For a while, real estate lawyers had a hard time. India had a sluggish real estate market. Big real estate companies were stuck with litigation. While big lawyers still made money from disputes, newcomers who wanted to find work as real estate lawyers had a tough time, despite some relief due to increased compliance work from the introduction of RERA. Salaries and hiring remained stagnant for a long time.
When a sector is not doing so well overall, new lawyers also struggle.
Surprisingly, real estate activity has been picking up again. The cycle appears to have turned. A year-on-year growth of 52% has been registered.
- 35% of the investment was attracted by office buildings. Real Estate Investment Trust (REITs) are getting set up to bundle these commercial real estate assets.
- Interestingly, the work-from-home trend does not seem to have affected demand for office buildings.
- Foreign investors are teaming up with Indian developers to cater to steady demand from industrial and warehousing projects, thanks to the e-commerce boom. 27% of all real estate investments went into this sector.
- The technology economy sector comprising data centres, R&D centers, cold chain, and life sciences have been also driving real estate growth. Data centres alone saw investments of $161 million.
This growth definitely means good things for real estate lawyers. Especially given the fact that such growth is coming in the organized, formal sector and given that real estate activity is highly regulated thanks to RERA, work for real estate lawyers is bound to pick up going forward.
Another good factor is the National Monetization Pipeline announced by the government. A lot of prime real estate that is owned by PSUs and essentially has remained unproductive will get unlocked thanks to ownership shifting to the private sector.
Where lawyers would see work:
- Real estate investments
- New projects (greenfield and brownfield)
- Compliances and permissions
- Asset transfer, conveyance and due diligence
- Real estate agreements
- Banking and finance work related to real estate
You can read the entire research report here: https://www.colliers.com/en-hk/research/2021-apac-capital-markets-and-investment-a-brave-new-world
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