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Affordable housing key for development and social equality, UN says on World Habitat Day
Date: 2 0ctober 2017 (UN News Centre )

2 October 2017 – With 1.6 billion people living in inadequate housing, one billion of whom reside in slums and informal settlements, the United Nations is spotlighting affordable homes on today's World Habitat Day, which also marks the official start of Urban October – a month of worldwide celebrations and citizens' engagement in urban life worldwide.

“While millions of people lack suitable homes, the stock of vacant houses is gradually increasing,” said Dr. Joan Clos Executive Director of the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) in a message commemorating the Day under the 2017 theme 'Housing Policies: Affordable Homes.

“Ensuring housing affordability is therefore a complex issue of strategic importance for development, social peace and equality,” he added. This year's celebrations are noteworthy as they coincide with the first anniversary of the New Urban Agenda,” adopted at the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, better known as Habitat III, in Quito, Ecuador, which enshrines urbanization as an indispensable for development and a prerequisite for prosperity and growth.

“It is thanks to this paradigm shift that urbanization and development are indivisibly linked one to another,” Dr. Clos said. 'Handing over housing to the market has proved a failure' An analysis of housing affordability over the last 20 years reveals that despite increasing demand, housing – including rentals – has been largely unaffordable for the majority of the world population.

“Handing over housing to the market has proved a failure in providing affordable and adequate housing for all,” Dr. Clos continued. “We all remember well that housing was at the epicentre of the eruption of the global economic crisis of 2008, instead of being at the heart of the urban policy. Today, 1.6 billion people live in inadequate housing, of which one billion live in slums and informal settlements,” he underscored.

Dr. Clos emphasized that addressing the housing needs of the poorest and most vulnerable, especially women, youth and those who live in slums, must be a priority in the development agendas. Promoting sound housing policies is also crucial for climate change, resilience, mobility and energy consumption.

Which is why, the Executive Director said: “we would like to remind on this Day the importance of locating housing at the physical – and holistic – centre of our cities.

“For housing to contribute to national socio-economic development and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the New Urban Agenda calls for placing housing policies at the centre of national urban policies along with strategies to fight poverty, improve health and employment,” he stressed.

Each year, World Habitat Day takes on a new theme to promote sustainable development policies to ensure shelter for all – often promoting one of UN-Habitat's focal areas such as inclusive housing and social services; a safe and healthy living environment, with consideration for children, youth, women, elderly and disabled; affordable and sustainable transport and energy; and job creation. “As we strive to create cities for all, an urgent action for achieving affordable homes requires a global commitment to effective and inclusive housing policies,” Dr. Clos concluded.
 
RERA to impose 10% of project cost on builders
Date: Oct 1, 2017, (Times of India )

Jaipur – The Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) will now impose 10% of the project cost on developers who have not registered their ongoing projects with the regulatory authority till September 30.

The authority had given September 30 as the deadline to register ongoing projects after paying 2% of project cost as penalty. "As the extended deadline is now over, the regulatory authority will impose 10% of the project cost and registration fee on developers to register their ongoing projects with RERA," said a senior RERA official.
Under section 3 of RERA Act, 2016 developers were provided 90 days to register after the Act came into effect on May 1 in the state. After RERA Act came into force, chief minister Vasundhara Raje launched the RERA website on June 1. It became mandatory for all the builders and real estate agents to register on the website till July 31. However, on the request of developers an extension of one month was provided (till August 31) to register with regulatory authority after depositing Rs 50 per square metre.

As majority of developers have registered their ongoing projects in the state with (RERA), the residents can heave a sigh of relief. Now, the builders will be under the radar of the regulatory authority.

The consumers wishing to register their complaints with the regulatory authority can go ahead after seeing the registered project profile on the RERA online portal, in case they feel duped. Those who have booked their flats in a residential complex and their developer has not registered on portal can also inform the authority.

Developers also believe, the transparency in the system would benefit the consumers. "Majority of genuine and serious builders have registered their ongoing projects with RERA. The new system will eradicate non-serious developers from the market," said a member of CREDAI.

It was also said that in the past few months new project launches have come down by 80% in the state. "The launches of new projects are been stalled due to various factors such as demonetisation, GST and RERA. The market will gain momentum once the existing inventory will be sold," said a source.

