Press Release


Press Coverage


July 2021

Reimagining the future of the work sphere in a post COVID world

The pandemic induced work from home has permanently altered the way we work and has even challenged the existence of office space

Niranjan Hiranandani

The COVID 19 pandemic has forced the Indian business houses to reconsider the concept of work space by creating structural changes that will persist for years to come. With most companies opting for their employees to work from home or Flexi work options, the commercial office segment has been hugely impacted.

Data compiled from 7 top cities across the country reveals that there is an almost 50 percent drop in office leasing in the first quarter of the financial year from 69,31,922 sq feet last year to 35,78,585 sq ft in January-March 2021 period this year. Similarly, there has been a huge shift among the corporate opting for Flexi workspaces. In the first quarter, there was a 50 percent jump in the demand for Flexi workspace from the 10690 seats; the demand has gone up to 15,523 seats. Switching to a flexible office space even in multiple cities can be much more cost-effective for any organization. It is estimated that the flex leases will grow from their current share of 2% of the overall market to as much as 10% by the end of this decade.

Emerging business models

With the economy opening up, business activities resuming in full swing, the demand for office space will continue to grow in the near future. However, the future of work would be a lot different than what it used to be in the pre-COVID times. Companies have found cost-effective and new pools of talents without constraints of locations due to the use of technology. This has led to a boost in their productivity due to reducing in travel time and better work-life balance. Even if the situation comes back to normalcy with the pandemic subsiding, almost 20 percent of the active workforce would continue to work from home or a hybrid model with some days in a week and some in the office. If companies decide to open up their physical workspaces, they would have to redesign their spaces to ensure social distancing and restrict movement of their employees in packed areas like lifts.

Companies would save big on reduced costs in terms of leasing Flexi office spaces, lower electricity bills, and other office-related expenses. Lesser travel would also mean lower consumption of vehicle fuel which would help towards a healthy environment and lower carbon footprint.

Towards more sustainable development

The pandemic has also given us an opportunity to build a more resilient and regenerative system of production and consumption. Today, all the stakeholders have an equal responsibility to support and drive sustainable development. Even before the pandemic, there was a thrust towards developing innovative solutions for urban living.

The present crisis has just increased the importance of incorporating design innovations to meet the demands of a community offering solutions like wellness, recreation, healthcare, or work, all within the walking distance of one another. Developers today are more aware of the environmental impact their projects may have and are striving towards achieving zero carbon heating. There is a conscious effort to move from a compliance-focused to a performance-focused approach. This means a systematic move towards rethinking the way design and construction are done. Designs using recycled materials like steel or concrete and the lesser use of raw material in construction would be the way forward.

A shift towards healthy homes

Due to the pandemic, all outdoor culture of activities like exercising, recreation, and even shopping is done from the confines of one’s homes. There is certainly more focus on the overall hygiene after the outbreak of the virus. Even as the government is taking steps to increase the inoculation of the vaccine, there is a huge shift in the consumers with a surge in demand for healthy homes. Even people who were living in rental accommodation -with the advent of cheaper loans from financial institutions- have started looking for their own accommodation with open spaces and green cover.

Trends like ‘walk to work’ would gain importance in the future. Developers too are gearing up to emerging concepts like mix-use townships which would have an integration of commercial, residential, cultural, and entertainment spaces in one place. There would be a rise in the demand for living with close proximity to the offices, so that people can walk from their workspace to their homes and even the essential services, without having to depend on the public transport.

The change that earlier thought to be a temporary arrangement has metamorphosed into a permanent one, pushing the captains of the industries to go back to the drawing tables to rejig their strategies and think out of the box in the new work order.

Global Indians skewed to buy safe abode back home

Dr Niranjan Hiranandani -National President – NAREDCO

For the global Indian, spinning foreign currency into wealth by ‘investing right’ has always been the top priority. NRI home buyers have always been skewed towards investing in Indian real estate which connects them back to their roots.

The current geo-political crisis, job uncertainties, remote work trend has preceded the reverse migration back to Indian shores. The current economic shock waves and looming labour market threats have jolted global Indians to park their capital into an asset that offers stability and security. What better then residential homes could be in harmony with the wealth creation desire. Over the years, Indian property market has allured NRI with steady rental returns and capital appreciation in the long run. Such dual advantage primarily defines the global Indians penchant for investing in Indian property as a safe bet.

The benefit of currency plummeting in global currency exchange rate has been advantageous to the expatriate Indian. Also, the fact that the gap between own funds and the cost of an apartment back home in India is easily bridged by an NRI home loan. This makes it obvious for Indian developers to outreach global Indians via multiple communication channel.

As the world slipped into black swan pandemic in early 2020, it brought global economies to grind halt and left limping it with deep impacted wounds. The soaring ambiguity threatened bilateral business ties and widening global political disparity flagged off dark impact on job assurance. Offshore global Indians were on red alert for reverse migration and this fear fuelled the need to buy own nest back home.

Recently, the NRI home buyer are on house hunting spree to grab the deal as per the preferred sentiments. Firstly, the abode should be worthy for end use living that offers value proposition by means of best location, amenities, and quality housing. The dream home should entice on grounds of enhanced lifestyle, quality of living and sustainable practices making it future ready. The spacious and well- designed efficient layout befit the growing trend of new normal lifestyle encompassing work, study, fitness, or entertainment from homes. The balcony or open decks homes plays as a solace corner in this raging pandemic wave with open green ecosystem to nurture the complete well-being. Accounting in newly listed preferences, such homes are on offer by the branded developers who has proven track record in terms of deliverables timelines, quality, and scale of development. The integrated township living meets the goals of holistic and community living with robust infrastructure, connectivity, and social fabric to top the list. The experience of relocating in the project that exemplifies a tint of global flavour ranks up the wish list of the NRI home buyers to move back to place of origin swiftly.

The affluent IT \ ITes populace, software honchos, C-suite professionals, hoteliers, engineers, marine shippies etc residing across foreign land like GCC, US, UK, Singapore markets are now contemplating to make a deal in Indian real estate. The favourable market conditions attracts NRI home buyer segment to relocate and upgrade amidst global cautious environment.

India is the fastest growing economy with rich demography and diversified consumer markets. The economic cogwheels ensures optimistic GDP growth outlook driving the growth of real estate industry which is second largest job creator. The structural economic reforms like RERA have bridged the trust and transparency deficit gap, empowering the customer centricity. Such regulations makes real estate asset more enticing for the NRI investors with accountability and fair disclosure of project details to make informed decision. Urbanisation will keep driving rental market bring stable income to the homebuyers account, tax benefits and long-term return on investment in comparison to other volatile asset makes it promising investment option. The policy regime, government initiatives, fiscal impetus, low interest rates, long term home loans, flexi payment schemes, deal sweeteners and choice of apartments available are the strong reasons for uptick in NRI sales velocity in affordable and mid -luxury segments.

Now, with an emerging digital economy the home buying experience has also been transformed via innovative tech platforms. IoT, AI and ML enables customer and market segmentations insightful data, sets the base for niche outreach communication strategy and foster ease of doing transaction virtually without any geographical barriers. The innovative prop-techs, virtual tour, augment reality, video conferencing equips NRI home buying with seamless experience and eliminates any delays. New tech drive tool like 3-D walkthroughs, show flat mock-ups, live inventory web portals, online project details and graphic renderings of layout enables the expat Indian pin down ‘dream home, back home’. The e-payment gateways and digital wallets has cushioned the need of virtual payments leveraging Digital India objective.

Going by the current trends, economic investment climate, attractive price point and shift in attitude provides well -heeled NRIs a good investment option. Existing market dynamics have added to the lustre of Indian real estate. Owning own home is like safe-haven and stable investment back home in time of contingencies. This trend will continue on back safety bay.

Homebuyers Trend in Covid times across MMR

The new normal lifestyle as an outcome of Covid times has resulted in change in home buyers buying preferences. The demand for housing has remained inherent in pandemic crisis on back of security and stability it offered during testing times. Importance of owning an own home has gained traction which has led to fence sitters turning into the actual home buyers. Renters have underpinned the significance of own shelter and hence it has become imperative to buy an affordable property. Property market across cities also witnessed trend of home upgradation by the existing homebuyers who wish to now accommodate the work, study, and wellness from home routine. Thus, demand for large luxury home prevailed across residential markets especially in peripheral locations like MMR.

The recent media reports reveal the total housing sales in the MMR (approx. 47,140 units) in past nine months between July 2020 and March 2021, where-in massive 65 per cent of buyers upgraded to bigger properties ranging from 1BHK to 2/3 BHKs. This fits in with the trend of upgradation, a segment that has been among the leading numbers of home buyers in MMR.

Justifying the demand for larger properties is in wake of work from home sentiment that prevails across industry. The market dynamics stood conducive for home buyers in form of attractive price-points, reduced stamp duty rates, historically low home loan interest rates and the growing preference to move to open, green spaces in peripheral areas that also offer well planned residences with better infrastructure. This augured well for homeowners to take the plunge and move into bigger apartments meeting the rising family needs.

While the post-COVID-19 period (July 2020 - March 2021) saw a whopping 90 per cent sales to end-users, investors accounted for the remaining 10 per cent. The interesting aspect of the trend is that numbers of women home buyers have increased in the MMR over the last year.

Home buying seems to work for women buyers at two levels – first, safety in one’s own home. Second, as an ideal investment from a long-term perspective, given that residential real estate provides steady rental income as also capital appreciation in the long run. As compared to other volatile assets, real estate has grown in terms of being a preferred asset class for investors.

Home buyers’ preferences towards buying ready to move in and under-construction properties has changed. Homebuyers are more inclined to buy under- construction properties with the branded developers who proven track record in terms of delivery timelines and quality.

While ready to move in was the largest chunk at 38 per cent, while those due for completion in a shorter time frame – up to 2 years – comprised 35 per cent. Homes with longer completion timelines (more than two years) saw 27 per cent of home buyer’s preference in lieu of staggered payment facility.

