Real Estate

Real estate builds wealth more consistently than other asset classes: Hiranandani

Amrita Nair-Ghaswalla Mumbai | Updated on June 11, 2020 Published on June 11, 2020

Niranjan Hiranandani

New agenda for change is emerging, gaining traction

Covid-19 has ensured that paradigms are set to change in the real estate sector with the industry evolving in new ways, according to Niranjan Hiranandani, Co-Founder of realty major Hiranandani Group.

The executive says the fundamental assumptions of CEOs and executive teams about markets, customers, supply chains, the workplace, technology and other factors underpinning the business model are undergoing a sea change.

“Right from architecture to planning, all will be entirely on digital platforms. Sales and marketing will see very minor human interface, while transactions will move to technological platforms like block-chain with payments moving to digital and online,” Hiranandani, also the Assocham National President, told BusinessLine.

Better investment

The Managing Director of the Hiranandani Group insists investor confidence on realty continues to be high, with real estate building wealth more consistently than other asset classes. The pandemic has only turned the spotlight again on this asset class.

“During the lockdown, real estate has come across with flying colours, when compared to other options. If one looks at different asset classes, equities and mutual funds as also similar ‘paper options’ ― they all lost value in the aftermath of the pandemic-induced lockdown. Similarly, bullion and precious metals have seen swings in values,” said the official.

The high volatility in the stock market brought on dwindling investor confidence.

The only steady investment in these troubled times has been real estate, continued Hiranandani, as it has proved to be “the best solution to the pandemic ― being safe within one’s own home”.

As for those who opt to just invest in real estate and not actually live in the same, the official said it offers both capital appreciation and rental income. “In the Covid-19 pandemic, real estate has offered stability and steady value to investors. These, to my mind, are reasons to opt for real estate as an investment class,” the official said.

The impediments which the real estate sector faces have been around “since the tsunamis of economic, taxation and industry reforms were introduced”, said the official, and the primary impact of these have been slowdown in sales as also some issues with unsold inventory.

“What is required is a single window for clearances and time-bound and speedy permissions and clearances. It is also about the need for easy availability of low-interest credit, a one-time roll-over to reschedule debt, and extension of regulatory deadlines and timelines,” added the executive.

New normal

Covid-19 has highlighted increased demand for new workplace design, including more digital and flexible solutions. The economy also will have to adapt to the “new normal”, said the official.

“Going ahead, it will be about new buyer segments, with specific requirements which will have to be adopted. The whole concept of ‘work from home’, for example, will translate into a changed layout for new homes, a half room will be added as the workplace. It will soon be 1.5, 2.5 (BHK) and so on, which will be the new home segments,” said Hiranandani, adding internal layouts of work spaces (at offices) will need to be spaced out so that social distancing norms can be implemented.

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Published on June 11, 2020
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