Kolkata’s residential realty sector has recently seen a decline in its overall unsold inventory levels and some landmark deals, suggesting that things are looking up. As per a research conducted by Anarock, a leading firm of property consultants, Kolkata registered an 8 per cent drop in unsold inventory in H1 2019 as compared to the corresponding period in 2018.

Currently, the city has an inventory of 45,560 apartments as compared to 49,560 units in H1 2018. Moreover, a total of 7,550 residential units were sold across the Kolkata residential market during the first half of 2019. These figures indicate that buyer and investor interest is picking up slowly in the city’s residential sector, says Soumendu Chatterjee, Director of Anarock. This buoyancy in Kolkata’s housing market has been augmented by several joint developments, joint ventures and development management agreements between key real estate players.

The city’s top builders are joining forces with their peers to leverage mutual strengths and combine synergies to develop projects, says Mr Chatterjee. A development management deal has been inked between Ambuja Neotia and the Fort Group at a premium location in North Kolkata. This deal has been valued at Rs 1,000 crore where funding will be from Fort Group while Ambuja Neotia will come in as the development manager.

Two top Kolkata-based developers, Riverbank Developers Private Limited (Hiland Group) and Ambuja Neotia have come together to sign a deal worth Rs 1,100 crore for the development management of 30 lakh sq. ft. of real estate. Further, over 20 lakh sq. ft. of joint development agreement by the two developers is to happen very soon. It is estimated that similar transactions worth up to Rs 5,000 crore are in the pipeline during the remaining months in 2019. Kolkata’s real estate market has steadily grown over the last six years with most activity concentrated in the peripheral areas.

Localities such as Joka, Maheshtala and Rajarhat including New Town have shot into the limelight. The major factors driving real estate activity here is that demand for affordable housing is on the rise in the city and all these areas have multiple options in the affordable category (below Rs 40 lakh budget). Moreover, various ongoing and proposed infra projects including metro rail network are boosting the connectivity of these areas which were earlier considered very far-flung and unapproachable. Several infrastructure projects in Kolkata are underway with construction on the East-West metro line connecting Howrah and Sealdah likely to be completed by 2021.

It has been projected that by 2035, the metro line will carry one million passengers every day. The 17-km metro line will go through the Esplanade neighbourhood in central Kolkata. The state government has also undertaken a feasibility study for the construction of the city’s longest elevated corridor along the Adi Ganga. If constructed, this 9.2 km-long corridor will decongest traffic by offering seamless north-south movement of vehicles. Also on the anvil is another 4.5 km-long flyover from Ballygunge Phari to Saujanya Convention Centre at Hastings Park. Most of these projects may take many years to complete yet their planning itself has created a positive sentiment in Kolkata’s real estate market.