Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Jan 6 (ANI): The office market in top eight cities recorded transactions of 22.2 million square feet in July to December 2020 period, Knight Frank India said on Wednesday.
New completions were recorded at 17.2 million square feet in the same period, it said.
The global property consultancy said the year began on a high note with office leasing achieving 96 per cent of the quarterly average of 2019 in Q1 2020.
However, the government-imposed lockdown to combat the fury of Covid-19 pandemic led to temporary economic inactivity and translated into a sharp fall in office leasing activities in Q2.
With the return to normality, gross leasing revived to 31 per cent of the quarterly average of 2019 in Q3 2020, eventually surging to a staggering 115 per cent in Q4 2020.
"While the events of 2020 may hasten the evolution of office space into a more flexible, sustainable and wellness-oriented environment in the long run, it is unlikely that the need for traditional office space will reduce in the foreseeable future," said Shishir Baijal, Chairman and Managing Director, Knight Frank India.
Meanwhile, home sales in top eight cities were recorded at 94,997 units during H2 2020. As the country moved towards normality, residential sales reached almost 54 per cent of the 2019 quarterly average with 33,403 units during Q3 2020 and recovered to almost 100 per cent of pre-Covid levels at 61,593 units in Q4 2020.
Homes priced over Rs 50 lakh made up 57 per cent of the total sales during H2 2020. While new home launches were lower in H2 2020 by 23 per cent year-on-year at 86,139 units, Q4 2020 witnessed a significant growth of 77 per cent quarter-on-quarter at 55,033 units.
In Q3 2020, the real estate market started witnessing revival signs, further recording a significant improvement in home sales during Q4 2020. Of the total sales number in H2 2020, Mumbai and Pune contributed around 50 per cent in home sales.
"This marvellous performance can be largely attributed to the Maharashtra state government's decision of reducing the stamp duty. Other state governments need to follow suit and offer something similar to bolster demand across their markets," said Baijal.
Besides, the Reserve Bank of India's decision to maintain low repo rates has narrowed the margin between rent and home loan EMI paid to banks. Driving house purchase affordability to extremely attractive levels, it has emerged as a major growth driver for the housing sector, he added. (ANI)