A research report by property consultants Knight Frank India has found that the volumes of 25 listed real estate companies over the past eight quarters has dropped from 21.85 million sq ft to 11.8 m sq ft, representing a decline of almost 43 per cent.

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According to the report titled ‘Economy & Realty @ Glance for March 2014’ issued today, residential properties collectively in Bangalore and Chennai witnessed the highest growth in their market share from 16 per cent in Q4 FY 12 to 33 per cent in Q4 FY 14.

The seven North India-based companies continue to dominate the Indian realty market in sales volume but its share continuously fell from 75 per cent in Q4 FY12 to 51 per cent in the latest quarter.

Delay in approvals, high cost of funds and slow uptick in the sales volume dried up liquidity for the cash-starved real estate companies which, in turn, log-jammed construction activity across India, it said.

The findings also reveal that residential property prices across major cities have witnessed double-digit growth rate during Q4 FY12 to Q3 FY14.

Real estate demand in the North plummeted the maximum, and the outlook for sales volumes remains dim, compelling developers to shift their targeted milestones by at least two to four quarters.

Western India-based companies, represented by 13 companies in the set of 25, showed a decline of 36 per cent in the two comparable periods. Unaffordable prices and execution risk brought sales literally to a grinding halt in this part of India. Average residential prices in the region increased by 16-17 per cent.

Southern India, represented by five companies, emerged the most stable, with sales of around 3.92 million sq ft in the current quarter against 3.76 million sq ft in Q3 FY 13, registering a growth of 4%.

Affordable prices, an end-user driven market, and comparatively less leveraged balance sheets led to a relatively better performance by these developers. Price in this region grew by 10 per cent in Chennai and 17 per cent in Bangalore during the past eight quarters

(This article was published on March 27, 2014)
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