PM to intervene in infra projects in Maharashtra

air

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will take personal attention to make sure that the Navi Mumbai airport takes off. Now that the project affected people will be getting 22.5 pc of the developed land with an average of 2 floor space index in the area.

The growers from the area have been assured of suitable compensation. The land acquired would be developed into a state-of-the art airport with international standards.  The facilities will be world class for the travelers.

The major issues concerning the new Airport facing are like Churchgate-Virar Elevated Suburban Rail Corridor; Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL); Colaba-Bandra SEEPZ; Salt Pan Land and Indu Mills Land were deliberated at length.

A high-level meeting was taken place in Mumbai in which Manmohan Singh, Pritiviraj Chavan, Sharad Pawar, P Chidambaram, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Ajit Pawar and other minister and officials took part to discus the issue.

In a effort to give another life line to Maharashtra infra sector, a new Rs 9,689 cr MTHL project is being declared and the CM urged the PM to declare it as a National Project and provide enough financial support to the project.

The new mega project involves a total distance of 22 km which will have hassle free link from Mumbai to Navi Mumbai, Pune Goa and South India.

The state government urged the PM to intervene in the infra projects to remove blockages and help the state to get approvals for the projects.

Morgan Stanley Likely To Invest In Commercial Project

Morgan Stanley plans to invest in Bandra Kurla Complex, in Mumbai where the firm will develop around 1.6 million sq. ft. of office space. If this deal takes place this will be the first investment of Morgan Stanley in India in the commercial sector.
Morgan Stanley plans to invest in India

Morgan Stanley plans to invest in India

Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing is pondering over the firm’s plans to develop 1.6 million sq. ft. of office space in Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai. Mumbai- based real estate firm, Wadhwa Group, initiated construction of the project under which two more commercial towers will be developed by the end of next year.

Though the deal is only in its initial stages now, it would be the first investment by Morgan Stanley investors in the commercial sector of India. Earlier the firm had invested $850 million in India for developing a real estate project. However the project was basically a housing project. And so it would be the first time the American firm will be investing in a commercial project. Continue reading

Mumbai & Delhi; Top The List Of World’s Cheapest Cities

A recent survey reports that Mumbai and Delhi are included among World’s cheapest cities. Mumbai shared the top-spot with Karachi; while Delhi stood third.

According to a survey; recently conducted by Economist Intelligence Unit, top Indian cities Delhi and Mumbai have found place among world’s cheapest cities.

Mumbai tops the list of all least expensive cities of  the world.

Mumbai tops the list of all least expensive cities of the world.

Mumbai and Karachi; the financial capitals of India and Pakistan respectively, topped the list of the cheapest cities of the world. They were followed by the Indian Capital city New Delhi which was ranked third. Algiers, the Capital of Algeria and the Capital of Nepal Kathmandu were the other two world cities included in the top five cheapest cities of the world.

Recently Economist Intelligence Unit conducted a survey among world’s top 131 cities. The survey was based on the cost of living. The cost of living was decided on the prices of over 160 items. The list of the items included the transport-fares, utility service charges, and expenses on food and clothing.

Continue reading

Mumbai Real Estate Builders Support MIDC Policy

Maharashtra Industrial Development CorporationMIDC announced its new industrial policy in the state. Mumbai Real estate is said to gain benefits from this new policy.
Mumbai real estate and new industrial policy

Mumbai real estate builders welcomed new industrial policy despite scam allegation.

The new industrial policy announced by the Maharashtra Industrial Development CorporationMIDC gives new hope to the Mumbai Real estate developers. This new policy remains as a New Year jackpot for the Mumbai Real estate developers.

MIDC decided to free nearly 35,000 acres of land in the special economic zones (SEZ) for developing residential projects. As per the new policy, around 40% of the total available SEZ land can be used for residential developments. The remaining 60 % of the land will be used for commercial development. Continue reading

Real Estate Investment: Tier 2 Cities More Profitable

Real estate investors of India prefer to have real estate investment in tier two cities now. These developing cities offer higher returns for the real estate investors.
real estate investment in tier 2 cities

Real estate investment in tier 2 cities is more profitable as it offers higher returns.

The Tier two cities are more preferred by real estate investors now. These cities are noted for their faster development and this is the main factor that attracts the Indian real estate investors to these cities.

Real estate investors’ traditional approach to bigger cities such as Delhi and Mumbai shifts as they remain incapable of delivering higher returns to them. On the other hand tier two cities are emerging as better real estate destinations.

The cities with better job- opportunities are all the more preferred real estate investment destinations. Higher population inflow to the small cities like Pune and Gurgaon prompts the builders to increase the supply.