Industry has witnessed the positive impact of RERA in enhancing the trust and transparency among the customers and developer’s fraternity. This positive confidence index has played a major role in the last category getting 27 per cent of sales during the post-Covid-19 period. Most of these projects are from leading developers with good completion records, this has also been a key reason why home buyers are willing to wait for under construction homes. That these two aspects worked positively for home buyers even during the pandemic is a heartening sign, and one looks forward to similar positive trends in the coming days.

Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani, MD, Hiranandani Group

Housing Demand remains Resilient amidst Covid Times

Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani is National President, NAREDCO

The June Q2 2021 reveals rebound in housing sales figures exhibiting sustainable demand for housing on grounds of stability and security that it offers to customers. The gradual reopening of economic activities, accelerated inoculation drive, and increase in employment rate indicates improvement in real estate market sentiments. With ease in curbs, economic activities have resumed gradually leading in upward sales velocity across the markets. The dip in site visits was due to travel restrictions, hence longer sales gestation period for final closures was experienced.

The business continuity plans shifted to digital platforms with innovative technologies that helped the discerning home buyers with the required property research, views, and location updates. Digital Transformation has been accelerated during Covid times paving growth for the prop-tech industry. In the age of artificial intelligence and machine learning, customer data has become an extremely important factor for well informed business decisions. Covid pandemic has led to evolution in customer segmentation and demand where data mining plays a significant role. Companies have redesigned the products that accords with evolved demand post Covid crisis. Homes with open decks or balconies, home office flexi spaces, and home garden corners have become important factors for house hunters. The well efficient layout, open living, flexi -modular furniture, motion sensor lights, and robust power and internet connectivity will top the preferential list.

Value homes in an integrated township that enables holistic living with futuristic infrastructure, best in class social fabric, unmatched civic amenities, better connectivity, and dynamic workspaces will offer value proposition to the home buyers. Township living offers a live- work -play lifestyle, the current buzzword in the real estate sector. Wellness and sustainability are the new luxury in demand by discerning new-age home buyers.

A recent media report made an interesting observation that traditional renters have turned into first time home buyers and existing homeowners have opted to upgrade into the larger sized apartments. Demand in the luxury housing segment was seen due to incorporation of a new normal lifestyle wherein work, study and wellness continues to be from home.

The market dynamics turned favourable with support of historically low home loan interest rates; grab the deal by developers, choice of inventory available and innovative flexi payment schemes by financial institutions to allure the potential home buyers. Hence, property market witnessed renewed demand amidst Covid crisis g in June Q2 2021, reflecting sales figures on par with those in March 2021.

It is an accepted fact that economic uncertainty caused by the second wave of coronavirus pandemic has impacted the real estate market sentiment. This in turn, forced real estate developers to adopt a more cautious approach towards spending, which the media report says, is reflected in new supply numbers for April-June (Q2) of 2021.

The media research report also mentions that both, sales, and new launches have started to pick up in June. With this, unsold inventory of ready to move in homes is on decline and branded developers now gears up for new launches of under-construction projects.

Indian real estate is the largest employment generator with a multiplier effect on 270 allied industries. Revival of residential real estate is imperative to meet the old age adage of ‘Roti, Kapda and Makaan’ where housing for all remains an ambitious objective of the nation. Performance of the realty sector indicates the healthiness of any economy and hence, it is bound to bounce back at 10% CAGR in tandem to GDP and economic growth of India.

PropTech integration for better Construction and Consumer Experience

Dr Niranjan Hiranandani – National President – NAREDCO and MD – Hiranandani Group

In the post Covid world, technology integration in all aspects of business and way of living will be at its best. Digitization has led to a radical shift in consumer experience and construction development in more profound ways with the integration of new-age property technology i.e PropTech. Technology simulation is reinventing business models and revolutionizing the real estate sector like never. As Industry now equips with automation and mechanisation, leveraging IoT and Prop-tech expertise is the next best logical step to make it future- ready.

Tools and Business Goals-

As a result of Covid pandemic fraught, the technology has permeated in every facet of real estate business with quick adoption of global best practices making it a more renewed holistic experience. Prop- tech has been more prevalent in global markets, until covid pandemic made the very presence of prop- tech application felt in Indian real estate for doing ‘new age’ way of business. The technology infusion in the form of Building Information Modelling, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Internet of Things, Augmented and Virtual Reality, Fintech and Crowdfunding, Big data and Blockchain technology is now happening at the various stages of project execution, customer servicing, and marketing and sales activities. The resulting benefits from the above innovations are propelling business forward with real time and well-informed business decisions based on granular data insights. As industry continues to garner value of prop- tech integration for achieving well defined business, social, sustainable, and economic goals, the investment will see an upswing in the prop- tech segment.

Innovation and Investment –

Fintech and Proptech are new buzz words in the real estate industry. Fintech- an innovation acting as a foundation for the real estate industry to thrive by better management of financial operations and processes. It enabled the online exchanges, online payment getaways, crowdfunding, home loan financing, and many such fin-tech services available to companies, business owners, customers and all other major stakeholders. Together, prop-tech and Fin-tech make the experience of home buying seamless and digitized.

With an extensively growing internet user base in India coupled with government thrust on Digital India will see robust growth and investment in these two crucial segments in Indian Real Estate. As growth of real estate is pegged at a CAGR of 10%, of which PropTech will be a major growth lever.

Customer and Cost Centricity -

The customer segmentation has evolved in Covid era, as it seeks more integrated and end to end service for better experience. In the world of experiential living, decoding customer satisfaction levels with better engagement and experience is imperative for the growth of the real estate industry in the right direction. Prop- tech integration is truly revolutionising the way we interact, buy, and sell properties in a much streamlined and automated manner. The data analytical tools enable evaluation of rapidly changing consumer behaviour and buying patterns, which allows real estate companies to redirect their business strategies and goals in real time. This results in quality lead generation boosting cost efficiency and helping achieve ‘customer delight’. Thus, prop-tech leads and promotes innovative ways for acquisition, operation, and management of real estate assets. And to be at global par excellence, staying smart and sustainable will help the sector to stay relevant, productive, competitive, agile, and effectively efficient.

Future Beholds -

As Indian real estate sector is expected to balloon to a $1trn market by 2030, and contribute nearly 13% to India’s GDP by 2025, the future of proptechs segment looks promising and galvanizes the desired business outcomes. The leveraging of Prop-tech in Indian real estate will result in positive customer sentiment and spell cutting edge business growth.

What we have seen so far is just the beginning, there is lots more in the offing. How well we adapt to the new system and leverage it to the best advantage will determine how the Prop-tech-powered future will turn out.

Exclusive Interaction on Realestate 2021-22 Outlook with Roof and Floor

1. According to several market reports, sales are finally moving in the upward direction. Where is this demand coming from?

Pent up demand and the economy showing signs of resilience, coupled with positives such as home loan interest rates being at historic lows and among the main reasons. The Covid-19 pandemic has made it apparent that the safest place to be during a lockdown is within one’s own home. Given this, New Millennial first time home buyers, fence sitters, traditional renters and working women are largely driving demand for ‘first homes’. The second wave has seen many existing home owners ‘upgrade’ to larger homes, with the realization that ‘work and study from home’ are around for some more time.

2. Developers are anticipating project delays due to the second wave of Covid-19. What do you think can be done to address this issue?

The delays anticipated are largely being caused by factors beyond the control of the developer – labour shortages or raw material not being available because of the lockdowns is a prominent cause.

The previous year had seen the Government of India treat the pandemic as an ‘Act of God’ under legal and regulatory aspects; the second wave has also caused similar set of problems - this time around, it wasn’t ‘One country – One lockdown’, as different states saw new infection numbers peak over different timelines. So, in theory, even if state A was not under lockdown, it was a challenge to get material and labour from state B, which was under lockdown. Given this, if the authorities can bring back the norms introduced during 2020 in this year as well, it would be a major relief for real estate as an industry.

3. Over the last year, the government announced various measures to boost consumer sentiment. Do you think there’s more scope from the government’s side?

Mostly, the measures have been directed at boosting sentiment; there is need for measures which will put more cash in hands of the consumer. Boosting consumer sentiment is only one part of the problem being focussed on; there is need for measures which will go beyond sentiment and provide money which can be invested/ spent by the consumer.

4. Despite the pandemic, REITs are gaining ground. What is the future of REITs in India?

REITs are a globally accepted investment asset class, which has recently been added to the Indian scenario. Given the benefits it offers, it was a foregone conclusion that REITs will gain ground. It is the pandemic which has resulted in a slow roll out; for the investor in Indian commercial real estate, REITs offer an option which fits into the investment plan of most individuals who opt for real estate as an asset class, and the future for REITs in India will be positive.

5. What are some key trends that we can expect in the times to come in the residential market?

Key trends will include marketing activity witnessing an almost total shift to digital and on-line platforms. Selection of and booking the flat are aspects of the sales process which will also offer digital and on-line options, the process being supported by 3D rendering and virtual walk-throughs of the project. The role of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and the Internet of Things (IoT) will increase. Construction will see a larger share of mechanisation and automation as part of measures to reduce dependence on migrant labour. The consumer wants homes that fit in the requirements of the ‘new normal’ in a scenario where humankind co-exists with the Covid-19 pandemic; the real estate industry is already making necessary changes and the new offerings will have the features required by the consumers. Traditional renters will continue to morph into first time home buyers as their rental agreements end; existing home owners will ‘upgrade’ to larger homes.

6. Talking about property prices, should homebuyers wait for price correction or take the plunge?

The right time to buy a home is whenever the thought that one needs to buy one’s own home occurs. Trying to ‘double guess’ the pricing aspect by waiting for a price correction is a double edged sword – it cuts both ways.

Market dynamics are shifting, with available inventories of ‘ready to move in’ homes reducing. As the vaccination process progresses, we are seeing a return to ‘near normalcy’, the economy has almost returned to a growth phase. The buyer sentiment has remained high even through the second wave; with dips in April and May being largely off-set by sales of homes in June 2021.

