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Interim Budget sets the stage for revival of real estate

Financial Express, February 4, 2019 4:40 AM

As anticipated, the Interim Budget did turn out to be a vote bank-facing exercise, predominantly cheering farmers and labourers. But the government kept the best for the last—a pleasing boost to the housing sector in more ways than anticipated. The provisions made will certainly boost consumer sentiment, stimulate affordable housing demand and incentivise investors hoping for rental returns.

The major positives included a full tax rebate for income up to Rs 6.5 lakh (including investment under Section 80C), which is likely to push demand for affordable homes, though not much in mid-income segment. There was an extension of Section 80IBA for an additional year; it will push affordable housing and cheer developers active in this segment.

The Budget increased the tax exemption limit for rents earned to Rs 2.4 lakh from the previous Rs 1.8 lakh limit. This will make property investment more attractive and help boost housing sales. Another positive for investors was the rollover of capital gains tax on the sale of residential property. This benefit now applies to two houses instead of the previous single one. Importantly, the Budget provided tax exemption on notional rent of a second home, which again makes property investment more attractive and also gives a fillip to the second home segment.

The period for taxing unsold inventory held by developers has been extended up to two years. As per Anarock data, this will benefit nearly 85,000 ready units that are unsold on the market, of the total 6.73 lakh units across top seven cities. The Budget put a clear onus on boosting infrastructure by allocating more funds for development of airports, railways, etc. While infrastructure deployment doubtlessly benefits real estate industry, it remains to be seen how much of it is actually implemented.

All in all, the real estate sector received its due share of consideration in this balanced Budget, despite the massive electoral pitch. To be fair, the incumbent government has certainly invested heavily into the real estate sector.

Among its achievements, the Narendra Modi government has aptly set the stage for Indian real estate to become a healthy, flourishing industry in the long-term. However, the proviso is ‘long-term’. This government has definitely tightened its grip on real estate, which was the single-largest dumping ground for black money hoarders in previous years.

It has also introduced some high-impact schemes to benefit genuine end-users of real estate. There have been major policy overhauls, amendments in Acts, a visible impetus to infrastructure development, and slightly over-ambitious visions like 100 Smart Cities and Housing for All by 2022.

The triple-policy tsunami of demonetisation, RERA and GST brought about a paradigm shift in the way real estate business is carried out in the country, resulting in vastly improved transparency and efficiency. The confidence of property buyers and investor confidence is now being restored, albeit gradually, and real estate is beginning to look more favourable as an asset class.

That said, the Centre’s aim to enforce RERA in each state is still way behind schedule. As of today, quite a few states have not notified their respective RERA rules as yet, while in others buyers are fretting over the dilution of the rules that have been notified. Also, while the real estate sector braved both GST and demonetisation and will reap the due long-term rewards, they dealt the industry a very hard blow, from which it has not fully recovered yet. In fact, the arrival of a flat 12% of GST on under-construction was not exactly an improvement for buyers.

Certainly, this government has done a lot for the real estate sector, not least of all with its latest Budget. However, the stage that has been set is for long-term growth and not short-term firework displays. Will the momentum that has been infused into the real estate sector continue long enough for a real revival to take place? All eyes are on the forthcoming general elections.

Housing prices rise by up to 22% in 33 cities during April-June FY19: NHB

Economic Times, Jan 03, 2019, 10.01 AM IST

For under-construction properties, housing prices went up in 39 cities by up to 17 per cent and declined in 8 cities by up to 8 per cent and remained stable in 3 cities.

NEW DELHI: Housing prices increased in 33 cities by up to 22 per cent during April-June quarter this fiscal, while rates fell in 14 cities by up to 13 per cent and 3 cities remained stable, according to revised National Housing Bank data with new base year.

For under-construction properties, housing prices went up in 39 cities by up to 17 per cent and declined in 8 cities by up to 8 per cent and remained stable in 3 cities.

The National Housing Bank (NHB), which launched housing prices index 'NHB RESIDEX' in 2007 to track the movement in housing prices on quarterly basis, has revamped the system by changing the base year and releasing separate index for under construction properties.

"NHB RESIDEX has been revamped to include cluster of indices with updated base year, revised methodology and automated processes. The revamped NHB RESIDEX is wider in its geographic coverage...," it said in a statement.

