Real Estate Landscape in India

By: George Gonigal

Real estate is a highly fragmented sector in India, with only a few organized players. Most real estate developers have only a local or regional presence and there is moderate participation from large corporations till now. The top players in the Indian real estate and construction industry are DLF, Unitech, Omaxe Hiranandani and Ansal group.

Most of the real estate developers in India today are giving a lot of quality and value adds like swimming pool, health clubs, gardens in their projects. The only negative factor today is that there is limited ready stock with good developers. The demand from the information technology sector certainly has changed the urban landscape in India. The sector is the biggest driver for commercial properties in India, and residential properties in India are indirectly benefited of the economic activities created by the sector.

In the residential properties segment in India, Gurgaon has clinched the status for a case study. Gurgaon, one of the national capital regions of India, which has seen a fundamental change in not just its skyline but also in its fundamental urban demographics. Gurgaon, a few years ago, was described as just a small town built on a cow pasture. But in the past seven and eight years, it has witnessed 20 malls with many more under construction and has a skyline of shining new office buildings and call centers.

Gurgaon is considered a shopper's paradise and the malls are similar versions of their US counterparts: five story big bazaars which house almost every international brand like McDonalds, Levis, Nokia, Nike and Tommy Hilfiger along with multiplex cinemas, escalators and large parking lots. The arrival of call center industry, information technology houses and other such BPOs in India has led to an inflow of more than 9 lakh new jobs. Outsourcing business has changed the real face of commercial properties in India, but its greater impact has been the demographic shift characterized by rising disposable incomes and increased consumerism.

Mumbai has always been the trendsetter in the indicative property prices of real estate India. Upcoming cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Gurgaon are seen fast catching up with this trend. But on the other hand it has been noted that there exists a tremendous shortfall of middle class housing and affordable housing in India. Majority of the developers are involved in developing high class housing, so there is a dearth of low cost affordable units.

Rental value of the properties of most of the Tier I cities has gone up at a very fast pace. Individuals have started giving a serious thought about purchasing an apartment as the installment for home loans are almost equivalent to the amount they spend on paying the rent. Moreover, at the end of the day the individual has a sense of satisfaction that he has managed a fixed asset for himself.

The boom in real estate sector, however, is restricted to areas such as commercial properties, retail and housing sectors. This growth can be attributed to various fundamental factors such as growing economy and growing business needs.

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