These set of parameters would suggest that the ‘price correction’ will in most probability be ‘upwards’. So, the ‘smart buyer’ will be the one who opts to take advantage of the current situation and takes the ‘buy’ decision while it is still a buyers’ market.

Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani, National President, NAREDCO

June 2021

Power ‘Sustainable Living’ through ‘Green’ real estate development

Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani, co-Founder and MD, Hiranandani Group.

India, as part of a growing economy, needs to accelerate its low-carbon future transition. There is a huge war cry on carbon neutrality and net zero emission on the climatic front. This nudges Indian economy to set a short term and long-term pledge for being carbon positive with predefined sustainable development goals. The goals will be designed to act as a blueprint to achieve a sustainable future for all. India needs to work at a sectoral level for achieving carbon neutrality. Here lies a huge opportunity for Indian Real estate sector to claim its leadership in lowering carbon footprints at each stage of urban development.

Real estate and Construction Industry lays its sustainable goals on the world environment day 2021 for ecosystem restoring. Adopting innovative global best technological practices to ‘Reuse, Recycle, and Reproduce’ will pave the way for sustainable living and growth. Real estate development needs to strike a balance between the development roadmap & mitigation mission to fine tune the balance between how we urbanize and how we industrialize. The World Bank estimates, the real estate sector must reduce CO2 emissions by 36% by 2030. Real estate sector must calibrate its sustainable investment to achieve sustainability targets. It is important to place high priority on becoming environmentally sustainable. The industry should step forward to make a conscious set of sustainability principles and develop a community that dedicatedly adopts such initiatives. The sector needs to imbibe sustainable building practices and emphasize on making green building practices more prevalent. The Engineers, Architects and Planners can take a lead in facilitating a sustainable urban future. The desire to create more self-sustainable spaces with best environmental practices will reconcile the need to create more ecological balance, address the impact of climatic issues and wellbeing of occupants. The developers can play a pivotal role in building sustainable urban spaces with renewable materials, natural topography, more social and environmentally friendly practices that shape the future living.

Ideally, sustainable urban development through an eco-system should be made up of urban planning, smart cities development, affordable housing, urban flood management, sewerage and wastewater management, rainwater harvesting, urban transport - including intelligent transport management systems - transit-oriented development and multimodal integration and disaster resilient development. Taking this to the logical next level is where the foundation of sustainable real estate development starts.

Real estate construction can adopt innovative raw materials that are eco-friendly, whereas Planning and Architecture must plan the structures that allow natural light and ventilation, which will reduce the need for electricity powered luminaries and HVAC systems in the daytime. Innovative construction materials should be used to reduce carbon emission and balance heat emission. The real estate development should consist of planning for rainwater harvesting, sewage treatment, water treatment plant, solid waste management in all the projects to make the development self- sustainable and be eco-friendly in nature.

India Inc needs to strategize and practice conscious consumerism in each aspect of the project development. This involves conscious development, sustainable measures, environmentally friendly practices, social responsibility which encompasses necessary support socially, philosophically, and ethically. According to Nielsen, sustainable product sales have increased by nearly 20 percent since 2014. This indicates growth in awareness and concerns for ecology restoration among the consumers. Housing can be developed with more sustainable materials, adopt more green building features, and support the ecosystem.

The new-age homebuyers are well informed, and they prefer sustainable living by mindful consumption. Real estate developers need to be more thoughtful in their green policy and allocate budget and resources to achieve ecological targets. Homebuyers post pandemic life have underpinned the value of open spaces, green corridors, natural ventilation with more sunlight, home garden spaces as some of the preferred luxury for their personal abodes. Also, the luxury to enjoy uninterrupted water, power and internet supply is due to sustainable amenities offered in the projects by the branded developers that gained traction post pandemic era.

The redesigning of product board is inevitable by the developers to cater the emerging choices and preferences of the discerning homebuyers. Use of energy-efficient lights, growing their own greens in kitchen gardens, buy local, ensure waste is composted and used as manure, as also making efforts to reuse, recycle and replenish. These are not just poster children for eco-friendly real estate development and end-use; these are environment-conscious citizens for whom, causing least possible damage to the environment has become a way of life. They follow trends that improve their way of living while also protecting the planet. They live in sustainable habitat, which is created by real estate development which does not harm the environment and is positioned in an urban conglomeration which has been planned to promote sustainable living.

Developers need to re-align to these goals and adopts best renewable environment friendly practices in sync with nature. The challenge for us on this environment day, is figuring out how we can achieve this across a wider spectrum. It is a matter of choices: choose to be environment friendly. Wok towards being a ‘conscious consumer’ – sustainable living can, and should, become our way of life.

Demand for affordable homes costing below INR 1 Crore

As per Knight Frank research, homes costing INR 1 crore or less have been finding more favour lately, with this category taking 70% and 62% of total new sales in April 2021 and May 2021 respectively. What could be the main reasons behind this trend ?

The trend in report, reflects demand in affordable housing that is further aided with additional impetus by the government. Pandemic life has made it prevalent that new age millennial home buyers who opted for rented apartments in lieu of job migration has underpinned the significant value of owning a home as safety net. This shows that the Affordable Housing segment is witnessing high quantum of sales and seeing growth as discerning home buyers are looking homes that fit the price band of Rs 1 crore in the choice of location.

Why are Mumbaikars buying homes costing INR 1 crore or less?
It is a natural reaction of Millennials and those who used to stay on rent realizing the advantages of one’s own house especially during the pandemic across India. Having said this, let me add that it is not a situation where all segments of home buyers are opting for homes within the Rs. 1 crore price band; these comprise largely first-time home buyers.

The real estate market has also witnessed a surge in sales of larger and luxurious apartments, post pandemic in the ‘new normal’. This is driven by segment which feels the need to upgrade to bigger houses, and larger / luxury home buying by this segment is a trend which has also gained traction.

Affordable Housing within the Rs. 1 crore price band remains more attractive for salaried professionals who realize the advantages of having one’s own home post the pandemic, vis-à-vis rented apartments. In some projects, benefits of schemes like PMAY-U and CLSS schemes enhance the advantage and have resulted in higher numbers of home buyers in this price range.

In your opinion, which micro-markets/areas in Mumbai are seeing the maximum traction in the price bracket (INR 1 crore or less) and why? Market trends suggest that suburbia locations like Thane and Panvel realty market will augur well for emerging home buyers. The slew of mega infrastructure chalked out on the development board will catalyse the growth of these preferred corridors.

It is the right time to buy in either of these emerging suburbs, given growth in ‘remote working’ and ‘hybrid work culture’, with the commute gradually becoming a lesser consideration factor for home buying.

Also, buying a home in these locations at attractive price points today will help reap appreciation benefit in the long run. Both these markets have a range of configuration available to cater to varied customer needs. Plus, the rising presence of branded developers in these satellite cities signals a positive future prospective.

More than 80% prospective buyers ready to buy a house if stamp duty charges are cut, reveals Magicbricks Consumer Poll

Property registration and stamp duty charges range between 5%-9% on an average across the country and adds significantly to the overall cost of the property and acts as a deterrent to many first-time home buyers.

In the latest poll conducted by Magicbricks, an overwhelming 83% of the respondents feel that a cut in stamp duty would prompt them to buy a house.

The month of March 2021 had seen a record spike of 2.13 lakh registrations, witnessed 114% rise in housing sales during the period of stamp duty cuts, between September 2020 and March 2021. But ever since the expiry of the stamp duty period, we are seeing a constant dip in sales.

After the Maharashtra government restored the stamp duty rate to 5% from April 1, 2021, property registrations have seen a dip of over 50% in April we notice a constant demand for housing and loans, in both mid-segment and luxury housing. With Work-For-Home emerging as the new normal, people are looking for bigger size houses with an extra room and hence the state government should look at giving stamp duty holidays that would lessen the burden on homebuyers.

Many real estate bodies like NAREDCO and CREDAI have been advocating for stamp duty subsidies and more states are expected to follow Maharashtra’s stamp duty model.

Effect of second wave on job creation in Real Estate

Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani, National President, Naredco

With the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic impacting all the sectors including real estate, uncertainties related to jobs and income have caused the economic slowdown and impacted the sentiments of homebuyers too. Real estate is a sentiments driven sector but the demand for housing going to go up, considering the experiences of the first lockdown where it was seen that a shelter or house is a basic necessity.

Amid these challenging times and uncertainties, buyers’ trust in real estate assets has become stronger. They need a house which can meet their requirements to accommodate work from home needs, children online classes and their leisure activities since they are spending more time than ever at homes now. There will be price appreciation in the long run as the materials cost have gone up significantly, but there should not be any major price hike in the short term.

The government has taken significant steps to curb the pandemic impact, such as reduction in stamp duty, offering moratorium in the first lockdown and extending RERA timelines. However, the second wave has been more severe than the first one, so the expectations are that the project completion timelines under RERA are extended, re-introduction of ICT in GST, online environment approvals, rationalisation of raw materials prices, extension of the PMAY scheme among others can bring relief to the sector.

Finalisation of Delhi Master Plan 2041


Draft Delhi Master Plan 2041

Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani, National President, NAREDCO said, “With focus on tackling pollution and urban development, the Draft Delhi Master Plan 2041 is a roadmap for the future development of Delhi. The draft not only assesses the present condition of Delhi, but also works as a guideline to achieve the desired development,” he said.

With a more pragmatic use of existing industrial areas, with thrust on services sector, IT, tourism and hospitality, the draft focusses on ‘housing for all’ as well as measures like ‘refuge points and self-sustained isolated residential areas to deal with pandemics. “The ‘new normal’ in a world where humankind co-exists with Covid-19 has brought into focus the need to create self-contained and mixed-use areas with decentralized infrastructure, which augurs well for Delhi’s housing scenario, in the future. The draft envisages peripheral areas as the new housing zones, as a result of land pooling and green development initiatives. It also maintains focus on urban regeneration and densification in the city centre and around transit corridors with rental and small format housing,” he said.

