Ernst and Young leases 115,000 sq ft office space in Noida – ET RealEstate

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Global consultancy firm Ernst and Young (EY) has leased 115,000 sq ft office space at Noida’s Advant Navis Business Park, three people aware of the development, said.

According to one person, the office space is part of the company’s expansion plan.

EY was in talks with Advant for more than six months and deal was concluded recently.

International property consultant CBRE facilitated the deal but they declined to comment on the development.

EY and Advant did not respond to an email seeking comment till press time.

According to experts, Noida has emerged as the preferred destination for companies looking to relocate or expand with rental less than a US dollar per square feet.

In NCR, Noida contributed 55% of net absorption, backed by strong pre-commitment in the new completions of office space real estate projects followed by Gurugram with 38%.

According to a report by Cushman & Wakefield, Delhi NCR sees improvement in office leasing activity despite the evolving Covid situation.

“Noida has emerged as a preferred destination for global companies due to better infrastructure and lower rentals. The announcement of some big projects such as airport and Film City has also fuelled the demand. Once the lockdown is lifted, we will see more leasing activity in NCR,” said Vibhor Jain, managing director – North India, Cushman & Wakefield.

Office space take-up in Delhi NCR kept pace with the leasing momentum during the last quarter with Q1 2021 recording gross leasing of 2.05 million sf, according to Cushman & Wakefield report.

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IBM to start office in Kochi soon – ET RealEstate

KOCHI: Software technology giant International Business Machines Corp (IBM) will be opening a large office in Kochi soon and by the time its new facility is fully functional, post-Covid, the company will have a new name Kyndryl.

The IBM signboard will be in Kochi only for a few months more, before assuming the new moniker Kyndryl.

Globally, IBM’s ‘managed infrastructure services’ business is being spun-off into an independent new company named Kyndryl, with its headquarters in New York. This new firm will continue with the original IT infrastructure business of IBM and it will enable IBM to focus on more profitable business areas of cloud services and artificial intelligence (AI). However, there are chances that the transition might be delayed for a few months more, until the end of the calendar year.

When asked, a senior official with IBM’s corporate communications team said that the company would open as IBM in Kochi and shared an FAQ on Kyndril which said, “Throughout 2021, and until the spin, IBM will continue to invest in Kyndryl to ensure that it maintains its leadership position in the market and can capitalize on the changes taking place to innovate in managed services”.

“IBM India is expected to open their larger office during Q2 or Q3 of the current financial year. But, by the time IBM India will be spun-off into a separate company with a new name. Hence, you will in effect not get to see the name IBM on the signboards in Kochi,” a source in the know of the things said.

The firm already had been using “NewCo” as a placeholder name in their contracts with the external contractors, the source said.

However, the transition might be delayed for a few months more, until the end of the calendar year.

IBM is already present in Kochi at Centre A Offices, a premium business centre on MG Road, which houses their coordination office in Kerala with less than five people. Recently, the company had listed a huge number of vacancies for Kochi on their website, fuelling speculation that the opening of the Kochi office is imminent.

According to sources, British real estate consultancy Cushman & Wakefield had been in the search for a facility for IBM that could accommodate 400 people initially and then expand to 600 to 800 seats in the future.

It was two-and-a-half years ago that IBM first started scouting in Kochi for a property that could seat five to six people. Then they came back again eight or nine months ago, leasing a co-working space on MG Road.

A search on IBM India’s career page throws back 457 positions in Kochi, on their website.

“This is part of the company’s expansion into smaller cities – tier 2 & 3 cities – including Kochi,” another industry source said.

Sources hinted that the company will be opening in Infopark.

When contacted a senior official with the state government’s technology parks said that IBM might open the office, but there are details yet to be worked out.

“IBM’s plans are still up in the air. They have already set up a base outside the park [Infopark], a small place, and it is not hundred percent clear to me what exactly their plans are,” the official said.

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Office leasing in seven cities falls 48% in Jan-Mar: Report – ET RealEstate

NEW DELHI: Net leasing of office space fell 48 per cent during January-March across seven cities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but demand for the flexible space from corporates has increased, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

In its latest quarterly report, property consultant Cushman & Wakefield said the net leasing of office space declined to 35,78,585 sq ft in January-March 2021 from 69,31,922 sq ft in the corresponding period of the previous year across seven major cities.

The flexible space leased by corporate clients increased to 15,523 seats during the first quarter of this calendar year from 10,690 seats in the year-ago period.

“A sharp jump indicates that occupiers are relying on managed space as a smart alternative in the current situation,” it said.

According to the data, the net leasing of office space in Mumbai plunged to 2,01,642 sq ft during January-March 2021, from 8,82,693 sq ft in the corresponding period last year.

In Delhi-NCR, the net office absorption fell to 4,28,469 sq from 15,97,003 sq ft.

The net leasing dropped to 17,24,456 sq ft in Bengaluru from 26,54,939 sq ft.

In Chennai, the demand for office space declined to 1,44,309 sq ft from 2,55,010 sq ft.

The net leasing in Pune, however, increased to 2,76,531 sq ft from 1,73,026 sq ft.

In Hyderabad, the net absorption went down to 6,24,321 sq ft from 8,91,613 sq ft, while Kolkata saw a fall to 1,78,857 sq ft from 4,77,638 sq ft.

Anshul Jain, managing director (SE Asia and India) of Cushman & Wakefield, said, “Since Q4 closed on a positive note for commercial real estate leasing business, the market was hopeful of a gradual return to business as usual. And, the immunisation drive carried out by the government added much-needed confidence.”

Unfortunately, the sudden spike in the number of COVID-19 cases paused the momentum the market had picked up, he said.

“Unless the government rolls out the vaccination drive for one and all, occupiers will continue to remain cautious and market activity is likely to remain muted till the beginning of the second half of 2021,” Jain added.

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Hong Kong home prices rise 0.9% in February; fastest pace in 9 months – ET RealEstate

HONG KONG: Hong Kong private home prices rose 0.9% in February from the previous month, their fastest pace of growth since May, official data showed on Monday, supported by improved sentiment that new coronavirus vaccines will speed up the economic recovery.

The gain in the most unaffordable property market in the world last month compared with a revised 0.2% increase in January.

Driven by robust demand and low interest rates, transaction volume in the secondary market in March is expected to reach an over eight-year high, estimated by realtor Centaline, while first quarter volume could rise to a six-year high.

Property consultancy Cushman & Wakefield said earlier this month it expects home prices to rise 5% quarter-to-quarter in April-June.

It said the market has bottomed out in the first quarter, thanks to the early arrival of new vaccines, strong pent-up demand and booming stock market.

But high unemployment would weigh on the market in the mid term, the consultancy added.

Hong Kong’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rose to 7.2% in the December-February period, the highest since 2004.

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