20% Reservation for EWS will take time, Says Real Estate Industry.

The real estate industry is at loggerheads with the state government after a directive by the Urban Development Department to private developers that they reserve 20 per cent of plots and tenements for the economically weaker sections (EWS). The move is being opposed not only by individual developers but also by the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI) who is tagging the proposed policy as unworkable and not contemplated in totality. CREDAI has filed an objection with the Town Planning Department (TPD) arguing that Rajeev Awaas Iona gave thought to all aspects of such housing creation.

“The department is at present hearing people with stake in real-estate industry and have filed objections. The hearing report will be submitted to the government for approval,” said Avinash Patil, deputy director, TPD. The government notice, issued in January, specifies that out of development on plots measuring 2,000 square metre and above, the developers should reserve 20 per cent of the area for the EWS category in the plot size of 30 to 50 square meters. In case the developer is building apartments on the same area, it has been directed that minimum of a 20 per cent of built-up area be reserved in the apartment size of 27.88 to 45 square meters.

The real estate industry feels that implementation of such a policy should only happen after adequate thoughts as the notice can affect the industry adversely. “The notice lacks clarity. In the present form the move will hit us badly,” said Hemant Naiknavare, vice-president, CREDAI, Pune Metro.

Lalit Kumar Jain: Bihar is better than Maharashtra for builders.

When it comes to ease of approval and a good bureaucratic set up for real estate, Bihar seems to be better opportunity than Maharashtra, according to Lalit Kumar Jain, real estate tycoon and president of Confederation of Real Estate Developer’s Association of India (CREDAI). Jain was speaking to DNA against the backdrop of the first ever all India CREDAI meeting to be held in Pune from Wednesday.

“In Bihar, the bureaucratic setup to get necessary sanction allows us to complete our projects on time. Thanks to the organised system there, the end buyer also pays less for real estate compared to Maharashtra,’’ he said.

The two-day conference, will discuss amongst other things, the various challenges faced by the industry in terms of approvals, government’s decision to reserve 20%flats for economically weaker section of society and other issues.

While commenting about various problems facing the industry, Jain saidthe apparent delay in the process of getting sanctions for the projects was a major concern. “In case, the sanctions are delayed, the cost of the project escalates which results in a burden on the customer,’’ he said.

The decision of the state government to compulsorily reserve 20% of the flats for economically weaker sections of society according to Jain would be have a negative effect on the industry. “To compromise on this, the builder will pass on the cost to other buyers who will feel the pinch,’’ he said.

The John Marshall Law School will present “Real Estate Investing in India: Opportunities and Challenges” at an event.

The Centre for Real Estate Law at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago will present the lecture “Real Estate Investing in India: Opportunities and Challenges” on April 4, 2012.

Risks and benefits that come with purchasing real estate in India is the topic of an April 4, 2012, lecture at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. Guests Shahrookh Cambata, Scott Eisenberg and Marc J. Strauss will speak at the event.

The free program, from 8:30 to 11 a.m., looks at the interest in real estate in India. Investments have grown as the expanding real estate markets in the U.S. and Western Europe have caused investors to consider developing markets for better opportunities. Speakers for “Real Estate Investing in India: Opportunities and Challenges” will discuss the risks and benefits of investing in India. Real Estate sales there have thrived since 2005 because the Indian government strengthened its protection of foreign ownership.

 

The lecture will feature three experts: Shahrookh Cambata, managing member and CEO of Greaves Travel; Scott Eisenberg, attorney and real estate entrepreneur for Lakeshore Investment Development; and Marc J. Strauss, general counsel for First Rockford Group.

 

Registrations are requested and are being accepted at http://www.events.jmls.edu/re-india. Attorneys can earn two hours of CLE for this program.

Real Estate Sops can’t impress Firms.

The finance minister relaxed borrowing norms for real estate firms and extended the loan subsidy for low-cost affordable houses. The concessions have, however, failed to impress the industry leaders who termed it as a too-little-too late move that would have a limited impact on the sector.