Lauding the key features of the Draft Master Plan, Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani listed focus on ensuring a greener environment and Yamuna cleaning as right steps, taking the future Delhi to becoming eco-friendly. Enhanced mobility promoting cleaner fuels and focus on areas such as IT, service sector and hospitality will play a major role in enhancing the city’s lifestyle and living standards. Addressing housing needs of the poor and rejuvenation of the heritage fabric of the city are among features which will ensure ‘inclusive growth’ of the city, going into the future,” he concluded.

Future of Affordable Housing

The second wave of Covid-19 pandemic has brought new challenges before us however we are upbeat about the demand for housing across all segments. However, it is difficult to assess exactly when and how quickly recovery will take place. Housing is a basic need for one and all, and it is the one segment in which demand is always greater than supply. In the past and currently we have seen that living in owned homes is a better alternative than in rented accommodation. This is one reason which should result in an increased demand for housing once the pandemic situation settles a bit more.

Hopefully, India will certainly emerge victorious out of this pandemic and demand for homes is also going to rise. However, all segments including affordable housing will take time to return to pre-COVID levels. Since affordable segment is price sensitive therefore its full recovery depends upon several factors including how end-users find themselves into a positive where they cannot worry about their jobs situation and easily borrow home loans to buy their dream homes. It is also viable if the PMAY scheme is further extended for all categories so that more first-time buyers can be subsumed under this wonderful initiative where we aspire to provide housing for all by 2022. This will also prepare both builders who can construct more houses and buyers who wish to have their own houses.

This pandemic made everyone realise the importance of their own home. Currently, across all segments, this experience will certainly boost the demand. Millennials acknowledge the fact that own housing is of utmost important for they are working from home. Many first-time buyers who have faced challenges related to housing in the pandemic times would now focus to buy a house near their workplace this would result in traction in not just affordable housing but other segments as well.

Creating ‘Value Offices’ for the #FutureOfWorkin the post - pandemic era

Creating ‘Value Offices’ for the #FutureOfWorkin the post - pandemic era

- Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani, MD, Hiranandani Group and National President - NAREDCO

Indian real estate has been disrupted with structural policy tsunamis and covid19 brought the sector to a grinding halt. The complete economic lockdown led to work from home and remote working options impacting the commercial real estate. However, a media reports found that as the economy gradually opened up in Q3 2020, business activities resumed and the Indian office market began witnessing gradual recovery. Project completions grew by 59% and net absorption increased by 63%, as compared to the quarter earlier. This momentum was sustained through Q4 2020 with a net absorption of 8.24 mn sq ft, an increase of 52% when compared to the third quarter.

However, the Q1 of 2021 was sluggish comparatively owing to the advent of the second Covid- 19 wave in the country. Yet, the sector has always been resilient. In fact, the country launched its first REITS during this unprecedented crisis of Coronavirus followed by the Union budget 2021 announcing liberal policies for investment by foreign portfolio and institutional investors. As per the recent media reports, the Indian realty PE investments jumped 16 times on-year to $3.24 billion in March 2021. This not only highlighted the potential of the Indian commercial sector but also created some rippling effects of positivity in the economy.

Mumbai presents a myriad of possibilities for investment and growth to NRIs, HNIs and corporate investors within its commercial districts. The MMR market has around 100 mn sq.ft. of office assets out of which leading players have developed a major deal which includes the Hiranandani Groupthat has developed and delivered around almost 12msqft. However, as the city witnessed linear growth in terms of geographical boundaries, infrastructure, and trade, it continued to attract a huge influx of migrating population on the back of rapid urbanization. This led to the need to decentralize and decongest the commercial hot spots.

The Future of Work is now expected to be very different to that of the pre- pandemic era. Trends such as “Work, Live and Play” and “Walk to work” continue to gain traction steadily and Mumbai, as India’s commercial capital, needs to be able to accommodate that. The mounting success of the city adds to the active working population, skyrocketing property prices etc. while compromising the liberty of space, aesthetics and additional amenities. This has nudged the developers to explore the new suburban districts wherein corporates began to dabble with the concept of value offices and satellite offices in sync with the growth of residential real estate. As a result, the city witnessed the ‘rise of suburbia’ in the peripheral satellite towns and metropolitan regions like Andheri, Malad, Thane, Navi Mumbai and Panvel.The government's push to improve connectivity, slew of infrastructure projects announced further augmented the development. Today, suburbs like Thane have emerged as a preferred commercial destination due to the advantage of parallel connectivity, good commercial offerings, attractive price points, leisure of large spaces for expansion and favorable social-civic infrastructure to offer value offices.

Respected and valuedplayers with a rich legacy in commercial real estate development offer the modularity and scalability in commercial office spaces at these suburban hotspots. The idea is to create a commercial business park is part of the thriving social ecosystem making it lucrative post pandemic life. The location is expected to be selected while placing significant consideration on well-planned roads, designated pavements, green cover, robust power and internet supplyand aspects of sustainability. These kinds of offices,also called ‘Value Offices’, maximize value for customers, employees, stakeholders, and society on a continuing basis.These kind of commercial properties are largely gaining traction due to the availability of tech-specs like advanced CCTV surveillance, architecture and interior décor, presence of high-speed elevators, Service Elevators and Parking Elevators that bring ‘Ease of Working’.

Another aspect that is quickly gaining traction and today, also a key influencing factor in purchase of a commercial space is the ecosystem around the located property. The socio- civic fabric of the location contributes a great deal to the purchase decision and in fact, to the overall productivity of the company. Having a hospital, high street retail and other recreational amenities allows employees to either bond outside of work or carry out personal responsibilities at their convenience.Integrated township developments which encompass these features are the most suited places for the 'Future of Work'.

The new normal will require commercial real estate players to foster the needs of corporates, entrepreneurs and even budding professionals. As trends of “Walk to Work” and “Live, Work and Play”become the reality of tomorrow, the sector needs to jump on the bandwagon by creating a progressive ecosystem that enhances the living quotient of residents and the working quotient of the workforce operating from here. This is an added value proposition offered to build value offices.

GDP Outlook Q2 2021

Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani, co-Founder and MD, Hiranandani Group said, “Re-boot of the economy post the lockdown of 2020 saw different industries move at a different pace; in real estate, the housing segment, saw the fastest recovery. This was driven by a number of factors; in Maharashtra, the stamp duty rate revision for a time bound period gave the recovery process a major boost.”

“Housing sales grew month on month, and there was no denying the positive impact which the stamp duty rate reduction had on the same. Effectively, reducing the stamp duty rate resulted in the state government getting more revenue than in the previous months; for the home buyer it was the ‘tipping point’ between being a fence-sitter and an actual buyer,” he added.

“In the aftermath of the scheme not being extended, we have seen the impact on sales. The second wave, has impacted not just the economy but also home buyer sentiment; and any move that brings back positivity – including reduction in stamp duty rates – will play a major role in boosting sales and ensuring that home buyers are safe in their new homes in the ‘new normal’. While we work towards vaccinating India’s population, ensuring herd immunity and returning to ‘near normalcy’, positive moves like stamp duty rate reduction will obviously boost sales in housing,” he concluded.

Impact of Model Tenancy Act on Real Estate

Apart from being a basic need, Housing in India, is always in demand – and it happens to be a state subject. So just like RERA was a Central enactment and each state has its own version i.e. MahaRERA for Maharashtra, the Model Tenancy Act has been approved by the Union Cabinet, and will be circulated to all States / Union Territories for adaptation. This is to be done by way of the State or Union Territory enacting fresh legislation or amending existing rental laws suitably.

The new legislation or amended rental law which each state will implement, will help overhaul the legal framework with respect to rental housing across the country. Rents have remained static for decades; there are various other challenges which have resulted in rental premises not getting their due place in the overall real estate scene. The new legislation/amended law is expected to spur overall growth of rental housing.

On the assumption that the States and Union Territories do the needful and implement the Model tenancy Act, the impact will be felt on investor owned residential stock which as of now is vacant and locked up. In effect, this segment – investor owned vacant homes will open up for tenants. So, home seekers will get shelter, the owner will get returns on investment (RoI) and it will reduce burden on the micro-market’s demand side.

Whether this will result in rentals going down will depend upon the situation across different micro-markets; as also the demand/ supply equation. Logically, enhanced supply of rental housing should impact rentals in a manner that is positive for tenants.

On the legal aspect, the advantage of the Model Tenancy Act adaption by States and Union Territories will be clarity in terms of the obligations and responsibilities on part of landlords as also tenants; so the aspect of legal disputes should reduce; as also we expect time-bound redressal in instances where legal recourse is resorted to.

From the industry perspective, it is expected to give a fillip to private participation in rental housing as a business model, one that will address the huge housing shortage. The Act will enable institutionalization of rental housing by gradually shifting it towards the formal market.

In conclusion, the solution to ever increasing demand for housing is not just by owned homes; rental housing can also play a major role in this regard. Existing rental laws have not inspired confidence among landlords or investors; as a result rental accommodation has not grown in the quantum it should have. With the Model Tenancy Act addressing these issues, it should result in better days ahead for rental housing.

Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani, National President, NAREDCO

Impact of Rising raw material prices on housing price

Rising Input Costs – Challenges, Impact and Way Forward

The prices of key raw materials like Steel, Cement and Bitumen have increased significantly in the last one year in India. This is posing several challenges to various sectors, including Infrastructure, Real Estate, etc., which are still suffering from after-effects of COVID-19 pandemic and resultant lockdowns.

