Friday, November 13, 2009


Anand Dutta, Head (Retail) Pune, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj

In Pune, retail transactions have picked up noticeably, following a marked upsurge in shopper sentiments and a generalized correction in retail real estate rentals. Properties are now more viable for retailers, and the current scenario is now considered far more amenable to their bottom lines than it was before. Moreover, an increasing number of retail landlords in Pune’s malls and on key high street locations have opened up to the minimum guarantee and revenue sharing models. The general stance now is that if a retailer is making money, landlords are willing to offer reductions on rentals if the retailer is willing to sharing his topline. As a result, a number of retailers in Pune are now once again looking at expansion. The number of retail space deals has gone up significantly after the Dussera-Diwali period, which many players agree was better this year than in the previous year. Retailers are understandably displaying a predilection for ready properties.

Interest has revived not only in malls but also on Pune’s more prominent high streets of MG Road, JM Road, Aundh’s Parihar Chowk and Kothrud’s Karve Road. The highest activity levels in terms of expansion are currently being witnessed among vanilla retailers in the apparel, accessories, hypermarkets and jewelry categories. As before, value retail rules the roost in a budget-conscious city like Pune. However, we are also seeing a surprisingly fast
revival in terms of premium brands, and transactions for retail spaces in advantageous
locations in malls and on high streets are picking up.

The latest addition to Pune’s high-value retail sphere is Jewel Square at Koregaon Park, next
to Hotel Blue Diamond. This is naturally a premium location with an excellent high-profile shopper catchment, though this exclusive shopping centre encompasses only about a lakh
square feet, the occupier profile over its four levels is remarkable. Jewel Square, which is now
almost 90% booked out, is defined by premium brands who are eager to take advantage of this unique location, which is accessible to the affluent crowd of Pune and also close to other important micro markets such as Vimannagar, Kalyaninagar, Camp - and, of course, Koregaon Park.

Significantly, high-end brands like Mango, Promod, Aldo, Charles & Keith and Tommy Hilfigher are entering Pune’s mall territory for the first time with this project, which launches on 21st November, 2009. Other premium brands at Jewel Square include La Senza, Esprit, Calvin Klein, Forever New, Da Milano, Nike, Apple I Store, After Shock, Hi Design, Ritu Kumar, Chemistry, BIBA, Jashn, Satya Paul, Tie Rack London, Reliance Time Out and BJN Hotels.

Earlier, these high-end brands were shying away from entering the city. The fact that this mall
has garnered such concentrated enthusiasm by premium brands will give a big boost to mall developers for their upcoming projects and open up potential for other high end retailers to look at Pune as a suitable market.


• MG Road: 140 - 170
• JM Road: 160 - 200
• Aundh: 125 - 150
• Karve Road: 100 - 120

