The residential realty sector is witnessing a K-shaped recovery with large listed players recovering at a much better pace than smaller unorganised players, credit rating agency ICRA said.
While the broader market remained 24 per cent below pre-Covid levels on a y-o-y basis in Q3 FY21 and 39 per cent below pre-Covid levels in 9M FY21, the top 10 listed realty players witnessed a 61 per cent y-o-y growth in Q3 FY21 and 13 per cent growth in 9M FY21.
This disparity in sales growth rates led to accelerated consolidation in the aftermath of COVID-19 and the market share of the top 10 listed realty players has nearly doubled in the current year, increasing from 11 per cent of sales in FY20 to 19 per cent in 9M FY21.
Larger developers have been benefitting from demand consolidation and better credit availability. In terms of launches as well, their market share has increased from 11 per cent in FY20 to 22 per cent in 9M FY21.
Shubham Jain, Senior Vice President and Group Head at ICRA, said COVID-19 triggered one of the worst demand crashes in recorded history, with housing sales volumes witnessing a y-o-y decline of 62 per cent during Q1FY21 across top eight cities.
While the de-growth was limited to 24 per cent by Q3 FY21, larger players recorded a much better recovery, registering y-o-y sales growth of 61 per cent in Q3 FY21. Home-buyers had been leaning towards developers with an established track record of on-time and quality project completion even prior to the onset of pandemic.
“This had resulted in large, listed players reporting healthy sales and collections in recent years despite the prevailing liquidity crisis and unfavourable supply-demand dynamics. The implementation of RERA and GST had already been supporting market position of these larger players,” said Jain.
Post COVID-19, better demand prospects, strong balance sheets and adequate liquidity have enabled larger developers to weather the storm better than smaller players who have been finding it difficult to cope with prevailing market conditions.
“A gradual unlocking of the economy and pent-up demand has been supporting housing sales. Moreover, the repo-linked lending rate for home loans has touched a historical low. This has resulted in improved affordability and has been stimulating house purchases,” said Jain.
Attractive discounts and payment schemes have provided further stimulus. With the onset of pandemic, home and holiday-home ownership has also become more important.