Nifty Realty index gains 3%; DLF, Prestige Estates, Lodha surge up to 5%
Shares of real estate companies were in focus on Friday with the Nifty Realty index gaining 3 per cent backed by a strong rally in frontline stocks on expectation that the Federal Reserve will pause rate hikes.
DLF, Prestige Estates Projects, Macrotech Developers (Lodha) and Sobha rallied between 4 per cent and 5 per cent on the National Stock Exchange (NSE). At 02:34 PM; Nifty Realty index was the top gainer among sectoral indices, up 3 per cent, as compared to 0.52 per cent gain on the Nifty 50.
Investors are likely to remain positive after a consortium of US private banks announced a rescue package for First Republic Bank and on hopes the Fed will continue slowing the pace of interest rate hikes after ECB hiked interest rates by 50 bps on expected lines.
Among the individual stocks, DLF has surged 5 per cent to Rs 377.50, soaring 9 per cent in past two trading days after the company on Thursday said it has sold 1,137 luxury apartments, priced Rs 7 crore and above, in its housing project in Gurugram for over Rs 8,000 crore within 3 days, reflecting a strong demand for premium flats across major cities.
The project’s performance should be seen in the context of pre-sales of Rs 6,600 crore in 9MFY23 and Rs 7,300 crore in FY2022. The strong showing should help allay concerns on the strength of the residential up-cycle in the face of rising interest rates, according to analysts at Kotak Securities. The brokerage firm factor the stronger-than-anticipated sales trajectory in DLF’s numbers, and maintain BUY with revised FV of Rs 430/share (from Rs 400/share).
Meanwhile, post October-December (Q3FY23), management commentary suggests the industry has not witnessed any major impact of recent interest rate hike on housing demand. The rental portfolio remained steady on the office front while hospitality segment benefitted from strong ARRs and healthy occupancy, analysts at ICICI Securities said in Q3 earnings wrap.
Despite developers delivering strong growth in 9MFY23 residential bookings (Rs 48,300 crore; +43 per cent YoY; the Nifty Realty index (down 11 per cent in the past 1 year) has underperformed the broader Nifty 50 (down 1 per cent). Even directionally, for FY24-25, the commentary from developers remains extremely positive and the consolidation theme is expected to play out as the sector gets formalized, analyst at JM Financial Institutional Securities said.
However, the brokerage firm said it’s interactions with investors suggest lingering doubts on sustenance of sales momentum. The interplay of various factors that can lead to a possible disappointment in numbers – such as home loan rates (+200bps over the past 12 months), stamp duty normalisation in Maharashtra, increased supply across markets, and price inflation – are being closely monitored.
In our view, while there could be a minor moderation YoY, the overall demand-supply scenario construct remains healthy with decadal high absorption and decadal low inventory. Further, less-discussed aspects aiding the cycle are low sectoral leverage (therefore, the ability to offer discounts, if required), diversification across multiple growing asset classes, and reduced working capital intensity led by high sales / deferred land payments. These factors have further reduced the cyclicality of the real estate sector and increased earnings visibility, which will ultimately lead to a re-rating of stocks, the brokerage firm said in real estate sector update.