Cadbury India to sell its Mumbai HQ for Rs.450 Cr

Cadbury India is planning to sell its Mumbai headquarters. The property is expected to bring the firm around Rs.450 Cr.

MUMBAI: Cadbury India plans to sell its headquarter Cadbury House for Rs.450 Cr. The headquarters of Mondelez International’s Indian wing is located on Pedder Road in Mumbai. Continue reading

Thomas Cook Sets To Monetize Its Realty Assets in India

Thomas Cook, the world renowned travel and tour provider and agency, has informed that it will monetize its realty assets in India. The decision is taken mainly to cut short its debts.

Thomas Cook has over 32 realty properties across India. The group has recently appointed Jones Lang LaSalle for monetizing some of these properties. The group hopes to earn up to Rs.300 Cr., through monetizing its properties.

Thomas Cook owns over 60,000 sq. ft. of commercial space in Mumbai. The group also owns 43,000 sq. ft. in New Delhi. The South Mumbai property alone is estimated at around Rs.200 to Rs.250 Cr.

Thomas Cook plans to monetize its realty assets to reduce debts.

Thomas Cook plans to monetize its realty assets to reduce debts.

While informing the media their plan to monetize the realty assets, company spokesperson said that the amount will be used for funding the working capital requirements of the group.

The group aims to cover up or cut short their debt with the amount raised from monetization of the properties. The monetization will be done through Institutional Placement Program (IPP).

The company is reported to have a tough time in the last one to one and half years. The company has to find some emergent fund for erasing their debt. This is the reason behind their decision to monetize the realty assets. The company aims to raise around Rs.300 Cr by the way of monetization.

The company has appointed real estate consultant firm Jones Lang LaSalle India to handle the monetization. The real estate consultants will find takers for leasing the property.

Thomas Cook to monetize its realty assets.

Thomas Cook to monetize its realty assets.

Commenting on the monetization plan of Thomas Cook, some property experts say that the investors must be cautious to invest with the firm. They say that the investment over Rs.65 per share is risky and they ask the investors to fix the deal only if the price apiece is below Rs.65.

Monetization of the realty assets is always considered as one of the best and easiest ways to lower the debts. The market watchers are looking forward how this will help the group reduce its debt.

Foreign retailers likely to postpone India Entry, JLL

Asia Pacific Property Digest, the quarterly report of JLL India, states that the foreign retailers may postpone their India Entry by one or two years.

With the foreign direct investment policy of the central government, the realty developers were expecting foreign retailers to set up their outlets and stores in India. Developers thought they could find some takers for their vacant spaces in their shopping mall projects. Continue reading

Housing Projects for Seniors, Bangalore Tops The List

There are seven housing projects for seniors in Bangalore. The city is far ahead to the others like Chennai and Pune which has three each such projects.

Bangalore is one of the prime IT hubs in India. It is known for its IT development. Temperate climate, end-user oriented residential sector, stable property prices, etc. were some of the most used adjectives for Bangalore city. Adding to all these is the top position for developing most number of housing projects for the ‘seniors.’ Continue reading

Office space demand trends, Property consultants differ

Global property consultants like DTZ, JLL, Cushman & Wakefield, CBRE, etc. are coming up with contrasting reports regarding the office space demand.
Office space demand rises or falls, experts vary.

Office space demand rises or falls, experts vary.

BANGALORE: A recent report of CB Richard Ellis, a US based property consultant, stated that the office space absorption in India rose by 37%. The rise is on a year-to year basis. In the opinion of CBRE, January 2013 witnessed higher demand.

Meanwhile another American property consultant stated that the office space demand is down by 37%. This report of Cushman & Wakefield was absolutely on the opposite of what the CBRE report.

The reports of Jones Lang Lasalle and DTZ India are also not complementing each other. While JLL speaks of a moderate demand, DTZ speaks of a fall in the demand.

As per the report of JLL, office space demand is more or same. Compared to the first quarter of 2012 the demand is moderate this year. The report of JLL stated that in most of the cities the demand for office space remained moderate.

As per DTZ India the office space absorption is down by 20%. Anshul Jain, CEO at DTZ India, said that only 4.8 million of office space was absorbed this year. This is 20% lower than the 6 million sq. ft. absorption of 2012. Continue reading

Oracle India to lease office space in BKC

Oracle India Pvt Ltd will lease large office space in the Bandra Kurla Complex. The IT majorhas already signed the agreement.
Oracle India will lease office space in BKC.

Oracle India will lease office space in BKC.

MUMBAI: Oracle has signed a lease agreement for its Indian arm Oracle India Pvt Ltd. The IT major has leased large sized office space in the Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai. The group will lease 50,000 sq. ft. of office space.

Oracle India will have to pay Rs.340 per sq. ft. for gaining office in the BKC which is one of the most costly office spaces across India and Asia Pacific Region. The lease agreement will be for a term of nine years.

