Indian Real Estate Sector
Indian Real Estate SectorReuters File

As a slowing demand and escalating costs have hit the country's real estate developers hard, some of them have seen a massive erosion in their wealth over the past decade.

According to a report, the combined net wealth of the "country's 12 biggest real estate barons" fell by 90% in rupee terms after touching a peak in December 2007.

"The blame goes to analysts who provided unimaginable valuations to developers during the boom on projected earnings that never materialised as companies began to maximise property prices rather than revenue and profitability," Pankaj Kapoor, managing director of Liases Foras, told the Business Standard.

The net worth of major builders in the country now stands at Rs 24,000 crore ($3.8 billion), compared to Rs 2.79 lakh crore ($70 billion) at the end of December 2007. DLF's KP Singh, Unitech's Chandra family and the Wadhawans of HDIL figure among the top losers.

DLF chairman KP Singh is the biggest loser among the individual promoters. His stake in the company is now worth Rs 15,300 crore ($2.4 billion) against Rs 1.61 lakh crore ($40.8 billion) in December 2007.

On the other hand, the Chandras of Unitech have seen their wealth erode by 99%, as the stock price of the company was battered in recent years. The net worth of the Chandras declined to Rs 530 crore ($81 million) from Rs 59,098 crore ($15 billion) in December 2007. Unitech stock was also hit by the arrest of company's managing director Sanjay Chandra following accusations of his involvement in the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan of HDIL is another big loser with his wealth declining to Rs 956 crore ($147 million) from Rs 14,152 crore ($3.5 billion) in December 2007.

The Jain brothers of Parsvnath Developers, Rohtas Goel of Omaxe, Ravi Purvankara of Purvankara Projects and Hemant Shah of Hubtown are the other property developers whose wealth got evaporated significantly.

"The industry landed itself in a downward spiral of higher prices, lower sales and higher costs," Kapoor told BS.

Moody's Investors Service on Tuesday said that the top real estate developers will continue to face problems over the next year due to poor demand and house prices struggling to go up.

"India's largest property developers will continue to face a challenging operating environment over the next 12 months - including weak cash flows, flat sales and stagnant prices," the global rating agency said.

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