HYDERABAD - Q3 2009 Office and Retail Update

Abhishek Kiran Gupta, Head - Research, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj
Hyderabad Office Sector - 3Q '09
Hyderabad office market continued to witness an increase in overall leasing activity in 3Q09 as compared to the last two quarters. The CBD (Begumpet, Somajiguda, and Raj Bhavan Road) did not witness any tenant vacating spaces for the first time in the year in 3Q09.However, there were incidents of tenants vacating spaces in SBD (Banjara Hills and Jubilee Hills) and Hitec City. The overall netabsorption witnessed a significant increase in 3Q09. Most of this absorption is due to the completion of the buildings that were pre-leased in the previous quarters. The overall vacancy increased in 3Q09 as compared with 2Q09, due to the high vacancy in the newly completed buildings in suburbs.
The city witnessed completion of three buildings in 3Q09 that include Divyasree Solitaire and Divyasree Trinity II in Hitec City and SecondPhase of DLF Cyber City in Gachibowli. This added about 1.3 million sq ft to the total stock and increased it to 17 million sq ft in 3Q09.The CBD and SBD did not witness any completion in 3Q09. The projects in SBD that are in the final stages of completion continued to move at a
slow pace as they did not witness any leasing.
The overall rental values continued to correct for another quarter in 3Q09. However, the rate of correction has slowed down as compared with 2Q09. Hitec city witnessed the highest correction as compared with the
other micro markets that was about 8% q-o-q (24% of correction from the peak in 3Q08). The capital values remained stable in most of the micro markets that shrank the yield rates in 3Q09.
Hyderabad Retail Sector - 3Q '09
Sentiment in the Hyderabad retail market continued to improve in 3Q09, witnessing a moderated demand. Due to the success of GVK Mall and other malls in the city in attracting strong footfalls, the market condition was optimistic in 3Q09 compared with the previous twoquarters of 2009. Net absorption in 3Q09 increased compared with that in 2Q09. However, despite the slight optimism witnessed by the market in 3Q09, we cannot state that demand has increased and the market conditions are improving based solely on this increase in netabsorption. This is because most of this net absorption came from pre-leased space in the previous quarters in newly operational malls.The high street continued to remain the prime choice of the retailers, where the retailer leased the entire building. Trent Ltd leased twosuch buildings in previous quarters and started their stores of Landmark (at Banjara Hills) and Westside and landmark (at Somajiguda) in 3Q09. There were few incidences of retailers leasing vanilla stores in the newly operational Inorbit Mall. There were no pre-leases recorded in 3Q09.
The IT hub of Hyderabad – Hitec City - witnessed its first mall (Inorbit Mall) going operational in 3Q09. With the operation of this mall, Hyderabad saw its first Hyper City store of about 100,000 sq ft. The MPM Bonsai mall is almost in the final stages of its completion and has been again postponed for another quarter as it awaits final approvals.
The overall rental values corrected by 9% q-o-q in 3Q09. This is about a 44% correction from its peak in 3Q08. The prime central micro market Banjara Hills and Jubilee Hills corrected by 4% q-o-q in 3Q09 and
prime suburbs- Hitec City and Gachibowli corrected by 9% q-o-q in 3Q09. The revenue share and minimum guarantee model continued tostrengthen its hold on the market as Inorbit mall has leased most of
its space in this model.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

JLLM - 2010 Commonwealth Games Accommodation - Delhi Pulling Out All The Stops

Pankaj Renjhen, Managing Director – North India, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj

In terms of providing the required accommodation for the upcoming Commonwealth Games, Delhi has certainly been witnessing some significant operational challenges. There have been delays in approvals and permissions, and rather loud hiccups in the framework. Whatever finally happens at the delivery end, it has become fairly evident that there is bound to be a shortage of rooms in Delhi for the Commonwealth Games.


This has led to backup measures being put in place. Private residences have been given permission to register single rooms as bed-and-breakfast accommodation. The bed-and-breakfast system is not new in the Delhi region. However, it was not profitable until the coming of the Commonwealth Games. Now that the system has been revived and officially ratified, it will doubtlessly continue at an organized level even after the Games. Homeowners who have been issued bed-and-breakfast licenses will have to renew them every two years, and three months prior to expiry.

There has also been some speculation about farmhouses in the Delhi NCR region being mobilized as stopgap accommodation measures. Going by records, requests by farmhouse owners to utilize their properties for this purpose have certainly been made. The provisions for the Bed & Breakfast scheme would extend to farmhouses, as well. Conceivably, a certain number of farmhouse owners may rent out single rooms for tourist use during the Games.

However, because of the personal sentiments attached to these properties, their location, and the fact that they have residential-use status only, this temporary semi-commercial utilization will not turn into a long-standing trend after the Commonwealth Games. These farmhouses are at the luxury end of the residential market, often with carefully maintained ambiance and infrastructure. Offering them up for long-term tourist use would not be a concept that would appeal to many of these farmhouse owners.

In the second place, most farmhouses in the Delhi NCR region are located in clusters around Mehrauli, Bijwasan, Rajokri and Chattarpur, which are far from strategically placed in terms of where the main Commonwealth Games action will be. As such, they would not present much of an advantage for visitors.

Apart from the above measures, approximately 700 under-construction DDA flats coming up at Vasant Kunj and Rohini will be made ready to accommodate visitors.