One floor will be fully leased by Oracle India. The transaction worth Rs.183.6 Cr is the largest lease transaction in FIFC. First International Financial Centre (FIFC) is a Grade-A commercial development in BKC.

Continue reading

JLL to Raise Rs.1200 Cr Commercial Realty Fund

Jones Lang LaSalle is planning to raise a new realty fund. The main focus of JLL’s Rs.1200 Cr realty fund will be commercial sector.
JLL plans to raise Rs.1200 Cr to invest in the commercial realty.

JLL plans to raise Rs.1200 Cr to invest in the commercial realty.

BANGALORE: Late last year Jones Lang LaSalle launched a private equity fund. The PE fund collected Rs.300 Cr. Now JLL is looking forward to raise another realty fund for investing in the commercial realty.

If JLL collected Rs.300 Cr for investing in the residential sector, the new fund, which is four times bigger than the first, will be invested in the commercial realty.

Rs.1200 Cr realty fund is expected to be launched by the 2013-end. Their first fund was invested in Bangalore. JLL invested the amount in two residential projects.

Though the new fund is expected to be invested in the commercial sector, details are not available. Sources with direct knowledge say that the decision is not yet taken as to whether the investment should be domestic or offshore.

While senior executives of JLL could not be contacted for comments, a person with direct knowledge commented that the investment will be in the commercial sector. He added that the real estate consultants are looking for higher returns from their investment and for this commercial realty is better now. Continue reading

Office Space Absorption to Grow By 68% This Year: JLL

Jones Lang LaSalle India has reported that office space absorption will grow by 68% this year.
Office space absorption in suburbs grows.

Office space absorption in suburbs grows.

Jones Lang LaSalle’s recent survey has reported that in the suburbs the office space absorption will be more this year. The growth of absorption is expected to be by 68%.

In 2012, the office space absorption grew by 60%. This rate is expected to be outperformed. The JLL survey has stated that the companies which plan of expansion will be more concentrating on the suburbs. This will boost office space absorption in the suburbs.

The existing commercial centers are losing its prominence. This will be more visible in the coming five years during which the companies will expand to the suburbs. The expansion is believed to take place within next four to five years.

The survey stated that suburban locations will determine the performance of office market. The companies aim to reduce their cost by shifting to suburban locations. Moreover they will be able to enjoy better facilities and amenities in these areas, however at lower costs. Continue reading

Jones Lang LaSalle to invest in Bangalore realty

Bangalore seems the most preferred realty investment destination for Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL). Global property consultant will make their entry into the investment arena by investing in Bangalore.
Stable residential market in Bangalore attracts Jones Lang LaSalle.

Stable residential market in Bangalore attracts Jones Lang LaSalle.

Out of its first India-focused real estate fund, Jones Lang LaSalle will make an investment. However their first investment will be in Bangalore, their most preferred choice.

As per the available sources, Jones Lang LaSalle plans to invest Rs.30 Cr in Bangalore for developing two luxury housing projects. The deal will be done under Jones Lang LaSalle’s Segregated Funds Group. The closed fund has collected a total amount of Rs.300 Cr.

Four sites in Bangalore have been identified by Jones Lang LaSalle. JLL has entered into final talks with two developers of the city. If the talks come in the way JLL expects, the developers will be developing two residential projects in the city.

Last year itself, Jones Lang LaSalle received the approval of Securities and Exchange Board of India. Continue reading

MTNL Plans To Raise Rs.5000 Cr Via Divesting Realty Assets

Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL), the state- run telecom provider, plans to raise an amount of Rs.5000 Cr though divesting their real estate assets. MTNL plans to divest its properties located in Delhi and Mumbai.
What will be the fate of MTNL

MTNL struggles? When Mobile capitalizes!

MTNL has revealed its plans to raise an amount of Rs.5000 Cr through divesting its realty assets located in Delhi and Mumbai. With this plan, the state-run telecom provider has approached a global real estate consultancy.

The debt –driven telecom service provider has directed the real estate consultants to explore the possibility of mixing up of lease and sale. The telecom also has plans to redevelop land parcels on a public – private partnership basis. In short the MTNL’s monetization plans include redevelopment of land parcels, besides leasing and selling.

Overtaking other global real estate consultants like Jones Lang LaSalle, Cushman & Wakefield and CBRE, DTZ has won the MTNL bid. DTZ has been operating in India for nearly a decade. Continue reading

Tie Up with Everstone Marks JLL India’s Real Estate Entry

Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) India forays into the retail real estate India market with the company’s tie up with Everstone, one of the leading Private Equity (PE) firms and real estate advisors of India. Both the companies will collaborate in the construction and launch of four shopping malls at four main cities of India namely Vadodara, Kochi, Pune and Ahmedabad. These shopping mall projects are to be finished by 2017 or within a span of five years. Continue reading

Real Estate Industry Courses Lures Youths

With the boom of real estate industry across the country, it seems the youths are not just concentrating on good communication skills and sound knowledge of geographical area to become a good realtor, but are now looking at courses on real estate industry to get the professional touch. An industry report filed by leading real estate intelligence firm, Jones Lang Lasalle, India, has debated if a career in real estate in the country is apt right now.

