Bengaluru—not Mumbai— is the king of India’s real estate market

New promise land.
New promise land.
Image: AP Photo/Gautam Singh
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In 2009, at least five cities were ahead of Bengaluru—India’s technology heartland—on the list of the country’s top real estate markets.

Not anymore.

A survey by property data company, PropEquity, has found that the southern Indian city is now the country’s leading real estate destination, beating Mumbai, Pune, Thane, Noida and Chennai, which were ahead of it six years ago.

The lists are based on PropEquity’s study of the cost, sale and delivery of 21,000 projects across 14 cities. Delhi was excluded because its supply of new homes has been both “sporadic and insignificant,” the report said.

Mumbai, which was ranked the most attractive market in 2009, saw a fall of seven notches, and now stands eighth. And Delhi’s suburbs—Gurgaon, Noida, Ghaziabad, Greater Noida and Faridabad—remain the worst for investing in new houses.

Here is a now-and-then comparison.

Bengaluru, for one, owes its top rank to its “professionalism,” according to the report. On the supply side, developers in the city launched smaller projects, are well capitalised, and aren’t entirely dependent on cash flow from sales to fund projects. On the demand side, buyers don’t lose confidence because they pay for completed projects.

Simultaneously, the city’s emergence as India’s information technology hub has strengthened demand for real estate.

In 2014 alone, Bengaluru saw 50% more completed projects, compared to 2013. And with almost 500 new projects in 2014, Bengaluru accounted for 20% of the total number of new projects launched in India’s top 14 cities.

Crises elsewhere

Meanwhile, Delhi’s suburbs—which gave exponential returns between 2009 and 2012—now are the riskiest markets, where buyers often get shortchanged by builders.

And there are several reasons, including a massive mismatch in demand and supply.

For instance, in the 2012 fiscal, as many as 150,000 units were launched within huge townships and large-sized projects. Funding, however, didn’t exactly come through, as a result of which projects got delayed.

Despite unprecedented sales, the “related infrastructure development has not materialised as per expectations,” the report said. “Due to this, the social infrastructure has also not caught up, making these areas inhabitable.”

The Dwarka Expressway, Yamuna Expressway, New Gurgaon region and Noida Extension are some areas in Delhi’s suburbs that are reeling from this real estate crisis—and in 2014, unsold inventory in these parts increased by as much as 14%.

Land-starved Mumbai has other problems. The cost of land in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (Mumbai and its satellite towns) is the highest in India, making residential and commercial projects unaffordable, with buyers “sitting on the sidelines waiting for further price correction before they make their final buying decision.”

The western region—which comprises Pune, Ahmedabad, Navi Mumbai, Mumbai and Thane—accounts for more than 45 % of the total 760,000 unsold stock in the 14 cities, according to the report.

Across large parts of the country, stalling real-estate markets, according to Samir Jasuja, managing director and CEO of PropEquity, are “desperately seeking a revival in the coming one to two years.” 

Until then, keep looking south.