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Top 7 cities witness over 1,757-acre land deals in a year; MMR and NCR top the list –

Several real estate developers and entities sealed around 45 separate land deals cumulatively, accounting for over 1,757 acres of area across the top seven cities between Q3 2020 and November 2021, according to an analysis by real estate consultancy firm Anarock.

Of the total transacted land area, approximately 69% or 1,205 acres are proposed to be developed into multiple residential projects across these cities. The total development potential of these deals works out to at least 45-50 million sq. ft. of residential area.

As many as 28 residential land deals were closed across the cities in the last year. Land-starved MMR saw 11 land deals involving 768 acres of area – accounting for 64% share of the total 1,205 acres of planned residential development across the top cities.

NCR came a distant second with four separate deals accounting for 12% of the total land deals with about 150 acres earmarked for development. This includes three deals for a total of 77 acres in Gurugram, and one deal for over 73 acres in Noida, it said.

Kolkata saw two separate deals for over 92 acres of land on a joint development agreement (JDA) basis; Hyderabad witnessed two separate land deals for a total of 78 acres; Bengaluru saw five separate deals for a total of 59 acres earmarked for residential development; Pune saw three deals for approximately 42 acres, and Chennai saw one deal for over 16 acres.

The top developers who bought land parcels for residential developments include Godrej Properties, Sunteck Realty, Ashiana Housing, Mahindra LifeSpaces, M3M Group and Runwal Developers.

“The last 7-8 months before COVID-19 (March 2020) saw limited land deals as the real estate industry was grappling with liquidity issues at the time,” says Santhosh Kumar, Vice Chairman – Anarock Group.

Following that, the COVID-19 pandemic brought the sector to a virtual standstill for three-four months and for about a year, developers preferred to either service their debts or complete previously-launched projects, he added.

“However, from Q3 2020, activity resumed and several landowners who previously held fast to their land put their holdings up for sale. Resultantly, some prominent deals took place in the last one year, at more or less the same price points as the previous year. Many developers with the financial wherewithal saw this period as opportune to secure good land parcels in key micro-markets across the top 7 cities,” he said.

Besides proposed residential developments, industrial, commercial, data centres and retail also saw land acquired for development. Out of the total of 45 land deals for over 1,757 acres, at least six deals for 411 acres of land are earmarked for a logistics and industrial park and township. Of this, two deals for over 275 acres were closed in Gurugram, followed by two deals in Chennai for over 83 acres, and one each in Howrah and MMR for 31 acres and 22 acres, respectively.

For mixed-use developments, three land deals for over 58 acres were closed – one each in MMR, Chennai and Gurugram; At least five deals for at least 44 acres were closed for commercial developments in Bengaluru (3) and MMR (2). The details for one of these deals have not been disclosed; At least 30 acres are proposed to be utilized for data centres in Navi Mumbai and approximately nine acres have been earmarked for two separate retail developments.