 
A crisis is building up in India’s real estate sector
Date: Sep. 25, 2017, (The Hindu )

The Reserve Bank of India’s decision to push banks to clean their balance sheets by recognising non-performing assets, resolving bad debts of large defaulters and, failing that, taking them to bankruptcy court for liquidation, has focused attention on the crisis in a few sectors. Among those, besides power, steel and textiles, is real estate, consisting of housing, commercial real estate and hospitality assets.

Firms such as Unitech, Jaypee Infratech and Amrapalli are being pursued by banks and home buyers who had paid them advances but not received their houses have turned to the courts. They fear they would lose out in case of liquidation because home buyers’ claims will be considered only after those of secured creditors like the banks have been settled.
The real estate story is of special interest because the post-liberalisation evolution of this sector reveals quite starkly the characteristics and contradictions of post-reform growth. An overriding objective of neoliberal reform is to get (domestic and foreign) private investment to drive economic growth by providing it the right environment and offering it the appropriate incentives. But in a market economy, while supply side initiatives may help nudge into activity a private sector afflicted with inertia, those initiatives would work only if the fruits of such activity find a market. So even if it is not among the stated objectives of reform, a parallel thrust of policy must be that of stimulating demand.

Private preference
This is challenging for a policy frame that refrains from using autonomous state expenditure as the principal stimulus to growth. The belief is that this is not necessary and should be avoided when tax and other concessions are used to incentivise private investment, since increased public expenditure would lead to large deficits that defeat the purpose of fiscal reform. It must also be avoided because it goes against the grain of a growth strategy that seeks to give primacy to the private sector.

This implies that demand must come from the private sector. Some of this comes from derived demand, as is true of commercial real estate. When business is doing well, demand for office space rises. Nothing illustrates this better than the rapid expansion of steel and glass-fronted structures in the major metropolitan cities to accompany the export-led boom in the software and information technology-enabled services sectors.

As compared with this, the component of the real estate sector that was waiting to explode due to consumer demand was the personal housing market. Based on the Census 2011, the total number of households in urban India was placed at 81.1 million in 2012, while the urban housing shortage in that year was estimated at 18.78 million. That is, close to a quarter (23.2 per cent) of households in urban India needed new houses because they were homeless or lived in dilapidated or over-congested accommodation.

But this is only indicative of the fact that the “technical” demand for housing in a rapidly urbanising economy with a high share of youth in the population is bound to be high. The challenge for the reformers was to convert this technical demand into effective demand. The opportunity to do this came from two sources, especially from the early 2000s. The first was the rapid build up of liquidity in the economy, resulting from a combination of an easy money policy and a sharp increase in foreign capital inflows. The second was financial liberalisation that allowed banks to hugely expand credit based on that liquidity, even if it entailed substantial increases in exposure to certain sectors.

The rise of housing loans
One area that benefited from this credit splurge was real estate. The growth of housing loans gathered momentum at the end of 1990s and remained at extremely high levels right up to 2006-07, before the global crisis. As a result, the share of housing finance in total credit rose from 5 per cent in 2001-02 to 12 per cent in 2006-07.
What is interesting is that despite the effects of the global financial crisis in 2007-08, the expansion of credit to both housing and the overall construction sector remained high till very recently (Charts 1 and 2).
The increase in housing investments is often attributed to the low level of penetration of the mortgage market in India, standing at 7 per cent in 2006, as compared to 12 per cent in China, 17 per cent in Thailand, 26 per cent in Korea, 29 per cent in Malaysia and as much as 80 and 86 per cent respectively in the US and UK respectively. But these differential penetration rates have to be seen in the light of differentials in per capita income and the degree of income inequality, both of which do not favour a significantly large mortgage market in India. So it was the willingness of the banks to lend without collateral to a larger universe of borrowers that generated the boom. As a result of the increased exposure to debt, a number of realty firms are in default and some are facing bankruptcy.

A similar boom was seen in the infrastructural area, which also received large loans from the banking system. Before the 2000s, banks were wary of lending to this area because of the long maturity, low liquidity and higher risk involved in loans to this sector. Partly because banks dropped that reticence and hugely increased lending to a few large borrowers in this sector, they are now finding themselves burdened with large NPAs. This is what has set off the bad debt resolution process based on the recently announced Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.

