Thursday, July 16, 2020

Office Leasing in Bengaluru Drops by 42% YoY; New Supply Declines by 48% YoY in H1 2020: Knight Frank India


* Rent growth tapers to single digit, weighted average rents see 6% YoY growth in H1 2020
* Worst half-year in this decade, home sales in Bengaluru decline by 57% YoY in H1 2020; launches fall 48%: Knight Frank India
* Price environment weakens, home prices in Bengaluru see marginal 3.3% YoY increase to Rs 4,980 per sqft

Knight Frank India today launched the 13th edition of its flagship half-yearly report - India Real Estate: H1 2020 - which presents a comprehensive analysis of the office and residential market performance across eight major cities for the January-June 2020 (H1 2020) period. The report showed that the office transactions in Bengaluru saw a 42% YoY decline to 0.44 mnsq m (4.8 mnsq ft) in in H1 2020. The new office supply in the city also saw a decline of 48% YoY to 0.37 mnsq m (4.0 mnsq ft) due to the adverse impact of COVID-19. The city has experienced a tapered rent growth with H1 2020 recording 6% YoY growth in weighted average rent.

In Bengalururesidential market, which had prominence in the country’s residential landscape, the home sales have witnessed a decline of 57% YoY to 12,177 units in H1 2020. Whereas, the home launches in Bengaluru saw a 48% YoY decline to 10,806 units. With a weaker pricing environment in the wake of pandemic and consequent disturbance on home buyer sentiments, the city recorded a  marginal 3.3% Y-o-Y increase in weighted average price.


* Bengaluru has been at the pinnacle of office demand in the country for each year during last decade. The city’s office market has grown each successive year since 2013 and with 1.42 mnsq m (15.3 mnsq ft) the city recorded its highest ever tally of office transactions, cited as an achievement milestone for any market in the country.

* Covid-19 induced tumultuous business environment has seen an influence on the transaction volumes in the market. Bengaluru saw office transactions decline by 42% YoY in H1 2020 to 0.44 mnsq m (4.8 mnsq ft),  The average deal size was reported at 5,130 sq m (55,214 sq ft), with number of deals at 86 in the analysis period of H1 2020.

* In terms of sector-wise share of transactions, IT/ITeSwas on top of the table with 30%, followed by Co-working (23%), Manufacturing (19%), BFSI (13%). A combination of other services industries contributed 14% to the overall share. Manufacturing and BFSI significantly improved their space take up. Information Technology sector, the most prominent occupier group of Bengaluru, has reduced its space take-up by 64% YoY in H1 2020.

* The vacancy level in Bengaluru office market has jumped to6.5% in H1 2020 from a much comfortable 4.1% level in H1 2019.

* Rent growth has been strong in Bengaluru for the last 5 years and the similar trend was observed in the beginning of 2020, until March 2020. Since April, rents have stagnated with occupiers also seen reaching out to landlords for partial rent or maintenance cost waiver for the lockdown period. In this background, H1 2020 recorded a rental growth of 6% YoY. Bengaluru’s PBD East market saw the highest rental growth of 9% YoY in 12- moth change, followed by SBD (8%) and ORR (6%).

Shantanu Mazumder, Senior Branch Director, Bangalore, Knight Frank India said, “Bengaluru office market was on a very strong footing with a robust momentum in demand, supply and rent until the first quarter of 2020. However, as businesses faced disruptions in the wake of the pandemic in second quarter of 2020, Bengaluru office market also felt the pain. Information Technology sector, the most prominent occupier group of the city, saw demand decline by 64% YoY in first half this year. Ongoing deals faced delays and new office enquiries were put on temporary hold. While we do recognise the potential of Bengaluru office market, recovery will depend on the trajectory of the pandemic itself.”


* Bengaluru residential market recorded a home sales decline of 57% YoY in H1 2020.While all micro-markets were adversely affected, notable decline was seen in North and West where sales declined by an even greater magnitude of 70% YoY and 66% YoY, respectively.

* The affordable housing segment, classified as house value up to INR 5 million, witnessed its share further shrink to 32% in H1 2020 compared to 38% in H1 2019.

The state government reduced the stamp duty rates from 5% to 2% for houses costing up to INR 2 million and from 5% to 3% for houses costing between INR 2.1 – 3.5 million. This was limited to first time registration of new apartment valued up to INR 3.5 million. 81% of sales in H1 2020 occurred in the segment of INR 2.5 - 10 million with 51% in INR 5 - 10 million segment. In this situation, we believe a broadersegment for stamp duty reduction would have helped the sector.

* In terms of launches, H1 2020 saw 48% YoY decline compared to 20,894 units in H1 2019. While all micro-markets witnessed a sharp fall in launches, West and North were the most hit markets with a decline of 78% and 69% respectively.

* In H1 2020, the pricing environment was strong until February 2020. However, prices have stagnated since the COVID-19 struck in March 2020. Overall, the city saw prices higher by 3.3% YoYin H1 2020. Whitefield and Hennur recorded a 5% price increase for 12-month period, till June 2020.  

* With restrained launches compared to housing sales over the past year, unsold inventory level has come down by 10% to 77,043 units in H1 2020.

Shantanu Mazumder, Senior Branch Director, Bangalore, Knight Frank India said,“Despite being affected during H1 2020, Bengaluruemerged as one of the quickermarkets to come out of the state-imposed lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus. During this period, although at a much lower level compared to pre-lockdown, May and June 2020 saw the resumption of project sites and customer visits. With pandemic induced market disruptions, the pricing environment has become weak now. However, instead of a headline price reduction, customers are being offered a variety of indirect price benefit schemes. Price protection and free cancellation schemes are also offered to assuage homebuyer concerns on job security and pay cut.

While the inherent strength of Bengaluru housing market is intact, COVID-19 induced threat to lives and livelihoods and recurrence of lockdown will have an overbearing impact on market and going forward, the intensity of pandemic will define the recovery trajectory.”

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