“I propose to allow ECB (external commercial borrowing) for low-cost affordable housing projects,“ the Budget said.

The move has a dual aim of expanding the window of funds for real estate developers such that affordable housing projects do not face cash crunch and are completed within the time frame.

Global consultancy Deloitte said RBI had earlier allowed ECB for developers in integrated township projects of 100 acres or more till December 31, 2010.

The FM also extended, by a year, the 1% interest subsidy on loans up to R15 lakh where the cost of house does not exceed R25 lakh.

Budget 2012: 1 per cent TDS imposed on property sales.

The government has proposed one per cent TDS (tax deduction at source) on transfer of immovable property if the sale value exceeds Rs 50 lakh in urban centres and Rs 20 lakh in other areas.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in his Budget speech that the measure is proposed in the Budget and is being taken to “deter the generation and use of unaccounted money.” Immovable properties, other than agricultural land would be covered under the new provision.

The application of TDS would be effective from October 1 this year. It has been provided that transfer of property would not be registered unless the buyer furnishes proof of deduction and payment of TDS.

At present, tax is required to be deducted at source by the transferee on transfer of immovable property by a non- resident. But, there is no such requirement on transfer of such property by a resident except in few cases, it added.

Reacting to the proposal, the apex realty body CREDAI said that this would lead to increase in property prices.

“It looks like that the proposal of TDS would apply on transactions in the secondary market and not on sale of builder’s flat,” Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI) Chairman Pradeep Jain said.

The new proposal intends to collect tax at the earliest point of time and have a reporting mechanism of transactions in the realty sector.

The provision would apply if the consideration exceeds Rs 50 lakh if property is situated in “specified urban agglomeration” and Rs 20 lakh if property is situated in any other area.

Gurgaon is safe as an investment bet.

Capital values rose by more than 30-35% in Gurgaon’s residential sector over the last one year. Developers are now going slow on execution of real estate projects, resulting in a drop in supply of residential apartments in most prime markets. Emerging residential areas are still not able to meet the huge housing demand.

Due to rampant construction delays, the expected supply of residential properties announced in early 2009 has not been able to reach the market. Around 500,000 units that were scheduled for possession in key markets by end of 2011 are delayed by another year.

There has been an increase in lateral hiring by corporates. With job scenario improving all over the country, people have more to spend. This has resulted in good investment opportunities, and investor sentiments in the affordable and mid-income segment of Gurgaon’s residential market have improved.

Gurgaon remains promising for office space, and there are good prospects for more major global players setting up operations here in near future. On the whole, this augurs well for the residential property market, more or less assuring relatively healthy absorption of residential space in the times to come. The new infrastructure initiatives being undertaken by the government will also play a crucial role for Gurgaon’s residential and commercial property sectors.

Realty Sector in Disappointment

The Union Budget 2012-13 on Friday proposed allowing external commercial borrowing for low cost affordable housing projects.

Presenting the Budget in the Lok Sabha, the Finance Minister, Mr Pranabh Mukherjee, also proposed setting up of a Credit Guarantee Trust Fund to ensure better flow of institutional credit for housing loans.

The Minister also proposed to enhance provisions under Rural Housing Fund from Rs 3,000 crore to Rs 4,000 crore besides extending the scheme of interest subvention of 1 per cent on housing loan up to Rs 15 lakh where the cost of the house does not exceed Rs 25 lakh, for another year.

Meanwhile, real estate players were disappointed with the Budget saying it failed to highlight the role of the housing sector in the economy.

“The proposal of bringing in an umbrella tax structure to the cement industry will increase the cost of housing and will negate the development process. Also providing ECB to affordable housing is a minor respite to the sector. There is an inherent risk of liquidity drying up wherein the exemption of capital gains tax to invest in small and medium enterprises may result in cash out from real estate,” Mr Lalit Jain, President, CREDAI, the industry body of real estate players, said.

The sector also said that the increase in service tax will increase the cost of construction by Rs 50-100 per sq feet.