With the growth of population the commercial needs improve and so does the demand for commercial spaces. These cities better offer chances for business growth as well. All these factors have pushed up the real estate prices as there is an increased demand.

Real estate investment not in developed cities

Developed cities do not support Real estate investment as it offers only lower returns.

Leading real estate consultancy firm Jones Lang LaSalle India (JLL) reported that the cities like Bangalore and Chennai will grow along with the expansion of IT centers in the cities. The real estate consultancy firm highlighted the expansion plan of Wipro.

Wipro has recently disclosed their plan of expansion. The firm plans to expand their existing Bangalore headquarters and campus which at present has the capacity to hold 31,000 people. Another 25 lakh sq. ft. of area will be added to the current Wipro headquarters.

IT expansion is taking place in Hyderabad and Chennai as well. These areas’ growth will be dependent on the IT expansion. JLL India’s CEO Om Ahuja opined that the real estate prices in these cities will be more dynamic than in other cities. He added that trends of real estate supply will be different in these areas.

All these features tell the real estate investors to tap new and emerging markets. They can reap sizeable returns from these cities and so these cities remain hotter places to have real estate investment. In short prime real estate investments in tier 2 cities are easier way to become rich now.

Commercial Real Estate Office Space Demand Regains Pace

Commercial_Real-Estate

Commercial_Real-Estate

Demand for space in commercial real estate sector is reviving after the earlier setbacks in the primary quarters of the year 2012.  Seven prominent commercial hubs of India showed a greater pace of growth in the third quarter of 2012.  The third quarter which longs from July-to-September quarter, witnessed an A-Grade office space absorption by the major commercial real estate hubs on India. Continue reading

Real Estate Fails to Tackle Surging Housing Units Demand

Surging Housing Shortage of India.

Surging Housing Shortage of India.

Continued population boom in India leads to a situation where residential units or space remains insufficient for the people. According to Cushman and Wakefield all major cities of India are in high need of around 2.1 million new housing units to meet the increased demand. Real estate sector has to come up with new residential projects to solve out this great menace. Real estate has to play a vital role. Continue reading

Growing Service Sector Enhances Commercial Real Estate

Commercial Sector Boom

Commercial Sector Booms with Service Sector Growth

Growing service sector of India drive the demand for commercial real estate. Real estate research firms reported that Service sector of India showed a greater pace of growth rate of 8.5%. This will result in the increased demand for more commercial real estate space.  In 2011 service sector occupied 70 % of office space and this is likely to be increased this year. Continue reading

Reliance PMS Launches Real Estate Oriented Fund

Reliance Capital prepares to launch its maiden real estate focused fund of र 1,000 crore by the end of the year 2012. Reliance Capital is owned by Anil Dhirubhai Ambani (ADA) Group. This maiden launch of Reliance Capital in the realty industry will be done under the surveillance of Reliance Portfolio Management Services (PMS). The new fund will aim at constructing residential properties.  The investment will be concentrated in the cities like Pune, Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi primarily.  Reliance selected these cities as the real estate markets of these cities are more firm and have an increasing value appreciation.

Government’s Surplus Land Selling Boosts Real Estate

The higher financial stress of the Government makes them think of selling or leasing of the surplus land. This will provide more land for construction in metropolitan cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and other such notable cities of India.The decision will boost the real estate growth. Realty firms are sure to cast their hawk’s eye on this land and make the profit out of it. Continue reading

Mumbai Real Estate Price Crashes Again

Mumbai real estate price witnessed a slight fall in recent years. Knight Frank a well-known Market Research Firm reported that the property price has gone down in many Mumbai markets. Many realty firms suffered loss as sale has gone down by 70%.  Higher growth of interest and the stingiest Housing Loan Schemes pulled the demand down. It is estimated that around fivefold increase in the interest rate happened during 2008 to 2012. Moreover the RBI keeps very strict with providing house loans. The housing loans are reduced with a view of curtailing the over flow of money. Continue reading

IL And FS PE Plans Fund For Yatra Capital

IL&FS Investment Managers Ltd (IIML), the country’s largest home-grown private equity firm by assets under management (AUM), is planning to launch a fresh fund under the banner of Amsterdam’s Euronext-listed Yatra Capital.

Yatra Capital is an India-focused real estate investment firm, promoted by Saffron Capital Advisors.

Archana Hingorani, chief executive officer and executive director of IIML, told “We are in the process of getting shareholder approval at its upcoming annual general meeting. After the approval comes and depending upon the capital markets, we will be able to raise fresh money for the same.”

IIML would be hoping to be second time lucky.

