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Office Transactions Hit Decadal Low Of 1.6 Mnsq (17.2 Mnsq ft) In H1 2020: India

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Information Technology (IT) dominated with 43% of the overall sector-wise transactions in the Indian office market. 

Knight Frank India, in its latest report, India Real Estate: H1 2020 observes that the office segment in the top eight cities witnessed a historic decline in terms of both transactions and new completions. In H1 2020, office transactions declined by 37% YoY to 1.6 mnsq m (17.2 mnsq ft), the lowest in the last 10 years.

New completions were lower by 27% YoY to 1.6 mnsq m (17.3 mnsq ft). Despite the low volume of transaction and supply, the weighted average rental for theeight cities reported a growth of 4% YoY in H1 2020 to INR 896/ sq m/ month (INR 83/ sq ft/ month). Information Technology (IT) dominated with 43% of the overall sector-wise transactions in the Indian office market. 

After two years of steady demand, the home sales in top eight cities of India declined by a significant 54% YoY to a decadal low of 59,538 units during H1 2020 with sales mostly concentrated in the first quarter of calendar year. About 47% of home sales were in residential properties below INR 5 mn pricing category. New home launches also reported a massive drop of 46% YoY to 60,489 units in the same period. The unprecedented disruptions caused by the on-going pandemic stalled the economy in Q2 2020.The lockdown resulted in a complete shutdown of all activity in the real estate industry and caused sales to fall a massive 84% YoY to 9,632 units in Q2 2020 while sales of 49,905 units were reported in Q1 2020.Number of new home launches recorded in Q1 2020 was 54,905 units; whereas, the number saw a sharp drop to 5,584 units in Q2 2020

Shishir Baijal, Chairman and Managing Director, Knight Frank India said,“With the economic uncertainties creating significant headwinds, we expect the office space take up to remain cautious. Most occupiers are expected to hesitate in committing to expansion in the current market scenario and may delay their leasing decisions for later. Occupiers are also devising the best formula for office occupancy for their near – term future to accommodate the impact of COVID – 19 and lockdown such as social distancing, restriction in movement etc. For the office market, it will be a wait and watch till a more permanent solution to this pandemic is found.”

The flagship report – India Real Estate: H1 2020 that was launched today is the 13th edition of the report. It presents a comprehensive analysis of the residential and office market performance across eight major cities for the January-June 2020 (H1 2020) period. 

OFFICE MARKET HIGHLIGHTS FOR TOP 8 ​CITIES IN INDIA MARKET SNAPSHOT 

Parameter 2019 Change (YoY)* H1 2019 H1 2020 Change (YoY) 
New completions  mnsq m (mnsq ft) 5.7 (61.3) 56% 2.2 (23.9) 1.6 (17.3) -27% 
Transactions mnsq m (mnsq ft) 5.6 (60.6) 27% 2.6 (27.4) 1.6 (17.2) -37% 
Weighted average rental INR/sq m/month  (INR/sq ft/month) 838 (78) -1% 860 (80) 896 (83) 4% 
Stock mnsq m (mnsq ft) 70.4 (758) 9% 67 (721) 71.9 (773.5) 7% 
Vacancy (%) 13.2% – 12.7% 14.1% – 

Note – 1 square metre (sq m) = 10.764 square feet (sq ft)  *YoY Changeover 2018  

OFFICE SUPPLY:  

●Office supply was expected to ramp up in 2020; however, due to on-going pandemic and lockdown, it witnessed a decline of 27% YoY in H1 2020 to 17.3 mnsq ft. 

●Office supply came to a near standstill in Q2 2020 (April – June month) with project completions declining 79% YoY during this period. 

●In H1 2020, Mumbai and Chennai markets saw the most supply come online; accounting for 40% of the total 1.6 mnsq m (17.3 mnsq ft) delivered during the period. The sharpest fall in supply was seen in the NCR and Pune markets at 86% and 87% YoY respectively.  

OFFICE LEASING  

●Office leasing activity in H1 2020, dropped by 37% YoY to 1.6 mnsq m (17.2 mnsq ft), lowest in the last 10 years. Q2 2020 bore the brunt of the pandemic and transaction activity fell 79% YoY during the period. 