According to Mr Anurag Mathur, Managing Director, Cushman & Wakefield India, “The increase in allocation in infrastructure implies a clear intent on enhancing the urbanisation process as well as providing a support to the slowing industrial sector. At the same time the increase in the service tax from 10 per cent to 12 per cent would lead to additional burden on the tenants as the service tax on rentals has remained unchanged.”

Union Budget 2012-13: Buying or building of a house will cost more.

Realty players said that purchase or construction of a house would now cost more due to expected rise in prices of key raw materials cement and steel and a hike in service tax by 2 per cent.Barring low-cost housing, property prices are expected to rise in the coming days after the proposed hike in service tax from 10 per cent to 12 per cent.

TDS at the rate of 1 per cent on transfer of immovable property (other than agricultural land) above a specified threshold will also add to the cost of buying a house. The threshold would be over Rs 50 lakh an urban areas and Rs 20 lakh elsewhere, according to the budget proposals.

Cement and steel manufacturers have already hinted at a price hike after the Budget proposed raising the excise duty to 12 per cent.

Commenting on the budget proposals, Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI) Chairman Pradeep Jain said, “Application of TDS on the purchase and sale of property and increasing Service Tax by 2 per cent will further add on to the overall cost of property and are bound to make property more costly in coming days.”

Realty consultant DTZ said that increase in the service tax is going to further increase marginally the overall burden on the home buyers of mid and high segment (dwellings costing more than 25 lakh). The impact of service tax would be about Rs 40,000 on a Rs 75 lakh home.

However, DTZ said that affordable housing, being part of negative list, is exempted from service tax and the move would give a boost to the affordable housing segment.

Jones Lang LaSalle India Chairman and Country Head Anuj Puri said that “the increase in the service tax rate from 10 per cent to 12 per cent will increase the cost of production for developers, who are already reeling under high input costs. It follows that this increased burden will be passed on to end users”.

Builders say that Pranab Mukherjee has ignored ground realty in the Union Budget 2012-13.

With predicting an escalation in property prices, top players in the realty sector said they had been ignored by the finance minister.

Chief of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI), Lalit Kumar Jain, said the announcement on external commercial borrowings (ECB) for affordable housing was a minor respite but still meaningless. Jain, who is also chairman and managing director of Kumar Urban Development Ltd, added, “We contribute 6.5% to the GDP and expected a big boost from the budget for affordable housing through special schemes, an interest subvention of 5-7 % for LIG (low income group) and EWS (economically weaker section) housing and promotion of rental housing through tax exemption.”

Jain also pointed out that the interest subsidy on home loans was too low. The Budget has extended the scheme of interest subvention of 1% on housing loan up to Rs 15 lakh where the cost of the house does not exceed Rs 25 lakh for another year.

In addition, Gaurav Gupta, director, Omkar Realtors & Developers, lamented that the realty sector had got nothing to boost market and customer sentiments. “There are no indications of this sector being granted the status of an industry, which it much deserves. On the contrary, the increase in service tax will push up realty prices as the additional cost will be passed on to the buyers.”

Tata Housing MD and CEO Brotin Banerjee added, “Initiatives to make affordable housing available to a larger section of the society have only been met partially.”

There were some who welcomed the proposals. Sachin Sandhir, MD, RICS South Asia felt it “exceeded expectations” given the pressures on the fiscal situation.

Realty Sector has no resurgence.

The latest Economic Survey reveals that the share of the housing sector to the overall GDP is likely to rise by one per cent to 6 per cent on increased investment. Currently, about 5 per cent of India’s GDP is contributed by the housing sector. With institutional credit for housing investment growing at a compounded annual growth rate of about 18-20 per cent per annum in the next three-five years, the housing sector’s contribution to GDP is likely to increase to 6 per cent.

As every rupee that is invested in housing and construction, Rs 0.78 gets added to the GDP. Investment in housing and real estate activities can be considered a barometer of growth of the entire economy. Unfortunately, the 2012-13 Budget does not recognise this. Although the finance minister’s speech concludes by reiterating the fact that there is a need to create an “enabling atmosphere” and that India is on the brink of “resurgence”, he has done precious little to make that happen.

