The government’s recent demonetization move, is likely to result in a steep correction in real estate prices across the country, making it a good time to buy property. However, if you are eyeing the top Indian cities for this purpose, it may be worth noting that certain ‘dark horses’ (or smaller cities) in the realty market, could emerge from the slowdown much before the bigger cities.
“If we look beyond the state capitals and ‘smart cities’ identified by the government, smaller cities like Coimbatore and Kochi, which have a good saturation of IT professionals and enough IT/ ITeS companies, can be considered,” says Santhosh Kumar, CEO operations and international director, JLL India, as these cities will develop rapidly. “Non-metro cities will develop, in accordance with how their local governance bodies perform and the speed with which they implement government programs. Cities like Nagpur, Jaipur, Surat and Indore, are coming to prominence on this front,” he elaborates.
Hyderabad, Nagpur, Kochi and Jaipur, are witnessing significant investment in urban infrastructure.
This creates opportunities for investment in properties in the fringes of these cities. Moreover, with metro rail networks being commissioned, real estate prices in these cities are likely to increase.
Why smaller property markets may perform better than the major cities In the past, HNIs and institutional investors, only looked at metropolitan cities. This is because these cities have displayed the maximum growth, in terms of employment generation and therefore, commercial and residential real estate absorption. However, this scenario is now changing, especially after the government announced the ‘Smart Cities’ program, which is aimed squarely at helping smaller cities to grow faster.
“Kochi, Nagpur and Hyderabad, have the advantage of comparatively cheaper land prices and a considerably well educated workforce. Also, the central location of Nagpur and Hyderabad, make them cities that would benefit the most from GST, resulting in increased warehousing and light manufacturing activities,” explains Saurabh Mehrotra, national director advisory, Knight Frank (India) Pvt Ltd.
High-potential real estate markets in smaller cities Jaipur: The government has unveiled numerous initiatives, to develop the infrastructure in Jaipur. The city’s residential and retail real estate markets, have seen healthy growth and it is now among the most vibrant real estate destinations in north India. Areas like Malviya Nagar, Tonk Road and Ajmer Road, are witnessing high demand from end-users and investors.
Kochi: Kochi has transformed into a preferred real estate destination, owing to its rapid IT sector development and corresponding employment generation. Metro rail connectivity, its recent inclusion in the Smart Cities list, the fact that it has a major port to boost industrial and commercial growth, as well as international air connectivity, its ability to attract foreign investment and tourism for the hospitality industry, have all aided the city’s growth.
Hyderabad: Hyderabad is among the most affordable tier-1 cities. Even in well-developed areas like Kukatpally, Manikonda, Sainikpuri and Miyapur, residential property prices are in the range of Rs 35-50 lakhs. Overall, housing prices in Hyderabad are almost 60% of the prices seen in Bengaluru and Chennai.
“Nagpur, Hyderabad and Kochi, witnessed heightened activity about four to five years ago. However, subsequently, these markets went into a lull due to various reasons Hyderabad due to Telangana, Nagpur due to the lack of manufacturing activities and Kochi due to a slowdown in NRI investments. However, over the last one-and-a-half years, most of these factors have eased out and these cities have again become attractive for investments,” concludes Mehrotra.
“All realty markets in India will experience pain to some degree or the other, due to the demonetisation move. There will be a shakeup in all markets but the end-result will be cleaner and more streamlined realty sectors in every city”- Santhosh Kumar, CEO operations and international director, JLL India.