Defaulting developers
Within the real estate sector, it is developers rather than home buyers who seem to be defaulting on payments. Competition between developers led to massive accumulation of land, as they built up land banks as a strategic weapon against one another. Borrowing for this purpose and land development meant that the interest burden accumulated by developers was huge, and in excess of what could be met by the development and marketing of house properties and commercial floor space. So leading developers have also stopped servicing debt and have become part of the NPA problem. The impact on construction is reflected in the deceleration and recent decline in cement production (Chart 3), which is a commonly used proxy for real estate growth.

A fallout of the NPA problem is, banks are less willing to lend as they work on cleaning up balance sheets and finding funds to recapitalise themselves. This has hit even the housing sector, where defaults have been far less than in areas like construction. Here too, while credit and demand for housing are still growing, they are fast losing momentum. Thus, trapped between rising interest and other costs and faltering demand that affects prices, the real estate sector is experiencing a severe version of the crisis stemming from the inability of the system to sustain growth-driven by private debt-financed spending.
 
RERA to use fine collection to set up infrastructure
Date: Sep. 13, 2017, (The Indian Express )

While the fine amount for projects registered on August 1-2 started with Rs 50,000, the amount was increased to Rs 1,00,000 for projects registered between August 3 and August 31 and was further increased to Rs 2 lakh for projects registered between September 1 and September 30.

SINCE the first deadline of July 31, the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) has imposed penalties on projects registered after the last date. The amount has been periodically increased and currently stands at Rs 2 lakh or double the registration fee, whichever is higher. RERA members said the amount collected as fine would initially be used for setting up permanent infrastructure for the body and for other awareness activities at a later stage.

As per the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, said RERA member Vijay Satbir Singh, the fines collected would be put to use. “This office is a temporary one and we will look for a building to set up the permanent office. We are working in consultation with the state government and we are setting up offices in Pune and Nagpur,” said Singh. He added that RERA would either buy or rent out properties depending on the more cost effective option. It currently works out of the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) building in Bandra (East).

After the infrastructural expenditures, the remaining funds will be used on conducting training courses. “We are planning to conduct courses with the stakeholders, government officials and consumers as well. We will also host workshops and conferences to spread awareness about the act which can help consumers in the long run,” said Singh. While the fine amount for projects registered on August 1-2 started with Rs 50,000, the amount was increased to Rs 1,00,000 for projects registered between August 3 and August 31 and was further increased to Rs 2 lakh for projects registered between September 1 and September 30. Till the July 31 deadline, RERA received 10,852 applications for registration. Between September 1 and September 8, 54 applications were received, which alone would generate a minimum of Rs 1.08 crore, officials said.

As on September 12, the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority had received 148 complaints from consumers on registered projects, of which 41 have been scheduled for a hearing. While the deadline has been extended till September 30, as many as 13,302 projects had been registered as on September 12.
 
Composite FDI cap subject to sectoral conditionalities
Date: June 07, 2015

Government’s decision to introduce composite cap for FDI has created confusion for sectors like defence, banking, and insurance. Government sources say sectoral conditionalities will continue to apply on each of these sectors, reports CNBC-TV18's Sapna Das. The cabinet today cleared the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP's) proposal for a composite cap on foreign investments .

This policy will club together foreign direct investments (FDIs), foreign portfolio investments (FPIs) and investments by non-resident Indians (NRIs). Composite caps have been suggested for sectors like agriculture, petroleum and natural gas, manufacturing, airports, real estate and telecommunications amongst others. According to the cabinet document foreign investment will include all types of foreign investments, direct and indirect. However, FCCBs will not be treated as a foreign investment but any equity holding by a non resident Indian resulting from conversion of any debt instrument will be considered as foreign investment.

For defence the sub-sectoral limit for Foreign Institutional Investors (FII) is at 24 percent and that will stay. Similarly for the private banking space any FII investment beyond 49 percent despite 74 percent now being treated as a composite cap will still need the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval. For the insurance sector there is already a composite cap. Also as per the Sebi definition the FII sub-sectoral limit is actually at 24 percent. So, that is not really changing unless Sebi comes out with further notification. Even then the 26 to 49 percent migration will still need an FIPB approval.
 

