‘Developers bought 1,757 acres amid pandemic’

‘Builders closed 45 deals in top 7 cities’

Indian real estate developers and related entities sealed about 45 separate land deals for more than 1,757 acres across the top seven cities between Q3 2020 and November 2021, according to real estate consulting group Anarock.

According to data collated by Anarock, developers including M3M Group, Godrej Properties, K Raheja Corp., and Shapoorji Pallonji Group were the top land buyers last year, even as the COVID-19 pandemic dented economic growth.

While M3M acquired land worth ₹900 crore in Noida, Godrej Properties bought land worth ₹700 crore in Bengaluru. Of the total transacted land area, about 69% or 1,205 acres are proposed to be developed into multiple residential projects across these cities.

The total development potential of these deals works out to at least 45-50 million sq.ft. of residential area, according to the data analysed by Anarock.

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region led with 11 residential deals for 768 acres.

NCR came a distant second with four separate deals accounting for 12% of the total land deals with approximately 150 acres earmarked for development. This included three deals for a total of 77 acres in Gurugram, and one deal for more than 73 acres in Noida.

Kolkata saw two separate deals for more than 92 acres of land on a joint development agreement (JDA) basis. Hyderabad witnessed two separate land deals for a total of 78 acres.

Bengaluru saw five separate deals for a total of 59 acres earmarked for residential development, while Pune saw three deals for approximately 42 acres, and Chennai saw one deal for more than 16 acres, according to data.

The top developers who bought land parcels for residential developments included Godrej Properties, Sunteck Realty, Ashiana Housing, Mahindra LifeSpaces, M3M Group, and Runwal Developers.

“The last 7-8 months before COVID-19 [March 2020] saw limited land deals as the real estate industry was grappling with liquidity issues at the time,” said Santhosh Kumar, vice-chairman Anarock Group.

“Then COVID-19 brought the sector to a virtual standstill for 3-4 months. For about a year, developers preferred to either service their debts or complete previously-launched projects,” he said.

“However, from Q3 2020, activity resumed and several landowners who previously held fast to their land put their holdings up for sale. Resultantly, some prominent deals took place in the last one year, at more or less the same price points as the previous year,” he further said.

“Many developers with the financial wherewithal saw this period as opportune to secure good land parcels in key micro-markets across the top 7 cities,” he said.

Besides proposed residential developments, industrial, commercial, data centres, and retail also saw land acquired for development.

Out of the total of 45 land deals for over 1,757 acres, at least six deals for 411 acres of land are earmarked for a logistics and industrial park and township.

Of this, two deals for over 275 acres were closed in Gurugram, followed by two deals in Chennai for over 83 acres, and one each in Howrah and MMR for 31 acres and 22 acres, respectively.

For mixed-use developments, three land deals — one each in MMR, Chennai and Gurugram — for more than 58 acres were closed.

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