Increase in Price of Steel: The price of various grades of steel have increased in the range of 60% - 100% between July 2020 and May 2021. After the price hike announced in May 2021, the price of Hot Rolled Coil (HRC) has increased to Rs 72,000 per ton, the highest since 2008. The price was around 100 per cent higher than that of July 2020. Furthermore, the prices are expected to increase again in next few days. As the steel prices are on a continuous upsurge, it has put majority of players from Auto, Construction, Real Estate etc. in a tight spot. Following table shows the increase in the price of steel:

S. No. Month/Year Price (Ex – Mumbai) (Rs./Ton)
1. July, 2020 36,500
2. August, 2020 39,800
3. September, 2020 41,200
4. October, 2020 42,800
5. November, 2020 45,900
6. December, 2020 51,000
7. January, 2021 58,000
8. March, 2021 53,500
9. April, 2021 60,000
10. May, 2021 72,000

Cement Price Increase: The price of cement has increased by over 50-70 per cent from 2020 to 2021. The average retail price for a bag of cement is currently Rs. 420 a bag whereas the same in FY 2020 was Rs. 280. This price is likely to increase further in the coming months.

Key Suggestions:

1. The export of steel should be banned for two years, till the issues regarding high pricing and availability in domestic markets are resolved. China has completely removed VAT rebates on exports of 146 steel products to ensure availability of steel to domestic consumers.

2. Prices of steel and cement should be regulated; till the time the supply is restored in the domestic market.

3. The import duty of steel should be reduced from 7.5 per cent to 0 per cent for a period of 2 years.

4. Usage of Cement of imported origin should be allowed.

Increase in Penetration of leading players in Tier 2 and Tiear 3 cities

Realtors Forum: Increasing high street penetration of leading players in tier 2 & 3 cities due to high revenue potential. What’s your take on this?

The biggest plus point that High Streets offer is existing footfalls – and the numbers of potential customers, usually, are high. Another advantage is that outlets in High Streets work at lower cost of operations, and time taken to commence operations in such locations is low.

Media reports quote a report by Anarock Retail as saying that between April 2020 and May 2021, of the categories which closed transactions for high street spaces, apparel accounted for 23 per cent, F&B had a 15 per cent share while jewellery had 12 per cent share. Hypermarkets and supermarkets were among other lessors of high street spaces, although these were more in tier 2 and 3 cities.

The reason why retail is moving to such locations is simple: there has been huge pent-up demand over the past few years which was not being met in such locations. Tier 2 and 3 cities are the new growth destinations for high street retail, especially as work from remote location as also the hybrid work system has seen customers of these retail outlets make the shift from rented accommodation in Metro and Tier 1 cities back to their homes, in Tier 2,3 and a select few Tier 4 cities as well. So yes, high street retail is growing, space is being picked up – and Tier 2 and 3 cities are favoured locations for retail giants looking to expand and grow.

Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani is National President, NAREDCO

New Propety launches in peripheral cities for FY21

As per ANAROCK's latest data, as much as 58% of about 1.49 lakh homes launched in FY21 are in the leading seven cities’ peripheries. What are the primary reasons driving this trend?

In the ‘new normal’, homebuyers have opted for peripheral areas of the leading seven cities, as they have residential real estate options which are affordable and offer a wide choice of homes.

The ‘remote work’ culture has done away with the hassle of commuting, and nudged homebuyers to opt for larger sized homes in satellite towns. These micro-markets offer better planning and infrastructure in supplement to the well-developed social fabric.

Housing options in these locations also offer price appreciation benefits in the long run. Home loans at historic lows add to home buyer’s willingness to buy homes in peripheral regions, where the equation is simple: spacious apartments at attractive price points, plus ample green, open spaces.

With the majority of the new supply directed in the peripheral regions do we see people moving from city centres to peripheral regions? If yes, why? If no, why?

The report talks about seven urban conglomerations, where traditionally, the city centre – the Central Business District (CBD) was important when it came to buying a home. The ‘new normal’ is characterized by remote working options, the second wave and the expected third wave have only ensured that this continues for some time in the near future.

The resulting trend of ‘work from home’ reflects in home buyers opting for homes in peripheral regions. Assuming the vaccination process works out and herd immunity works out, humankind will still opt for decongestion and decentralization. In turn, these will accelerate the desire in the post pandemic life the need to have a safe environment and maintain social distance.

The remote work culture has opened up opportunities for house hunters to look for spaces in peripheral areas and satellite towns. These offer better quality of life with work-life balance and a holistic ecosystem, mostly with township living. This works out due to land availability, as also ample open, green spaces.

From the real estate developers’ perspective, land availability in peripheral areas is cheaper than in metro cities. The Unified DCPR in Maharashtra ensures it equal development opportunities for developers when they explore such locations.

When people go home-buying now – what are the top priorities they are keeping in mind?

Home seekers in the ‘new normal’ want homes that offers safety, security and stability. The homebuyers preferences have inclined towards township living which offers holistic lifestyle , open green ecosystem and like-minded community living. The sustainability is another important yardstick that house hunters gauge to zero down on their choice of dream home. The new age buyers prefer a wholistic surrounding with well-defined connectivity and infrastructure development that offers ease of living. Above all, the significance to opt for ready to move in homes from the branded developer with proven track record and financial stability is supreme.

Finally, home seekers want homes in projects which have approvals and documentation in place, are RERA registered and of course, offer a value proposition with competitive pricing.

Which micro-markets in the peripheral regions will witness maximum traction in the upcoming quarters?

If one considers the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), two micro-markets show maximum promise: Thane and Panvel. Both these locations have a slew of infrastructure projects coming up, which will be a big game changer, a few years down the line.

It is the right time to buy in either of these micro-markets, given growth in ‘remote working’ and ‘hybrid work culture’, with the commute gradually becoming a lesser consideration factor for home buying.

Also, buying a home in either of these locations at attractive price points today will help reap appreciation benefit in the long run. Both these micro-markets have a wide range of configurations available, to cater to varied customer needs. Plus, the rising presence of branded developers in both of these signals a positive future perspective.

Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani is National President, NAREDCO

On Rebuilding of Indian Real Estate during covid times.

1. How is your sector facing in this lockdown, the reviving measures taken to rebuild economy, Rebuild India?

Real estate sector is indeed facing a challenging time with twin assaults. The pandemic induced lockdown has resulted in shortage of skill labour , Liquidity crisis, shortage of essential raw materials which has impacted the cost of construction on the higher side . The situation looks grim on the back of muted demand & lack of fiscal impetus. The sector contributes around 7 to 8% of the country’s GDP and is the second largest employer in India. The revival of the real estate sector will have a multiplier effect on 270 ancillary industries. The turnaround of the sector is imperative to ensure its survival and deal with the pandemic crisis.

Industry pegs hope on government timely measures and radical steps to recoup the estranged labour intensive sector of the economy. Many of the industries like hospitality, tourism are badly affected due to the pandemic outbreak. The need to reconsider the extension of NCLT period by another 6 months to avoid a rise in NPA’s.

2. What recovery measures are taken by government for rebuilding your sector so far? The government’s recently announced National Infrastructure Pipeline of around INR100 trillion. How could it be re-prioritised for pending and ongoing construction, infrastructure and related projects?

Infrastructure is one of the key elements for the growth of any economy. To spur activity, create demand for goods and services, and increase additional employment opportunities, the central government is increasingly focussed on investing in building robust infrastructure, which will be decisive in realising India’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat and ambition and boost its economic growth.

The government wants to trigger a spur in economic activity by infusing additional funds into robust infrastructure development. The great expenditure will have a cascading effect on economy , employment generation and consumption demand by creating transport oriented development and interlink infrastructure network across India will have to aliment the logistic cost. Such a seamless infrastructure network will propel manufacturing activities and help to build a stable supply chain network.

The government has identified around 7000 infrastructure projects across various parts of the country under the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP). These infrastructure projects will see financing by spend of around Rs 111 lakh crore till 2025. The fast-track of these projects will give a boost to the sagging economy and offset the effects of the pandemic. The central government is also in talks with the global fund house to assess their views on the recently taken policy reforms and also attract long-term investment to finance such potential projects. Hence it also necessitates the need of long-term financing.

The positive government’s intent was reflected in Union Budget FY 21–22 which announced the setting up of a National Bank for Financing Development to expedite the process of infrastructure financing in the country.

The both central and state governments has taken various measures to resurrect the sluggish real estate sector. The measures like extension of RERA deadline, stamp duty waiver , status quo of ready reckoner /circle rate, extension of CLSS scheme under PMAY-U , low home loan interest rate , availability of long term home loans acted as a growth levers. The sector witnessed optimistic consumer sentiments in H2 FY 21-22 riding high on sales velocity. The resurgence of the second covid-19 wave acted as a dent to the upward growth curve, which needs re-intervention of government and apex authorities. A fiscal stimulus will go a long way in waning anomalies wavering in the economic atmosphere and make the market environment more conducive for all the concerned stakeholders.

3. Due to this it can soak up relatively greater levels of employment? Despite an impressive economic recovery over the last quarter, share with us about challenges faced by the sectors, in the present times including yours?

State governments have been taking course correction steps to revive their economy by announcing various booster doses. The rampant vaccination drive is immunizing people and businesses to get back to normalcy. However, challenges like access to low financing credit and liquidity crunch still continue to plague the sector. The business continuity requires a long term solution from a macro aspect to help the sector transpire out of the gloomy situation. Though the unemployment rate had surged during the first wave, but now with mission unlocking and resumption of business activities will score up jobs creation.

The covid-19 pandemic has revolutionized the way business operates across the globe in the backdrop of flexi –remote work culture and digitization. This has stimulated the growth of the gig/informal economy among the labour sector. New labour law has to be framed to streamline the work economy and safeguard the interest of the workforce.

4. In 2019-20, the States spent a combined 2.9% of GDP on capex while the Centre spent 1.65%. How does this help or impact your business?

The Government of India has announced several proactive measures to deal with the dips in economic growth and simultaneously uphold the welfare of its citizens. Increase in government expenditure acts as a growth catalyst to strive for demand, consumption, GDP growth and employment generation that helps to negate the pandemic disaster. However, the government faces a perplexing situation to rightly strike a balance between monitoring growth and the financial deficit at the same time.

