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In India, leasing by BFSI players surge two-fold at about 7 million sq feet since 2020- Colliers

BFSI leasing bounced back in 2022 at 6.8 million sq feet, surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

  • Share of BFSI in total leasing rose back to 15% in H1 2023 led by higher domestic demand.
  • Mumbai led the leasing at 31% share, followed by Bengaluru at 24% share.

GURGAON, 12 Sep, 2023 – Foundational shifts across the banking and finance sector are presently underway, with a transformative focus on digital, workforce and Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) priorities, according to Colliers. Having invested significantly in technology, people and workplaces, banking and finance companies today find themselves at an inflection point, Colliers experts have highlighted.

Today, as banks and financial services firms rethink their future with Artificial Intelligence and next-gen technologies, integrating a diverse workforce with new ways of working, real estate plays a massive role in influencing positive business outcomes. It holds the key to powering the industry’s digital, workforce and ESG goals.

Colliers has found physical offices have a profound impact: particularly on an organisation’s digital transformation journey.

“After a lull of 2 years, leasing by Banking, Financial services and Insurance (BFSI) sector made a major comeback and grew more than two-fold at 6.8 million sq feet in 2022. This strong streak continued in the first half of 2023 with BFSI occupiers’ leasing at 3.6 million sq feet, rising 14% annually, demonstrating a healthy outlook for the sector in 2023. A greater focus on return to office coupled with improved domestic financial sector outlook will further support in healthy space uptake in the short to medium term.“ said Peush Jain, Managing Director, Office services, Colliers India.

BFSI sector has seen a steady rise in demand in the last 2 years, with its share in total leasing regaining to 15% in H1 2023 from the pandemic lows.  The resurgence in demand is fuelled by a healthy space take up by domestic & select global banks & financial institutions, supported by a higher rate of return to office. Domestic banks, insurance companies and financial institutions have witnessed an uptick in demand backed by improved economic outlook and heightened domestic demand.

Interestingly, majority of the large BFSI occupiers continue to prefer conventional office spaces & work mechanisms to suit their operational & technical requirements, keeping the demand for real estate space buoyant.

Leasing by BFSI sector
  2019 2020 2021 2022 H1 2023
Gross Leasing (msf) 6.5 3.0 3.7 6.8 3.6
Share in total leasing (%) 14% 10% 11% 14% 15%

Source: Colliers

Note- Data pertains to Grade A buildings

Gross absorption: does not include lease renewals, pre-commitments and deals where only a letter of Intent has been signed.

Top 6 cities include Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Pune

Offices provide an absolute opportunity to ensure customer experience along with employee satisfaction and productivity, collectively contributing to overall business performance while also addressing climate action goals.

Hybrid or remote work is adding new dimensions to the location strategy, with portfolios expanding and diversifying to include ‘hub’ and digital campus-type delivery models, as more occupiers are now exploring suburban and peripheral locations. There are also massive shifts in the ways office lease transactions are done today. For instance, Colliers’ APAC research and client interactions indicate that more occupiers are exploring shorter lease terms and flexible space to drive efficiency and construct diversified portfolios that cater to different ways of working.

According to Colliers, the Asia Pacific region has possibly the most exciting 12 months ahead, globally, both in terms of money coming into Asia Pacific and Asian money looking to be deployed into other regions.

“While hybrid working prevails across most sectors, BFSI occupiers in India continue to focus on bringing employees back to the office, with over 90% rate of return to office. The preference towards traditional office spaces remains unabated, as they continue to prioritize data security and operational privacy over flexibility and lower capex. The proportion of flex component is relatively lower as compared to other prominent sectors. Going forward, the sector will continue to contribute upwards to conventional office space uptake in India, seeking new age Grade A office spaces, with increased customization addressing their data security, EHS compliances and other technical office space requirements.” Says, Vimal Nadar, Senior Director & Head of Research, Colliers India. 

In India, Mumbai dominates BFSI leasing during 2022-H1 2023, Bengaluru sees increased traction

Mumbai continued to drive BFSI leasing activity, grabbing one of every 3 deals during last 18 months (2022-H1 2023). During this period under review, the city accounted for approximately 31% of the total leasing by BSFI sector across the top six cities in India, with an absorption of over 3.2 million sq feet. While Mumbai continues to attract higher BFSI demand, Bengaluru has also seen rise in space take up by BFSI occupiers in the last 4-5 years, as large global BFSI occupiers are setting up their technology and back-office operations in the city owing to its huge digital talent pool & robust infrastructure. In H1 2023, Bengaluru surpassed Mumbai in total BFSI leasing, accounting for 34% of the total leasing in the sector. As digitisation remains core to financial services, BFSI players will continue to explore larger markets with presence of tech-hubs such as Bengaluru, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune. Tier II markets are also likely to witness heightened demand as occupiers look to setup & expand their back-office operations in these locations owing to improving infrastructure, availability of digital talent pool and favourable real estate costs.

City-wise share in total leasing by BFSI sector (2022-H1 2023)

CityShare in total BFSI leasing in last 18 months

Mumbai 31%
Bengaluru 24%
Delhi NCR 18%
Chennai 14%
Hyderabad 9%
Pune 4%

Source: Colliers

Note- Data pertains to Grade A buildings

Gross absorption: does not include lease renewals, pre-commitments and deals where only a letter of Intent has been signed.

Top 6 cities include Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Pune

To know more about the APAC BFSI trends in leasing, check out our Expert Talks page.