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Post Covid, commercial real estate to show northward trend in Tier-II markets

Post Covid, commercial real estate to show northward trend in Tier-II markets

In the coming months, a lot of IT/ITeS companies will go for rationalization of manpower and will look to optimize their office real estate portfolios. These firms would consolidate offices across various locations and move to smaller cities.

Commercial real estate, India', Market trends, Office real estate, Sushma group

Bigger cities are witnessing high property prices, saturation of land and subdued demand which has led the buyer to look for greener pastures that are cost-effective markets and this brings the non-metro (Tier II) cities in focus. One of the most important factors that has made it all possible is the improvement and fast growing infrastructure in these cities. Many Government schemes AMRUT, Smart Cities etc have also played a significant role in the growth of these cities. Earlier only the natives of the cities used to stay there but now people are migrating to these cities also. People from metro cities are also migrating here and the demand is increasing.

Prateek Mittal, executive director, Sushma Group

Post-Covid the scenario is likely to change further as many people have already migrated to smaller cities. People with businesses will definitely love to spend time with their near and dear ones living in smaller cities. The demand which was already on the rise before this pandemic is likely to go further northwards. NRIs and HNIs too would start investing more on commercial real estate after the pandemic is over. The primary reasons being the Interest rates are at the lowest, leading to real estate becoming a very attractive proposition.

Before the pandemic scenario, many reports put out the figures of rising real estate Investments in Tier II cities at around 20 per cent over last year, which is a clear sign of the movement of buyers and investors to these cities. Indeed, the development of physical and social infrastructures -- airports, road infrastructure, better connectivity, companies foraying in these markets -- has pushed the real estate demand in these cities.

Now tier II cities also have local experienced developers having delivered remarkable commercial spaces in the peripheral areas. Their design and quality has evolved to match up to international standards, meeting all the demands of the new-age and traditional businesses alike are the main catalysts for the growing demand of commercial real estate. This has led to the movement of businesses and employment centres, townships with mixed developments, etc in these suburban and peripheral areas.

As the approval processes, land acquisitions have been halted along with various restrictions on movement & staff, just like other sectors It will impact the immediate launches and new supplies will be delayed. Thus, post-Covid, considering all these factors, there will be a lull in supply in the midterm but we are very much hopeful that the government will also take steps to bring positivity to business and might announce a slew of measures. Most likely the push will be given to startups and SMEs, and these two are going to move towards tier II cities thereby increasing the demand of commercial there.

Advantages like that of a good location, easy accessibility factor, an improvement in basic infrastructure, increased connectivity with its suburbs and availability of skilled manpower have turned these cities into an attractive business destination. In the coming months, a lot of IT/ITeS companies will go for rationalization of manpower and will look to optimize their office real estate portfolios. These firms would consolidate offices across various locations and move to smaller cities. This will open up new avenues for investment in the commercial segment. For example, in Chandigarh, the primary reason for the soaring popularity is advent of IT/ITEs sector and world class education and medical facilities. Today Tricity boasts of having good infrastructure coupled with state of the art office campuses that are pulling in a good chunk of the migrant population. Few prominent upcoming investment locations are Zirakpur, Airport Road, Panchkula, and Mohali.

This is but natural and the need of the hour also. The focus should be to lessen the burden on bigger towns. It also means that the government has to work on developing employment opportunities in these cities. This is good for the overall economy of the country. Real estate reports point out that nearly 12 per cent people in Delhi-NCR prefer to invest in nearby cities like Sonipat, Jaipur and Chandigarh. Many private equity investors are turning their focus on Tier 2 cities and nearly USD 1.37 bn Private Equity was pumped into real estate markets across various smaller cities, including Bhubaneshwar, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Mohali, Indore and Amritsar, between 2015-2018.

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