●Demand plummeted in key markets such as Pune (- 47% YoY), NCR (- 45% YoY), Bengaluru (- 42% YoY) and Hyderabad (- 43% YoY). With two large ticket size deals comprising of 1.8 mnsq ft, Mumbai was relatively less impacted and reported 17% YoY de-growth in H1 2020. 

●The sharper fall in transactions compared to new completionstranslated into an increase in vacancy level significantly from 12.7% in H1 2019 to 14.1% in H1 2020.  

●Despite the low volume of transactions, the weighted average rental for the eight cities reported a signification growth of 4% YoY in H1 2020 to INR 896/ sq m/ month (INR 83/ sq ft/ month). The weighted average rental level was also kept buoyant by the fact that Bengaluru, which experienced the most rental growth at 5.6% YoY, also experienced the most transaction activity during the period. Rents dropped the sharpest in NCR and Ahmedabad at 8.8% and 12.1% YoY respectively. 

●The sectoral share of transactions remained comparatively intact. IT dominated 43% of overall transactions, followed by BFSI at 16%. Two sectors – Co-working and Other services got a share of 14% each. Manufacturing got a pie share of 16%. 

●As expected, there was different industry dominance in office transactions in every city. A significant 59% of the area transacted by BFSI sector companies was in Mumbai, while Bengaluru accounted for the highest share of the transactions executed by manufacturing and co-working sector companies at 45% and 39% respectively.  

ANNEXURE: SECTOR-WISE SPLIT OF TRANSACTIONS

Industry H1 2019 H1 2020 
BFSI 13% 16% 
Information Technology (IT) 35% 43% 
Manufacturing 12% 12% 
Co-working 15% 14% 
Other Services 26% 14% 

Note: BFSI includes BFSI support services Note: Other services include all services excluding BFSI, IT and co-working such as media, telecom etc. Source: Knight Frank Research  ANNEXURE QUARTERLY SPLIT OF COMPLETIONS  

 Q1 2020 Q2 2020 Q1 2020 Change YoY Q2 2020 Change YoY 
Mumbai 2.5 1.1 32%  
NCR 0.3 0.5 -89% -84% 
Bengaluru 4.0 -33% -100% 
Pune 0.2  -100% 
Ahmedabad 2.6 97% -100% 
Chennai 3.3 1064%  
Hyderabad 2.7 -32%  
Kolkata 0.1   
All cities 15.7 1.6 -5% -79% 
Split in H1 2020 91% 9%   

Source: Knight Frank Research  

ANNEXURE: QUARTERLY SPLIT OF TRANSACTIONS 

 Q1 2020 Q2 2020 Q1 2020 Change YoY Q2 2020 Change YoY 
Mumbai 2.5 1.3 30% -51% 
NCR 2.0 0.0 12% -98% 
Bengaluru 4.2 0.6 1% -86% 
Pune 1.4 0.6 -26% -69% 
Ahmedabad 0.5 – 70% -100% 
Chennai 1.3 0.1 3% -91% 
Hyderabad 2.2 – -25% -100% 
Kolkata 0.5 – -16% -100% 
All cities 14.6 2.6 -1% -79% 
Split in H1 2020 85% 15%   

Source: Knight Frank Research  

RESIDENTIAL MARKET HIGHLIGHTS FOR TOP 8 CITIES INDIA MARKET SNAPSHOT 

Parameter 2019 Change (YoY)* H1 2019 H1 2020 Change (YoY) 
Launches (housing units) 223,325 23% 111,175   60,489 -46% 
Sales (housing units) 245,861 1% 129,285  59,538 -54% 
Unsold inventory (housing units) 445,836 -5% 450,263  446,787 -1% 
Quarters-to-sell 10.1 – 9.3 10.1 – 
Age of unsold inventory (in quarters) 15.9 – 15.4 16.4 – 

Note – 1 square metre (sq m) = 10.764 square feet (sq ft)  *YoY Changeover 2018  Source: Knight Frank Research  

NEW LAUNCHES:  ●Home launches across the top eight cities in India declined by 46% YoY to60,489units in H1 2020. 