This involved renaming the existing shares of Yatra Capital as ‘real estate shares’ whereas the new share class was to be christened as ‘infrastructure shares’. This would have developed Yatra Capital as a multi-class fund house with a strategy to invest in Indian infrastructure through debt and equity components, as against its present strategy of primarily equity investments in the Indian realty sector.

Yatra Capital has invested across asset class but its maximum exposure is in the retail segment where it has invested in market city projects of the Mumbai-based realtor Phoenix Mills Ltd. It also has enterprise level stake in Saket Engineers Pvt Ltd and the Phoenix Mills.

After the proposal was submitted, a number of amendments were suggested by the concerned shareholders and the board had later determined that until a final position was reached on the potential amendments to the proposal, it would not be implemented. This happened in spite of the board getting what it called a ‘broad’ investor support.

Delhi: Homes Sells Faster Than Mumbai

Mumbai may be second to Delhi in unsold homes, but it will take longer to sell them. Real estate developers in the financial capital must wait over three years to clear 1.13 lakh units or 120 million sq ft as high prices deter potential buyers, shows a study released by Liases Foras, a real estate rating and research consultant.

The study covers units in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) — including Mumbai city, Thane, Kalyan and Navi Mumbai — National Capital Region in Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai. NCR, with 232.57 million square feet or 1.60 lakh units of unsold homes — roughly double Mumbai’s —will likely sell homes much faster, in 23 months.

“The NCR market is primarily an investor market and has very little comparison with Mumbai,” says Om Ahuja, chief executive officer (residential services) at Jones Lang LaSalle India. “The real estate market in areas like Gurgaon or Noida attracts a lot of money from neighbouring states like Punjab, UP and Delhi as people invest in residential properties.” Among the six metros, Pune homes will be sold the fastest, taking just 14 months to sell its 43.06 m sq ft at the current pace of buying. A steep rise in interest rates in the last 18 months was seen as the key reason for low sales as buyers try to avoid high home loan instalments.

The Reserve Bank of India cut key rates by 50 basis points last month, forcing lenders to lower their retail lending rates which could push sales.

 

 

Anand Rathi and Knight Frank Eye the Second Realty Fund

Anand Rathi Financial Services and property consultancy Knight Frank India are planning to launch their second real estate fund by end of this months and looking to raise around Rs 500 crore (~$100 million), sources close to the development told VCCircle. Unlike its peers who are hitting foreign shores to raise new funds, the joint fund rental yield and appreciation portfolio (RYAP) fund will be raised from the domestic market.  Like its predecessor, it will invest in commercial assets in tier I cities which include Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, National Capital Region (NCR) and Chennai.

The fund would be targeting returns of 10-12 per cent from its investments and expects to stay invested in an asset for four-five years. A senior executive of the joint venture fund house who did not wish to be identified, said, “We are waiting for final Alternate Investment Fund (AIF) guidelines as right now there is no clarity on registration of funds and other norms. Once we have clarity on the same which we are expecting by mid-May we will register and start our fund raising process.”

In April 2, markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) had unveiled its final norms to regulate AIF’s in the country. Fund managers expect the detailed guidelines to be issued in the next two weeks.

Knight Frank India and Anand Rathi Financial Services had joined hands two years ago to raise Rs 225 crore rental yield fund. It has invested Rs 135 crore from the existing fund in two projects including Hub town Ltd’s commercial project in Mumbai and Cerebrum IT park development by Pune-based Kumar Urban Development Ltd.

Commercial Realty Offers Big Opportunities in Mumbai

The number of high net worth investors (HNIs) and corporates seriously looking to invest in Indian office space has increased manifold in the last few years. Mumbai continues as India’s numerous office space investment destination, with companies from all over the world unerringly zeroing in on the financial capital.

As South Asia’s only true financial hub, Mumbai is among India’s best places to invest in commercial real estate. In times of global economic uncertainty, investors flock to markets that have consistently proved their long-term stability and fundamentals.

In a scenario wherein institutional investors are showing reduced preference for commercial real estate in their portfolios, Mumbai continues to present HNI and corporate investors with myriad growth opportunities in office properties. However, the multitude of options also gives many enthusiastic investors heartburn -where on Mumbai’s vast and complex map are the low-risk/high returns locations?

Today, Mumbai as a city for commercial space investment reveals a high rate of vacancies in many locations. The rental yields in these micro-locations are expected to decrease marginally over the next 12 months.

While this seems to present a depressing scenario on the surface, the fact is that we are now looking at the bottom of the curve. In other words, these markets are expected to bottom out over the next one year and will consequently start to move up again. These locations have significant long-term capital value appreciation potential, and well-informed investors are keeping a close eye on them.