Meanwhile, the hospitality sector is going all out to meet the deadline. Some of the 5 star hotels coming up for the Commonwealth Games are Crowne Plaza at Okhla Industrial area, Crowne Plaza at Mayur Vihar, Hilton (Piccadilly) at Janakpuri, Radisson Marina atConnaught Place and Hilton Convention Luxury Hotel at Dwarka, among others. The 5-star deluxe Leela Palace at Chanakyapuri is also in the pipeline. 4 star hotels include Holiday Inn at Mayur Vihar and Novotel at Jhandewalan. In the Gurgaon area, the 5 star supply includes Radisson Manesar and Frasers Serviced Apartments at Udyog Vihar. 5 star deluxe hotels include The Westin Gurgaon, The Oberoi, Four Seasons Gurgaon-DLF Golf Links and JW Marriott at Manesar. Some of the four star hotels are Courtyard by Marriott, Park Plazaextension & Convention Centre and Park Inn. However, this is not an exhaustive list.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Demand for larger homes picking up

Mohammed Aslam, Head – Pune, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj:

Pune’s real estate market is pulling itself out of the doldrums brought about by the slowdown. Over the last three months, buyers have begun populating the residential market again and are beating a path to various developers’ sites in search of good deals. Apart from a resurgence in positive sentiments, this renewed demand can also be attributed to the fact that HFI has brought down home loan interest rates to 8-8.5% on fixed interest loans for three years, which stands in marked contrast to the 10-11% that prevailed just six months ago.

While Pune’s real estate market was in the deepest throes of the downturn, the 1BHK and studio apartments were practically the only moving products. Today, general buyers preferences have once again evolved to 2-3BHK flats. The most popular price tags currently fall within the range of Rs. 25-35 lakh.

The slowdown has brought about residential space affordability and availability in areas that were previously out of reach for middle-income buyers. Due to reduction in pricing, residential property buyers now have a choice of attractive deals in preferred areas like Baner, Wakad, Kondhwa, NIBM Road and Aundh. There is also a high level of interest in projects along Nagar Road, which now falls in the new IT/ITES growth zone and represents considerable future appreciation potential.

Projects that were put on indefinite hold during the financial crunch are now seeing the light of day, with construction once again on a war footing across the city. Projects that are due to be launched within the next six months are being advertised heavily. For projects to be launched within the festive season, developers are not offering freebies and esoteric incentives but are focusing on price discounts for limited periods. Some of the most significant launches will include those by Pharande Spaces, Gera and Panchsheel.

On the downside, we have been seeing the first stirrings of price escalations in Pune. Based on the fact that the demand revival is still in its infancy, this represents a worrisome scenario which seems to indicate that the slowdown did not deliver a sufficiently convincing message. Owing to the price-conscious buyer profile that generally defines Pune, demand for residential spaces will only continue to grow as long as rates remain rational.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Middle Income Housing (MIH)– the next big real estate opportunity

Reveals Cityscape India 2009 survey

Mumbai, September 4, 2009: An all India survey conducted by Cityscape India reveals that real estate consumers across India are rooting for projects in the MIH (middle income housing) segment, which the real estate industry needs to introspect closely. Over 53% respondents felt that developers are not catering to the rising emerging middle class in India. Over 79% of the respondents with income of Rs. 6L per annum stated that the ideal affordable home would be in the range of Rs. 20Lacs – Rs. 30Lacs. Qualitative response indicates that most affordable housing projects are located in areas which are extremely distant from the main city and also lack infrastructural eco-systems.

Majority of the respondents felt that reputed developers only cater to the upper classes and do not have anything to offer the middle of the pyramid. The survey also revealed that ‘low cost housing’ projects of 400sq.ft were not typical projects that the middle class would buy into due to lack of infrastructure, poor quality of materials and lack of space for family.
Graham Wood, Cityscape India Group Director comments, “The Indian real estate industry need to listen actively to consumers across India. Their feedback is clearly indicating that MIH is a segment which they need to now focus upon actively. Affordable housing is a different category from MIH; and as the real estate market matures – developers will specifically need to come up with MIH solutions in various cities. Developers have to innovate to bring prices to realistic levels to win back their trust”

Consumers also feel that the 2006 real estate boom was primarily driven by investors and builders, not the real buyers. Today, very few developers are able to keep commitments on timely delivery of projects as banks have stopped lending and genuine buyers have lost trust in the industry.

The Cityscape India conference will have an opening session in Mumbai on December 2009 to discuss the above with leading influencers in the real estate industry.

