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real estate | IST

Godrej Properties sees prices going up; expects Wadala project to generate Rs 3,000- 4,000 cr revenue

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Godrej Properties sold 340 homes with an area of more than half a million square feet on the first day of the launch of the project. In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Pirojsha Godrej, executive chairman of Godrej properties, shed light on the company’s ongoing projects and the outlook.

Real estate stocks have been on a tear recently, what with demand coming back in a big way. Godrej Properties stock has seen an upmove of around 57 percent in the last one month alone, while in the last six months it’s been up around 74 percent. The stock is currently trading at around Rs 2,355 on the NSE. Earlier this month, the company clocked in sales worth Rs 575 crore in a single day as they launched phase II of the ‘Godrej Woods’ project in Noida. The company sold 340 homes with an area of more than half a million square feet on the first day of the launch of the project. In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Pirojsha Godrej, executive chairman of Godrej properties, shed light on the company’s ongoing projects and the outlook.
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On Wadala project, he said, “Wadala it is quite an exciting opportunity. I think redevelopment in Mumbai is an important part of our growth strategy in the city, given how most of the large land parcels in good areas are already developed. So, I think redevelopment is a good opportunity to access those kinds of high-quality land parcels. This project in Wadala is about 1.6 million square feet. So it is a good size, we think that would generate Rs 3,000 to 4000 crore of revenue. Once fully developed, we hope to launch it in the next financial year, we will quickly be working on our designs and go through the regulatory approval process. But we do think this will significantly add to our launch pipeline next year.”
On growth, he said, “I think we had seen in the second half of last year, a significant pickup in momentum after not having been able to launch any new projects in the first half of the year due to the pandemic and the lockdown. That, of course got disrupted in the first quarter of this financial year with the second wave, which brought sales to a five-year low. But we had always felt that it was just a temporary pause and that seems to have been the case. So, the second quarter has been an excellent one. We will of course see how these last couple of days of the quarter close. But I think, we have had several successful launches in all parts of the country. So certainly, I think the number will look a lot more like Q4 than Q1 and we expect the second half of the financial year to be similarly robust.”
On consumption trends, Godrej said, “At least in the Godrej Properties portfolio, we never experienced that shift to completely ready-to-move-in homes. The vast majority of our sales tend to happen while the project is either sort of pre-construction, which is the launch phase or then during the construction cycle itself. So already at the end of last year, we actually ended it with our lowest ever unsold inventory as a ratio of launched inventories, so I think that trend has been quite healthy for us.”
On pricing, he said, “I would say pricing is stable to firm, we are not yet seeing across-the-board increase. We think it is more likely that this year will be about volumes coming back quite strongly to the industry and that will be followed next year as well, probably with more meaningful price increases. So, for now we are looking at it on a project-by-project basis and where we feel there are opportunities to move up pricing we are doing so. But if I were to comment on a sort of general basis, I would say that prices have stabilised and are showing some small upward momentum for now.”
On future investments, Godrej said, “We hope to pick up the pace of announcements on the business development side. We think the portfolio is looking very good and we have been focusing quite a bit on that. In March of this year, we completed Rs 3,750 crore QIP, which was the largest QIP ever by a real estate company in India. So that has left our balance sheet quite strong where we have net debt of essentially zero at the moment. So, we will be looking to invest about USD 1 billion into new business development opportunities over the next 12 to 18 months. For us to do that, I think it will require a combination of both joint ventures, redevelopment projects of the nature we announced today, but also some new land purchases in key micro-markets across the top four or five cities that were focused on.”
For full management commentary, watch the video.