An increase in the capex by both the centre and state government would have a rippling multiplier effect across the industries and help the economy recover faster. Unlike earlier, governments have managed to strike a healthy balance between the capex and social spending. An increase in infrastructure spending would help in creating job opportunities and increase the purchasing power of the people.

5. The budgeted capital outlay for 2020-21 is Rs 5.7 lakh crore and 12 major States have to cut capex by Rs 2.7 lakh crore in FY 21. What kind of impact will it have on your business?

There has been an improvement in the revenue collection for the government since the pandemic. So capital spending would be one of the key priorities for the government to revive demand and boost the growth prospects as the economy grapples with recession. The government has also rationalised a lot of central schemes and centrally sponsored schemes in this regard.

In the union budget, 2021-22, the finance minister too increased the capital expenditure share which was the highest in the last one decade.

During times of crises, when the private sector investments remain subdued, the government does increase its capital outlay. The central government is also nudging states with specific mechanisms to increase its infrastructure spending to boost the demand for goods and services.

6. There are projects facing a funding challenge from banks. According to RBI, bad loans have rose to estimate to 20-year high by March 2021. Is this an alarming signal for new or pending projects when the banks shy away from funding new projects?

Due to the pandemic the banking sector too has been in shambles. There are reports that for the financial year 2021-22, there would be a rise in the non-performing assets to the tune of around 13-15 percent. The number would have been much higher had the central government not announced the loan moratorium relaxation. However, we believe that in the short term there would be an increase in the non-performing assets (NPA) of the bank. There is a further need to suspend the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Act (IBC) in the wave of the second wave to keep the rise in the NPA in check. However this is certainly not an alarming signal for any new or pending projects.

In the real estate sector too, the central government through its SWAMIH investment fund has announced a budget of Rs 25000 crore to fund the completion of all RERA registered affordable and middle income housing projects which were stuck due to the paucity of funds. The real estate sector today needs around 1.25 lakh crore to complete its stalled projects. We believe that additional liquidity measures would be required to fill the gap.

7. What are the future plans to manage and maintain healthy profitability to rebuild India towards stable and sustainable growth?

The keyword going forward for rebuilding India towards a stable and sustainable growth would be collaboration. It is important now for all the stakeholders like the government and industry to cohesively work together with commitment as equal stakeholders. The goal would be to join forces, using all its resources and pulling in the same direction with singleness of aim and oneness in the effort.

The objective of this integration would be to identify opportunities that will enhance existing value chains and identify future ecosystems to be developed as scalable and sustainable collaboration initiatives. We would need collaborative efforts to bring the economy back on track to generate the necessary employment and business opportunities with a minimal human cost.

8. Globally large EPC player’s manage projects in different corners of the world with production hubs strategically located in several continents. Nationally how have EPC contractors expanded their roles and adopted the roles of project consultants?

In the pandemic, digitization has emerged as a key word which has powered change in work dynamics. Engineering, procurement and construction industry too has evolved continuously since the last decade and a lot of change is happening due to the business and technology segment of this industry.

Today the EPC is now gearing up as a role of Project consultants offering a wide variety of services all at one stop destination. Also, they bring global best practices on board, with worldwide innovations, technologies, human capital, and insights in practice. Consulting role is more integrated with the company's goal and offers best solutions as a co-working cohort. Even in India, Business models have also been changing immensely over the years. In addition, there has been an emergence of new players and expansion of established and global players has led to a boundaryless business world.

9. What proactive role policymakers need to play to achieve their ambitious infrastructure plans and activities for big-budget turnkey projects? How will EPC contractors benefit from them?

The infrastructure sector today has become the biggest focus of the government to have sustainable development. However, to be successful, it needs to be vigilant about the implementation and concentrate on projects with quick turnaround time.

In this regard, the central government has also approved the setting up of an infrastructure financing bank that would be dedicated to the financing needs of all long-term infrastructure and development projects. This development fund institution (DFI) aims to raise around Rs 3 lakh crores over the next few years. It may be known that earlier too the government set up three long term infrastructure banks namely IFCI, ICICI and IDBI, but all three turned commercial in the long run.

Outlook of Real Estate 2021

This year, housing sales across major cities have been on a rise? Where is this demand coming in from as Work From Home is gaining ground and people are moving back to their hometowns?

The disruptive pandemic has predominantly reinforced the value of owned houses. The need for a secured asset that offers stability and safety in crisis is a goldmine investment against volatile assets. The remote working trend is further fuelling the urge to own a large spacious home in peripheral cities at attractive price points to integrate new normal living conditions.

In addition, market dynamics and policy regime are skewed towards nudging the fence sitters to convert into the first-time home buyers and existing ones to upgrade into luxury homes catalysed by fiscal growth levers.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Indian real estate sector has witnessed two successful public issues of Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). Are REITs, after the initial hesitation, gaining ground?

REITs are an alternative option for investment in real estate at a low unit price entry point. It reflects growing confidence in commercial real estate as an asset class. The Indian real estate investor has gradually warmed up to REITs, and the two successful public REIT issues are just the beginning of what will gradually grow in terms of investor confidence.

On Greenbase’s future plans (development of industrial parks) and from where would be the company raise funds for the same?

Greenbase, an Industrial and warehousing platform of Hiranandani Group has been working at delivering a holistic slew of offerings for end-users, and there are geographies where we are already working on creating Logistics and light industrial parks.

As the vaccination drive gains pace, we are bullish on the Indian economy, and on the sustained demand for Logistics and light industrial parks. Some locations (near Pune, Nasik and Oragadam, Chennai) are ‘work in progress’, while in some other locations, the parks are still on the drawing board.

Recently Maharashtra Urban Development ministry has amended the Unified Development Control and Promotion Regulations (Unified DCPR), allowing 5 percent amenity space for construction in plots. Your take on permitting 5 percent FSI for commercial and business districts in the country?

The recent amendment (yet notification is awaited) aims to infuse positivity for Commercial real estate development. If up to 5 FSI for is allowed for commercial business districts, then the move will be perceived to augment more commercial real estate spaces to be developed, which in turn will create more employment opportunities. This will also foster development of more commercial business districts (CBDs) across different regions in the state, which will ensure equal development across and not just the leading commercial cities like Mumbai, Pune etc. The move should augur well for the state’s economic growth. It will also allow economies of scale to positively impact viability of commercial projects.

A lot of residential projects across the country are marred by delays, and some of these are ultra-luxury housing projects. Developers are not meeting deadlines is the new normal, with projects overshooting deadline by years. Comments?

Indian real estate sector was rebooted with structural policy reforms and covid-19 pandemic was a nail in the coffin. The sector suffered from liquidity starving, muted demand, subdued investment, hindered sales velocity, disrupted supply chain & skyrocketing prices of essential raw materials, and acute migrant labour crisis. These challenges uprooted many developers in crisis and stalled up the designated timelines.

With mission unlocking, industry witnessed excellent sales velocity in lieu of fiscal stimulus but resurgence of second covid wave derailed the growth trajectory. Government and regulatory authorities have been considering timeline extension to cope up with the delays. Many of the branded developers with strong financial discipline and proven track record will be able to fast-track the work progress and assure timely delivery.

India has tens of thousands of small, mostly unbranded developers. What's your views on a possible consolidation in such a fragmented industry?

Real estate, as a business, has all sizes of stakeholders, big and small. The disruptive reforms have created a situation where developers who did not have ‘deep pockets’ were already looking out for joint ventures or consolidation with financially sound players. The Covid-19 pandemic, especially the second wave, has created a situation where mergers and acquisitions are gaining ground.

In the challenged economic scenario in a post-covid-19 world, one sees reasons for the fragmented industry to consolidate.

RERA has brought in some amount of transparency and accountability in real estate. What more needs to be done to weed out unscrupulous elements and increase customer confidence?

RERA is moving in the right direction and is taking the industry to the right aspects of accountability of the real estate developers and transparency in transactions. The regulatory aspect has brought in a safe and secure environment, one in which we see unscrupulous elements being weeded out. Obviously, this also leads to enhanced customer confidence.

Covid-19 has shuttered smaller players across various industries, while the stronger, larger entities have survived. Did the pandemic have a similar effect on real estate as well

Any economic crisis – and the Covid-19 pandemic fits the description perfectly – first impacts smaller players across industries, as surviving such challenging situations needs ‘deep pockets. For financially weak players, recent regulatory jolts led to a difficult ground for navigating and Covid-19 impacted many project’s profitability and also viability of the business.

The over leveraged players are opting to deleverage by consolidation, joint development, asset lights model, monetisation, mergers to re-anchor the sinking ship.

On Performance of Rental markets in Covid Times

Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani is National President, NAREDCO

Please share inputs on how the rental sector has performed during the second wave.

Real estate has faced tough times during the pandemic as also during the second wave; rental housing has also faced challenges. These include non-renewal by tenants who opted to move back to their hometowns because of ‘work from remote location’. The drop in renewals translated into reduced rentals.

Most importantly, owners/ landlords had to ensure the homes they rented out were Covid-19 appropriate, so there was the element of upgrading the interiors to meet requirements of tenants in the ‘new normal’.

In that sense, it has been a challenging time. In commercial real estate, rentals have been impacted as hybrid working systems as also work from remote locations has slowed down the growth which it exhibited during the past few years before the covid-19 pandemic struck.

Existing rental contracts have continued, renewals have seen some effect as a result of the second wave. Rental values have been affected in some micro-markets; while vacant rental spaces are expected to rise as a result of the second wave.

The challenges and how the real estate sector is overcoming them.

Consider that regulatory aspects where the industry expects support and help from authorities is yet to happen in the required quantum. Or, that finance remains the biggest hurdle for real estate as a sector.

Overcoming the challenges is all about keeping costs in control; finding ways to solve funding challenges as also hand-hold customers. Sentiment is what drives real estate, and in a stressed economic scenario, it always gets affected. The industry is working at solving the challenges, hoping for better days ahead.