About Cityscape India

India’s largest and only business-to-business real estate investment and development exhibition and conference will once again take place from 9 – 11 December 2009. The world’s top, real estate developers, leading architects, consultants, engineers and other professionals involved in the design and construction of real estate will attend Cityscape India to create joint ventures partnerships, source investment opportunities, build profitable relationships and access unbiased, in-depth information on the Indian real estate market
For more information please visit

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

World comes to Dubai seeking answers

Cityscape Dubai to explore how best to survive and prepare for the recovery in a still rapidly changing economic environment

The world of real estate investment is to descend on the United Arab Emirates this autumn to seek solutions from what some have referred to as the first great depression of the 21st century, say the organisers of the Cityscape Dubai.

“With reduced liquidity and many projects on hold, investors, developers, architects, indeed the entire real estate industry around the world, is looking for answers to the same questions,” said Chris Speller, Cityscape Group Director. “How do we survive the recession? When can we expect stabilisation? When will the banks start lending again? When will the crisis turn into an opportunity?”

Cityscape Dubai, now in its eighth year and part of the largest business-to-business real estate investment and development brand in the world, encompasses a major exhibition and a series of conferences taking place at the Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre from 5-8 October 2009.

“With the radical worldwide economic shakeout, attention has firmly turned onto realistic perspectives on the real estate investment landscape both globally and regionally,” Speller added. “Thousands of participants from more than 100 countries throughout the world have already registered to attend. They are serious players searching for specific answers, which is why Cityscape Dubai 2009 is embracing realism and transparency.”

Among them are companies such as ING Real Estate Investment Management of Hong Kong. Richard T.G. Price, CEO Asia, said: “It is more important than ever to get first hand insights from our clients and partners as to their objectives and expectations for the real estate markets around the world.”

Similarly, Jesper Koll, President and CEO of Tantallon Research, Japan, said: “We all want to know when the global crisis will turn into an opportunity. Cityscape Dubai is poised to help us find a solution.”

Kosta Petrov, Director of the Cityscape Dubai conference and the World Architecture Congress that runs in parallel, said this year’s event – while still the world’s largest real estate show of its kind – would not be about “out of this world” creations.

“Last year saw the beginning of what is being referred to by some economists as the first great depression of the 21st century,” he added. “With liquidity issues and many project developments still on pause, this year is about how best to survive and prepare for the recovery in a still rapidly changing economic environment. In terms of potential new business opportunities, Cityscape Dubai - as the world’s largest real estate show - has no global equivalent.”

Petrov said the Cityscape Dubai conference will bring together “some of the most powerful investors, developers and economists on the planet.” Meanwhile, the World Architecture Congress (5-7 October 2009) has been put together in association with Continental Europe, Hong Kong, Japan and UK chapters and the International Committee of the American Institute of Architects. “The world’s most respected visionaries will share their experience and outlook in a global recession,” he added.

In addition, the Cityscape Dubai Facilities and Asset Management Conference is on 4 – 8 October attracting delegates in the design, build and post-occupancy of buildings. There will also be a Cityscape Dubai “Green Day” on 7 October which will include green communities, green construction methods, energy saving issues, financing green buildings, regulations, facilities management, whole life costs and new materials and products.

For more information about Cityscape Dubai 2009, please visit

JLLM - Global REIT & REOC Recovery Chart

  • There has been a dramatic fall in capital values of the world's largest REITs and REOCs. February 28 marked the trough in equity values, with the CVs of the world's largest REITs and REOCs falling by an average (unweighted) of 66% from Dec 2007
  • Since then, equity markets - including REITs and REOCs - have rallied strongly. REITs are up by an average of 88% and REOCs by 77% from Feb 28 to July 31. Some REITs such as Australia's GPT and Goodman are rising by 194% and 155% respectively, while the US based Host Hotels & Resorts rose 182%. REOCs also achieved large gains- the US REOC Forest City Enterprises is up 166% while Austria's Immoeast and the Sino Land Co of Hong Kong both rose by 146%
  • Nevertheless, despite the strong rally, on average, both REIT and REOC capital values remain around 42% below Dec 2007 levels.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Subhankar Mitra, AVP - Strategic Consulting, Jones Lang LaSalle

The immediate impacts of satellite town formation - and the primary
advantages - would be an at least partial decongestion of the central city and
a rise in property valuations in the satellite town. The appreciation rate would
depend on what kind of infrastructure has been/is being put in place in the
satellite town, and what other market drivers it features.