India’s GDP has not been growing as it was sometime earlier was the topic of the finance minister before presenting the Budget. His five-point objective does not really lay any emphasis on the housing and real estate industry. While he has tried to restrict central subsidies to fewer than 2 per cent of GDP to improve the quality of public spending, he has failed to provide for measures which will give impetus to the industry at large, housing and real estate in particular.

The finance minister has permitted external commercial borrowings (ECBs) for low cost affordable housing projects. One wonders if this would do any good, since players in this industry are not used to taking the ECB route for affordable housing projects. This provision therefore does not make sense.

Extending the scheme of interest subvention of 1 per cent on housing loans up to Rs 15 lakh (on houses costing up to Rs 25 lakh) for another year also does not make sense, unless and until the limit of Rs 25 lakh is increased.

Home Loan Rate Should Be Restructured.

With speculations about the Union Budget 2012-13 already doing the rounds, city’s real estate industry too has voiced its expectations. Mainly revolving around increased subsidy on interest rate for loans towards affordable housing and industry status for taxation and construction and relaxation of FDI up to 51 per cent into multi-branding, the industry is hopeful of a favourable budget.

Sushil Mantri, president of CREDAI, Bangalore, says that “The Indian real estate industry was riding through highs and lows in 2011. Last year, one per cent interest rate subsidy was offered for loans towards affordable housing. If the subsidy can be broadened, home buyers especially in mid and lower income groups will benefit.”

“Indian real estate, especially housing needs the government’s support for further growth. The government should consider restructuring interest rates on home loans to attract larger base of lower and middle income group to benefit. For loan amounts lesser than Rs 25 lakh, the interest rate should be lower and should scale up as the loan amount goes higher,” said Sankey Prasad, chairman and MD of Synergy Property Developments Services.

Further the Experts demanded that the glaring concerns of the real estate industry be addressed.

“The real estate industry will be looking forward to RBI’s intervention to control inflation which has adversely affected the industry. If FDI is relaxed up to 51 per cent in multi-branding, this will boost the growth path for the Indian retail industry,” Sushil Mantri added.

Realty players demand Industry status and affordable housing as a priority from the Budget 2012-13.

The Union Budget 2012 to be presented by the Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is being looked at to provide relief in terms of policy reforms with the real estate sector of the economy coming under repeated credit pressures owing to high interest rates for borrowing.

Experts say that the real estate sector needs government support as well as further stimulus to get out of the current slump. With the first step, experts have sought industry status for real estate, since the sector is a major driver for economic growth and generates countless jobs across its various verticals and associated industries. Experts this feel will also help the sector raise debt from FIs at a much lower rate.

Common demand across all real estate companies is that of an industry status being assigned to the sector in the Budget 2012-13 with ways to make affordable housing available to a larger section of the society.

Samir Jasuja, founder and chief executive officer at Prop Equity said, “In this budget, we expect the central government to grant the real estate sector the industry status as that would help the reeling sector raise debt from financial institutions at a much lower rate, which may partly improve the liquidity crunch crisis.”

Realtors ask for Better home loans and tax cuts.

Realtors from Chennai are expecting the Union government to enhance the income tax exemption for up to Rs 3 lakh paid as interest on housing loans in a year from the existing Rs 1.5 lakh which will help to boost the real estate market.

Siva Krishnan, head of residential services (Chennai), Jones Lang LaSalle India, said that  “The market, which was struggling last financial year, has picked up and we expect the government to enhance the income tax exemption limit.”

The Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India have expressed that the realty sector and housing policy should be modified in order to address a huge demand of 26 million homes. “Inordinate delay in the sanction of approvals have hit hard. Provision of single-window clearance for real estate development projects is the need of the hour,” said CREDAI president T Chitty Babu.

In addition he also said that “Some of the measures like creation of Special Residential Zones can help. Affordable housing sector should continue to grow based on the incentive given for borrowings from banks for homes.”

Also the 36-month holding period should be reduced to 12 months.

Realty sector seeks affordability from the government.