The Model Tenancy Law will hopefully, get implemented soon and this should have the same positive impact on rental housing which RERA had on housing sales.

What individuals are need when looking for rental accommodation?

A safe and secure home under the ‘new normal’, especially in a world where humankind co-exists with the Covid-19 pandemic. Legal documentation which ensures proper protection for the tenant. Amenities, facilities and social infrastructure which ensure smooth living. A pro-active landlord who would take care of problems well in time is a major positive. Finally, rentals which should be within the renters’ budget.

Realty growth post economic unlock in June 2021

Realty after Unlock--developers expectations from the Government and the market?

Inputs of Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani, National President, NAREDCO and MD – Hiranandani Group.

The calibrated unlock post the resurgence of the lethal second wave, real estate sector faces dimmed sentiments from the buyer impacted by the regulatory aspects, challenges for developers varies from the shortage of skilled labour to shore up prices of essential raw materials. Liquidity supply seems to be sluggish with last mile funding for stressed projects even more so.

Government appealing citizens to step forward for vaccination jabs that can ensure normalcy in the short run, while India Inc nudges workforce with back to work strategy. Industry pines hope on regulatory deadline extension, debt restructuring, loan moratorium, suspension of IBC norms to avoid the avalanche of NPAs. It also anticipates some fiscal booster dose like stamp duty waiver to uplift the consumer sentiments ahead of festive season. With ‘break the chain’ being relaxed, and the economy opening up, the market is expected to turn ‘more responsive’ to real estate, with an uptick in sales and activate muted demand sentiments.

Resilience of Residential Real estate during second covid wave

Residential real estate remains resilient despite the covid second wave.

Shelter is a basic need, so houses will remain in demand. “One’s own house is the safest place to be during a pandemic” is a thought which hit home during the Covid-19 scenario – and has been reinforced during the second wave.

There is a realization that humankind will co-exist with Covid-19 a bit longer than was expected; the vaccination process is not going to get completed in a hurry. So, buying a home for ‘traditional renters’ as also ‘new millennials’ has been an on-going process since the first wave; it has picked up in the second wave.

Existing home owners upgrading to a bigger home with flexi interiors which can accommodate remote working and studies, wellness and entertainment – the numbers have grown in the second wave.

Construction work has been permitted with due regard for safety norms and Covid-19 measures; supply chains have not been disrupted – so, work has carried on across sites. Sales and marketing activities such as also selecting and booking a house have continued on the digital platform. These are some of the reasons why residential real estate remains resilient despite the second wave of Covid-19.

Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani is National President, NAREDCO

Rise in steel prices impacting housing price

Steel makers have again hiked the prices of steel.

The rates of HRC have been hiked by in the range of 3,000-4,000/ a tonne, while that of CRC by 79,000-80,000 per tonne.

Kindly let me know the impact of increased prices on steel consuming industries.

Auto, Consumer Goods and Construction are the major steel consuming sectors.

Steel makers have again hiked the prices of steel. The rates of HRC have been hiked by in the range of 3,000-4,000/ a tonne, while that of CRC by 79,000-80,000 per tonne. Kindly let me know the impact of increased prices on steel consuming industries. Auto, Consumer Goods and Construction are the major steel consuming sectors.

The economy is trying to recover from the lockdowns of the pandemic in 2020, it is faced with the challenge of the second wave, and now, hike in raw material prices.

The impact of hiked steel prices will be seen in terms of stress on the manufacturers/ real estate developers’ finances. From impacting profit margins, it will lead to challenges in terms of financial viability. Over the past 9 months, the hiked prices of steel have severely impacted under construction real estate projects as also infrastructure projects. For the consumer, the obvious impact will be seen in form of a possible hike in prices.

A recent report by Motilal Oswal Institutional Equities mentioned construction and real estate sector accounting for almost 55-60 per cent of total steel consumption followed by the auto sector, which accounts for 9 per cent. Capital goods (8 per cent) and consumer durables (6 per cent).

The impact of the recent hikes on the auto sector, according to media reports, is estimated to impact margins, and the cascading effect on selling prices is estimated to be in form of a 1 to 3 per cent hike in on-road prices. Obviously, actual hike by each auto manufacturer will depend upon many factors, and the actual percentage may vary.

Any input material cost hike impacts overall project costing, be it affordable or luxury housing – or commercial real estate. Steel constitutes about 15 per cent of any construction project, and the average impact on margins, as estimated by industry bodies, is expected to be in the range of 4 to 6 per cent.

Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani, National President, NAREDCO and Immediate Past President, Assocham

Unchanged Repo rate by RBI in Q2 2021


Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani, National President, NAREDCO said, “With the second wave impacting the economy in terms of a slowdown as also the rise in inflation, as expected, the RBI has maintained a status quo on the policy rates, as also continued the ‘accommodative’ stance. The downward revision in FY22 GDP growth projection (9.5 per cent) was also on expected lines.”

“It is the sixth time consequently that RBI has kept the benchmark rates unchanged. While it reflects a response to the COVID-19 pandemic challenges, it is ‘advantage home loan borrower’, with the floating retail loan rates continuing to be at the lowest level over the past two decades,” he added.

“The low interest rate regime reflects ‘advantage borrowers’ and this is likely to continue for some more time. The RBI has pursued the broad intent of dealing with weak spots in the economy by providing on tap liquidity, with additional lending to distressed sectors,” he concluded.

Union Cabinet approves MTA


Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani, National President, NAREDCO said, “The Model Tenancy Act will facilitate unlocking of vacant houses for rental housing purposes. It is expected to give a fillip to private participation in rental housing as a business model for addressing the huge housing shortage. The Act will enable institutionalization of rental housing by gradually shifting it towards the formal market.”

“Industry bodies like NAREDCO have been requesting authorities for a Model Tenancy Act which would create a vibrant, sustainable and inclusive rental housing market in the country. This Model Tenancy Act will ensure creation of new rental housing stock for all the income groups, addressing the challenge being faced by home seekers,” he said.

“There was a need for a new law, which would make things easier for all stakeholders – tenants, landlords and investors – to transact and deal in rental housing. The Union Cabinet, has approved the Model Tenancy Act for circulation to all States / Union Territories for adaptation by way of enacting fresh legislation or amending existing rental laws suitably. This will help overhaul the legal framework with respect to rental housing across the country, which would help spur its overall growth,” he concluded.

April 2021

Hiranandani Business Park, Thane: Preferred Walk to Work destination post Covid-19

THANE, 22 FEBRUARY, 2021: The real estate sector plays a vital role in the country’s economic growth story, be it as a contributor to the nation’s GDP or as a creator of jobs. Commercial real estate, comprising of Offices, Retail, Industrial Parks, Warehousing and Hospitality segments, has seen significant growth in recent years. Growth in investor interest, increase in rentals, and implementation of REITs has led to the strengthening of activities by established players in the commercial real estate sector.

While 2019 witnessed a record leasing (estimated 42 million sq. ft.), the first half of 2020 saw a slowdown unfortunately due to the pandemic. The recovery phase ever since has been a series of positive trends. A recent report by JLL India stated that the year 2021 is expected to witness close to 38-40 million sq. ft. of new completions, while the net absorption is likely to hover around 32-35 million sq. ft., at par with the annual net absorption levels seen during 2016-2018. The authorities have made the right moves to support commercial real estate through the pandemic; through existing initiatives like ‘Make in India’, urban development policies, SMART City, and AMRUT programs. Additionally, PMAY, among others, will result in bringing back the rising demand for real estate and infrastructure.

Among the business districts which have performed well post the Covid-19 crisis, Hiranandani Business Park (HBP) in Thane’s leading integrated township, Hiranandani Estate, continues to offer some of the best performing commercial real estate options. The ‘new normal’ includes trends like ‘walk to work’ and ‘remote work’ concepts for individuals, as well as corporate relocation for consolidation in safe and secure locations. Equipped with the same, HBP, Thane reflects the positives of Indian real estate, both from an end-user perspective as also as an investment option through its size options that span the spectrum- from boutique to large floor plates.

The existing socio-civic infrastructure of Thane has evolved into a progressive ecosystem that not only enhances the lifestyle of residents but also makes it a favorable neighborhood for the commercial sector. And, at the forefront of the new paradigm is HBP, Thane; the biggest platform for business growth in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). Some of the commercial giants like Tata Consultancy Services, Bayer CropScience, and WeWork have already made HBP, Thane their home.

The main aspect which sets HBP, Thane apart is that it delivers on the ‘walk to work’ concept. In the ‘new normal’ post the pandemic, office spaces have undergone a major transformation. The ‘new normal’ is a blend of residential, commercial, cultural, institutional, and entertainment uses, all in one. HBP, Thane is located just right and provides access to world-class schools, state-of-the-art hospitals to an upcoming 5-star hotel, The Walk- the high street retail hub. In Hiranandani Estate, one experiences an unmatched ‘walk to work’ while living in an iconic setting.

Businessmen and professionals often complain about the long commute to and fro from work. HBP, Thane, offers Studio to 5 BHK residential options in Hiranandani Estate along with OC Received boutique office spaces in projects like Solus, Chesterton, and large office spaces in Quantum that help ensure a quintessential ‘work-life balance’.

Solus offers brilliantly planned, ready boutique office spaces for all business types. It features retail spaces on the ground and first levels, and office spaces within the rest of the premises. Whereas, Chesterton is designed for ideas greater- than- life and comes equipped with capacious spaces and convenient functioning. HBP, Thane comprises about 3.5 million sq. ft. commercial spaces. These commercial buildings offer dynamic and future-ready designs, created to take businesses to new heights in the vibrant, active, and well-connected neighborhood: HBP, Thane.

