India REITs market poised to evolve in 2021, led by Bengaluru, at 88 million sq. ft: JLL

·5-min read

MUMBAI, India, March 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- India's Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) market will enter a period of prolonged growth, with more REITs forecast to be listed in 2021 and beyond. According to JLL, the number of buyers and sellers will broaden significantly with the listing of more REITs in India, further increasing market liquidity and yield compression, and the incentive to securitise property assets.

'The continued success of listed REITs in India can be attributed to sponsor quality, track record and ability to stay transparent and deliver predicable returns. JLL believes that India's current office markets across seven major cities have potential space of 284 million sq. ft that could be securitised with an estimated value of USD 36 billion (INR 262,800 crores). This estimate was based on buildings that meet two important criteria - single ownership and large floor space with high occupancy rate. The office space led the pack among asset classes in India, with direct office transactions reaching USD 3.1 billion in 2020, underscoring its importance to future REIT listings in India.' Dr. Samantak Das, Chief Economist and Head Research & REIS, JLL.

Bengaluru is identified as India's largest source for potential assets available for securitisation, accounting for 31% or 88 million sq ft of REIT worthy asset, valued at USD 11.16 billion (INR 81,468 crores). The city, with large IT spaces housing global occupiers, will be the most favoured market for newly listed REITs, given that most assets are singly owned by developers or large funds, allowing for the aggregation of assets into managed structures.

REIT worthy assets/ Stocks across other major Indian cities City (mn sq ft) In % Value USD bn Value INR cr Delhi NCR 48.3 17% 6.48 47,304 Mumbai 36.9 13% 6.84 49,932 Chennai 36.9 13% 4.68 34,164 Hyderabad 36.9 13% 3.24 23,652 Pune 31.2 11% 3.24 23,652 Source: JLL Research The listed markets in India performed well, providing confidence in the future of the India REIT sector.

The forecast for more listings follows the successful launch of India's third sponsored REIT in early 2021. Since the first India REIT was listed in 2019, a framework for improved liquidity, transparency, and corporate governance was created for REITs to thrive.

'India's REIT evolution has been both rapid and revolutionary for the real estate sector. The fact that the closing of transactions was made possible even amidst a pandemic has demonstrated the maturity of the market and transformed India's real estate corporate finance landscape and market liquidity. Furthermore, we are encouraged by the larger domestic institutional investor participation in the more recent listings and the emergence of a public private arbitrage play welcomed by all investors in the market,' says Priyank Shah, Director, Capital Markets, Asia Pacific, JLL.

There are opportunities for institutional investors to participate in this structural theme, potentially by assembling complementary portfolios for securitisation into REITs, or co-investing with existing platforms pre-IPO. Despite challenging socio-economic environment, the current REIT framework in India as compared to other mature markets, have already set the stage for continued success for the sector. These include the quality of sponsors, their market experience and relationships within the India real estate eco-system and the quality of the first REIT portfolios, including the high-quality tenant profiles, lease expiry profiles and diversity of assets.

Several factors have given investors and regulators more confidence in the REIT space's future in 2021 and into the future. The first two listed REITs' healthy performance lowered the marginal cost of capital for Indian real estate. Additionally, REIT sponsors successfully recycled capital post-listing through asset divestments and rationalisation of their equity stakes, which raised institutional groups' confidence to acquire larger portfolios.

'As listed REITs grow organically and inorganically and more REITs get listed, these structural themes will become even more pronounced. Some major players are already building quality portfolios across diverse asset classes and we could potentially see more retail, warehousing and hotel assets in future REIT offerings as well,' says Regina Lim, Head of Capital Markets Research, Asia Pacific JLL.

The market's fundamentals make it a high-priority sector and have prompted the government to bring in major reforms to make it more accessible and attractive for foreign investors. Attractive tax structures and relaxing regulatory norms for sponsors aim to make Indian REITs more attractive to global equity investors and domestic institutional and retail investors.

About JLL JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. JLL shapes the future of real estate for a better world by using the most advanced technology to create rewarding opportunities, amazing spaces and sustainable real estate solutions for our clients, our people and our communities. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with annual revenue of $16.6 billion, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of more than 91,000 as of December 31, 2020. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit jll.com.

In India, JLL has an extensive presence across 10 major cities (Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Bengaluru, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Kochi and Coimbatore) and over 130 tier II & III markets with a cumulative strength of close to 12,000 professionals. Headquartered out of Mumbai, we are India's premier and largest professional services firm specializing in real estate. Our services cover various asset classes such as commercial, residential, industrial, retail, warehouse and logistics, hospitality, healthcare, senior living, data centre and education. For further information, please visit jll.co.in.

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