Demand for home loans has remained strong even during the Covid-19 pandemic, Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) chairman Deepak Parekh said on Tuesday at 44th annual general meeting (AGM) of the home financier. Although Parekh acknowledged that lockdown restrictions impacted individual loans, according to him the demand surpassed all expectations, once the restrictions were eased.
“The pandemic has reaffirmed that there can be no greater security in life than a home. The inherent demand for home loans continues to remain strong,” Deepak Parekh, chairman, HDFC, said at the company’s AGM on Tuesday. The latest data from Reserve Bank of India (RBI) also affirms continued home loan growth in the system. Home loans grew 10% year-on-year (y-o-y) to Rs 14.62 lakh crore, as on May 21, 2021, as per RBI.
Even in terms of commercial real estate, most companies have not given up their office premises, Parekh said. With the e-commerce boom, demand for real estate is coming from warehousing and fulfilment centres, he added. Similarly, with the build-up of digital infrastructure, demand for data centres has increased. These are segments of the real estate sector that have the potential to grow immensely, he further added.
Against the backdrop of the pandemic, Parekh said HDFC had articulated that there are three key monitorables – liquidity, growth and asset quality. The corporation has always been prudent in identifying loans where there could be stress and has adequately provided for such loans, he said. Parekh also pointed that asset quality has been challenging for non-individual loans at a systemic level.
As of March 31, 2021, gross non-performing loans of HDFC stood at Rs 9,759 crore, constituting 1.98% of the loan portfolio. Its assets under management grew by 10% to Rs 5,69,894 crore as of March 31, 2021. Housing Finance major had reported a 42% y-o-y growth in its net profit to Rs 3,180 crore during the March quarter (Q4FY21). The lender is set to announce its June quarter (Q1FY22) earnings on August 2, 2021.