Anuj Puri, Chairman – ANAROCK Property Consultants

The applicability of GST in the Indian taxation system was a move aimed towards ‘one nation, one tax’.

Post land abetment, the applicable GST for under-construction properties was 12% while ready-to-move-in flats were kept out of the GST ambit.

Even for under-construction properties, there was a ruling of Input Tax Credit (ITC) pass-over to the buyer to ensure that it becomes a tax neutral proposition.

While calculations and ITC pass-over still remain a challenge after 1.5 years of GST regime, a recent announcement stated that there is no GST applicable only on ready-to-move-in flats wherein sales took place after the issue of completion certificate.

This is likely to add woes to buyers as well as developers.

Impact on Buyers

Until now, all properties that were treated as ready-to-move-in were out of GST ambit, so buyers had significant choices.

As per ANAROCK data, more than 90,000 units out of total unsold inventory of 6.87 lakh units (as of Q3 2018) across the top 7 cities were ready-to-move-in – a massive 14% of the overall unsold stock.

  • New housing supply estimated at 1,93,600 units by 2018 end; an annual increase of 32%
  • Housing sales in 2018 estimated at 2,45,500 units; an annual increase of 16%
  • NBFC crisis holds sector at gunpoint as 2019 begins

Anuj Puri, Chairman – ANAROCK Property Consultants

The year 2018 was a veritable roller-coaster ride for Indian real estate. Despite signs of recovery across segments, the liquidity crunch – further exacerbated by the NBFC crisis – put all industry stakeholders on tenterhooks.

Consolidation via mergers and acquisitions was rife in all sectors, completely redefining the concept of ‘financial health’ among players and drawing clear lines on who will survive the heat. This process will continue throughout 2019, as well.

Despite all odds, economic indicators remained positive with India’s GDP growth rate pegged at 7.3% in 2018. CPI inflation, a major concern in the past, remained reined in at a manageable 4.8%.

GDP growth and contained inflation are generally considered panacea for most real estate woes. However, it took a lot more than that for real estate to retain even a semblance of an even keel in 2018.

  • Luxury supply increased by 29% since 2017
  • Of 12,090 units new luxury supply in 2018, MMR launched nearly 6,310
  • NCR – 2,650, Hyderabad – 1,585, Kolkata – 160; Pune saw least supply with less than 100 units

Prashant Thakur, Head – Research, ANAROCK Property Consultants

Catering to a very niche clientele and not the masses, luxury housing has evolved at a rapid pace in India. The nouveau riche (newly rich) prefer discreet opulence over the commonplace, and look for experiential luxury, both at a unit and project level.

From start-up founders to high-salaried professionals, high net-worth individuals are prompting developers who understand the luxury segment to think increasingly out of the box and deliver something unique and aspirational.

On the ‘other side of the fence’, affordable housing has taken centre-stage in India over the past 3-4 years, not only because of the massive demand for it but also due to the concerted efforts by the Government to cater to it. Against such a backdrop, there are rising speculations that luxury housing is losing its sheen to the affordable segment.

Anuj Puri, Chairman – ANAROCK Property Consultants

The recent stand-off between the government and the RBI owing to the NBFC crisis and the apex bank’s endeavour to maintain its autonomy and reserves had caused the industry to watch closely whether the repo rate will increase or remain unchanged.

That said, today’s move by the RBI to keep the repo rate unchanged at 6.5% was more or less expected. This was not solely because inflation targets are still under control.

Politically, an upward revision would not have served the current Government well as the 2019 elections are around the corner.  From the economic standpoint, a hike in repo rates would have had a direct impact on home loan rates.

High housing loan interest rates are known deterrents to many buyers, especially in the affordable segment where higher interest rates can and do weaken sentiment.

Any move to further discourage customers from availing of bank credit would ultimately exacerbate the liquidity crunch and adversely impact the economy.

From that perspective, the unchanged repo rate will at least keep the demand for housing loans at status quo.

The RBI obviously needs to maintain an adequate buffer for the economy – especially in light of the massive changes that are likely to come about in the next few months in form of REITs and SPVs.

Anuj PuriAnuj Puri, Chairman – ANAROCK Property Consultants

More than a year and a half after the deployment of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA), it is evident that the Centre’s aim to have it enforced in each state to regulate the Indian real estate sector still falls way short of the intended mark.

It may be recalled that RERA intended to cover developers as well as real estate agents seamlessly across the country.

As it stands now, there are quite a few states still in the process of notifying their RERA rules, while there are others where buyers have been continuously fretting about the dilution of the rules notified.

However, one provision that makes RERA across a few states a ‘hit’ among consumers is the rising number of complaints being registered with the respective state authorities, and its redressal timeline.

Even if the redressal of complaints is not satisfactory for many, consumers are increasingly bestowing their faith on RERA regulators and coming forward in large numbers to register their complaints.

For example, the latest numbers (as on November) show that more than 4,900 complaints have been registered in Maharashtra ever since MahaRERA came into effect.

