Real Estate unfolding after the COVID pandemic – Views by Prestige Group CMD

Prestige group ranked second in the Indian real estate industry have pan India presence though concentrated in south India. On a recent discussion with Irfan Razack CMD of Prestige group, he shared the trends that are seen in real estate industry post COVID pandemic. 

Sharing his views about the real estate industry post COVID he was of the opinion that the demand has risen after May month to pre-Covid levels which is a positive sign for the industry. The general notion that the industry had was the lack of investment leading to low demand and loss of job post Covid. But contrarily people are investing and the demand is rising. The important point he stresses is that the rise may not be even for all the players as the industry is seeing a consolidation. Thus the big companies who have a good track record of successful completion and deliverance are seeing a demand whereas the fringe players are facing a tough period.

Sharing his views about the real estate industry post COVID he was of the opinion that the demand has risen after May month to pre-Covid levels which is a positive sign for the industry. The general notion that the industry had was the lack of investment leading to low demand and loss of job post Covid. But contrarily people are investing and the demand is rising. The important point he stresses is that the rise may not be even for all the players as the industry is seeing a consolidation. Thus the big companies who have a good track record of successful completion and deliverance are seeing a demand whereas the fringe players are facing a tough period.

On discussing about the sectors in the real estate the housing sector is the biggest contributor whereas other sectors like hospitality, office space and retail real estate are playing a subdued passive role. The demand for other sectors might take 3-4 quarters whereas the housing sector is booming and more people are looking for bigger property especially due to the lockdown reasons. He shared the status of the recent project in Hyderabad where before the official announcement is made more than 30% is already committed. Considering these facts of the project he is of the opinion that it is bright sign for the realtors. Considering the work from home condition, the new office space leasing may not pick up but the existing leased out spaces are trying to continue as eventually all companies are looking for a formal office space and work environment. According to him only a small percentage of companies are trying to vacate the existing space due to the pandemic.

Once the economy gets back to the positive trends and the job prospects increase demand for the office spaces will gain momentum. But he stated that the hospitality industry is the worst hit and will take at-least a year to come back to pre-Covid levels. The footfalls in retail space are about 30-40% who is serious buyers. He is hopeful that this trend might change in the coming months with more festivals in the country and people getting adjusted to the social distancing norms and other medical requirements.

There was a comparison between COVID and demonetisation but he clearly stated that the two events cannot be compared as the former is inflicted by the God whereas the latter is human inflicted cause. On the statement made by the housing minister Nitin Gadkari he opined that it was made in a particular context and cannot be taken as the common method for all the companies. Irfan also opined that it is common in business world to think that to sell a property and have liquidity is better than to hold all your assets in loss. He discussed about Prestige group’s new Goa project in Dona Paula which is the first big scale development by the firm in Goa. But he clearly stated the vision of the company as far the Goa project is concerned that they are not looking to churn out the numbers.

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