Buy DLF 115 Call, advises Krish Subramanyam
Date: May 28, 2015

Krish Subramanyam of Altamount Capital told CNBC-TV18, "We are actually seeing some sort of consolidation in DLF in the band of Rs 110-115. Even for the July series the rollover suggested that lot of shorts went out of the system and we feel that, we are a bit bullishly inclined. Therefore recommending buying of 115 strike Call which is quoting at around Rs 3.50. One could keep a target of Rs 7-8 and may be a stop loss of Re 1 or Rs 2." At 13:14 hrs DLF was quoting at Rs 114.75, down Rs 1.35, or 1.16 percent. It has touched an intraday high of Rs 116.85 and an intraday low of Rs 114.20. Disclosure: Analyst has recommended the strategies to his clients at large but personally has no positions.
 

Country's largest private sector lender ICICI Bank on Friday said it has received enquiries from potential suitors for its housing finance arm, and is expected to soon take a call on it.
Date: May 18, 2015

New Delhi: ICICI Home Finance Company is wholly owned subsidiary of ICICI Bank. The bank keeps receiving enquiries from time to time from interested parties regarding its stake in ICICI HFC but has not taken any decision to sell its stake in this company, ICICI Bank spokesperson said in a statement.

It further said ICICI Bank's mortgage business is primarily done within the bank and this business has been growing rapidly.

"Only a very small portion of the bank's overall mortgage business less than 10% is done by ICICI Home Finance Company," it said.

However, the spokesperson refused to comment if the stake sale would be partial or complete.

ICICI HFC had earned a net profit of Rs 197.57 crore for fiscal ended March 2015.

The company paid interim dividend of 2.75% in June last year; 2.75% in September; 3.25% in December, and 3.55% in March 2015.

Many lenders, especially public sector banks, are looking to exit from their non-core business. Central Bank of India has also announced plan to sell its housing finance business. Punjab National Bank has already sold part stake in its housing finance arm.

As per the latest annual report of ICICI Housing Finance Company, the mortgage market continues to grow, especially in Tier III & IV cities, driven by primary consumption. This has led to increased focus by most organised lenders into these markets.

Absorption and supply in such markets is balanced leading to stable prices, it said. "Our Company continues to focus on these emerging markets, which provide a reasonable growth opportunity. We will continue to invest and build distribution and organisational capabilities and offer mortgage related products and services in this markets," it said.
 

PM Modi Launches Smart Cities, Housing For All: 10 Facts
Date: May 7, 2015

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday launched three flagship schemes of the NDA government - Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), Smart Cities mission and the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) urban renewal initiative.

Here's a cheat-sheet to the story:

1) The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) will see the government spend about Rs 3 lakh crore in the next seven years as it aims to construct 2 crore affordable houses in urban areas for slum dwellers and people from economically-weaker sections and low income groups.

2) The Rs 50,000 crore Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) initiative is aimed at infrastructure upgradation in 500 cities over 5 years.

3) The Smart Cities mission aims to create 100 smart cities through a Rs 48,000 crore initiative over 5 years. Pitching for a "bottom-up model" of city development, PM Modi said that a model should not be thrust from the top. "It should be bottom up. A smart city means a city which is two steps ahead of the basic necessities of a resident," he said.

4) PM Modi said currently private property developers decide a city's growth, but often roads and drainage are not built when they lead the development. The city's residents and leadership should decide how a city should grow, he said.

5) This Smart Cities initiative would ensure that the city's leadership takes charge of the development, PM Modi said. "Otherwise there remains a mismatch...our development should not create a conflict between our cities and the villages," he said.

6) Smart City aspirants will be selected through a "City Challenge Competition", intended to link financing with the ability of the cities to perform to achieve the mission's objectives.

7) Cities must qualify themselves through city-challenge criteria like sanitation, clean water, power, greenery quotient and ratio between revenue and expenditure on municipal salaries. Each selected city would get central assistance of Rs 100 crore per year for five years.

8) The three flagship schemes will cost the government a total of about Rs 4 lakh crore.

9) The budget for the three schemes were approved by the Cabinet in April.

10) The urban population in India is set to rise by more than 400 million people to touch 814 million by 2050.

 

PM Modi Launches Smart Cities, Housing For All: 10 Facts
Date: May 7, 2015

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday launched three flagship schemes of the NDA government - Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), Smart Cities mission and the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) urban renewal initiative.

