry leaders who find it useful to chair a discussion at a future GRI event to contact: Henri Alster Chairman, GRI GRI-Global Real Estate Institute 11th Floor, 1379 High Road London N20 9LP UK Tel: +44 20 8492 2621 Fax: +44 20 8445 6633

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