Monday, 30th October 2017

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Divergent Calcutta realty picture

The coming quarters could witness more activity

By Sambit Saha in Calcutta
  • Published 10.07.19, 12:50 AM
  • Updated 10.07.19, 12:50 AM
  • 2 mins read
For the first time in five years, there has been no new completed project that developers came up with in the January-June period, Knight Frank reported (Shutterstock)

New projects in the residential sector rose from the dumps, while office space offerings came to a complete halt in the first quarter of 2019-20, according to separate studies on the Calcutta real estate market by two property consultants.

A research report released by Anarock on Tuesday showed home buyers were offered 2,640 new units in April-June 2019, a jump of 164 per cent quarter-on-quarter, as the sector came out of its weakest period of the last 18 months.

A Knight Frank report published simultaneously noted that there was no fresh supply in the commercial and office space market as developers shied away from introducing fresh stock in a city where vacancy hovered above 30 per cent.

Residential space

Anarock, which tracks projects that have been approved by the Housing Industry Regulatory Authority in Calcutta and offered for sale for the first time to the buyer, said sale of units were down in April-June.

While 4,020 units were absorbed in January-March, established developers could sell only 3,540 units in April-June, registering a decline of 12 per cent. Average price marked a marginal decline of Rs 4,375 per square foot in the second quarter compared with the first.

But it is the number of launches that gives away the industry’s confidence in the inherent strength of the market. This is yet to cross the average of 4,000 units plus.

Anuj Puri, chairman of the consultancy, said the coming quarters could witness more activity. “The government’s budget ‘bonanza’ for affordable housing — an additional Rs 1.5 lakh income tax deduction on interest paid on home loans availed till March 2020 — will incite builders to increase their supply in this category so as to attract first-time home buyers,” he said.

Commercial property

For the first time in five years, there has been no new completed project that developers came up with in the January-June period, Knight Frank reported, as developers were forced to defer construction timeline due to high vacancies.

“The perception about Calcutta and Bengal continued to be an issue even as the ground reality may be different. This could be the reason why there is so much vacancy despite rentals being low,” Sugata Sarkar, senior director, consultancy & market research at Knight Frank, said.

Salt Lake and Rajarhat remained the mainstay of leasing activity. But Knight Frank noted high vacancy despite low rentals in the area. Overall, 32 per cent of office space continues to remain idle.

Swapan Dutta, branch director of Knight Frank, Calcutta, said leasing activity in the warehouse/logistic sector has picked up steadily in Bengal, offering developers a new asset class to focus on.