NCR market: Sluggish, but stable

Posted online: Saturday, Dec 21, 2013 at 0000 hrs
Of the top eight cities, the National Capital Region (NCR) saw the least number of units being launced, which stood at 38,000 this calendar year. The decline, when compared on an all-India basis was 33 per cent year-on-year.

The mid-segment, in the NCR registered the highest number of units launched at approximately 26,000, followed by the affordable segment which saw launches of approximately 25,000 units. Viewed on a segment-wise basis, both categories saw substantially reduced numbers with the affordable segment slipping by 29 per cent and the mid-segment by 37 per cent over the previous year.

There were no launches in the luxury segment. Also all the launches were divided between Noida and Gurgaon with Delhi not witnessing any new housing unit launches this calendar year.

Following the trend in 2012, more than 90 per cent of the new launches in 2013 were in the affordable and mid segment. While the first half of calendar 2013 saw launches primarily in the affordable and mid segment with marginal (2 per cent) contribution from the high-end segment, the second half on the other hand witnessed 18 per cent of the total launches in high-end segment.

In the current economic scenario both buyers and developers are taking a cautious approach not only towards residential real estate but across all asset classes of real estate. However, given that most aspects of development such as construction cost, development cost, cost of land, time taken for approval and cost of debt all have been on an upward tangent developers have not been able to lower costs.

Capital Values

Over the past year Delhi locations have registered a decline in capital values while Gurgaon and Noida witnessed appreciation due to relatively lower ticket size and new project launches which offered construction linked plans as opposed to ready properties in Delhi locations. The high-end segment in NCR markets of south west, south east and luxury category in Gurgaon all saw a decline in capital values to the tune of 5 7 per cent over the last year mostly on account of achieving already high values which in the current market scenario looked unsustainable.

Due to pile of inventory and cautious buyer sentiments prevailing in the market amidst sluggish sales, the rental and capital values for high-end properties in Gurgaon saw a quarter-on-quarter decline by 3-12 per cent in calendar 2013 over the last quarter. The city saw reduction in investor activity with most enquiries generated by end users due to high gestation period of return and price points.

Demand & Supply

The total estimated demand for housing in top eight cities of India is pegged at 2.9 million square feet of which NCR is expected to generate the highest demand of 7,70,000 units mostly for mid-range and high-end segments in the period of 2013-2017. In the same time frame, the expected cumulative supply is expected to be around 6,00,000 the demand- supply gap is expected to be approximately 22 per cent over the period. Some of this projected demand in the 2013-14 is expected to be met through the unsold inventory currently existing in the suburban and peripheral locations.

The gap between fresh demand and supply is expected to see an incremental expansion as supply will fall short on account of economic, regulatory and political scenario. However, some of the demand in the next couple of years can be met through the existing vacant stock.

In addition to the fresh supply, The New Delhi Master Plan 2020 is expected to unlock 66,000 hectares of land within New Delhi which is expected to largely cater to the residential sector. Thus new micro markets for residential development are expected to come up, it is yet to be seen in what proportion and configurations will these units will be created. While demand for housing units will grow proportionate to the rise in population, supply is expected to be less aggressive in the short to medium term. New regulations like the Land Acquisition Act and the real estate regulatory bill which are expected to come into force in the next few quarters will affect supply positively.

The author is executive director-residential services, Cushman & Wakefield India