Here's a cheat-sheet to the story:

1) The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) will see the government spend about Rs 3 lakh crore in the next seven years as it aims to construct 2 crore affordable houses in urban areas for slum dwellers and people from economically-weaker sections and low income groups.

2) The Rs 50,000 crore Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) initiative is aimed at infrastructure upgradation in 500 cities over 5 years.

3) The Smart Cities mission aims to create 100 smart cities through a Rs 48,000 crore initiative over 5 years. Pitching for a "bottom-up model" of city development, PM Modi said that a model should not be thrust from the top. "It should be bottom up. A smart city means a city which is two steps ahead of the basic necessities of a resident," he said.

4) PM Modi said currently private property developers decide a city's growth, but often roads and drainage are not built when they lead the development. The city's residents and leadership should decide how a city should grow, he said.

5) This Smart Cities initiative would ensure that the city's leadership takes charge of the development, PM Modi said. "Otherwise there remains a mismatch...our development should not create a conflict between our cities and the villages," he said.

6) Smart City aspirants will be selected through a "City Challenge Competition", intended to link financing with the ability of the cities to perform to achieve the mission's objectives.

7) Cities must qualify themselves through city-challenge criteria like sanitation, clean water, power, greenery quotient and ratio between revenue and expenditure on municipal salaries. Each selected city would get central assistance of Rs 100 crore per year for five years.

8) The three flagship schemes will cost the government a total of about Rs 4 lakh crore.

9) The budget for the three schemes were approved by the Cabinet in April.

10) The urban population in India is set to rise by more than 400 million people to touch 814 million by 2050.

 

How to own property for just Rs 5 lakh
Date: April 28, 2015

Mumbai: Ashutosh Khadria runs a drycleaning business in Bengaluru. He wanted to invest in real estate but didn't want to take a loan. At 31, he didn't have enough savings either. So, he took the coownership route. "I don't mind sharing ownership with five others.

I can afford a slice of a prime property that assures better returns without having to take a mortgage," says Khadria. Fractional ownership, an established practice in the commercial and retail realty space, is now becoming popular i ..

For the masses : Fractional ownership opportunities have opened many doors for the ordinary individual. "If your primary objective is capital appreciation, then residential properties make sense. In the commercial space you can expect 7-10% rental yields, while in the last 30 years, yields from residential properties has remained at 3%. However, you need a minimum of Rs 2-3 crore to enter the commercial and retail space," says Rajeev Bairathi, Executive Director, Capital Markets, Knight Frank India.

How to own property for just Rs 5 lakh
Date: April 28, 2015

Mumbai: Ashutosh Khadria runs a drycleaning business in Bengaluru. He wanted to invest in real estate but didn't want to take a loan. At 31, he didn't have enough savings either. So, he took the coownership route. "I don't mind sharing ownership with five others.

I can afford a slice of a prime property that assures better returns without having to take a mortgage," says Khadria. Fractional ownership, an established practice in the commercial and retail realty space, is now becoming popular i ..

For the masses : Fractional ownership opportunities have opened many doors for the ordinary individual. "If your primary objective is capital appreciation, then residential properties make sense. In the commercial space you can expect 7-10% rental yields, while in the last 30 years, yields from residential properties has remained at 3%. However, you need a minimum of Rs 2-3 crore to enter the commercial and retail space," says Rajeev Bairathi, Executive Director, Capital Markets, Knight Frank India.

DLF to hike rates in Gurgaon
Date: April 13, 2015

Makaan.com: conducted a research to identify top areas for property investment in 2015. The research was conducted to help the investor community identify & shortlist areas that hold the promise of good returns based on their past performance. The analysis was conducted basis data compiled in March 2015 and tracked the residential property price movement over the past one year and came up with a list of 50 localities / areas with maximum price appreciation (please see the table below). The research also gave property recommendation for people falling under different income brackets.

There are 14, 11, 9 and 7 localities / areas from Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Pune and Bangalore respectively making them the most favored among the investor’s community. Chennai and Ahmedabad are represented by 3 areas each whereas Kolkata and Hyderabad got represented in the list with 2 and 1 area(s) respectively. We hope you benefit from this analysis.
DLF to hike rates in Gurgaon project despite low demand
Date: March 31, 2015

Mumbai: NEW DELHI: Realty major DLF will increase the price of its apartments in a housing project at Gurgaon by 4 per cent despite sluggish sales and slowdown in the overall real estate market.