The revamped index captures two housing price indices -- 'HPI@ Assessment Prices for 50 cities and HPI@ Market Prices for Under Construction Properties for 50 cities'. The coverage is spread across 21 states in India.

NHB RESIDEX also includes Composite HPI@Assessment Prices and Composite HPI@Market Prices for Under Construction Properties for 50 cities each.

Till March 2018, HPIs tracked the movement in prices of residential properties on a quarterly basis, taking 2012-13 fiscal as the base year. Now, the base year has been shifted to FY 2017-18.

"Composite HPI@Assessment Prices stood at 83 in June, 2013 and has moved up to 101 in the current quarter i e June, 2018. The index has moved up with a CAGR of 3.8 per cent over the years. The index increased by 2 per cent on YoY (Year-on-Year) basis," NHB said.

City-wise, it said the HPI recorded an overall increase in 33 cities, decrease in 14 cities and no change in 3 cities on y-o-y basis. "Annual growth in HPI ranged from 21.7 per cent in Ranchi to (-) 13.4 per cent in Bhiwadi at the end of the quarter".

Among the 8 Tier-1 cities, Ahmedabad witnessed maximum increase at 12.9 per cent on y-o-y basis, followed by Hyderabad (9.5 per cent), Pune (7.2) per cent and Mumbai (5.2 per cent), Bangalore and Kolkata (2 per cent).

Chennai witnessed no change and Delhi witnessed a fall in index by (-) 4.8 per cent.

Of the 29 Tier-2 cities, NHB said that significant rise in indices was seen in Ranchi (21.7 per cent), followed by Nashik (8.4 per cent), Surat (7.4 per cent) and Vadodara (7.4 per cent), while significant fall in indices was seen in Ludhiana (-12.3 per cent) and Jaipur (-9.1 per cent) on y-o-y basis.

In 13 Tier-3 cities, Gandhinagar (12.8 per cent), Chakan (10.8 per cent) and New Town Kolkata (10.5 per cent) showed significant increase in indices, while Bhiwadi (-13.4 per cent) showed maximum decrease.

In under-construction properties, NHB said that composite HPI@Market Prices stood at 84 in June, 2013 and have steadily moved up to 101 in the current quarter i.e. June, 2018. The index has moved up with a CAGR of 3.6 per cent over the years. On y-o-y basis, the index has witnessed a rise of 3.1 per cent.

City-wise, the HPI recorded an overall increase in 39 cities, decrease in 8 cities and no change in 3 cities on y-o-y basis.

"Annual growth in HPI ranged from 16.9 per cent in Kolkata to (-) 8.3 per cent in Faridabad at the end of the quarter," the statement said.

Annually, all the 8 Tier 1 cities showed growth with Kolkata (16.9 per cent), followed by Hyderabad (6.3 per cnet), Mumbai (4.1 per cent), Delhi (4.1 per cent), Chennai (3.1 per cent), Pune (2 per cent), Ahmedabad (2 per cent) and Bengaluru (1 per cent).

Among 29 Tier-2 cities, the maximum increase in indices was seen in Indore (9.7 per cent) followed by Dehradun (8.3 per cent) and Lucknow (7.5 per cent), while maximum decrease in indices was seen in Faridabad (-8.3 per cent), Thiruvananthapuram (-7.5 per cent) and Vadodara (-3.9 per cent), on y-o-y basis.

In the 13 Tier-3 cities, the variations ranged from 14.4 per cent in Bidhan Nagar to (–) 4.8 per cent in Howrah on y-o-y basis.

New real estate trends expected to emerge in 2019

Live Mint, Thu, Jan 03 2019. 09 59 AM IST

Even though the real estate sector is likely to have a tough year, new trends are expected to emerge

New Delhi: For potential homebuyers, the year 2019 is not expected to be any different from the last few years. Prices are likely to remain stagnant and developers will continue to focus on clearing existing inventory rather than launching new projects as they continue to grapple with regulatory changes like Real estate (regulation and development) Act, 2016 (RERA), goods and services tax (GST) and overall subdued demand.

In fact, 2019 is expected to be another tough year for real estate developers, given the ongoing liquidity problem, owing to the NBFC crisis.

However, even as the scenario remains bleak, some new trends are expected to emerge during the year. Here are a few things you can expect.

Affordable housing
In the last couple of years, affordable housing is the only segment where transactions seem to be happening. The trend is expected to continue in 2019 as well.

