Big realtors to launch mid-level housing projects to improve cashflow

The real estate development company sells apartments in the Rs 2-3 crore price band.
Faced with prolonged lockdown, some top property developers, such as DLF, Oberoi Realty, and Hiranandani Group — operating in the premium segment — are looking at launching projects in the mid-income segment. 

DLF — the country’s largest listed developer — is considering getting into apartments priced between Rs 50 lakh and Rs 1.25 crore. It wants to get back to selling under-construction apartments, given impacted cashflows, said a source in the know. “It is the outcome of the current pandemic. All things are being considered to augment cashflow. The company is internally discussing the kind of houses that can be built — highrises or otherwise,” said sources.

DLF was selling only completed apartments and it operated in the Rs 1.75-crore-and-plus price bracket. The current pandemic and lockdown has forced the commercial real estate developer to rethink its strategy, informed sources.

Though the realty major has projects in Lucknow and Chennai, if it goes ahead with mid-level apartments in the National Capital Region, it will be first of its kind in the region, said sources. When contacted, Rajeev Talwar, chief executive of the company, offered “no comments”.

DLF posted a net loss of Rs 1,860 crore for the fourth quarter of 2019-20. Its consolidated income fell 30 per cent to Rs 1,874 crore. 

Mumbai-based Oberoi Realty for the first time is looking at launching a sub-Rs 1 crore apartment project in Thane, on the outskirts of Mumbai. 

“For us, it is horses for courses. We have a low price point product that we will launch in Thane. We want to be a company that deals in luxury, affordable luxury, and the mid-segment,” said Vikas Oberoi, chairman and managing director (MD), Oberoi Realty. The real estate development company sells apartments in the Rs 2-3 crore price band.

Oberoi said in its projects in Goregaon and Borivali areas of Mumbai, the next phase will have an additional room that can be used as a study/work-from-home room or a storeroom.

Mumbai-based Hiranandani Group plans to launch mid-income housing in Panvel in August or September this year. “This is a normal launch,” said Niranjan Hiranandani, MD of the group.

Some developers, such as Sunteck Realty, have put their commercial projects on hold to focus on mid-income and affordable housing projects in Mumbai.

“The demand for mid-income and affordable projects was always there. It has become more concentrated now,” said Kamal Khetan, chairman and MD of Sunteck Realty — known for its luxury projects in the Bandra Kurla Complex area of Mumbai.

Khetan said the company will launch one project each in the mid-income and affordable housing segments. 

“We will not do premium, luxury or uber-luxury now. We will see how the market evolves in the coming quarters for launching commercial projects,” he said.

Vimal Bhandari, vice-chairman and chief executive of Arka Fincap, said developers are recalibrating future growth plans, given the current scenario. “Many societies may create workspaces to allow people to work from home. Companies can create satellite centres in residential areas and move outside metros for newer offices. Developers have to create products which the market demands,” said Bhandari.

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