Besides the financial sector, the real estate business may also face the heat due to the ongoing crisis in NBFC sector, triggered by IL&FS default. "As on March 2018, NBFC's exposure towards real estate is 7.5 per cent accounting for Rs 1.65 lakh crore," real estate consultant Anarock Capital MD & CEO Shobhit Agarwal told PTI. "Post the banking systems freeze on real estate funding due to rising non-performing assets, NBFCs and HFCs are the sole source of funds for the cash-strapped developers," he said. The NBFC crisis needs to be resolved as soon as possible or the real estate sector's much-anticipated recovery will be postponed by a couple of quarters, Agarwal said. Now, NBFCs are struggling and their loan disbursals to developers have slowed down significantly, he said. The repayment burden is about 1.2 lakh crore (USD 16.3 billion) of commercial paper in October-December, near a record 1.46 lakh crore in August-October, according to available data. The consultant quoting Credit Suisse report said NBFCs and Housing Finance Companies (HFCs) have played a major role in credit supply in recent years, accounting for nearly 25-35 per cent of incremental overall credit. While bank credit growth in the last two years averaged at a mere seven per cent, a strong 20 per cent-plus growth in NBFC credit aided overall credit expansion beyond 10 per cent. "Despite residential sales gradually picking up q-o-q, they are nowhere near their peak levels. With substantial number of residential projects running behind schedule, the crisis could further exacerbate liquidity woes and impact project delivery time lines even more," Agarwal said. As per Anarock data, more than 5.75 lakh residential units are running behind schedule across the top 7 cities since their launch in 2013 or before. Many listed realty developers such as Puravankara, DLF, Prestige Group, Oberoi Realty and Godrej Properties have well-diversified portfolios and many of these have also reduced their debts and ventured into affordable housing where growth is currently the highest, he said.