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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Lodha, first realtor to cross Rs10,000 cr sales

This story first appeared in DNA Money edition on Monday, Feb 18, 2013.

In a market where the listed real estate players are having a tough time, the yet-to-be listed Lodha Group is set to create a new milestone. It is set to clock a jump of over 70% in new sales this fiscal to cross the Rs10,000 crore mark.

Abhisheck Lodha (pictured), MD, Lodha Group, said the company has been in the Rs5,000-6,000 crore range in the past two financial years. “However, this year, we will see a substantially high, 70% growth and cross Rs10,000 crore in new sales. This kind of a sales number has never been achieved to our knowledge by any real estate company in India.”

The growth, Lodha added, has come as a result of more projects being completed, new launches catering to large geographies, expanding into different parts of Mumbai and getting into newer markets like Pune and Hyderabad.

“We delivered more than 4 million square feet of space this year and the focus in 2013 will also be on continuing to deliver what we have sold and promised before. There will obviously be new launches and sales,” said Lodha.

This fiscal has been a mixed one for realtors both across the country and particularly in Mumbai, where overall demand softened compared with the previous years.

A recent Knight Frank report said that in 2012, the home absorption numbers dropped 3% to 42,200 units compared with 2011. As for new launches, 2012 witnessed an 8% decline from 2011 with some 50,500 units hitting the market.

Having said that, certain developers, including Lodha and Godrej Properties, have been able to get a very good share of the prevalent demand for their new launches.

For instance, Lodha recently pre-launched 650-odd residential units at its Blue Moon development (on the erstwhile DLF land parcel it had recently acquired) that received approximately 1,300 applications worth over Rs6,000 crore in a nine-day period.

“We’d assessed the market and realised that the demand for the project would be significantly higher than the supply we had. The response also shows that there is good demand in the market, but it is very picky and wants to make sure it is going into good products that assure quality and offer clarity in delivery as promised,” said Lodha.

As for as Godrej Properties is concerned, for the third quarter, the company reported a total booking value of Rs672 crore and a total booking volume of 1.04 million square feet (msf) compared with total booking value of Rs 364 crore and total booking volume of in 0.57 msf in the corresponding year-ago quarter. While residential projects recorded a booking value of Rs550 crore and a booking volume of 0.94 msf, commercial projects witnessed a booking value of Rs122 crore and a booking area of 0.10 msf. @ashishktiwari

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