Slow pace of unlocking has dented demand, will take time for consumer confidence to build: Knight Frank

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Real estate companies have been on our radar after the strong operational updates posted by them. Prestige Estates saw full-year bookings come in at a new high, along with robust collections. To understand the outlook for the sector as India begins to slowly unlock, CNBC-TV18 spoke to Irfan Razack, Chairman and Managing Director at Prestige Group, and Gulam Zia, Executive Director at Knight Frank.

Real estate companies have been on our radar after the strong operational updates posted by them. Prestige Estates saw full-year bookings come in at a new high, along with robust collections. To understand the outlook for the sector as India begins to slowly unlock, CNBC-TV18 spoke to Irfan Razack, Chairman and Managing Director at Prestige Group, and Gulam Zia, Executive Director at Knight Frank.
Razack said, “In large properties, where we had labour, government allowed us to continue with construction. We were at about 70 percent labour, but work did go on. We could also get the supplies like steel and cement, but it wasn’t as though it was full steam. However, we were not shutdown fully. Smaller sites did get affected, but now I think they are talking about opening up from Monday, and they are going to allow construction all across, so that is good news for us.”
Gulam Zia said, “June still continues to be as affected as the earlier two months of this quarter, because the unlocking has just begun, and as you can see, key cities like Mumbai haven’t yet completely opened up because as per the Maharashtra government regulation, it is at level III. Mumbai has to at least fairly move on to maybe another few days to move on to level II where the opening impact will be seen.”
“We need to really wait and watch, even for consumers to get back and start coming in for bookings, etc., would take some more time, because even consumer confidence has to build up.”
On commercial space, Zia added, “While we are looking at working from home becoming a reality, but not many of the corporates have actually given up on their space because they are still believing that when we are on the other side of COVID, because of social distancing norms, which will remain for some time, they may actually need more space for the same number of employees.”
“New renting of space has really slowed down, but then letting of space hasn’t really happened in a big way.”
For full interview, watch the accompanying video.

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CompanyPriceChange%Gain
Adani Ports694.35 47.45
Bajaj Auto4,167.10 113.20
HUL2,482.90 65.20
Bharti Airtel538.75 10.10
Grasim1,480.75 22.55
CompanyPriceChange%Gain
HUL2,480.75 63.85
Bajaj Auto4,164.95 105.95
Bharti Airtel538.90 10.20
Bajaj Finserv11,998.00 179.95
IndusInd Bank994.90 10.65

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