Real estate businesses have much expectation from the forthcoming Union Budget 2012 that it will contain some pragmatic provisions that will lower effective price barriers for home-seekers.

Vice-president of Credai (Confederation of Real Estate Developers Associations of India) Pune Metro, Anil Pharande, said that on a macro level, a higher allocation of infrastructure funds for housing can be a favourable approach. “The government can set clear guidelines on timely commencement and completion of projects and link disbursement of these funds with adherence to these guidelines.”

Pharande also added that removal of the 10 per cent service tax on residential real estate construction, that increases the cost of new homes by as much as 3 per cent, is critical for a cost-sensitive market like Pune, which has mainly lower mid-income segment.

Real estate developers says, that broader incentives for development of affordable housing are needed, to encourage more developers to become active in this important sector and increase the supply of budget homes in the city as the city continues to face problems including high lending rates and construction costs, insufficient infrastructure and lack of affordable housing.

Even the 1 per cent interest rate subsidy on home loans can also work as a good measure to bring affordability. Also the present eligibility limit of loan amount of Rs 20 lakh should be raised to Rs 30 lakh which will help people think about buying apartments of decent sizes. Reducing taxes such as excise VAT and stamp duty on real estate will also make home purchase attractive, Pharande said.

Budget 2012: A ray of Hope for the Real estate sector.

The real estate industry is very optimistic about the coming budget 2012 as the budget may bring a sheer relief  for the affordable housing buyers.

Real estate industry generates countless jobs across its various verticals and also the sector is a major driver for economic growth so it is  hoping to get an industry status.

To improve the significance of the housing sector sufficient steps were not taken in the Budget 2011-12 which in return gave very less to the developers and customers.

Shailesh Sanghvi, Director, Sanghvi Group of Companies said that,”We expect revision in tax for affordable housing projects in order to address the acute housing shortage in the country.”

The priority must be given to the banks who  in return offer concessional costs to the common man and also affordable housing should be considered important .

The interest subvention of 1% on home loans could be raised from Rs 20 lakh to 30 lakh.

In addition Ajmera also said that “The budget should look forward to extending the existing benefit of Section 80 IB(10) of the IT Act for developing affordable housing as the country is still in a huge shortage of tenement.”

Government must take steps which in return would be beneficial to both developers and also buyers. Real Estate sector is hoping the best from the Budget 2012.

As per the developers, Pranab Mukherjee, must present such a Budget that should bring happiness,joy and comfort to every sector.

 

 

Two New Shows ‘Made to Order’ and ‘Big Style Icons’ launched by Big CBS Prime.

BIG CBS PRIME has announced the launch of two new shows. The two new properties called Made to Order and BIG Style Icon are made keeping in mind the preferences of the people who live in style, the shows mainly focusing on the hottest properties in the Indian Real Estate market and an exclusive peek into the world of the elite, respectively.

Made to Order is like a journey into the best real-estate properties money can buy. Everyone dreams of owning a house so luxurious, so splendid that stands out amongst the others, but for most, these remain a dream. This show is targeted at the upper crest of society for whom nothing is out of reach!

Whereas, BIG Style Icons as the name suggests is a profiling of the lavish lives of society’s elite and the extraordinary and exclusive brands which are their favourites. The show will feature the people who are well known for their style quotient with hand-picked style icons which will see the likes of Vijay Mallya, Yash Birla, Shah Rukh Khan, MS Dhoni and Atul Kasbekar to name a few. The show will focus on an Icons’ favourite brands, preferred machines, his style statement, his workout den and much more.

Both properties offer an excellent and appropriate platform for marketers from the real estate, high end fashion brands and premium products, as the Channel ensures reach to a large relevant audience base with minimal spill-over.

Very soon BIG CBS Networks will be launching a multi-faceted promotional campaign for these shows. The properties will be extensively promoted and marketed across multi-media platforms of television, radio, OOH, print and social media platforms ensuring excellent reach for marketers associating with the properties.

