Property prices in Coimbatore may get hike

The jump in land, materials and labour costs has pushed property prices up by 25%-30% per cent and slowed the growth of the real estate sector in Coimbatore in the last two years. Property developers in the city believe that if the real estate sector has to grow at pace similar to that of Chennai, which despite the global economic slowdown, registered a steady growth quarter after quarter, as per the residential price index brought out by the National Housing Bank, the government has to develop infrastructure facilities, promote industries and improve water bodies.

“There is not much space left for property developers inside the city. All construction activities are moving towards the suburbs,” said V Subramanian, president, Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI), Coimbatore. However, land prices have increased in the outskirts in the past two years. The cost of material and labour is also on the rise. This has seriously affected the middle income group, which is the major segment that invests money to buy property. Property developers have been forced to pass the cost increase burden on the people, which have slowed down the market.

“Land costs have increased four-fold in Coimbatore, which is causing major problems for developers,” Subramanian said. Cement, which was costing Rs 190 a bag a year ago, is now available for Rs 300. Steel prices have increased from Rs 38000 per tonne to Rs 60000 per tonne now. Developers are struggling to control their costs and boost sales. Omkar Sankar, director, Sankar Foundation, said there is huge demand for affordable and low-budget houses in Coimbatore. But the jump in prices of affordable houses is now becoming a cause for concern, he noted.

Flats that were sold for Rs 4500 per sq. ft. in Ramnagar area are now being sold for Rs 6500 per sq. ft. Similarly, in areas like Vilankurichi, Thondamuthur, Vadavalli, which are outside the city, costs have moved from Rs 2300 per sq. ft. to Rs 3500 and more. Though the recent lowering of interest rate by banks may bring some respite, developers are still in a wait and watch mode. The situation in Coimbatore is different from Chennai, which is well connected with infrastructure facilities even in far-off areas.

There is a huge demand for housing in Coimbatore and in the next few years there would be at least a demand for 1 lakh housing units, said P Karthikeyan, Chief Executive Officer, Trishul Shelters Private Limited. However this would require good connectivity and infrastructure development in the suburban areas, which is lacking now, he said. Besides the developers have to look at ways to keep costs down by adopting innovative methods and different technologies, he noted.

Realty Industry Feels Rate Cut as Benefit for All

The interest rate sensitive realty industry Tuesday welcomed the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) decision to cut key lending rates by 50 basis points, and felt the move will boost builders’ and home loan customers’ sentiments alike.

“For the real estate in particular, this is indeed a welcome step by RBI. While the sector was already reeling under the pressures of high interest rates, this will allow banks to lower down the interest rates significantly. Both buyers and developers shall get benefitted from this,” said Pradeep Jain, chairman, Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI).

Home loan buyers are currently paying a higher rate of interest in the range of 11.50-13 percent on floating basis. Customers, who had earlier opted for dual rate scheme and now just exhausted their fixed tenure rate, are paying the same rate of interest.

Other industry players like Unitech and real estate consultancy firm Cushman & Wakefield also welcomed the move, which they said would boost business confidence.

“This development will have a positive impact across the economy and particularly in the real-estate industry. Not only will the cost of borrowing rationalize, this reduction will also provide an impetus to growth and enhance business-confidence,” said Ajay Chandra, managing director, Unitech.

Cushman & Wakefield India said that the banks are expected to pass on the reduction in interest rates to consumers, which will provide a positive boost to market sentiments especially in the residential sales markets.

“We expect to witness some pickup in the volume of sales transactions. For the whole of last year, end buyers had to defer their purchase decisions as they were facing the double-edged sword of rising interest rates and stubborn price levels,” said Anurag Mathur, managing director, Cushman & Wakefield.

The RBI’s announcement also buoyed the BSE Realty index which grew by 32.50 points at 1,813.97 points around 2:50 p.m. Stocks of realty industry players also surged with DLF’s scrip growing by 3.75 points or 1.88 percent at 203.25 points.

Realtors expect rise in property demand post RBI’s rate cut

Realty firms on Tuesday hailed the RBI’s decision to cut short-term lending rate saying the move would reduce the cost of funds to home buyers as well as developers and boost property demand.

“Reserve Bank’s decision to cut the repo rate by 50 basis points and abolish pre-payment penalties is a good move for home buyers,” Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI) Chairman Pradeep Jain said. In its annual credit policy, RBI has asked banks not to levy foreclosure charges or pre-payment penalties on home loans extended on a floating interest rate.