DLF has decided to increase the price of flats in its housing project 'Regal Gardens' by Rs 250 per sq ft to Rs 6,500 per sq ft effective from July 15.

The country's largest real estate developer had launched this 10-acres project in March 2012 at Rs 4,750 per sq ft. It is developing 516 apart ..
Maharashtra plans tax sops for green buildings
Date: March 18, 2015

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government is planning to give tax sops to developers to incentivize construction of green buildings in both residential and commercial spaces.

The plan is to give 3-7% rebate on property tax for such buildings across municipal corporations and councils though the government is yet to define what exactly would make for a green or eco-friendly building. “Currently, we are discussing what should be defined as a green building, whether we should give ratings to various measures and offer incentives accordingly among other things,” said an official of the state urban development ministry, who did not want to be named.

The official said the proposal is likely to be tabled before the cabinet immediately after the monsoon session of the assembly, which will begin on 13 July. Currently, Pune is the only city in Maharashtra that gives such tax sops. At the national level, Noida and Chandigarh offers incentives for eco-friendly housing. The West Bengal government too had announced sops for green buildings in the state.

More bridges over Yamuna in the offing
Date: february 02, 2015

New Delhi: Delhi government has decided to construct few more bridges over Yamuna to connect central, South and North Delhi with East Delhi, a step it feels would help ensure faster mobility and serve as a boon it times of calamity.

The Public Works Department (PWD) has been asked to draft a preliminary plan on how many more bridges Delhi needs and study its feasibility. AAP-government will seek financial help from Central government to make these bridges over Yamuna. Accord ..

Investor interest high in REITs but tax hurdles persist, says Icra
Date: January 12, 2014

Indian Real Estate Even as the government's policy measures have bolstered investor interest in real estate investment trusts (REITs), lack of clarity on the tax structure remains a matter of concern, Icra said on Tuesday.

"The recent policy actions pertaining to REITs are a welcome measure and would help pave the way for introduction of REITs in the country, albeit with much delay. However certain tax disadvantages continue to prevail in the current structure, which can dampen the returns," Icra Senior Vice- President Rohit Inamdar said in a statement in Mumbai.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) introduced the final guidelines for establishing REITs in September 2014 following the draft norms in October 2013.

Investor interest high in REITs but tax hurdles persist, says Icra
Date: December 12, 2014

Indian Real Estate Even as the government's policy measures have bolstered investor interest in real estate investment trusts (REITs), lack of clarity on the tax structure remains a matter of concern, Icra said on Tuesday.

"The recent policy actions pertaining to REITs are a welcome measure and would help pave the way for introduction of REITs in the country, albeit with much delay. However certain tax disadvantages continue to prevail in the current structure, which can dampen the returns," Icra Senior Vice- President Rohit Inamdar said in a statement in Mumbai.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) introduced the final guidelines for establishing REITs in September 2014 following the draft norms in October 2013.

Puravankara sells 125 flats via Google's online shopping fest
Date: November 12, 2014

Indian Real Estate NEW DELHI: Realty firm Puravankara Projects LtdBSE 2.16 % today said it has sold over 125 housing units through Google's online shopping festival. Puravankara Projects and its subsidiary Provident Housing are participating in the three-day shopping festival, starting today, and have offered about 200 housing units spread over 12-13 projects in Bangalore, Chennai, Coimbatore and Kochi.

"Over 125 homes were booked online in less than 12 hours of the offer going live, as home buyers took advantage of very lucrative offers from both Puravankara and Provident brands," Bangalore-based Puravankara said in a statement. The price range is between Rs 40 lakh and Rs 1.25 crore. Puravankara Projects Ltd has presence in Bengaluru, Kochi, Chennai, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Mysore and overseas in Sri Lanka. It has 25.52 million sq ft of projects under development with additional 79.83 million sq ft in projected development over the next 7-10 years.