Since appreciation is of paramount interest from an investment point of view,
this aspect deserves amplification.
Property prices are a function of demand and supply. Demand is created by a
suitable combination of market drivers such as employment potential,
infrastructure and overall quality of living. If a satellite town offers these in
sufficient magnitude, and if there is sufficient connectivity to the main city by
means of road and rail, this new area can often put a slight downward
pressure on property prices in the more centralized regions while showing a
steady upward trend on its own property price graph. This, however, happens
only under optimum conditions, which must be created by meticulous town
planning and proactive local Government support.


Of course, living in a satellite town is not everyone’s cup of tea. There would
be a perceived disadvantage for those use their home in the satellite town to
travel to their workplace in the central city, especially if the necessary degree
of road/train linkage has not been created. Also, buying a home in a satellite
town can lead to a sense of isolation and general dissatisfaction if the location
does not feature the kind of social life and entertainment that would be seen
as necessary lifestyle quotients.
Some central city dwellers would choose to move to such satellite towns in
response to the available relief from city-related stress and cheaper property
rates. However, the majority of metropolitan inhabitants would choose not to
relinquish their foothold in the main city. Many satellite towns coming up today
are of greater interest to migrant populations rather than core city inhabitants,
and local developers tend to zero in on this population while planning their


A classic example of best-scenario satellite town planning would be the
Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) of Pune, which is an
industrial hub in its own right. Within the PCMC area, Pradhikaran has
emerged as the location of choice for mid-to-high level management staff
working in the various surrounding industries, and various local development
concerns such as Pharande Spaces have recognized and focused on this
potential. Areas such as Navi Mumbai and Pune's PCMC are planned
developments that have their own social infrastructure as well as distinct
resident profiles social character.

If satellite townships have been meticulously masterminded by the relevant
town planning authorities, they will incorporate their own economic drivers
such as employment opportunities, social infrastructure and lifestyle quotients.
Simply put, such a combination of factors opens up a new growth area for the
real estate market. Under suitable circumstances, office, retail and residential
property will work in tandem to create a symbiotic growth pattern.

Moreover, once such a satellite town is established, it tends to attract various
industries specific to the available workforce, further boosting this pattern. The
overall effect is one of economic diversification of a possibly congested metro
into new directions. This naturally spells nothing but good news for the
region’s real estate market.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Sanjay Dutt, CEO – Business, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj

The demand fundamentals of the India story are now focused around all cities that have sufficient economic activity, be it industrial, service sector-driven or incentive-driven programs by the State Government. In Gujarat, which has seen considerable industrial progress, the key cities of Ahmedabad, Surat and Vadodara come readily to mind. Baddi in Himachal Pradesh and Pantnagar and Rudrapur in Uttaranchal attracted a lot of residential developers that met with success, thanks to proactive Government policies. In the South, Coimbatore, Vizag and Kochi emerged, either thanks to a large investor segment or as the outcome of sufficient economic activity. Towards the West, Pune, Nasik and Nagpur are noteworthy in this context. In all cases, developers positioned their development close to industrial hubs, targeting a totally different price segment and making the most of it.


This said, every developer was inspired to create a national footprint three to four years back. While this was a worthy ambition, it was poorly conceived as a plan since many of them did not factor in State Government-level regulatory challenges such as local municipal laws. They also did not consider that they may not have had the requisite financial resources, organizational depth and knowledge of the local markets to manage and execute projects in Tier II and Tier III cities. Nor had they accurately gauged the demand fundamentals of these locations.

Such developers proceeded to enter into land acquisition on their own equity and were caught short-footed, not realizing that the property cycles were then at their peak, and that there was bound to be a correction – if not a fall.


Major players are now going to re-align their positions vis-à-vis unexplored territories. There is now a very clear realization that it is extremely difficult to become a genuine Pan India player in every geography and real estate segment. Moreover, developers today have woken up to the fact that there is only limited capital available to real estate players today – capital that is earmarked for residential projects, construction funding against achieved leases and signed contracts, or for cities displaying sufficient demand even in subdued market conditions.
In the current context, it makes sense for developers to re-strategize and focus on their core geographies. For example, if a certain developer is extremely accomplished as a residential players in the South, having high credibility and sufficient brand recall in this region, such a company would ask itself how wise it is to experiment in the North or the West, and whether it would not make more sense to expand in the South.