“We see an uptick in affordable housing sector—both from supply and demand side—which leads us to believe that it would be a key driver for the residential sector in coming times,” said Shishir Baijal, chairman and managing director, Knight Frank India, a real estate consultant.

Government incentives to both developers and homebuyers are pushing supply as well as demand within the segment. In a recent announcement, the government extended the benefit of Credit Link Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) on home loans for the Middle Income Group (MIG) under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) till the end of March 2020. A homebuyer can avail a subsidy of up to ₹2.67 lakh on home loans under this scheme.

“It will prove to be another major push towards the progression of the affordable housing segment. We are confident that this move will set the tone for a prosperous 2019 for the Indian real estate sector,” said Jaxay Shah, president, The Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (national), a lobby of private real estate developers.

Co-living options
Co-living is not a new concept, but just got a new name recently. Many people, especially students and young professionals, prefer to share a house or apartment, usually with other students or professionals. Various privately-operated hostels or lodges work on the basic concept of co-living.

While such co-living trends have been around for several years now, they are getting more organised now. “Co-living is more than a mere bed-and-breakfast deal. There are private bedrooms with access to common shared areas like the kitchen and living room. Such spaces offer convenience and an entirely new lifestyle for young professionals,” said Anuj Puri, chairman, Anarock Property Consultants.

However, such co-living options are largely available only in metro cities. “While it is largely major cities like Bengaluru, Mumbai, Gurgaon and Pune that began promoting this concept, the demand for co-living spaces is also gradually percolating to tier II cities like Jaipur and Lucknow where both working millennials and students are increasingly opting for these spaces,” said Puri.

According to a study by Magicbricks, a real estate portal, “Co-living is a fragmented industry with most players being startups having formed in the last 3-4 years. Nestaway, Oyo Living, ZiffyHomes, StayAbobe, SimplyGuest, Placio, YourOwnROOM, RentMyStay, CoHo, CoLive, Stanza Living, Quickr, and Zolo are the key players operating in this space.”

It remains to be seen how this new concept emerges and performs in 2019 and later.

Co-working spaces
As far as commercial real estate is concerned, co-working spaces are expected to strengthen their position in 2019. It was a new concept in India a decade ago, but not anymore. In the last few years, co-working spaces have witnessed a lot of traction and acceptability. While earlier only small businesses and individual professionals opted for it, now even larger companies are occupying co-working spaces.

“A significant change in occupier trends has been witnessed with a marked increase in the collective take up of co-working spaces,” said Ramesh Nair, CEO and country head, JLL India, a real estate consultancy firm.

The share of co-working spaces in total office leasing increased to 10% in 2018 from 5% in 2017. With more supply likely to come in the near future, leasing is expected to intensify in 2019. In addition to strong demand from startups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), large mainstream corporates are also actively looking at these new-age office spaces, added Nair.

According to CRE Matrix, a real estate research and analytic firm, during the year 2018, Smart Work Business Centre, a co-working space provider rented 18,000 sq. ft to Tata Communication. Similarly, Awfis Space Solutions, rented out 21,000 sq. ft space to Hinduja Global Solutions.

Many experts also believe that the first Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) will be launched in the country in 2019. REITs was introduced in the year 2008 in India, and first draft guidelines on the subject were issued in 2013. But lack of clarity on tax implication was holding back the REITs to become a reality. But in the last few years, government has removed many hurdles.

“One of the major drivers for the growing interest of investors in the commercial office space has been the government’s move to bring in progressive modifications in India’s REIT policy in last three years, making it more market friendly. As a result, global investors have invested significant capital in acquiring large office assets for building their REIT portfolios in India,” said Samantak Das, chief economist and head (research and reis), JLL India.

Year Ender 2018: Real estate recovers from double blow of GST, demonetisation

Zee Business, Wed, Dec 26, 2018 03:46 pm IANS

The year turned out to be an eventful one for the Indian real estate marked by the improvement in sales and its return to stability after the double blow of GST and demonetisation.

The year turned out to be an eventful one for the Indian real estate marked by the improvement in sales and its return to stability after the double blow of GST and demonetisation. For the sector, the liquidity crunch, the rupee falling to its record low, changes in the Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) and recognition of home buyers as lenders to developers under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) were other major events during the year.