The country’s largest realty firm DLF also welcomed the decision, saying it would significantly improve the cash flows of developers. “It is positive news although very-very delayed. This will benefit home buyers besides the industry. It will improve cash flows tremendously,” DLF Group Executive Director Rajeev Talwar said.

Jain too said that liquidity for developers would improve and cost of funds would be cheaper. On demand, Credai Chairman said the move would definitely boost housing demand. However, property consultant DTZ India CEO Anshul Jain felt more measures need to be taken to have a positive impact on housing demand.

“It is a step in right direction although lot more measures need to be taken before we see any effect of the rate cut on the real estate sector,” said Jain of DTZ. The housing demand, which is very subdued currently, would only rise if the interest rates on home loans come down to below 10 percent, he added.

Surat: Real Estate experiences 100% growth in 2 yrs.

Realty glitters in the diamond city. Real estate sector has witnessed a 100 per cent growth in the past two years, aided by a number of factors like vertical development, business opportunities and influx of people from other places.

Om Ahuja, CEO-residential services, Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) India, said, “In cities like Surat, the growth is directly related to increased income of people. High income has also spawned more nuclear families.”

Chairman CREDAI, Surat, Tarun Rawal said, “On-going development of mass transport infrastructure and planned town planning schemes in the city has given confidence to people to go to faraway places to live. Hence, small sector projects – 1,500 sq ft houses – have gained a foothold in the city.”

Surat was the only city where people used to buy and sell properties without documents, but now awareness is growing. “Now small units have started to come up in huge numbers,” said Harshil Daliwala of SNS Builders.

The city is estimated to be spread over in an area of 326 sq km. It could further expand by another 200 sq km. “There is a plan to convert Surat-Navsari into twin cities which will together have a population of 1.15 crore people,” Surat Municipal Corporation’s director of planning Jivan Patel said.

Realtors upset with the policies of Bhubaneswar Development Authority.

The real estate developers on Thursday reacted sharply to the Bhubaneswar Development Authority’s (BDA) move to change the definition of “apartment” and “group housing.”

Talking to reporters here, Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI) state president D S Tripathy said the new definitions are vague and will result in the harassment of people while constructing houses.

The draft BDA (planning and building standards) amendment regulations-2012 proposes to amend the definition of apartment as building constructed in one block having more than four dwelling units where land is owned jointly and construction is undertaken by one agency. Under the existing BDA regulations 2008, an apartment is defined as a building having six or more dwelling units.

Tripathy said under the new definition houses of joint families may become apartments. As a result, such families would have to meet the required road width of minimum nine metres, he said. Tripathy said certain apartments can never form societies for which at least seven members are required. Similarly, the new definition of ‘group housing,’ building with more than one dwelling unit, where land is owned jointly and the construction is undertaken jointly by one agency, is vague and don’t convey clarity.

CREDAI, which suggested its comment on the draft regulations, open for public suggestions, is of the view that creation of the new “settlement fund” and earmarking of 10% of all housing projects for economically weaker sections is not going to help the poor. “It seems impractical that BDA will construct EWS houses using shelter fund,” the CREDAI chief said.

The CREDAI, Odisha, suggested that the state government should formulate an affordable housing policy on the lines of Rajasthan, which looks more realistic, gives incentives to builders and subsidy to weaker sections.

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.

Real Estate Sector in Bangalore may see 25 per cent growth.

The real estate sector in Bangalore has grown to a large extent in the past one year. In the year ahead, the city’s realty is expected to grow by 25 per cent, estimates the Karnataka Chapter of the Consortium of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI).

“We are expecting the realty to grow by 25 per cent in the coming year. Last year too we have witnessed a similar growth,” said Sushil Mantri, president, CREDAI Karnataka.

As per studies conducted last year, the city is likely to absorb about 7.1 million sq. ft. of office space against a supply of 7 million sq. ft. While demand for office and commercial sales in the city saw a rise, residential sales remained slow.

Experts said that the city witnessed a great strength in high street leasing and rent, and capital value has increased nominally in a few sub-markets. Also, there was a rise in rental value as demand by retailers remained strong.

With commercial office space developers offering favourable options, predictions for 2012 are that several IT companies in the city will look at pre-leasing office space.

However, analysts opine that office space supply will outweigh demand.

“FDI in multibrand real estate is expected to catalyse a lot of demand from international retailers. International luxury brands will restrict their growth plans to Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore,” states a projected report by Jones Lang LaSalle India, Realty Intelligence firm.

The report states that the mid-end and affordable housing segments will record healthy appreciation in capital value in short term from a low base.

 

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.

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.”

CREDAI Report on Application of Service Tax

Tax Service
According to CREDAI, the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India, due to the application of service tax as per the union budget 2010, the property prices will experience an increase.

