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Residential sales in Chennai grow for the first time since 2012: Knight Frank

Chennai, 2018: Knight Frank India today launched the 10th edition of its flagship half-yearly report – India Real Estate. The report presents a comprehensive analysis of the residential(across eight cities) and office (across seven cities) market performance for the period July – December 2018 (H2 2018).According to the report, sales in Chennai’s residential market grew for the first time in five years at 3% YoY in 2018. In the commercial market, co-working players accounted for four of the top 10 transactions in terms of transacted area in H2 2018. New supply of up to 2.3 mn sq m (25 mn sq ft) is expected to hit the Chennai office market by 2021-22.

Residential market highlights

·       For the first time since 2012, sales grew and witnessed a 3% YoY growth in 2018. These sales have been mostly concentrated in the INR 3-5 mn ticket size segment and the ready-to-move-in segment

·       A major thrust to sales  has come from rationalisation in residential prices which have come down further by 3% YoY in H2 2018

·       Also, to increase sales, developers are running attractive discount deals and offering subvention schemes. The upcoming season of Pongal in January 2019 is expected to clock even greater sales

·       20% YoY increase in launches was recorded in H2 2018 owing to the low base of H2 2017. Developers were holding back launches for better clarity on Tamil Nadu Combined Development Regulations (TNCDR) and Building Rules 2018 which will bring into effect the increase in floor space index (FSI) from 1.5 to 2 for all types of buildings in the state

·       Launches in INR 2.5-5 mn category increased steadily as buyers continued to prefer this segment. South Chennai and West Chennai have seen the highest launches in this category, with each at 48% of the total H2 2018 launches made in these micro-markets

·       The NBFC crisis squeezed credit flows nationwide to developers as well as homebuyers, negatively affecting supply as well as demand. However, in case of Chennai, this effect was more pronounced on buyers as home loan disbursals took a hit

Office market highlights

·       New completions were at their half-yearly lowest since 2014 and witnessed a 81% YoY drop in H2 2018

·       Inadequacy of quality supply in SBDs restricted transaction activity. This led to lowest half-yearly transactions since 2014, a decline of 33% YoY in H2 2018

·       Lack of quality supply hit Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) sector consumption of office space in Chennai. It has gone down from 23% in H1 2018 to 9% in H2 2018

·       Average rentals registered a moderate growth of 3% YoY. Paucity of supply is resulting in an increase in rentals in the SBD and SBD-OMR markets, bringing them at par with CBD rentals

·       Vacancy levels have come down from 11% in H1 2018 to 10.6% in H2 2018. The dip is indicative of a supply crunch, especially in preferred markets like SBDs

·       Co-working industry, part of the Other Services sector, accounted for 20% of the transacted area in H2 2018 showing steady growth. Four of the top 10 transactions in terms of transacted area in H2 2018 are by co-working operators

·       On a positive note, up to 2.3 mn sq m (25 mn sq ft) of new supply to come in by 2021-22. This addition is expected to ease supply pressures and positively impact transaction activity in Chennai in the coming years

Kanchana Krishnan, Branch Director, Chennai, Knight Frank, said, “The growth in the sales, though at 3% y-o-y in full year 2018, should be viewed as green shoots of recovery in the residential market in Chennai. For a market that has registered sequential decline, the growth is critical for the market to bounce back. A systematic growth in new launches has further facilitated this growth in 2018. In the Office segment, Co-working companies emerged as the biggest gainers as four of the top 10 transactions in terms of transacted area in H2 2018 were by co-working operators.”

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