Anuj PuriAnuj Puri, Chairman – ANAROCK Property Consultants

Co-working and car-pooling have become viable options for the millennial workforce, and an exciting new trend – co-living – is also beginning to make its mark with the burgeoning student population across Indian cities.

While it is largely the major cities like Bengaluru, Mumbai, Gurgaon and Pune that began promoting this concept, the demand for co-living spaces is also gradually percolating into tier 2 cities like Jaipur and Lucknow where both working millennials and students are increasingly opting for co-living spaces.

Co-living is much more than a mere bed-and-breakfast deal. These are fully-furnished homes where the privacy of tenants is respected. Private bedrooms with access to common shared areas like the kitchen and living room are the norm.

Such spaces offer convenience and an entirely new lifestyle for young professionals – most often bachelors and singles – who are not keen to change cities because of their work.

Their main concern is finding the right accommodation. For them, co-living is an ideal solution, and conventional paying guest facilities and hostels are gradually giving way to this more sophisticated way of living in a less inhibited and restrictive environment with ample opportunities to mingle.

Anuj Puri, Chairman – ANAROCK Property Consultants

So far, there have been no answers – only more questions

Mumbai’s Dharavi, one of the largest slums in Asia, has been an area of contention for almost two decades now.

For all its revelations, the recent blockbuster film ‘Kaala‘ only underscored what Mumbaikars, human rights activists, urban planners and real estate developers have known for decades – there is no simple formula for unravelling the complex Dharavi equation.

Occupying 535 acres of prime land in the very heart of India’s financial capital, Dharavi could be a motherlode of pure gold for developers who could get a piece of it.

Formal housing developments there would also give innumerable Mumbaikars exactly what they need – homes in the heart of the city and within a short commute to some of Mumbai’s most important workplace hubs.

Not surprisingly, the Maharashtra State Government has been eager to redevelop Dharavi. Building affordable to mid-range housing projects here would completely reinvent the residential real estate equation of Central Mumbai and also make a major contribution to the Central Government’s Housing for All by 2022 target.

Mapping Mumbai’s emerging suburbs as the new growth corridors

  • 65-70% of MMR’s housing launches in peripheries
  • Nearly 54% supply priced below INR 80 lakh
  • At 0.2 million units, MMR has 37% of unsold inventory in the top 7 cities

Mumbai, 15 November 2018: Between 65-70% of new housing launches in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region has been its emerging suburbs, states ANAROCK’s latest report ‘The Peripheries – Greater Mumbai’s Future Suburbs‘.

As knowledge partners for the event, ANAROCK unveiled the report at Economic Times’ ACETECH real estate trade fair in Mumbai today.

In the process of scoping out MMR’s new real estate growth corridors, this report clearly illustrates how the rising property prices in Greater Mumbai are leading to a natural housing demand progression towards the peripheral areas.

While Mumbai’s share in overall launches in MMR declined from 71% in 2013 to 67% in the first three quarters of 2018, Navi Mumbai has witnessed an increase in share from 9-17%.

Due to the expansion of city limits from Greater Mumbai to the peripheries, more than 1.8 lakh units since 2013 have been launched in the western and central peripheral regions.

Anuj PuriAnuj Puri, Chairman – ANAROCK Property Consultants

It is still too early to provide hard numbers of 2018 festive season’s property sales numbers as it is yet to conclude. Also, sales numbers are usually collated by the end of the fourth quarter.

However, trends in recent years suggest that the entire fourth quarter of the calendar year is seen as an auspicious time wherein housing sales rise. Considering the q-o-q trends in 2018, sales numbers have increased across the major cities.

For instance, housing sales in Q3 2018 increased by 9% as against the preceding quarter. In comparison to Q3 2017, sales increased by 15% in a year across the top 7 cities.

If we go by these numbers and look at the current scenario, we can expect sales to go up by 9-12% in Q4 2018 (the festive season quarter) as against Q3 2018. However, the ongoing liquidity crisis in Indian real estate could, to come extent, play spoilsport for developers this festive season.

While sales numbers have been increasing q-o-q, there is no significant change noted in the number of inquiries seen during this festive season so far.

Anuj PuriAnuj Puri, Chairman – ANAROCK Property Consultants

Senior living essentially refers to homes that cater to adults aged 55+ who are looking to live independently in a peer environment.

Seniors who gravitate towards such housing options tend to have no major health issues and are active enough to more or less take care of themselves.

Such projects usually provide a variety of facilities for recreation and socializing, including a clubhouse, health club or gym, facility management services, squarely focused on the needs of the elderly.

Assisted living, on the other hand, pertains to homes for adults who need some or considerable assistance to live their daily lives. These seniors are not entirely bed-ridden yet need assistance in their day-to-day lives.

Many of such seniors require nursing home care, including full-time nursing to assist in personal hygiene, ambulation and perhaps even feeding.

The more traditional old-age homes are establishments usually run by NGOs or government agencies and are populated by senior citizens who can, for any number of reasons, no longer cohabit with their families or are entirely homeless.

There are more than a thousand old-age homes in India with most of them offering free accommodation.