India’s aging office spaces present massive investment opportunity: JLL

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The ageing office spaces in India present massive investment opportunity, according to a JLL report.

Out of the existing 642 million square feet of Grade-A office space in the top seven real estate markets in India, the top three — Mumbai, Delhi-NCR and Bengaluru — comprise nearly 64 per cent of the total stock, as per the reported titled ‘Unlocking Value in Real Estate’.

Around 28 per cent of these buildings are more than a decade old and do not have the latest facilities that newer buildings offer.

“Upgrading these buildings with modern amenities, designs and building technology presents a massive investment opportunity of an estimated Rs 5,500 crore,” it said.

Real estate investors and landlords are missing income opportunities and cost savings as their assets age in the Asia Pacific said JLL. Half of the investment properties in prime locations in the Asia Pacific are over 20 years old, leading the real estate firm to forecast that there is over $40 billion worth of unrealized value in aging and underperforming properties regionally, it said.

The report noted that without asset enhancement, offices, shopping malls, hotels, residential buildings and industrial facilities will lose relevance due to evolving end-user habits and preferences.

JLL’s research reveals that rental rates for aged and outdated buildings are 10 per cent to 40 per cent lower than up-to-date, well-managed properties in similar locations. This marked difference in rates may also increase as newer post-pandemic designed buildings enter the market.

“The current pandemic situation has brought out a key change in workers’ expectations in terms of workplace safety and amenities. In this new world of work, the existing buildings might not yield the same value as before the pandemic,” said Harish MV, Managing Director and Head, Project, and Development Services, JLL.

“In a rapidly transforming real estate landscape, asset enhancement helps buildings to perform at their best and ensures that they evolve at the same pace as human preferences. While the age of the building is one of the measures for identifying the need and potential of upgradation, we will also witness a trend of newer buildings undergoing or planning for development to keep up with the evolving trends in the market,” he added.

Older buildings’ energy and maintenance systems are often less efficient, leading to increased operating costs, making a strong case for investors and landlords to reconsider design and asset enhancement strategies for aging properties.

Driven by the accelerated demands for health and wellness features, enhanced human experience, sustainability, and technology tools following the pandemic, JLL has identified few sectors that present the highest potential for asset enhancement, including office, retail, hotels, and residential.

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