Although real estate did not witness an increase in launches, developers say, the market registered higher sale of inventory in 2018 compared to last year. "It was a year of stabilisation of reforms implemented in residential real estate over 2016-17. Sales numbers saw 25 per cent improvement over 2017," said Ankur Dhawan, Chief Investment Officer at PropTiger.com.

Data provided by PropTiger.com showed that units sold across the country`s nine major cities in 2018 were around 3.1 lakh, around 25 per cent higher than 2.5 lakh units sold last year. The number of new projects, however, declined this year, with around 1.9 lakh units being launched - 22 per cent lower on a year-on-year basis.

According to market players, growth and demand in the affordable housing segment outgrew the overall demand in Indian real estate in 2018. Mumbai-based Spenta Corportation`s MD Farshid Cooper said: "Affordable housing is doing fantastically well actually. As there is an impetus from the government in terms of taxes etc, that is an added benefit to the segment."

The Centre provides interest subsidy to home buyers belonging to the Low Income Group (LIG) and Middle Income Group (MIG) categories under the Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.

In June this year, the government increased the carpet area of houses eligible for the interest subsidy by 33 per cent, broadening the ambit of the scheme. The change would be effective from January 1, 2019.

In the new guidelines, the carpet area of a house for Middle Income Group-I (MIG-I) was raised to 160 square metres (sq mt) from 120 sq mt, while it has been increased to 200 sq mt from 150 sq mt in the case of MIG -II.

Speaking of commercial real estate, Cooper said that sale in the segment has performed better than that in residential housing due to demand from investors and funds such as sovereign wealth funds. Non-resident Indian (NRI) investments in the realty sector got a boost this year on the back of a weak rupee.

Rupee was on a slide for months and in October touched its lowest-ever level of 74.47 per dollar. Market participants say investments by NRIs in Indian real estate crossed $10 billion in the current financial year, up from $8.9 billion invested in fiscal 2017-18.

"The (NRI) investments earlier were about 8-10 per cent of the total inventory, but in the current scenario it may rise upto 15 per cent in the near future," Surendra Hiranandani, Director, House of Hiranandani said.

With Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) becoming a reality in the near future investments are only likely to go higher, he added. A major headache for the sector this year proved to be the liquidity crunch, which came to light when the lending major Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) defaulted on its commercial papers in September.

Parth Mehta, MD of Paradigm Realty said: "The liquidity crunch that is going on currently has given a tough time to the real-estate sector as developer can`t slow down their construction to meet the RERA (Real Estate Regulation and Development Act) timeline and on the other side NBFCs have stopped disbursals even against approved sanctions."

"This liquidity crunch hit both developers and buyers and has led to a slowdown in home buying decisions creating mismatch in housing demand-supply," Mehta said. The RERA implementation was lacklustre across the country during the year, with majority of the states yet to set up a permanent regulator, although most of them have notified the rules.

"Currently 28 states and union territories have notified rules under RERA and 15 of these have established a permanent regulator, the latest one being Delhi, which appointed a full-time regulator in November.

As of November, more than 34,000 projects had been registered under RERA," said Anshuman Magazine, Chairman, India and South East Asia region for CBRE, a global commercial real estate investment company.

In July, the Parliament amended the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code allowing home buyers to be treated as financial creditors. "Modification in Insolvency and Bankruptcy code to make home buyer a secured creditor was one of the major policy move of government.

This will ensure home buyers are not shortchanged in bankruptcy process," Dhawan from PropTiger.com said. With the liquidity crisis likely to subside with the RBI and the government stepping in, the segment players feel 2019 would see better investment and demand.

The period upto the general elections in 2019 could, however, see caution and subdued interest with the market waiting for a stable government and policies. "2019 will start on a cautious note due to the upcoming elections, but will pick up significant momentum thereafter, in all real estate segments," Hiranandani said.

'Institutional investment in real estate may rise slightly to USD 5.5 bn in 2018'

Economic Times, Dec 26, 2018, 07.36 PM IST

Institutional investment in real estate during 2018 could rise marginally to USD 5.5 billion (around Rs 38,527 crore), as domestic and foreign investors see tremendous growth opportunities in the Indian property market, according to JLL India.

The sector has received investments worth USD 4.2 billion (about Rs 29,413 crore) till October and by the year-end the figure may touch USD 5.5 billion, the highest ever since 2009, the property consultant said in a statement.