Likewise, developers accomplished in IT projects would now concentrate on geographies that feature a healthy IT component, and avoid branching out into cities that lack a sufficient volume of such activity. Such developers would see the virtue of focusing on IT-centric cities such as Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, Gurgaon and Pune, and re-think on plans to invest in cities that lack Information Technology activity.


Tier II and Tier III cities still represent a great story, especially in terms of affordable housing for industrial workforces. However, this story may no longer be suitable for some of the larger developers. These are locations where the strength of regional players will come into play.

There is at least one strong developer in every region. For instance, Panchshil Realty, Magarpatta, Paranjape Builders and Kumar Builders are very powerful local brands in Pune, with a company like Pharande Spaces practically spearheading the residential drive in Pune’s PCMC area. These brands have demonstrated that they understand their geographies better than any players who arrive from the outside to experiment on the Tier II / Tier III story.

The success of these local developers will inspire larger developers from beyond a region’s borders after the fundamentals of that area’s demand are captured sufficiently and the markets are sanitized in terms of municipal and financial market stabilization. In the next one to two years, developers will have realigned their business strategies sufficiently to leverage the potential of Tier II / III cities that have sufficient market drivers or are witnessing considerable investor activity (such as Kochi, Surat, Mohali and Chandigarh).

Thursday, August 6, 2009

MCHI gets outstanding response for 2nd ‘Budget Property 2009’ expo

MCHI Budget Property Expo 2009

Mumbai, August 05, 2009: Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI), the most prominent body of real estate builders and developers in India has received an awe-inspiring response to their recently organized 2nd Budget Property exhibition simultaneously held at R City, LBS Marg, Ghatkopar (W) (central suburbs) and Raghuleela Mall, Kandivali (W) (western suburbs) during July 31 to August 2, 2009. The visitor’s turnout was 9,696 and 17,241 at Ghatkopar and Kandivali exhibition respectively.

This three days exhibition was inaugurated by Shri. Arun Kumar Agarwal, General Manager & Business Head (PB) - I, State Bank of India & Shri. Shubhash Runwal, Chairman, Runwal Group, at Ghatkopar and Smt. Shubha Raul, Mayor, Mumbai at Kandivali.

Considering the rising demand of affordable housing MCHI conducted property exhibition at two locations simultaneously. The exhibition was focused on properties in the range of Rs.10-50 lakh & Lifestyle Homes above 50 Lakh as well.

We have seen an encouraging response from the home buyers as our exhibition was held when the large numbers of buyers were looking out for an affordable housing at various locations in the western and central suburbs of the Mumbai. The response also had confirmed that the trend is in favour of affordable housing as well as quality lifestyle homes”, said Mr. Pravin Doshi, President MCHI.

“It was a co-incidence that the central government announced a special incentive one percentage point interest subsidy together with the tax benefit that makes home loans really cheap. It had created a positive impact on the exhibition with potential buyers rushing towards the expo to grab the opportunity of the affordable homes showcased in the exhibitions.” said Mr. Harish Patel, Convener, Exhibitions MCHI.

“We are extremely happy with the success of the Budget Exhibitions, the concept MCHI unveiled last year to cater the changing need of the housing and also aided in reviving the market sentiments in general. The Budget Exhibitions also have mutually benefited the buyers and developers very well”, said Mr. Deepak Goradia, Co-convenor Exhibitions, MCHI.

As many as twenty one leading developers and builders from India including Ackruti City Ltd, Lodha Group, Mayfair Housing Pvt. Ltd., Rustomjee, Arihant Universal, Disha Direct Marketing Services Pvt Ltd., Dosti Group, Neelkanth Mansions Ltd, Everest India Limited, Nirmal Lifestyles, Neptune Group, Runwal Group, Mittal Builders, Royal Palms India Pvt. Ltd. , Godrej Properties Ltd., had showcased their properties at the exhibitions. Properties from Andheri to Virar and beyond were displayed in the western suburbs exhibition at Kandivali while properties from Ghatkopar/Chembur to Mulund, Thane, Kalyan, Navi Mumbai, Panvel and beyond were displayed in the central suburbs exhibition at Ghatkopar in the 2nd Budget Expo 2009. Among the HFIs were State Bank of India, ICICI Home Finance and HDFC Ltd. at both the locations.

