There is an apparent discrepancy in the private data shared by real estate consultancies at one end, and the that available from listed REITs/companies and private firms at the other, on occupancy and vacancy levels in office properties, rating firm India Ratings said today.
Quoting Liases Foras, the rating firm said office vacancy levels in the top eight cities in India remained largely flat at 15 per cent from FYE20 to FYE21. Vacancy at National Capital Region (4QFY21: 24.4 per cent; 4QFY20: 23.5 per cent ), Mumbai Metropolitan Region (18.9per cenr; 18.6per cent), Pune (9.1%; 8.1%) and Hyderabad (6.4%; 5.8%) increased only marginally. On the other hand, vacancies at Bangalore (4QFY21: 6.9%; 4QFY20: 7.9%,), Chennai (5.8%; 5.9%), Kolkata (26.4%; 29.4%) and Ahmedabad (46.7%; 52.6%), declined somewhat. According to JLL India , vacancy level at the top seven Indian cities increased only marginally to 14.9 per cent by 4QFY21 from 13.1 per cent in 1QFY21, it said.
Embassy REIT which has a lease portfolio of 32.3 million square feet, the occupancy levels at the end of March was 88.9 per cent down 390 basis points over the year ago period. For Mindspace REIT, occupancies are down 350 basis points over the December quarter to 81.8 per cent on a completed asset base of 23.9 million square feet.
"India Ratings is monitoring the situation closely to get better clarity on the office real estate space. The data in the private real estate space is not always accurate," it said.
The rating firm said that work from Home may significantly damage office space market." The agency believes that the negative demand created by the work-of-home culture, along with a reduction in fresh leasing activities due to a weaker economy or work from home trends, can easily shave 40 per cent off the annual demand over the next few years and result in over 500bp increase in vacancy levels over FY21-FY23. The impact on upcoming office space providers is likely to be particularly sharp as these may struggle to let out their upcoming," it said.