The aspect which gives commercial spaces in Hiranandani Estate, Thane the winning edge includes existing and upcoming infrastructural developments. The Metro Lines (4, 4A and 5) will connect Thane to Mumbai and its neighboring suburbs with flawless finesse. The widening of the Kopri Bridge to Mumbai will take away the traffic woes, the Thane-Borivali underground tunnel will reduce a one-hour journey to a mere 15 minutes and the waterways connectivity will help connect Thane to Kalyan, Navi Mumbai to Mumbai. HBP, Thane has been opening up doors to more reputed businesses who wish to relocate and consolidate their pan-MMR operations at a central business district.

The future perfect smart city, Thane, will play a major role in the rise of commercial real estate across the MMR, with cutting-edge commercial centres like HBP, Thane leading the road to success.

- Dr.NiranjanHiranandani is co-Founder and MD, Hiranandani Group

Unique Value Offices: ‘Quantum’ at Hiranandani Business Park, Thane

Mumbai\Thane April 2021 - The Coronavirus pandemic halted the booming growth the real estate sector had been witnessing post the tsunami in Real Estate. The commercial segment was most impacted since companies had to adopt the work-from-home, leaving the offices lifeless. However, a recent media report found that as the economy gradually opened up in Q3 2020 and business activities resumed, the Indian office market began witnessing green shoots of recovery. Project completions grew by 59% and net absorption increased by 63%, as compared to the quarter earlier.

The 2021 Union Budget announced policies for easier participation by foreign portfolio and institutional investors in the Indian REITs. The financial capital of India, Mumbai, in particular, presents a myriad of possibilities for investment and growth to NRIs, HNIs and corporate investors within their commercial districts. As the city grows in terms of infrastructure and trade, it continued to witness a flood of migrating population coming in. Over the years, a resultant rise of suburbia took place in an effort to reduce the congestion within the city.

The mounting success of the city adds to the population, property prices etc. while compromising the FSI of a property and often the aesthetics and amenities. Thereby, as the suburbs began to be viewed as a prospective home for many due to the reduced prices and spacious apartments, corporates began to dabble with the concept of satellite offices. These locations included Powai, Ghodbunder Road, Thane and Navi Mumbai.

Today, the CRE market in suburbs has caught the attention of not only individual businessmen but large multi- national corporates who have begun viewing such locations as an attractive opportunity. Besides the benefits of ample space, green cover and planned infrastructure, the properties here come at attractive price points as well. The Grade A commercial properties available here offer the best quality coupled with the best amenities which include advanced CCTV surveillance, ample floor-to-floor height, double glazed window panels, Lift Lobbies Finished With Marble/Granite & Vitrified Tiles along with High Speed Elevators, Service Elevators and Parking Elevators.

With this thought, Hiranandani introduced ‘Quantum’, a strategically designed commercial project that offers best-in-class office. It is perfect for modern-day corporate environments. Every floor is thoughtfully constructed using large floor plates and an open span design to offer ample natural light that inspire simplistic aesthetics. Quantum also offers ample Water Provision from Municipal Corporation along with Power Backup provision in the utility building, 24X7 Manned Security, advanced Firefighting Measures, basic Telephony Service provided by reliable companies and OFC Termination within the building and Hi-Speed Internet Service.

Another aspect that is quickly gaining traction and today, also a key influencing factor in purchase of a commercial space is the ecosystem the property is located in. This is an added value proposition offered by certain developers that helps in building a unique value office. The socio- civic fabric of the location contributes a great deal to the purchase decision and in fact, to the overall productivity of the company. Having a hospital, high street retail and other recreational amenities allows employees to either bond outside of work or carry out personal responsibilities at their convenience.

The commercial real estate offerings at Hiranandani Business Park, Thane befit the needs of corporates, entrepreneurs and even professionals. The offerings span from boutique offices to leased commercial spaces for large conglomerates or corporates. The setup is amidst a full-fledge vibrant township with bustling residential, high street retail, cafes and restaurants, entertainment, convenience, and healthcare amenities to offer the working populace a complete lifestyle. Hiranandani Estates, Thane Township has evolved into a progressive ecosystem that enhances the living quotient of residents and the working quotient of the workforce operating from here.

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‘Smart Cities’ are all about ‘Sustainable Development’

Dr Niranjan Hiranandani - National President – NAREDCO & MD - Hiranandani Group.

As the world evolves, there has been lot of thrust on rapid urbanization and development. The growing awareness and alarming concerns over global warming have placed the need of more sustainable ecosystem. There is dire need to bring in ‘Conscious Consumerism’ decision to have positive economic, social, and environmental impact to build the successful economy. To create such advancements, the Government of India announced the ‘National Smart Cities Mission’ to develop 100 smart cities across the country, making them citizen friendly, tech - savvy and sustainable. The advanced technology will be enabled to bring in best global practices and redesign the sustainable world.

Creating integrated sustainable developments has become a reality in India. Having said that, the need for ecological sustainability is also of equal importance. Countries and nations expect to achieve a wholesome future. The marrying of technology with ecological sustainability to develop a nation that is not only smart, efficient, sustainable but also successful. UNECE and ITU jointly developed a definition of smart sustainable cities as an innovative city that uses ICTs and other means to improve quality of life, efficiency of urban operation and services, and competitiveness, while ensuring that it meets the needs of present and future generations consumers with respect to economic, social, environmental as well as cultural aspects. In India, particularly, the government and the real estate industry are collectively working towards creating this as the “wholesome future” envisaged.

The use of technology in a smart sustainable city cannot be underplayed. In today’s age, the demand for emerging technology is on the rise. Ensuring ways to use these technologies in bettering the city management goes a long way in creating a system that is efficient and reliable. Information and Communications technology has opened up many possibilities in the sustainable smart cities paradigm. With various advancements in Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Sensors, Geospatial Technology, Machine Learning (ML), Big Data analysis etc. tasks like e- governance, healthcare, waste management, finances, traffic, education, security and protection among others become more streamlined. Smart cities are built of smart homes. Therefore, today, as the world progresses, new age homebuyers have expressed the need to have home automation integrated in their day to day lives through a central system monitoring the lighting, climate, entertainment systems, and appliances.

The aspect of sustainability, in reference to smart cities, is ideally, about projects and the overall blueprint of the infrastructure planned. Apart from integrating sustainable and eco- friendly practices in the construction phase of a building, being an eco-friendly and sustainable township is also about using methods that help in overall energy efficiency and waste management. Efforts such as recycling garbage to form bio-composts inadvertently help in powering utilities, to harness wind and solar power to provide a part of power requirements. Other systems such as charging the water table through rain water harvesting, and sewage treatment which provides treated sewage in form of water for gardens and construction/ cleaning purposes are integrated within a smart sustainable city. Sustainability within a smart city requires smart architecture which ensures aligning construction with the wind and natural light resources, so that load on HVAC and luminaries is reduced. It is also important to focus on areas like air and water pollution control, sewage disposal, connectivity that ensures low pollution emission on the roads and during activities including construction.

The Covid- 19 pandemic has highlighted the need for technology as it has the need for a home for everybody. Technology came in handy for sustaining communications and connections while maintaining the norms of social distancing, while home is what allowed us to return and protect ourselves in a safe and secure environment. The need to blend the two together to create a holistic and self- sustaining ecosystem has been the aim for economies across the world. With each integrated, eco-township or a smart city that is planned and executed, India reaches a step closer to its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Upcoming Metro Lines on Ghodbunder Road, favourable for Business spaces

Opportunity for new workspaces to flourish

Established Business Parks will become a preferred destination

Promotes Walk -to- Work

Mumbai\ MMR\ Thane 19th April: The impact of upcoming Metro lines in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) will have a positive impact on the business districts. It indicates enhanced connectivity, smooth flow of human resources and business settlements which will ensure sustainable growth. As new lines get clearances, the Metro Map of the MMR is opening newer linkages across hinterland areas. One such example is Metro line 5 between Thane (Kapurbawdi) and Kalyan railway station intersecting with Metro 4 (Wadala- Kasarvadavli in Thane) stretching connectivity between Mumbai – Thane and MMR region.

Metro lines facilitate alternate connectivity beyond road and railway transport that enable the workforce to mobilize quickly with ease and helps business centres to flourish in suburban business districts. As we all know that connectivity is the key to any real estate development for becoming a future perfect growth destination in a sustainable manner.

The of Thane’s Ghodbunder Road is Hiranandani Estate; an urban conglomeration which offers real estate options powered by infrastructure of global standards. Connectivity is one of the outstanding aspects which makes it a preferred destination and thus the positive impact of the Metro Lines 4 and 5 is simply too apparent.

Hiranandani business park, a commercial business district in Hiranandani Estate, Ghodbunder road, Thane will also get the advantage of waterways, elevated roads, proposed coastal road, tunnel linking with Borivali, and the widening of the Kopri bridge. The past few years have seen Ghodbunder Road evolve as a destination for corporates within the MMR to consolidate and expand office spaces. It has become a fast-growing commercial workspace which offers boutique to office spaces with large floor plates.

Hiranandani Business Park is increasingly becoming the future of work where in value offices will be part of mixed-used integrated township that offers walk to work luxury. In the new normal, there is an emerging preference of remote working spaces that is closer to the residence. The minimal travel time to the workplace is becoming a preferred choice among the workforce due to pandemic life and Hiranandani Business Park in Thane offers the comfort of ease of working. The commercial cluster offers best in class IT infrastructure, robust power supply and efficient floor plates. Additionally, it also offers the vibrant socio-civic fabric with educational, healthcare, hospitality, entertainment, and high street retail that offers a rich ecosystem to the workforce. The comfort and convenience amidst community living enriches the work experience and offers a holistic environment.

These additional infrastructure will enhance multiple linkages and will morph Hiranandani Business Park at Hiranandani Estate, Ghodbunder road, Thane ‘into the new livewire centre of MMR. . With retail and office spaces in Hiranandani Estate showing huge demand, it makes sense for the smart investor and end user to pick up commercial spaces here. With world-class infrastructure and a work environment second to none, Hiranandani Estate, Thane will be the ideal work destination. So, go ahead and make the right decision!

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