2022 looks promising for real estate, provided Omicron doesn’t play spoilsport: Suren Goyal, RPS Group

In an exclusive interview with FE Online, Suren Goyal of RPS Group talks about his expectations for 2022 and shares his business outlook.

As a prudent business organization, we continuously scout for opportunities for growth.

After a challenging 2020, 2021 turned out to be a much better year for the real estate sector. Going forward in 2022, we believe the industry is poised for robust growth. All the factors, including interest rates, pricing and availability, continue to remain favourable and hence, it promises to be a great year ahead. However, a lot would depend on the impact of ‘Omicron’ and we hope, the spread as well as its impact remains muted, says Suren Goyal, Partner, RPS Group.

In an exclusive interview with Sanjeev Sinha, Mr Goyal talks about his expectations for 2022 and shares his business outlook. Excerpts:

How has been the year 2021 from the real estate perspective?

After a challenging 2020, the year 2021 turned out to be a much better year for the real estate sector. With the gradual opening of the economy, normalcy started returning in different aspects of the economy – both organized and unorganized sector. From the lows of 2020, the GDP growth registered a remarkable turnaround in 2021. Needless to say, the Reserve Bank of India’s policy stance of keeping the interest rate lower played an important part in it. The lower interest regime also helped the real estate sector in 2021. Amid lower interest rates and favourable pricing, the demand for homes saw an uptick across categories – affordable, mid and luxury segment. Towards the latter half of the year, the demand for commercial real estate also showed signs of normalcy.

What is the outlook for 2022? Do you think real estate will do better this year?

Going forward in 2022, we believe the industry is poised for robust growth. All the factors, including interest rates, pricing and availability, continue to remain favourable and hence, it promises to be a great year ahead. To add to it, most top notch IT companies are also considering returning to offices and, thus, the demand for office spaces is also likely to witness a surge. As the entertainment industry (movie industry) is slowly and gradually starting to release new movies in theaters, the footfall at malls and shopping complexes is also set to jump drastically in 2022. As always, the F&B industry too will have a role in attracting customers to malls and other places. As such, 2022 looks extremely promising. But a lot would depend on the impact of ‘Omicron’ and we hope, the spread as well as its impact remains muted.

What kind of impact does Jewar Airport have on Faridabad’s realty market?

Major infrastructure projects have significant impact on the growth of the economy and development of areas surrounding it. Airport is one such infrastructure project, which plays a major role in transforming any smaller city into a mega city. Generally, an upcoming airport is accompanied by augmentation of road and other existing city infrastructure in about 50-60 kilometers in its vicinity.

The upcoming Jewar Airport is likely to have a similar impact on the development of nearby areas. Cities and towns like Faridabad, Palwal, Greater Noida and Noida are likely to benefit from it immensely as all these places are in a radius of 30-50 km from the upcoming airport. To its advantage, the land prices and cost of living in Faridabad are lower in comparison to places like Noida. To add to it, Faridabad is also witnessing significant infrastructure development. Hence, there is every possibility Faridabad will emerge as a major destination for real estate development – in both residential and commercial. As such, world-class living as well as A-grade office spaces are likely to come up in Faridabad in a big way.

What are your company’s plans for this year?

Over the last decade or so, the RPS Group is well-known for delivering some of the best projects in Faridabad. We plan to build up on the tremendous reputation that we enjoy. We would follow the twin strategy of delivering our under-construction project at the earliest, much before the committed deadline, and at the same time, we would launch some projects in both residential and commercial segments.

Your company is mostly known for residential projects, but recently you seem to be focusing on the commercial segment as well. What is the thought behind it?

We have been receiving tremendous response for our residential project Auria Residency as well as our commercial project 12th Avenue WTC in Faridabad. While there has been a steady increase in the demand for residential properties over the last few months, we are now also witnessing substantial jump in enquiries for our commercial offerings, including both office spaces and retail. As Faridabad offers tremendous scope for growth, we see a lot of opportunity in both residential and commercial segments. Accordingly, we will focus on both the segments simultaneously.

Do you have any plans to foray outside Faridabad?

As a prudent business organization, we continuously scout for opportunities for growth. In our view, like major cities, even the tier 2 & 3 cities offer great opportunities for growth. Hence, we are looking for opportunities elsewhere as well. One such place is the holy city of Vrindavan. We would soon be launching a residential project in Vrindavan. In fact, we have already received approval from RERA and local authorities for the upcoming project and the launch date, pricing etc are being worked out.

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