NRIs want to buy home in India

NRIs are investing into residential real estate specifically in large Indian cities to build a back-up base in the country as many of them intend to set up businesses in these cities in the future. I think there is  not a single non-resident Indian (NRI) who is not keen to buy real estate in India. Having a own home in this country is one of the means available to them to stay connected to their motherland. As they make their fortunes abroad, such investments in their country help them to maintain their relationships back home.

What I found most interesting was that they had not even considered eventually relocating to India when they bought property here as they have simply done it for investment.

NRIs are investing into residential real estate specifically in large Indian cities to build a back-up base in the country. This particularly applies to NRIs with professional/entrepreneurial ambitions who intend to set up businesses in these cities in the future.

As during 2008-2009 global financial crises (GFC), India has presented itself as an example of financial stability. This GFC has caused NRIs to seriously think about buying homes in India.

As per the limits regarding how many commercial or residential properties they can own in India, there is no restriction to the NRIs. But when a NRI wants to sell and take the money back, he can do so with the sale proceeds of only two units. NRIs can invest into real estate by transferring funds to India through normal banking channels, or by invest through funds in a Non-resident external (NRE)/ Foreign currency non resident (FCNR)/ Non- resident ordinary rupee (NRO) accounts maintained in India. But payment via travellers’ cheque or foreign currency notes is not permitted.

Home loan can be availed from Indian institution approved by the National Housing Bank (NHB), and loan repayment can be done either through inward remittances, debit to a NRE/FCNR/NRO account, through the rental income which is earned in India. NRIs can also apply for home loans from the employer in India, provided specific terms and conditions listed by RBI are met.

NRIs are allowed to mortgage their residential property in India with an Indian financial institution without any approval from RBI. They can also mortgage it with a foreign financial institution with prior approval from RBI.Also they can rent out their residential property without the approval of the RBI in India and the rent received can be credited to NRO/NRE account.

US Ratings Downgrade, Will Interest Rates Come Down.

How will the US rating downgrading from AAA to AA+ impact the real estate sector? Will it have a long-term or an immediate impact? What’s going to be hit, residential or commercial real estate sector?

The good news is that the interest rates might come down in residential segment whereas commercial real estate sector will be hit and the reduction will take place in office space. This is the first time something like this had happened and it is difficult to predict the consequences. It has created uncertainty in the global market and extreme instability across asset classes.

There could be some positives for emerging markets such as India, with the cut of prices of oil and other commodities, inflation too can be controlled adding to it interest rate should come down. Overall, impact on real estate in India could be positive.

The money that pours in will be further used to further for residential development as we already have reasonable capacity for commercial development that still needs to be absorbed. However, in the long run, the commercial property sector take-up maybe an issue, from the demand side from IT/ITeS sector which are closely linked with the USA.

Real estate may Feel Connectivity Pinch

Metro connectivity and property rates in the capital goes hand in hand , its just like they run on parallel tracks as right from the announcement of new metro connections , property rates follows an upward swing.

With Delhi metro gearing up for the Phase III construction that will cover areas like Vasant Vihar, Dhaula Kuan, Munirka , Kalka Ji , lajpat Nagar , Botonical Garden (Noida) , real estate prices are expected to see a major rise in the prices. Metro certainly affectes real estate as it is a major factor to provide a safe and comfortable mode of transport. People prefers homes situated near the metro stations. How ever since the prices have already increased so much that it will be difficult to say how much impact the new lines will have now. Consultants further says that properties which are located near the Metro stations will have the maximum increase in the real estate price.

The entire scenario can be explained in terms of a U curve where in right from the announcement of the projects the price tends to go upwards and then it declines when the construction is underway and again goes up when the project is complete. On an average , a property may see 20-30% increase in price over three years. Proximity to the station may also effects an increase of 35-40%. Due to increase in the rates of properties which are near to Metro stations , the Municipal Valuation committee constituted by Delhi Government has also adviced that the residential colonies within half a KM radius of Metro line would be upgraded  by one level since they have witnessed the maximum amount of Infrastructure development.

Talks Fails, GNIDA CEO faces ‘Hostile’ Crowd.

