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30% Growth Y-O-Y in Gross Leasing; COVID-19 Impact Felt Q-O-Q; Bengaluru Shows Least Impact of COVID-19

Awantika Mohanty • 16/04/2020
  • 16.75 msf gross leasing volume in Q1 2020, 30% higher y-o-y
  • Delhi NCR, Bengaluru and Mumbai were the most active markets with 25.0%, 22.3% and 18.5% shares in gross leasing volumes in this quarter
  • The net absorption in Q1 2020 stands at 7.40 msf, which is lower by 22.6% on a quarterly basis
  • IT-BPM sector has maximum share with 32.0% share in overall leasing followed by Captive centres (GCCs) with 15.8% share and flex workspaces with 13.5% share.
Cushman & Wakefield has released their India Office Report for Q1 (Jan-March 2020), which has created headwinds because of this sudden Covid-19 outbreak. The gross leasing was healthy at 16.75 msf (30% higher y-o-y), while it was lower by 30% on a q-o-q basis comparison for the top eight cities. Many transactions in advanced stages were pushed to the backburner as corporates focused on Business Continuity Planning measures and put many RE decisions on hold.  

Delhi NCR, Bengaluru and Mumbai were the most active markets with 25.0%, 22.3% and 18.5% shares in gross leasing volumes in this quarter. However, apart from Pune, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad all other cities saw their leasing volumes drop on a q-o-q basis.

 

Gross Leasing

 Q1 2019  Q1 2020 Percentage Increase (Q-o-Q) 
 Mumbai 1.860  3.105 66.9% 
 Delhi NCR 2.621 4.189  59.8%
 Bengaluru  4.624  3.740 -19.1% 
 Chennai  0.986 0.705   -28.5%
Pune  0.723 2.158 198.5% 
Hyderabad  1.606 1.799  12.0%
 Kolkata  0.358 0.511 42.8% 
Ahmedabad  0.106 0.539   407.0%
 Pan India  12.888 16.751   30.0%

 

While projects with pre-commitments and operational dates of 2020 are likely to slip past their committed deadlines to the latter part of the year, supply deferments are likely as the impact on the raw material supply chains and time needed for remobilisation of labour is expected to cascade into completion slippages. Construction activity is expected to slowly resume upon lifting of the lockdown. 

The net absorption in Q1 2020 stands at 7.40 msf, which is lower by 22.6% on a quarterly basis and 36.5% lower on a yearly basis as transaction slippages impacted the leasing momentum towards the end of the quarter.  Like new completions, Bengaluru leads the way in net absorption with share of 35.5%, followed by Delhi NCR, Hyderabad and Mumbai with shares of 21.6%, 12.1% and 11.6% respectively.

In terms of leasing activity, the IT-BPM sector continued to witness maximum share with 32.0% share in overall leasing. Captive centres (GCCs) accounted for a 15.8% share followed by flex workspaces with a 13.5% share. In times of cost savings around capex spends while ensuring a flexible work environment for employees, managed service operators are likely to be in demand going forward.

 

Sector

 Q1 2019 Q1 2020
 IT/BPM  32.0%  32.0%
 Captive Centres  15.8%  15.8%
 Flex workspaces  13.5%  13.5%
*Cushman & Wakefield Research India

 

Pre-commitment activity was just 2.36 msf compared to 10.37 msf in the previous quarter, indicative of a general uncertainty in business cycles impacting future growth decisions by CREs.  Pune led with a 38% share, followed by Hyderabad with 28% share, Delhi NCR with 16% share and Bengaluru with 10% share.

Intense completion activity before the lockdown resulted in 10.8 mn sf of supply being added in the quarter, which was a 10.2% q-o-q rise. However, on a yearly basis, new completions were down by 32.3%. Bengaluru led the way with a 41.7% share of new supply, followed by Mumbai and Delhi NCR with 20.7% and 20.0% share respectively. 

Commenting on Office Market report for Q1, Mr Anshul Jain, Managing Director – South East Asia and India, said, “The year started off with great momentum continuing form last quarter of 2019. But by the end of Q1, the headwinds from global economic slowdown on the back of COVID-19 pandemic saw activity tapering off. We are yet to understand the full impact of Covid19, on our business and and our worlds. Though we do expect the activity to pick up on back on BCP, cost control and relocation decisions, later this year.”
 

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