Chennai office transactions report the recovery of 0.07 mn sqm in Q3 2020; Rentals increase by 0.5% YoY: Knight Frank India

Knight Frank India, leading international property consultancy, today launched its quarterly report – India Real Estate Update – Q3 2020 – which presents an analysis of the residential and office market performance across top eight cities[1] for the July-September 2020 (Q3 2020) period. In comparison with Q2 2020, the report observed gross office leasing across these cities witnessed a strong recovery, registering 80% growth to 0.44 mn sqm in Q3 2020. Whereas new office completions during the same period, reported recovery of 126% to 0.33 mn sqm, compared to Q2 2020.

As Q2 2020 was marred by lockdown, the report cited the need to evaluate commercial market recovery compared to pre-COVID levels. Thus, besides looking at a single period, i.e. Quarter on Quarter analysis, Knight Frank India established a comparative matrix of Q3 2020 recovery against the quarterly average number of transactions in the year 2019.

The total office transactions of the eight markets in Q3 2020 have improved and reached 33% of the 2019 quarterly average level. Chennai, National Capital Region (NCR), and Mumbai recorded higher recovery in Q3 2020 with transactions reaching the level of 57%, 43%, and 42% respectively of the quarterly average of the year 2019. New completions also improved to 29% of the 2019 quarterly average. In terms of new completions in Q3 2020, Ahmedabad was the only market to report higher new office completions, 125% of quarterly average levels of the year 2019.

In terms of rental values, the recovery in office transactions and new completions helped rental values remain stable in Bengaluru (4%) followed by Hyderabad (2%), Chennai (0.5%), and Pune with 0% Year-on-Year growth (YoY).

TABLE I: TRANSACTIONS (IN MN SQ M)

Market2019 quarterly averageQ1 2020Q2 2020Q3 2020Q3 2020 as % of 2019 Quarter average
Kolkata0.030.040.0262%
Chennai0.120.120.010.0757%
NCR0.200.190.000.0943%
Mumbai0.230.230.120.1042%
Bengaluru0.350.390.050.1130%
Ahmedabad0.040.050.0115%
Hyderabad0.300.200.0414%
Pune0.140.130.060.0110%
Total1.331.350.240.4433%

Source: Knight Frank Research

According to Shishir Baijal, Chairman and Managing Director, Knight Frank India, “The commercial office asset class performance for the third quarter have been encouraging especially when benchmarked against quarterly average of 2019 as office transactions were at a historic high in that year. At the beginning of the pandemic in India, businesses were compelled to move to work from home as a business continuity process method. The uncertain business environment that followed the initial lockdown, further caused occupiers to assess their office space strategies leading many to postpone their office expansion plans till Q2 2020. However, with the unlocking in progress, going forward as India edges back economic recovery, the office market dynamics are also expected to improve. The recent success of REITs can be understood as an indicator of long – term confidence of investors for office space.”

Rajani Sinha, Chief Economist & National Director – Research, Knight Frank India said, “While work from home as a concept has proved to be an effective business continuity measure; we expect occupiers to look at office space usage more strategically. This will lead to further innovation in effective to include aspects like social – distancing, health benefits, sustainability as well as preparedness for future contingencies. We expect the momentum of the transaction to accelerate in the near future.”

TABLE II: NEW COMPLETIONS (IN MN SQ M)

Market2019 quarterly averageQ1 2020Q2 2020Q3 2020Q3 2020 as % of 2019 Quarter average
Ahmedabad0.110.240.14125%
Bengaluru0.370.370.1027%
NCR0.290.030.040.0620%
Mumbai0.180.240.100.0315%
Chennai0.040.300.0115%
Pune0.100.020%
Hyderabad0.250.250%
Kolkata0.140.010%
Total1.131.460.150.3329%

Source: Knight Frank Research

TABLE III: AVERAGE YOY RENT GROWTH ACROSS MARKETS DURING Q3 2020

MarketRent Growth YoY
Bengaluru4%
Hyderabad2%
Chennai0.5%
Pune0%
Mumbai-1%
Ahmedabad-5%
NCR-5%
Kolkata-6%

Source: knight Frank Research

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