Debating whether the Indian real estate industry is the right place to start a career, Sameer Khanna, Head, Human Resources, Jones Lang Lasalle India, noted that compared to developed countries, the Indian real estate sector still lacks sophistication and transparency.

Further Sameer Khanna explained, “However, it is popular for domestic and international investments. This has resulted in the need for better and capable human resources. Though real estate is not nuclear science, there are complexities involved.”

What courses to pick? While the real estate industry is changing fast, a lot of professionalism is coming in, as many major international players; developers are introducing best practices and higher transparency. “People equipped with the know-how, training and professionalism are in high demand, and are paid correspondingly,” experts revealed. Why are city students interested? While many students are choosing the course out of interest, many others enter the trade to see if the industry is challenging. Further, there are the third kind, who has families and forefathers who have been an integral part of the industry and are looking at entering the trade, with a professional course. “I do not know much about this industry but I have enrolled myself for this course because it seems interesting. So far the only role that interests me is one related to analysing the market,” said Shreeti Dey, a student.

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.

Mumbai offers little hope for home buyers.

In a recent report, Jones Lang LaSalle said that Mumbai seems to be in a tighter spot with Rs275 billion being sunk in land since FDI (foreign direct investment) was allowed in real estate in 2005; most of which has failed to yield returns. Even many investments done in South Bombay once named as one of the hottest and costliest property location in the world have met the same fate. Read Mumbai has sunk Rs275 billion in lands since 2005, the reason is known to all. Sky high prices have put off customers. In Mumbai, an average flat costs more than Rs10,000 per sq. ft. and even in Navi Mumbai, in less populated areas, there are many projects that have flats priced at over Rs1 crore.

Add to that the confusion created by the new DCR (development control rules). Many builders now have to make fresh plans to accommodate the proposed changes about FSI; and the worst affected are those whose projects are already underway. Many of the launches have been put on hold, and construction has been stalled in many places. And for people who have already invested in these projects, the longer the deadlock lasts, the more they have to pay.

Buy or not to buy? Despite a profusion of analyses and research reports on housing prices and their future direction, home buyers remain as confused as ever. So it is little wonder that 37 lakh of flats remain vacant in Maharashtra, of which 4.79 lakh are in Mumbai. The Census Directorate data says that even Thane district has more than 5 lakh vacant flats.

“Why doesn’t the government or RBI (Reserve Bank of India) understand that the more they squeeze liquidity by raising interest rates, it raises returns on black investments even higher. If our country can bring down black element out of property, rents will fall, property prices will fall,” said a commentator.

The home-buyer, however, is at a loss. The Budget came as a flop, and a recent Crisil report says that prices of steel and cement will go up, which will probably be passed down to the end-user. And then, there is the proposal to hike on leave-license, which is going to make rentals expensive. There are some who expect matters to improve.

Pankaj Kapoor, MD, Liases Foras also had echoed similar thoughts. “The high prices are not fault of only the builders. The hike in stamp duty was uncalled for and it is too revenue-centric and indicates a short term vision.” Read Maharashtra Stamp duty hike: “Neither can you afford to own a home, nor take it on rent”

However, as most experts say, one can buy a home any time. “You never know what will happen next. And honestly, there is little evidence to suggest that customers have waited for better home loan or price options when they have to buy a home—because it is a necessity. So if you want to own a home, there is no bad time,” said an analyst.

ICICI Bank and Sahara eye Parsvnath’s prime land in Delhi.

Real estate major Parsvnath Developers may soon be able to reduce a significant chunk of its debt, thanks to certain corporate giants showing interest in buying a prime piece of property it owns in the national capital.

The Sahara Group is engaged in discussions with Parsvnath to buy its commercial land near Connaught Place in New Delhi, according to sources. ICICI Bank is also among the contenders for the piece of land, it is learnt.

The 1.18-acre plot at Kasturba Gandhi Marg was bought by Parsvnath in 2008 for about Rs 200 crore, with the aim of constructing a retail-cum-office complex. But the realtor is now looking to sell it to cut mounting debt, currently at Rs 1,300 crore.

Although the Parsvnath management is looking for a price of Rs 700 crore, the interested parties are ready to sign a deal at Rs 600 crore, sources said. Property consultant Jones Lang LaSalle is advising Parsvnath on the deal.

