• Monday, September 26, 2022

Business

Indian real estate demand leaning towards branded developers: Lodha

Macrotech Developers MD & CEO Abhishek Lodha (Photo by SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

INDIA’S real estate structure is “improving in a meaningful way” with disciplined supply and consumers’ demand “gravitating towards branded developers”, Macrotech Developers MD and CEO Abhishek Lodha said.

In an interview, Lodha said consumers preferred buying “bigger and better” homes from “branded developers”.

He said property prices, which have remained stable during the last few years, would appreciate, leading to “huge wealth creation” for the people, especially the middle class.

“In India and globally, there is a lot of positivity about the Indian real estate sector. The reason is that the structure of the industry is changing in a very meaningful way,” Lodha said.

“The demand is all going to the very top brands who in the difficult period before the Covid pandemic, when there was a slowdown in demand and projects were getting stalled, behaved well with customers and did not delay their projects.”

By completing projects on time, those brands have built a lot of trust, he added.

On housing demand, Lodha said sales have been strong after the second wave, with robust demand across all price points.

According to market reports, the overall housing sales have declined compared with the 2019 level because of the Covid pandemic, but the performance of big and branded players have been encouraging and they are gaining market shares.

Macrotech Developers, erstwhile Lodha Developers, recently raised Rs 40 billion (£400 million) through the sale of shares to institutional investors. The company will utilise Rs 30 bn (£300m) for further growth of its business while the remaining Rs 10 bn (£100m) will be used for debt reduction.

Macrotech is aggressively entering into joint development agreements with landowners to develop more projects.

The company, which currently focuses on Mumbai Metropolitan Region and Pune, is looking to enter the Bangalore market.

It clocked sales bookings of Rs 59.70 bn (£597m) during the past fiscal year and is targeting to achieve Rs 90 bn (£900) in 2021-22.

“Growth is enormous. It is going to be more focused on middle income and affordable housing,” Lodha said.

“We are growing in a capital-light model where because of the company’s brand and execution strength, landowners are partnering with us. We are doing joint development,” he said.

Macrotech has delivered more than 81 million square feet of real estate and is currently developing around 93 million square feet under its ongoing and planned portfolio.

The group has more than 4,400 acres of land beyond its ongoing and planned portfolio which will be utilised in developing further residential, commercial and industrial & logistics spaces.

Besides India, Macrotech is also developing two projects in London, where it made a foray in 2013.

(PTI)

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