About MCHI:

Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI), formed in 1982 is the most prominent body of real estate builders and developers in the country. MCHI brings together members dealing in real estate development on one common platform to address issues facing the industry. Members of MCHI account for 80 of new residential accommodation in Mumbai and its vicinity. MCHI helps both the Central and State governments in meeting their objectives of providing housing, which is a basic necessity. MCHI works towards raising awareness among the general public, real estate and construction industry while providing them with detailed information on projects and new developments in and around Mumbai. With over 400 well-recognized and reputed member builders and developers, MCHI is affiliated with leading industry associations like FICCI, IMC and CREDAI.

Monday, August 3, 2009

CHENNAI’S REAL ESTATE MARKET – Hurdles To Optimum Growth

Ramesh Nair, Managing Director (Chennai), Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj

Few cities in India have managed to maintain a more or less even keel in the recent market turbulences, but Chennai definitely numbers among them. Being an essentially conservative market, it has managed to maintain its inherent potential while many other cities showed some rather extreme variations.

Nevertheless, there is still potential for positive change, and quite a few come to mind while considering the roadblocks to further progress on Chennai’s real estate front.


To begin with, organized retail space in Chennai is in short supply. The only additions scheduled to augment the current supply of full-fledged shopping centers (Spencers and City Centre) over the next one year will be Ampa Skywalk (450,000 sq.ft.) on Poonamallee High Road, Express Avenue (8 lakh sq. ft.) on Whites Road, Coromandel Plaza (250,000 sq. ft.) on the OMR and Spectrum Mall (1.2 lakh sq. ft.). in Perambur, North Chennai. All other supply will take at least two years.

The total incoming supply over the next year accounts for only about 1.5 millions square feet. Considering that all brands perceive Chennai as a high-potential market in terms of consumption given the high spending capacity, and that they are very bullish on expansion, this supply is indeed an inadequate trickle to fails to exploit Chennai’s fullest retail potential.

The city indubitably needs more organized retail. What stands between the current retail potential and vastly expanded one is the ongoing and seemingly chronic mismatch between developers’ lease rental expectations and the paying capacity of occupiers’ business models. This needs to be addressed by an open dialogue between developers and retailers about what works and what doesn’t in Chennai’s highly individualistic retail milieu. Until this happens, there will be no incentive for organized retail to make a bigger footprint in the city.


In terms of Chennai’s commercial real estate sector, there is a huge oversupply of IT space. These projects cannot be reinvested into other formats, since the Government has stipulated a lock-in period of five years for projects built to the higher FSI allowances made for IT / ITES. Chennai’s developer lobby has made several representations to the State Government to have this lock-in period removed. For commercial real estate in Chennai to recover more decisively, this move should be put on fast track.


Chennai’s residential sector was never a speculator’s market, and therefore, prices did not shoot up as much as in most other metropolitan cities in India. By that coin, the downward slide was not as severe either. Sales on a month-on-month basis are picking up, and affordable home projects have been announced by all developers. Since the manufacturing sector in Chennai is as fast-paced as ever, the demand for homes is bound to increase.

However, delivery of these projects is delayed because the granting of regulatory approvals takes too long in Chennai. Speeding up the process of granting project approvals would boost the city’s housing sector.

‘Most of the housing demand in Chennai comes from services industries such as IT/ITES. Close to 48% of the total non-working population in Chennai falls under the age bracket of 15–59. We foresee a large proportion of this nonworking population to graduate and commence working. This will lead to an increase in the number of double-income-no-kids (DINK) families in Chennai and will result in a rise in housing demand over the same period.’ (Affordable Housing In Chennai: Calibrating The Ticket Size – Real Estate Intelligence Services, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj).


Finally, a thought on one of Chennai’s key growth areas – Sriperumbadur. This is a very important manufacturing location in Chennai. As an automobile hub, it already boasts of names like Nokia, Flextronics, Samsung, Dell and Hyundai. However, Sriperumbadur suffers from a lack of connectivity between its manufacturing nodes and also to the main city. The roads that exist are incapable of handling the demands of current traffic volumes.

This area has the capacity to be a major real estate driver for Chennai, but it needs proper Metro and road connectivity to integrate the manufacturing and hardware hubs to the main city and to each other. Providing this connectivity will also open up Sriperumbadur’s residential sector.