●The impact of the pandemic induced lockdown on the real estate market can be gaugedby the fact that across the top eight markets, new launches have plummetedby 90% YoY in Q2 2020. During this period, developers were forced to postpone launches across markets due to labour unavailability and credit crunch. 

●Out of eight cities, NCR residential market was worst hit with new home launches capitulating 82% YoY respectively during H1 2020. 

●58% of the units launched in H1 2020 were priced under INR 5 mn compared to 51% in H1 2019. 

 SALES VOLUME:  

●In Q2 2020, sales crashed by 84% YoY due to nationwide lockdown and inconsequential activity in the real estate sector. NCR, Chennai and Hyderabad had near-zero sales during this period.

 ●Total sales in the eight markets under our coverage fell by a massive 54% YoY to a decadal low of 59,538 units during H1 2020. Home sales in traditionally end-user markets like Bengaluru and Hyderabad also fell sharply by 57% and 43% YoY respectively during H1 2020. In H1 2020, home sales under INR 5 mn ticket size have reduced to 47%, down from 50% in H1 2019. This can be attributed to income disruptions caused by the economic slowdown, and the pandemic imposed lockdown that has adversely impacted homebuyers in the affordable segment.    

●Due to low sales velocity, quarters-to-sell (QTS) level in H1 2020 stands higher at 10.1 quarters compared to 9.3 quarters in H1 2019 

●In H1 2020, weighted average prices have also fallen across most cities in H1 2020 with NCR, Pune and Chennai saw the most correction at 5.8% YoY, 5.4% YoY and 5.5% YoY respectively. The Information technology sector driven markets of Hyderabad and Bengaluru witnessed price growthof 6.9% and 3.3% during the same period.  

UNSOLD INVENTORY: 

 ●Unsold inventory across the top eight markets dropped marginally in H1 2020, registering a 1% decline to 446,787units.  

●In H1 2020, Mumbai had the highest quantum of unsold inventory at 150,154 units YoY, followed by NCR at 118,064 units YoY and Bengaluru at 77,043 units YoY.  Shishir Baijal, Chairman and Managing Director, Knight Frank India said,​“The residential real estate sector which was already going through a rough patch has got severely hit by the current crisis. With income uncertainty for future, demand for housing will take a hit. While the RBI has announced much-required liquidity injecting measures and cut in policy interest rate, there is an urgent need for the Government to come up with some demand boosting measures for the real estate sector.  Shishir further continued​, “As the second moratorium period ends in August, we hope that the government will make positive interventions such as onetime restructuring of loans for developers as well as extension of moratorium for retail loans (atleast for home loans) to ensure liquidity and low defaults.”  

ANNEXURE: Q1 AND Q2 2020 NEW LAUNCHES 

 Q1 2020 Q2 2020 Q1 2020 YoY % change Q2 2020 YoY % change 
Mumbai 22,388 1,011 1% -95% 
NCR 1,422 – -69% -100% 
Bengaluru 8,963 1,843 -13% -83% 
Pune 12,650 785 24% -93% 
Chennai 3,520 – -24% -100% 
Hyderabad 3,002 1,420 7% -46% 
Kolkata 858 – 159% -100% 
Ahmedabad 2,102 525 20% -68% 
Total 54,905 5,584 -3% -90% 

Source: Knight Frank Research 

ANNEXURE: Q1 AND Q2 2020 SALES 

 Q1 2020 Q2 2020 Q1 2020 YoY % change Q2 2020 YoY % change 
Mumbai 15,959 2,687 -10% -83% 
NCR 5,446 – -49% -100% 
Bengaluru 8693 3484 -42% -74% 
Pune 7,813 2,235 -14% -73% 
Chennai 2,981 – -40% -100% 
Hyderabad 3,808 974 -9% -76% 
Kolkata 2,937 – 3% -100% 
Ahmedabad 2,268 252 -46% -94% 
Total 49,905 9,632 -27% -84% 

ALSO READ: ‘Relevance of Technology’ In Times Of Social Distancing

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