Transformation for sustainable growth – Mr. Kamal Khetan, Chairman and Managing Director, Sunteck Realty Ltd

The note from Mr. Kamal Khetan, Chairman and Managing Director, Sunteck Realty Ltd summarizing the year gone by for Sunteck Realty and Real Estate Sector .

The journey of the Indian real estate industry in the year 2020 will be remembered for its profound structural and radical impact on the business as a whole. From a gruelling economic slowdown to an unbidden pandemic, Covid-19, the year brought about inimitable changes to the way we live, work and shop.

Urbanisation came to a halt and reverse migration took place. Living spaces were redefined and work from home got a leg up. Homes became more than dwelling spaces; everyone wanted more room inside than outside. Second homes became primary for many.

As the lockdown eased and the pandemic lost some of its initial stings, residential buyers returned to the market, demanding more space, better designs and greater connectivity in every sense. Many of these brand-conscious buyers wanted to buy from builders who were financially sound and credible and could complete the project within deadlines, along with the incentives from state governments and easing of home loan rates.

Some of us in the industry responded with well-designed products that perfectly fit emerging needs and customer profiles, leading to the highest number of residential registrations (in almost a decade) in November 2020. 

There is a definite urgency among customers to upgrade their living standards, owing to the changing work-life conditions. This has resulted in a faster pick-up of ready-to-move-in inventory of affordable luxury and premium luxury segments. Owing to the unlock India efforts by the government and various stimuli announced for customers, the second quarter of FY21 had been robust for us. Our pre-sales saw substantial growth for Q2 FY21 at Rs 200 crore, up by 98% Q-o-Q and by 96% Y-o-Y as well. Collections have also grown at 117% Q-o-Q to Rs 141 crore for FY21.

The enhanced interest of homebuyers to purchase a home online and the introduction of a virtual interface has supported the sales growth for affordable to mid-segment residential apartments in 2020. Our digital platform SunteckAer enabled the sales team to grab the attention of the right kind of audiences, including NRIs. The robust digital platform kept the momentum of inquiries and sales unfazed, thereby helped our team to clock the near-normal footfall.

The Covid-19 has only expedited the wave of consolidation in the realty business. Financially strong developers took over or bought larger land parcels to fulfill the growing demand for ever spacious homes. As one of the most financially-sound developers today, we did receive several buyouts or takeover proposals from various players. We evaluated these opportunities and clocked two feasible projects in the MMR region to grow our portfolio. In the upcoming time, we would be considering more such acquisition opportunities and expand our brand horizon in the untapped micro-market which offers attractive valuation and option for us to develop the right product for our potential customers.

The events of 2020 have already shaped the years to come; at least 2021 and 2022 in terms of real estate demand, sales trends, and overall industry practices. More buyers are likely to come forward realizing the value proposition in markets like Mumbai besides taking advantage of lower interest rates and stamp duty cuts.

We believe the consolidation will gather momentum in 2021, helping the industry gain customer confidence by way of timely deliveries and quality products. City dwellers like Mumbaikars would continue their search for more spacious second homes in commutable distances.