Greater Noida: 11 days left for the state government to work out an out of court settlement with Noida Extension farmers, the GNIDA has rushed talks but without success. The discussion between authority and the farmers of Patwari village failed on the issue of compensation, because back to back court orders quashing forcible land acquisition. The fate of 1 lakh houses in Noida Extension hangs in the balance.

The CEO of GNIDA Rama Raman, faced a hostile crowd of farmers, who said if the authority could not hike the compensation then there is no point of holding this discussion. They also accused the authority of trying dividing farmers by giving rehabilitations and other benefits to selected farmers, to weaken the movement against land acquisition.

Farmer leader said the authority is trying to play divide and rule policy by keeping land of some influential farmers. He told CEO, no out of court settlement could be reached out without hiking the compensation. The CEO said 4 bighas of land belonging to the village head would be regularized and not termed as encroachment.

The discussion between the authority and the Patwari village’s farmers failed on the issue of compensation. The authority wants to acquire the land and pay according to new acquisition and rehabilitation policy which allows the authority to give farmers bigger developed land plots, Rs 200 more per sqm as cash compensation, besides annuity payouts.

Buying a House During Monsoon is Beneficial

The monsoon is usually considered as a lean season in terms of sales for the developers. It’s not just the weather that affects the purchase of property, but also because it is considered inauspicious to buy anything for about two weeks during this period (because of shraadh or pitrapaksh). Buyers prefer to wait till the festival season to buy real estate. So, in order to increase sales, developers are willing to offer ‘monsoon discounts’.

Many people postpone buying a house during these months. This adds to the existing inventory of the real estate developer. The builder, on their part, wants to get relieved from it so he can start a new project in the upcoming festival season. Also, they would need some liquid cash in hand for the new projects.

While only a handful of developers advertise it as a ‘monsoon discount’, most are willing to offer lower rates to serious buyers. The significant of discount varies for different cities, depending on how badly it is affected by the monsoon. So, in Mumbai and Kolkata the quantum of discount is likely to be higher than that in Delhi and Chennai. In Mumbai, a buyer can expect discounts ranging from 10-20%,  a Mumbai-based real estate marketing company.

Besides the entice of discounted property prices, buyers can also avail of the monsoon special offers on home loans by banks.

New Attractive Real Estate Destination – Hill Stations of India

Since family income is rising, hill stations in India are becoming attractive real estate destinations for more and more Indians. While some want an embode in hill stations as only a holiday home, others want it as a second home they can drop in any time they want a break from a fast life. According to a survey, Indian hill stations are budding as credible residential options. Gone are the days when owning a house in the hills was mostly looked from an investment point of view, today a large majority of home buyers are ready to move into the hills and are looking at these destinations for residing purpose in the near future.

With 37 percent, majority of survey takers articulated that for them the purpose of buying a house in the hills was clearly for self use, be it for now or for future. Another 29 percent people want to look at such options as a holiday destination or weekend getaway. Interestingly, only 21 percent want to buy real estate in the hilly areas as possible investment options. The remaining 14 percent  is made up of those who want to come out of the city life and plan to settle post-retirement in these areas.

Godrej Properties Stands Tall, But Weak Demand is a Concern.

Worried about economic and political factors influencing the real estate sector, investors have dumped real estate stocks in the past few months. The 15-member BSE realty index is down by 40 percent in past one year. The members of the index have had varying degrees of fall in their stock prices ranging between 8.5 percent and 81 percent during the same period. However, through all this, the Godrej Properties scrip has not only held its ground, but also registered 19 percent appreciation in price in the last one year.

One of the few business houses to be in real estate, Godrej Properties is a national real estate developer with presence across 11 cities in mid-income housing development. One of the biggest advantage enjoyed by the company is the equity of its brand “Godrej”. At a time when the sector is losing investor confidence due to some of its players’ supposed involvement in corruption, having a strong and reliable brand in the realty space could not have been more cherished by Godrej Properties.

