Asian infra investor Equis Funds Group has invested Rs 720 crore, or $116 million, in property developer Assetz, which plans to build a string of mid-income housing townships in the country over the next five years.
Bengaluru-based Assetz plans to develop mid-income housing of around 20 million sqft and the funds will be deployed for building captive infrastructure for these large township projects. The investment by Singapore-based Equis, which manages assets worth over $2.7 billion in infrastructure and real estate sectors, is among the biggest private equity deals to chase the India's housing market in recent years.
Assetz Group CEO Ben Salmon said the mid-income housing venture would kick off plans with three projects, catering to households with annual incomes of Rs 5-15 lakh in Bengaluru. The city has one of the highest urban housing absorption rates in the country, with approximately 42,000 units getting absorbed in 2014.
India's residential developers are likely to shift focus on to middle class housing as the world's fastest growing economy also carries with it one of the fastest urbanizing population. The Narendra Modi-led NDA plans to boost the supply of affordable urban dwellings, which is running short of 19 million units currently . PM Modi's much-talked about election promises include housing for all by 2022.
“Our strategic alliance with Assetz will enable us to address some of the challenges of providing infrastructure for accommodating middle class housing for the urbanizing population in the fast growing and rapidly transforming Indian environment,“ said Equis Funds Group CEO David Russell.
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