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The highs and lows of Indian retail real estate in 2018

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2018 saw further liberalization of FDI policies, repositioning Indian retail on the global investment map and attracting a large number of global retailers into the country. In H1 2018, private equity investments into Indian retail swelled to over US$ 300 million, denoting a bracing growth of 54 percent over the previous year.

Worryingly or encouragingly (depending on one’s viewpoint) online retail also witnessed exponential growth in 2018. In fact, online retailing is now expected to be at par with physical retail over the next 5 years. With India positioned to become the world’s fastest-growing e-commerce market, online retail in the country is driven by robust investments and deepening internet penetration in the country.

As per ANAROCK data, the top cities with significant retail growth in 2018 included MMR, NCR, Bengaluru and Hyderabad
New retail supply in 2018 was limited to 5.1 mn. sq. ft.
Interestingly, apart from the top metros tier 2 & 3 cities played a significant role in India’s retail growth story in 2018

Saturation of the metros due to limited space availability, mounting rental values and escalating infrastructure issues fuelled retail growth in smaller cities like Ahmedabad, Bhubaneshwar, Jaipur, Lucknow, Thiruvananthapuram, etc. New malls that became operational in the smaller cities in 2018 range from anything between 200,000 to 18,00,000 sq. ft. in size, amply vouchsafing the increasing appetite for organized retail in the hitherto underserved cities.

In response to the huge potential in these markets, both domestic and international brands made deep forays into them via the online route, followed by more gradual offline presence. This disparity is hard to ignore and sends out a clear signal to investors and mall developers – physical retail deployment must pick up considerable pace in these smaller markets in the coming years.

Other Sunshine Sectors

The logistics and warehousing sector transformed rapidly in 2018 after the Government granted the coveted infrastructure status to logistics in November 2017. In fact, warehouse stock supply is expected to see substantial increase over the next two years owing to implementation of GST, the Government’s determined infrastructure push and increased interest from national and international investors. Overall, strong economic fundamentals, proactive reforms and increasing use of technology will continue to boost the sector.

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