Prestige group sees residential realty back at pre-Covid levels

Anil Urs Bengaluru | Updated on September 01, 2020

Swaroop Anish, Executive Director, Business Development, Prestige Group

Says other segments may recover only by year-end

The Prestige group, the Bengaluru-based real estate developer, sees partial recovery in residential real estate to pre-Covid-19 levels and expects other segments of realty to recover only by year-end.

“Compared to other segments, the residential sector seems less concerned. The company has come to pre-Covid levels in terms of sales. Even the industry is restoring itself to that level. I think residential business is here to stay,” Swaroop Anish, Executive Director, Business Development, Prestige Group told BusinessLine.

“In the retail and commercial sectors, in my opinion, recovery can happen only by December. By then, we can have a more realistic view and this is not to say we haven’t signed any lease in the recent past,” he added.

On price correction due to the pandemic, Anish said: “There is no need to give any discounts. The residential sector is moving quite comfortably. Going forward, with the festive season, we may see a few players offering discounts. But currently, I see a lot more Non Resident Indians (NRIs) flocking to the market and a few people are investing in future homes. Also, with interest rates being so good today, we do see the demand picking up.”

He said during the pandemic, though a few sales happened across the value chain, what was surprising was the sale of high-value luxury houses in the ₹10 crore and above category, mainly driven by the NRIs.

‘Credit goes to RERA’

Crediting RERA for helping sales in the real estate sector, especially in residential realty, Anish said: “It (RERA) has come to our rescue. There were many benefits with the authority initiating 360 degree scrutiny – approval, title and developer – of projects. This three-way check has removed unscrupulous people from the market, allowing only the genuine ones to be in the market.”

During the lockdown and unlock phase, overhead expenses in the real estate and construction sector increased. “Our overhead charges have slightly gone up. On top of it, there is social distancing, less productivity, investment in hygiene etc. But it is natural to see marginal increase in cost,” he added.

Talking about project finance and fund availability to the sector, Anish said: “I think money is available for the right kind of properties. The investors, especially the private equity (PE) companies, have become choosy and stringent in evaluating projects and demand much more details of projects.”

Published on September 01, 2020

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