Real estate company

Land sells cheap in Mumbai and this real estate company is taking advantage

Pedestrians walk near residential towers and a building under construction in the Parel district of Mumbai, India (representative image) | Photo credit: Dhiraj Singh / Bloomberg

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Sunteck Realty Ltd. was the first to spot a business opportunity ten years ago, when she acquired land in Mumbai’s future financial district and built houses for wealthy bankers. Now, in the wake of a protracted financial crisis and the pandemic, a good deal is brewing again.

According to the homebuilder, the land sells for 20-30% discounts in India’s most expensive real estate market. It acquired around 9 million square feet last year and is in talks to purchase more in 2021.

“Good deals have been available during the pandemic; we made three major acquisitions which were among the most important of the past seven years, ”President Kamal Khetan said in a telephone interview. “The landowners are desperate now, they are suing the developers. It’s a buyer’s market.

Sunteck avoided buying land at the start of the previous decade, after selling houses in the Bandra Kurla complex to individuals including former Citigroup chief Vikram Pandit and Indian billionaire Uday Kotak. A few years earlier, the area was a low-lying parcel prone to flooding from the adjacent Mithi River; today, it is home to the Indian headquarters of banks including Citi, as well as the US Consulate and several five-star hotels.

The rapid development of Mumbai, like BKC, has boosted prices and facilitated access to liquidity from shell lenders. In recent years, however, these financiers have been in crisis and the pandemic has compounded the blow to the real estate market, providing a consolidation opportunity for companies with low debt, strong cash flow and proven track record in project completion.

Sunteck has a total land reserve of approximately 40 million square feet, of which approximately 80% is developed through joint ventures or joint development agreements. In the latter case, the builder shares part of the income with the landowner instead of buying the land en bloc. On average, Sunteck shares 25% of turnover.

“If there is an attractive distress sale, we can buy and invest the capital,” Khetan said. “However, at the moment there are many opportunities available in the asset-light model.”

He added that the discounts would likely trickle down to buyers. Sunteck intends to finance its land acquisitions through internal provisions. Reservations rose 6% to 3.7 billion rupees ($ 50.2 million) in January-March, making it its highest ever inflow of 7.8 billion rupees during the fiscal year ended in March.

“We have consolidated our presence in the Mumbai region,” Khetan said. “We are now looking to grow exponentially, we expect three times the growth over the next 3-4 years. ” – Bloomberg

Read also : Future index of real estate sentiment hit by second wave of Covid: report

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