Institutional investment in real estate stood at USD 5.42 billion during 2017, it added.

Institutional investments include family offices, foreign banks' real estate investment desks, pension funds, private equity, real estate investor-cum-developer, sovereign wealth funds and foreign corporate groups.

Lending by banks, Non-banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) and Housing FinanceNSE -0.71 % Companies (HFCs) is not included.

"India's real estate sector is at an inflection point. While the investment scenario improved post the global financial crisis, there has been a surge in institutional investments into the sector since the beginning of the year 2014.

"The trend suggests that the market offers tremendous growth opportunities to foreign and domestic investors," JLL India CEO and Country Head Ramesh Nair said.

He said the investment momentum is expected to grow manifold from its current levels considering various factors such as an ongoing policy overhaul, rising investor confidence, enhanced transparency, gradual recovery in housingNSE 0.32 % segment and rising demand for grade A commercial office space.

JLL India released its report 'Institutional Flow of Funds to Indian Real Estate: Trends and Progress' that analyses key trends in institutional investments in the real estate sector over the last decade.

"One of the major drivers for the growing interest of investors in the commercial office space has been the government's move to bring in progressive modifications in India's REIT policy in last three years, making it more market friendly.

"As a result, global investors have invested significant capital in acquiring large office assets for building their REIT portfolios in India," said Samantak Das, Chief Economist and Head of Research and REIS, JLL India.

JLL India is the country's leading professional services firm specialising in real estate with an employee strength of over 10,000. It posted a revenue of over Rs 3,400 crore in 2017-18.

The company is present in 10 major cities (Ahmedabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Kochi and Coimbatore).

The consultant provides investors, developers, local corporates and multinational companies with a comprehensive range of services.

'GST Council meets today; levy on under-construction houses may cut to 5%'

ET Now Digital, Feb 20, 2019, 12.10 IST

In its previous meeting, the GST Council had formed a group of ministers under the chairmanship of Gujarat deputy CM Nitin Patel to decide on GST rates on under-construction houses

New Delhi: The GST Council headed by Finance minister Arun Jaitley will hold its 33rd meeting today. As indicated by interim finance minister Piyush Goyal in the interim Budget 2019, the GST Council may slash GST on under-construction houses to 5% and on affordable houses to 3% from the existing 12% and 8% respectively.

Worth mentioning here is that in its previous meeting, the council had formed a group of ministers under the chairmanship of Gujarat deputy CM Nitin Patel to decide on GST rates on under-construction houses. According to a report in the Times of India, the panel has submitted its report suggesting a reduction in the levy.

The reduction of GST rates on under-construction houses is likely to come with the removal of the input tax credit (ITC), which realtors believe will push up prices of these properties. It will, however, result in a reduction in the price of super premium houses of over 10,000 per sq ft where the existing effective rates go up to 10%. The tax on these properties under the new regime will come down to 5% leading to a reduction in the prices, the ToI report said.

The proposal to remove ITC came following complaints that builders are not passing on the ITC benefit to consumers by way of reduction in the price of the property after the rollout of GST. Following these complaints, the GST Council had set up a ministerial panel to suggest ways to boost the realty sector.

'RERA, more demand from buyers drive growth of affordable homes, finds survey'

The Indian Express, Tuesday, Feb 26, 2019

The survey evaluated the top eight markets of India, including Mumbai, and noted that in other cities — including the National Capital Region and the IT hubs of Bengaluru and Hyderabad — also, there has been an improvement in demand for affordable housing.

A SURVEY conducted by Knight Frank India has shown that houses across the country have become more affordable since 2010. This has been attributed to the implementation of the Real Estate Regulatory Act (RERA) and increasing demand from homebuyers, forcing developers to shift from the luxury to the affordable housing sector.

The survey evaluated the top eight markets of India, including Mumbai, and noted that in other cities — including the National Capital Region and the IT hubs of Bengaluru and Hyderabad — also, there has been an improvement in demand for affordable housing.

As per the survey report, there is a decline in the average size of residential units, contributing to growing affordability in the market.

Real estate markets in Mumbai (-25 per cent), Pune (-24 per cent) and Bengaluru (-18 per cent) have seen a sharp reduction in the average size of homes since 2010 while Hyderabad (+4 per cent) and Ahmedabad (+7 per cent) are the only two markets offering larger homes. With annual sales reducing across all major markets, the shift towards making homes more affordable is visible, the report stated.

