Robust pace seen in real estate

As of positive factors, the real estate sector gained robust momentum during 2015 with nearly all pointers going up over the graphs. Office space leasing surpassed the 50 million square feet (msf) mark last year in the top eight cities, logging a healthy 7% CAGR over the last five years with the steepest increase coming in 2015 (54 msf). Giving away blues of the previous years, nearly all sectors within the real estate industry are showing growth with commercial sector still being the major driver. While slackening trend is a widely acknowledged factor with the Chinese economy, India has emerged the topmost real market in Asia. Last year, Indian RE constituted 53% of the Asian RE market. The latest RICS-Cushman & Wakefield report has enough rosy project -ions for the year ahead to cheer up realtors. First among these is the decline in the dependence on IT-ITES sector for growth of busin -ess. As is pointed out, the sectoral share has gradually become more diverse with pharmaceuticals, healthcare, Banking and Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI), etc., claiming larger pieces of the leasing cake. According to the report titled “Commercial Real Estate: Steering Growth in Indian Cities”, the IT-ITES sector’s share was 62% in 2012. It had declined to 46% last year with BFSI rising to 11% in 2015 from 6% in 2012. Manufacturing and Engineering share soared to 9% from 6% in 2012. According to Sanjay Dutt, MD (India), Cushman & Wakefield, decline in dependence on IT-ITES (which could be vulnerable to shifting elsewhere) and diversification should be seen as healthy signs for the Indian RE. He says the industry in India is also helped by the continued upswing in dollar value but foresees decline in demand for office space as automation is causing shrinkage in working spaces. New sectors Real estate bigwigs see new opportunities emerging as new jobs are likely to be created in R&D sectors, e-commerce, digital business, designing and warehousing besides growing demand from the usual sectors of FMCG, pharmaceuticals , etc. Sachin Sandhir, Global Managing Director-Emerging Business, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors(RICS), predicts Internet of Things (IoT) to be the next big sector and data centres coming up in India. As for the overall scenario, there is general unanimity that rentals will go up marginally, vacancies will be going down in CBDs and SBDs (Suburban Business Districts), absorption will stay put at the current level, distress deals will either remain the same or will go up, availability of finance and period of investment will go up and there will be lack of racy sale, lack of capital, transparency will remain a challenge, REIT will prove a big playground for the Foreign Investors Institutions (FIIs), and warehousing, retail and healthcare will be new asset classes. Investment The private equity real estate (PERE) investments grew 61.7% (year on year basis) in 2015. The PERE investments that hovered around $ 1 billion mark until 2013, soared to $ 2.5 billion in 2014 and $ 4 billion in 2015. In numerical terms, the deals grew from 40 in 2013 to 90 in 2015.

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