Addressing some of the compelling issues of the real estate industry in the COVID19 era, the National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO) Karnataka today hosted a Webinar on the Post COVID-19 Opportunities in the Real Estate Industry.
The real estate industry stalwarts are hopeful of opportunities emerging out of these difficult times and they discussed in detail how can developers in Karnataka and other cities adapt to the current changes happening due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Addressing the Webinar, Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani, National President, NAREDCO highlighted the need to boost infrastructure development towards attracting FDI in the sector, changing the location landscape to make it more accessible, and open new growth areas. Further, the COVID crisis has exposed the sector to the unseen vulnerabilities, change in demographic mindset and business modalities, growing realization of technology cannibalization requiring efforts to reinvent the product and design at the core. This has given fodder for thought to the developer’s fraternity for realigning their goals. He also emphasized on market research to be a new focal point for a more customer-centric approach. The demand shocks mandate major economic support to the industry with liquidity transfusion in the system. Commercial real estate will garner back the traction with novel modalities as human beings are social animals and given a choice people would like to work in office space with better infrastructure and not in isolation for long”.
Commenting on the opportunities for the real estate industry, Mr. Rajeev Talwar, Chairman, NAREDCO, said, “Emotional attachment has always been associated with the real estate industry. Today it is about health and sustainability. You should never doubt your industry. Be it the construction of homes, offices, residences, logistics, etc. will be a continued requirement for a country like India. One thing, everyone recognizes is that we cannot afford total sealing or closure of construction activities whether in Tier1, 2, 3, or 4… We are the second-largest employment provider, so we should never forget that this industry will become more and more important.” India needs sustainable and affordable homes and for that, the real estate industry will be playing an important role. Briefing on the demand of the sector, he highlighted the request for a financial package, a one-time rollover of debt, low EMIs, a moratorium for 3 months more, no account should be declared NPA for one full year and No NCLT case should come. A blanket rule to extend all permissions should be given explained Mr. Talwar.
Interacting with the developers from NAREDCO, Dr. Sujit Kumar, secretary, NAREDCO Karnataka said, “During this time the government should be our facilitator as the Real estate is the second-largest employer and the largest consumer of finished products. There has to be a complete change in the way the government looks at the business. If we double our business then it will also double manpower and taxes for the government so there should a lot of hand-holding required from the government.”
“The State should proactively take steps to facilitate ease of business in the real estate sector and effect policy level changes to simplify the overall process. The land is a State subject that has a direct impact on the real estate sector, focusing on the sanctions, approvals, legal issues, and removing unnecessary policies or hurdles will be a big relief to the real estate sector,” said Manoj Lodha, Immediate Past President of NAREDCO Karnataka.
During the sessions, Shri Sathish Kumar M, President, NAREDCO-Karnataka, opined that “Infrastructure is going to be key for the growth of the real estate industry. It is said that America did not build the roads but roads built America. If the industries and businesses come to India then the real estate sector will boom itself. Things like market research and customer satisfaction are some of the approaches we need to adopt. After all, we are building for the customers.”
Mr. Prashanth Thakur, Head Research, Anarock, presented a detailed research paper in which he highlighted some of the key findings on buyers’ preference in terms of where they want to buy and what do they look for when they buy their own properties. “Buying a house is the biggest emotional decision any buyer would make. Let us ask ourselves, how many of us as a company or real estate developer has tried to establish an emotional connect with our end-users or homebuyer. We as a developer have been listening to the investor fraternity a lot and lost the connection with end-users.
Briefing on the finding of the survey, he indicated that almost 48% of the respondents we spoke to said that the real estate is the safest and most preferred investment asset for them. About 68% of millennials are now thinking of buying real estate because people think of early retirement so they want to make something for life. The first priority of them is to buy a house. Nearly 54% of respondents said that this is the ideal time to buy a house as home loan interest rates are the lowest now. There is also an ample number of ready-to-move-in units in the market. Surprisingly, nearly 62% of the respondents said they are ready to pay a premium with Tier-1, and with developers who have a good track record. Buyers are not really looking for just discounts so this myth is busted.”