Real estate sector in India is expected to reach US$ 1 trillion by 2030. By 2025, it will contribute 13% to country’s GDP. Real Estate stock in India was expected to reach 3.7 million square feet (msf) in 2019, with addition of 200 msf during the year. Emergence of nuclear families, rapid urbanisation and rising household income are likely to remain the key drivers for growth in all spheres of real estate, including residential, commercial, and retail. Rapid urbanisation in the country is pushing the growth of real estate. 70-75% of India’s GDP will be contributed by urban areas by 2020.

India’s Global Real Estate Transparency Index ranking improved by a notch to 34 in 2019 on the back of regulatory reforms, better market data and green initiatives according to property consultant JLL.

Real estate attracted around Rs. 43,780 crore (US$ 6.26 billion) in investment in 2019. The retail segment in Indian realty attracted PE (Private Equity) investment of around US$ 1 billion in 2019. Institutional investment into Indian real estate sector stood at US$ 712 million during the quarter ended March 2020. Real estate attracted around US$ 14 billion from foreign PE between 2015 and Q32019.

Office space has been driven mostly by growth in ITeS/IT, BFSI, consulting and manufacturing sectors. During 2019, the office leasing space reached 60.6 msf across eight major cities, registering a growth of 27% y-o-y. In 2019, office sector demand with commercial leasing activity reached 69.4 msf. Warehousing space is expected to reach 247 msf in 2020 and see investment of Rs. 50,000 crore (US$ 7.76 billion) during 2018-20. Grade-A office space absorption is expected to cross 700 msf by 2022 with Delhi-NCR contributing the most to this demand.

Housing sales reached 2.61 lakh units in 2019 across seven major cities. Home sales volume across eight major cities in India jumped by 2.5x to 33,403 units from July 2020 to September 2020, compared with 9,632 units in the previous quarter, signifying healthy recovery post the strict lockdown imposed in the second quarter due to the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

The Government of India has been supportive towards the real estate sector. In August 2015, the Union Cabinet approved 100 Smart City Projects in India. The Government has also raised FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) limits for townships and settlements development projects to 100%. Real estate projects within Special Economic Zones (SEZ) are also permitted for 100% FDI. Construction is the third-largest sector in terms of FDI inflow. FDI in the sector (includes construction development and construction activities) stood at US$ 42.66 billion between April 2000 and June 2020. Exports from SEZs reached Rs. 7.96 lakh crore (US$ 113.0 billion) in FY20 and grew ~13.6% from Rs. 7.1 lakh crore (US$ 100.3 billion) in FY19.

Government of India’s Housing for All initiative is expected to bring US$ 1.3 trillion investments in the housing sector by 2025. As of December 2019, under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) [PMAY (U)], 1.12 crore houses were sanctioned in urban areas, with a potential to create 1.20 crore jobs. The scheme is expected to push affordable housing and construction in the country and give a boost to the real estate sector. On July 09, 2020, Union Cabinet approved the development of Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (AHRCs) for urban migrants and poor as a sub-scheme under PMAY–U.

Government has also released draft guidelines for investment by Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) in non-residential segment.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has recommended all the states to consider reducing stamp duty of property transactions in a bid to push real estate activity, generate more revenue and aid economic growth.

In October 2020, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) launched an affordable rental housing complex portal.

*Report published by IBEF