Annual apartment sales peaked in 2011 and since reduced consistently till 2017. This pushed up the unsold inventory forcing developers to restrategise, especially over the past two years, to entice buyers and move inventory. The establishment of the RERA has further accentuated the need to stick to construction timelines and compelled developers to reduce prices to push sales, the report stated.

Shishir Baijal, chairman and managing director of Knight Frank India said: “Housing is one of the most persistent challenges faced by urban centres today. India, which is also faced with these challenges, however, is witnessing a gradual improvement.

A decline in average ticket size and focus on affordable housing have improved home affordability across the country to a large extent. The fact that affordability statistics have moved dramatically since 2010 explains why sales have improved in 2018.”

He added, “With a focus on creating housing for all by 2022 and to bring back the real demand for housing, improving affordability will be imperative. We can expect further strengthening of affordability in the near future as more affordable and mid-range projects are undertaken.”

'Private Equity Firms Eye Bonanza In Residential Real Estate Space: Report'

NDTV , Tuesday, Feb 15, 2019, 12:22 IST

The government offered some tax incentives that would benefit both property developers and potential homebuyers.

Nation's cash-starved residential real estate market is set to get a boost from foreign and domestic private equity firms, which are lining up big bets worth hundreds of millions of dollars for the sector.

The domestic residential real estate space has been in a rut for years with failed and delayed projects putting buyers off. Developers more recently have been hit by a credit squeeze as banks struggle with bad debts and a crunch in the shadow banking sector.

Private equity firms are now swooping in to buy assets at attractive valuations, say industry insiders, as regulatory changes and a more dovish monetary policy outlook bode well for the sector.

"With major impetus being given to affordable housing ... PE investors are sensing a big opportunity in this segment," said Anuj Puri, chairman at Anarock, a real estate consultancy firm.

"The expected 8-10 per cent annual return in the affordable segment of residential real estate is attracting not just domestic investors but also foreign entities from the US, Singapore and Canada."

Blackstone Group, one of the largest owners of commercial real estate in India, this month agreed to buy a majority stake in Aadhar Housing Finance - an affordable housing project, and committed 800 crore rupees ($112 million) of additional equity to the asset.

Piramal Enterprises and Ivanhoe Cambridge, the real estate arm of Canadian fund CDPQ, last week announced a $70.15 million investment in Palava - a project of Lodha Group on the outskirts of country's financial hub, Mumbai.

Several domestic real estate funds, including HDFC Property Fund and Kotak Realty Fund, are also scouting opportunities in the real estate space, say industry sources aware of the talks.

And one industry source said that Canadian asset management firm Brookfield Asset Management is exploring roughly half a dozen residential real estate investments and it aims to nearly double its bets in the space to over $1 billion, from $450 million in the coming year.

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), along with Hines Investments is also poised to announce an investment in the space, a source involved in the deal said.

Brookfield declined to comment, HDFC Property, Kotak Realty, ADIA and Hines were not immediately available for comment.

TIMING IT RIGHT
Rising bad debts and real estate project failures have made banks cautious on lending to developers, leading to a slowdown in the property market that relies heavily on borrowing for both home building and buying.

Developers in the country were typically averse to private equity as it is more expensive funding compared to debt they could raise from banks, or non-bank finance companies (NBFCs).

However, with funding from NBFCs drying up in the aftermath of a string of defaults at lender IL&FS, developers are being forced to explore debt and equity funding from private equity.

"For the PE players the valuations are probably a lot more attractive today than they were four to five years ago," said Anshul Jain, managing director at Cushman and Wakefield India.

"From a risk perspective too, risk is slightly lower as some green-shoots are visible in the segment. PE can see that pricing and sale pricing is at an all-time low, so valuations are at an all-time low, so it's a good time for them to enter."

The government has also announced several incentives for the real estate sector in the interim budget earlier this month.

"This is a very positive budget from a real estate point of view," said Samir Jasuja, managing director of PropEquity, an online real estate data and analytics platform.

The government announced a total tax rebate for individuals with annual income of up to 5 lakh rupees, and offered some tax incentives that would benefit both property developers and potential homebuyers.

These measures, along with the rate cut by the central bank last week, are expected to give an added push to the segment.

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