Pradeep Jain, chairman, Parsvnath Developers, did not respond to repeated calls and e-mails. Mails to Sahara spokespersons did not elicit any response.

An ICICI Bank spokesperson said, “ICICI Bank has no plans to acquire this property.”

According to sources, ICICI is exploring the possibility of constructing a corporate house in the locality in partnership with Parsvnath, without acquiring the land.

Earlier, as part of its fundraising exercise, the company had entered into various deals with private equity funds.

In January 2011, Parsvnath signed an agreement with SUN-Apollo India Real Estate Fund LLC for an investment of Rs 100 crore in its premium residential project at Ghaziabad—Parsvnath Exotica. SUN-Apollo had acquired 49.9 per cent stake in the project SPV.

Then, the company sold a minority stake in Delhi-based residential project Parsvnath La Tropicana to JP Morgan for about Rs 150 crore. Through the deal, the previous investor, Red Fort Capital, made an exit. The company had plans to construct an office complex at Connaught Place along with the PE firm.

According to realty experts, demand for land at prime localities has risen as corporate houses look to move their headquarters to such locations.

Anuj Nangpal, director-investment advisory, DTZ India, a real estate consultancy, said, “Organisations are increasingly signaling their arrival or resurgence by moving their presence into the centre of metros. The branding benefit of such ownership of prime real estate far outweighs the costs. Further, employees are also increasingly assessing their jobs and future basis of their office infrastructure and the pride in occupying prime real estate clearly impacts long-term retention.”

Earlier, Business Standard had reported on the discussions being held by textiles major Alok Industries with various large corporate groups to sell its property at Peninsula Business Park in central Mumbai. Alok was looking at a deal in the range of Rs 900-1,000 crore.

Chennai leads Indian Realty Sector.

In a recent report, property broking and real estate consulting firm Jones Lang LaSalle said the Indian property market is poised to attract about US$3 billion, almost double last year’s US$1.6 billion, from overseas buyers this year.

The Indian property market will see more investment from overseas this year as it still remains an attractive investment destination globally.

Of this, one-third would be from home buyers and the balance from investors. This is despite the fact that property prices in India are at an all-time high.

According to a recent National Housing Bank (NHB) survey, property prices in big Indian cities have increased by as much as 43 per cent to 166 per cent in the last four years.

NHB, wholly owned by the Reserve Bank of India, lends to home-mortgage companies. It also regulates and refinances social housing programmes. In its report, the bank said Chennai had seen the highest rise in prices at 166 per cent. Bhopal was second with a hike of 117 per cent and Mumbai was ranked third with an increase of 87 per cent.

What then brings overseas investment to Indian property, when prices are skyrocketing? The answer is simple: Despite the global turmoil because of the financial crisis, the Indian economy has remained robust, largely due to domestic-driven demand.

According to Jones Lang LaSalle, India’s strong economic growth, rapid urbanisation, growing middle-class population, demographic advantage and increased thrust on infrastructure has worked in its favour. Buying property is especially popular among Indians living abroad, who all seem to want a piece of the homeland. That is why Indian property shows are burgeoning around the globe.

Dubai-based Sumansa Exhibitions has been holding Indian property shows across five countries. And every year the number of developers taking part in the shows and the attendees has grown rapidly.

Sumansa Exhibitions’ chief executive officer Sunil Jaiswal says: “We have held shows in the UK, South Africa, Hong Kong, Dubai and Singapore. They have been very well received by both exhibitors and visitors alike.”

This year Sumansa will hold the Indian Property Show in Singapore on April 14 and 15. It will be held at the Suntec Exhibition Centre’s hall 401 and nearly 40 developers from across India will be part of the show.

More than 200 properties will be showcased during the two-day exhibition. Sumansa expects the number of footfalls at the event to be much larger than the 4,000 that turned up at its last year’s event.

JLLM and WIPRO Come Together.

Real estate consulting company Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj (JLLM) has signed a big contract with a country’s major information technology company Wipro for managing its 2.3 million square feet of office space in Bangaluru, Mumbai and Mysore.

Auto Rickshaws, Bangalore India
Wipro is the third largest exporter of the country of information and technology whereas with global revenue of $2.5 billion in the last year, Jones Lang LaSalle serves clients in over 60 countries from750 locations across the world, including 180 corporate offices. The firm is a forerunner in property and corporate facility management services, with a portfolio of approximately 1.4 billion sq ft worldwide.

The statement issued by JLLM contained “Riding high on its recent successes with Indian corporates such as Max India Group and Lavasa (of HCC group), Jones Lang LaSalle’s Integrated Facilities Management India team has won a facilities management contract with another Indian corporate giant – Wipro Technologies”.

“There is a vastly increasing demand for professional integrated facilities management services in India,” said Yash Kapila JLLM’s Integrated Facilities Management MD.

The coming together of two big corporations is a good sign for the industry.