Sobha, Puravankara, Brigade and Nitesh Estates, whose portfolios are tilted towards residential projects, saw minor to significant fall in revenue. Sobha’s net sales fell to Rs 450.4 crore in the quarter, from Rs 669.5 crore a year earlier. Brigade’s net sales dropped 8% to Rs 327.77 crore, while Nitesh’s plunged 40.2% to Rs 49.1 crore. Puravankara’s sales was flat.
Prestige, one of the biggest players in India in terms of market capitalization, was the exception; its sales rose 8.7% to Rs 550.1 crore. J C Sharma, chairman and MD of Sobha, said sales in real estate projects that reached the revenue recognition threshold were lower than expected in the quarter. “The overall demand is yet to show a clear upward trend,” he added. Brigade’s chief financial officer, Suresh Kris, also echoed similar sentiments. Residential sales account for almost three quarters of Brigade’s total revenue.
“The velocity of sales of homes is a cause of concern in the short term. There is a lack of liquidity in the market,” Juggy Marwaha, managing director (South India) of property consultancy JLL India, told TOI.
Sanjay Dutt, managing director of property consultancy Cushman & Wakefield India, noted that though the overall results were not good, there are some who have shown good results. “This indicates that right strategy is needed to navigate these difficult times,” he said.
The residential market in India has been negatively affected over the past few quarters by a weak economy, and high interest rates. That in turn has affected the cash flow of developers, which along with their huge debts, has resulted in numerous projects slowing down or stalling.
“Customers have already paid 80-90% of the price. Developer’s access to liquidity is limited given their stretched balance sheets, and costs are exorbitant,” Delhi-based DLF said in an investor presentation in October.
Unlike Mumbai and Delhi, which sees a lot of speculative investment in the sector, Bengaluru is essentially an end user market with prices a reflection of the income level of the customers. Sobha, Brigade and Puravankara said rate cuts by the RBI and relaxation in FDI norms for the construction sector would help in demand revival.
“If any city can bounce back fast, it would be Bangalore as this is purely an end user market,” Marwaha said.