Mumbai, Delhi & Bangalore to be hot investment spots in 2015
Date: October 25, 2014

Indian Real Estate A stable government at the Centre and its plans to set up smart cities has revived investors' interest in the country with Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore set to emerge as hot investment destinations in 2015. According to a report by PwC, titled 'Emerging Trends in Real Estate Asia Pacific 2015', the rankings for the three major metros, among the 22 cities surveyed across the region, have improved significantly as compared to last two years.

While Mumbai climbed to 11th position, Delhi's ranking improved to 14th and Bangalore to 17th, indicating a significant improvement in investor sentiment in the country, PwC India Partner Gautam Mehra told reporters. In 2013 and 2014, Mumbai stood at 20th and 23rd position, respectively. While Delhi ranked 21st in both the years, Bangalore stood at 19th and 20th position in 2013 and 2014, respectively. "There is certainly a positive vibe complemented by the expectation of an improved economy and a more transparent environment, keeping interest levels up among investors," he said. ..

The positive sentiment can be gauged by the fact that global real estate funds focused on India are seeking to raise $6 billion in new capital, on top of $1.6 billion raised in the first seven months of 2014 and most of this is aimed at residential projects, he added. In addition, there has been a significant rise in interest from large sovereign and foreign institutional players over the course of 2014. "There is excess liquidity across various jurisdictions in the market, which is looking at opportunities for investment and India is emerging as a promising destination. "Additionally, the expected developments around creation of smart cities focused on large scale manufacturing, and the roll-out of REITs, if implemented well, are expected to further add to the momentum," Mehra said. Similarly, the outcome of large volumes in e-commerce is likely to translate in demand for largescale logistics and warehousing space, he said. He further said the interest in commercial space is likely to increase in 2015 as an improvement in rentals is expected.

Prices May Not Come Down
Date: October 16, 2014

Indian Real Estate sector continues to be a favoured destination for global investors. The urban population will surge in the coming years, which, coupled with growth in employment, education and health care, will push the demand for residential and commercial space. Urbanisation has been rapid in the past few years, with 'upwardly-mobile' buyers keen to invest and reap dividends from the real estate market growth. Increasing migration to the cities will drive this demand. Also anticipate a rise in sales of housing property following the recent stock market rally and a slew of optimistic RBI rules to allow foreign banks into the country's protected banking ecosystem. Steady housing demand will be a big constant for the Indian economy this year, and the industry will focus on meeting this demand.

However, the real estate sector is burdened with high costs because of which there is little possibility of reduction in home prices in most micromarkets. Construction cost has increased by 40% in two years, while government taxes and premiums have also gone up substantially. This eliminates any scope for reduced prices, despite the weak market. Banks' reluctance to lend to real estate companies has led to increased cost of borrowing, adding to the overall cost. In fact, these factors will also result in an increase in prices in improved market conditions. The housing industry will revive at a faster pace if a stable government is formed after the general elections in 2014.

The Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Associations of India (CREDAI) has identified demand from tier-II and tier-III cities as an impetus for better real estate solutions. With rapid land and infrastructure development in smaller cities and towns, assisted by bank loans, higher earnings and improved standards of living, housing and construction demand will increase here. The recent move to introduce Reits, or Real Estate Investment Trusts, is a progressive one as well. Reits are a great instrument to tap cash flow into the Indian economy, and help smaller investors access income-generating real estate assets. It will help both developers and investors, through better financing and investment options. This will give the Indian real estate market more depth. Providing tax incentives to REITs for investment in housing, especially the affordable housing sector, will increase chances of its success.

Canada offers to partner India in 'housing for all'
Date: October 15, 2014

NEW DELHI: Today expressed interest in participating in India's ambitious programmes of 'Housing for All' and building 100 'smart cities' and offered its technology in this regard. The offer was made by visiting Canadian Minister of International Trade Ed Fast during his meeting with Urban Development and Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister Venkaiah Naidu here. Referring to the proposed scheme of 'housing for all, Ed Fast highlighted Canada's expertise in w ..

In pursuance of this, a Sardar Patel Urban Housing Mission will be launched soon to construct houses through public-private partnership, interest subsidy and increased flow of resources to housing sector. The housing shortage in India is estimated at 19 million units. Out of this, about 95.6 per cent is estimated to be from economically weaker sections and low-income group households. The Canadian Minister also made inquiries about other new initiatives in urban sector includin ..

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