Co-working, Co-living To Be Severely Hit By Corona Virus Outbreak: Anuj Puri

Corona Virus outbreak could not have come at a worse time for the real estate industry which has been reeling under its own problems and dwindling fortunes. How will corona virus outbreak impact the various segments of real estate in India and how will the industry be in the first six months of the current caleder year is something that Anuj Puri, Chairman, ANAROCK Property Consultants, discusses with RealtynInfra.com. Here are the excerpts of the exclusive interview of Puri with RealtynInfra.com:

What is the expected impact of spread of Corona Virus on commercial real estate in India?

Commercial real estate will witness the fallout of the corona virus. The ban on international travel coupled with severely low domestic flyers will impact commercial deal signings which are now being deferred for an unknown period. Deals at the final leg are now being kept on hold.

Moreover, with most companies declaring work-from-home option today, many of them are now testing the new waters and a good number of such MNCs and IT companies may actually realize the underlying benefits of this option. And, if this period of working from home turns out to be productive for these companies, they may rethink their office leasing activity in the future.

What is the expected impact of spread of Corona Virus on Residential Real Estate In India?

The government advisory to maintain social distancing is impacting site visits and thus housing sales. This impact is not restricted to just one segment but covers all budget categories, including the high-end segment. In fact, for high-end homes homebuyers usually prefer multiple site visits, so the need for social distancing will be a dampener. Moreover, with the financial markets tumbling to their lowest over the rising fears of the corona virus, overall sentiments are already low.

The real estate business essentially involves people meeting people, and as long as restrictions on or apprehensions about social contact exist, we will see a consummate impact.  Many developers are postponing their new launches and will wait to see how the situation unfolds over the next month or two.

What is the expected impact of spread of Corona Virus on Co-working and Co-living Real Estate segments in India?

No asset class within Indian real estate will be immune to the fallout of this pandemic. All segments will get impacted including co-working and co-living. Given that strict advisories on social distancing are gaining grounds, co-working and co-living would also get directly impacted in terms of footfalls in the immediate term. While most companies have announced work from home options, those sitting at co-working offices will certainly prefer to stay away due to rising fear of socializing or going to public places among unknown crowd.

How is the upcoming festive season of Festivals like Gudi Padwa, Ugadi, Akshaya Tritiya and Navratri going to be this year as compared to last year/last few years?

Given that developers always schedule project launches during the festivals of Gudi Padwa, Akshaya Tritiya and Ugadi, this year will certainly remain muted in terms of launches. Sales too will be dented due to the corona virus fallout. Construction activity could also take a hit if the situation exacerbates and the government gives further directives.

How is the real estate industry expected to perform in the whole of first half (H1) of 2020?

Undoubtedly, the first half of 2020 is set to witness a major setback due to the ongoing coronavirus fear. All sectors including commercial real estate will feel some degree of the pinch. To avoid the spill-over negative impact of H1 2020 into the second half, it is imperative that the spread of Covid-19 is curtailed as soon as possible. 

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