All of us are aware of the fact that this service tax has come into effect since July 1. For those who don’t, a quick recap says that an introduction of “deeming provision” took place in Union Budget 2010 which brought realty within the horizon of service tax.

According to the president of CREDAI, Mr Chitty Babu, there will be an increase of around 2.5% in property prices on account of the levy. Additional to this, in locations like Tamil Nadu where land registration and sale of building are done separately, a hiatus of 66.3% has been granted, thus, service tax will be applicable on the balance.

Finally, this whole tax would come just on the shoulders of buyers. This fact has even been admitted by some developers that they would charge extra from the buyers themselves to pay this tax.

CREDAI to liaise in builder- buyer disputes

Do's and Dont's
In the Visakhapatnam chapter, regarding the disputes between buyers and builders, on Thursday, the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI) took responsibility of being a mediator so as to arbitrate the disputes.

A code of conduct was formally released by code of conduct, national president, CREDAI. This code was originally brought by the Visakhapatnam chapter as a measure of self-regulation. The formal release of this code of conduct announced many dos and don’ts for member developers/builders of CREDAI.

In the welcome address, K. Subba Raju, the chairman of CREDAI said that they would surely keep a watch on all members so that they adhere to the 27 guidelines of the code completely which in turn would develop a sense of confidence upon the fraternity.

Memorandum to Govt. from CREDAI to Take Off Service Tax

Ministère des Finances QuébecApril 14, 2010

A memorandum has been submitted to the Finance Ministry concerned with the appeal for removal of service tax on housing complexes under construction by CREDAI, Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India which is a real estate industry body.

The Chairman of CREDAI, Kumar Gera stated that they have put forth their concerns and suggestions and also discussed the probable impact of the provisions with the Ministry. An understanding of the problem and required corrective steps will be taken is a hope from the government. The list of recommendations was built in consultations with KPMG, its knowledge partner and was submitted to Y G Parande, a Finance Ministry Member (Budget).

According to Gera, the money collected through the imposition of service tax on real estate development will not be big enough; rather it would majorly lead an overall negative sentiment and a net loss of revenue.

In budget 2010, it was announced by Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, the Finance Minister that a tax would be imposed on the housing complexes under construction but later it was clarified by the officials that service tax would be imposed on 33 per cent of total selling price. This was interpreted by the real estate players as a 3.5% price escalation for the buyers.

According to CREDAI, it was an impractical proposal to levy service tax on construction of complex since would lead to government giving preference to the secondary market of completed projects.

Truth Behind Declining Realty

Pranab Mukherjee

FINANCE MINISTER MR.PRANAB MUKHERJEE


Few days after the budget is announced the Realty Industry started showing discontent in concern with the service tax policy announced by the union finance minister, Pranab Mukherjee. The Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI) with the Surat Builders association wrote a letter dated March 5 to the finance minister, Pranab Mukherjee asking to withdraw service tax imposed on sales and renting of commercial and residential spaces.

In the letter to the Centre, the association has also said that a inclusive action plan for urban housing is necessary as there is a shortage of 27 million houses in the country presently.
President of Surat Builders’ Association and the vice-president of Gujarat chapter of CREDAI Tarun Rawal said that if we look at the population explosion in the city the figure has gone up to 46 lacs very fast but there is a shortage of about 5 lacs shelters in the city itself. He added that the need for sustainable housing in most of the big cities is huge and to fulfill that we must have a central policy and plan to guide it.

The association compels the Union finance minister to look into the matter of service tax imposed on housing sector as the sector is crucial for growth to create affordable housing. Slum re-development and integrated township incentives are also required. “Only if this is provided the sector will be able to fulfill the need of a growing nation,” said Rawal.

It is argued by real estate developers that the imposition of service tax will eventually make buying houses more difficult for the middle and lower classes. Similarly, service tax on rented property will adversely affect sectors like IT sector since they are already showing declining trend when the US restrictions have affected them.

What the finance minister decides is what should be looked for now.

Real estate is back on track

According to CREDAI, real estate sector is picking up in both residential and commercial sector. Both real estate sectors are getting more and more enquiries. Along with enquiries, demand in both sectors has also increased. However, there are various major and minor factors behind this, but two major factors are, affordable housing concept and reduction in home loan rates. Investors have more choice and offer these days.

Mr. Raj Menda, President of CREDAI-Karnatak announced a 2 day realty expo starting from 15th of this month. This realty expo will showcase 150 properties. During this announcement Mr. Menda said that there is a growth of 60% in March of this year as compared to December last year.