Given the command of high interest rates, high influence is yet another issue for real estate companies. The low capital-intensive model is a good change over other capital-intensive companies. The fourth quarter ended March 2011 has been the best one for the company driven by sales from its projects in Ahmedabad and Gurgaon. The company is expected to launch 4.5-5.5 million square feet area in fiscal 2012.

Though, one of the concerns is its geographic concentration of the company’s landbank around half of which is located in Ahmedabad and another concern is the weak demand in Mumbai market where the company’s ambitious project ‘The Trees’ is being constructed at Vikhroli. The demand should recover by the next 02 years.

Realty Big Players Attracted Towards Small Cities for Expansion

NEW DELHI: Growing demand for homes in smaller cities of the country is attracting real estate biggies. Cities like Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Coimbatore, Indore, Jaipur, Lucknow , Nagpur, Surat , Vadodara and Visakhapatnam are estimated to add 354 million sq ft of residential development in the coming 03 years. According to a research, large builders like DLF , Unitech , Parsvnath , Omaxe , Ansals and Emaar MGF have already diversified into these cities. These cities today show huge potential for growth. These cities are attracting the big developers because of their considerable price stability and growth prospects. With economic activity picking up in these cities, there is a growing migration from smaller areas, which has created a shift towards an apartment culture. This shift will foster volumes for larger developers in the future.

Looking at this new demand, banks and financial institutions are also looking towards these cities to bridge the financial saturation gap.The growth prospects in the smaller cities are fascinating huge developers with multi-city existance.

Brokers Hunt for Jobs as Slump Hits Realty Sales

NEW DELHI | BANGALORE: Broker in Bangalore bylane has just opened a stationery shop. He has named it ‘Smart Shop’, borrowing the name from the realty brokerage firm that he ran from the same premises until about two months ago. He switched to retail after his property business hit a rough patch following a slump in home sales. About 03-quarters of his revenues came from sale of apartments, the remaining from renting.

“With home sales dropping, it doesn’t make business sense anymore,” he says. It’s the same story in other big cities. In Mumbai, a mid-size broker has set up a small fast food joint to make ends meet. In Nagpur, a real estater has quit the real estate business and set up an ice-cream parlour. Their worries are not unfounded. While the large and established players in the property business have managed to stay, even during the slump, thousands of smaller players like brokers and agents are being forced to look for other jobs.

It also hit lakhs of people employed with such small outfits – each of which hires 5-15 people.With many brokers closing shops or reducing size, these people are out in the market, looking for jobs in sectors such as retail, banking, insurance and call centres. The real estate industry employs about 10 lakh people across the country, the majority in the unorganised sector.

In the first quarter of 2011, home sales dropped 17 per cent in Mumbai, 14 percent in Bangalore and 15 percent in Hyderabad. According to consultant Jones Lang La-Salle, unsold residential units in projects that are complete or are nearing completion in 6-12 months in Mumbai and Delhi-NCR are as high as 25 percent and 16 percent, respectively. In other big cities, including Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata, the numbers range between 12 percent and 19 percent. Sales in tier-II and tier-III cities are steady, though there is some panic due to the increase in interest rates, which have climbed to about 11 percent from 8.25 percent a year ago.

“For smaller brokers, the impact of the current market factors is a lot more compared to the larger brokers,” says the president of the National Association of Realtors India . “Even for our members – who are fairly well-off – business is down 40 percent compared to 2009-10. But the smaller guys are in trouble and are setting up businesses that move on a daily basis. Many I know have asked their employees to look out” Ravindra Bramhe, chairman of the Maharashtra Property Brokers’ Association, says.

For whatever business is left in the market, there are hundreds of agents in queue. For instance, there are pockets on the Noida Expressway, near large projects, where real estate brokers can be seen sitting inside small tents, under the sweltering sun, waiting for business. Those who can’t afford to set up these tents can be seen on the roadside, running after every car that passes by, with brochures and flyers of projects in hand. Industry refers to them as the broker mandi. “All my friends and colleagues are now looking outside real estate before things get worse,” says Chaudhary. Many have returned to the insurance industry and others have found jobs with small call centres. A few have found employment with retail stores.