Report: DLF in talks to sell Mumbai land

DLF, India’s top-listed realtor, is in talks with three Mumbai-based real estate companies — Lodha Developers, Runwal Group and Sheth Creators, to sell a piece of land in central Mumbai, according to a report on Friday.

While DLF is seeking a valuation of 30 billion rupees ($571 million) for the 6.8 hectare property, the potential buyers are negotiating at between 20 billion and 22 billion rupees, the newspaper said, citing an unnamed person.

“Even as all the parties had talks with DLF, the developer is yet to make up its mind, as it is expecting higher valuations,” it quoted the person as saying.

DLF bought the land for 7.02 billion rupees in 2005 from state-owned National Textile Corporation.

Abhisheck Lodha, managing director of Lodha Developers, said the company was not in talks with DLF while an executive at Runwal group also responded in the negative, the paper said.

DLF does not comment on market speculation, the company’s spokesman told.

Realty projects, roads focus to help build-up for Unity Infraprojects

Healthy order book, strong balance sheet and the potential to unlock value from real estate projects make Unity Infraprojects a decent investment idea on a medium-term basis. Mumbai-based Unity Infraprojects is a small-sized construction firm operating in buildings, water and roads segments. The company is also developing real estate on its land parcels in Nagpur, Bangalore, Pune, Kolkata and Goa. The total saleable area from these projects is nearly nine million square feet.

Unity Infraprojects stands to gain by unlocking the value in its real estate projects. It was not able to monetise any of its real estate projects due to delays in execution by over a year. However, it is now in an advanced stage of securing approvals for launching its Bangalore residential project. Unity has a total saleable area of nearly 3 million square feet in this project, which it intends to launch in another three months.

After this it will focus on monetising its real estate in other cities. The current order book of the company in its construction business stands at Rs 4,700 crore, which are 2.75 times its FY11 revenues. These orders are to be executed over the next three years. The company has been increasing its exposure to the roads segment in the last few years. Although the roads segment is highly competitive, Unity’s backward integration in terms of owns machinery has allowed the company to garner better operating margins than its peers.

In the nine months ending December 2011, the company has maintained an operating margin of 15.5%. Another factor that augurs well for the company is its strong balance sheet. As of September 2011, the company had a debt-equity ratio of 1.1, which is one of the best among its peers. Unity Infraprojects’ stock is trading at a P/E of 3.9 while similar-sized rivals like Pratibha Industries and Supreme Infrastructure India are trading at a P/E of 5.9 and 5.2, respectively. Considering its growth potential and the relative discount to its peers, the stock looks attractive at this level.


Dhanlaxmi Bank says will cut costs, not shutting branches.

Indian private lender Dhanlaxmi Bank said it does not plan to shut down branches or shrink operations, but has initiated steps, including salary cuts, to control costs as it grapples with pressured margins.

“We have no plans to shut down any of our branches. We want to grow,” PG Jayakumar, the bank’s chief executive, told reporters.

The small-sized bank also plans to surrender excess real estate in metros and major cities.

Last week, the Economic Times newspaper reported that the bank plans to shut 30 branches in major cities as part of a revival plan.

The bank swung to a net loss of about 370 million rupees ($7.2 million) in the December quarter as costs soared and revenues shrank.

Consumers and businesses have rushed to park their money in long-term deposits, burdening banks with high costs, while lenders have been struggling to grow their loan books to boost profits.

“Strain on profits in one or two quarters is not going to affect us badly,” Dhanlaxmi said in a statement on Monday.

It plans to focus on loans against gold, small and medium enterprises and retail businesses for growth and expects a net interest margin of 2.5-3 per cent in the current financial year that ends in March.

The bank said it plans to raise 2 billion rupees each of tier 2 and tier 1 capital in the fiscal first and second quarter, respectively.

Shares of the bank, which has a market capitalisation of $126.3 million, ended down nearly 2 per cent in a weak Mumbai market on Monday.

Piramal Realty Acquires Gulita For 452 Cr From HUL.

Piramal Realty has acquired Gulita – property in south Mumbai from Hindustan Unilever for R452Cr. Piramal Realty is planning to develop high-end luxury apartments on the one-acre land and Ajay Piramal might keep a part of it for his personal use, given the premium location, according to ET.

Gulita is a one-acre property in Worli Seaface, which used to house a training centre and private residences of senior executives of Unilever’s Indian arm.

Gulita was built in 1968 and the land was taken on a perpetual lease from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation–the Mumbai civic authority. The property was put on the block after the company set up a new campus in the suburbs of Andheri and shifted its training facilities there.

Since HUL put the building on block, it has attracted several buyers which included Anil Ambani, Gautam Adani, Oberoi Realty and Sahara.

Last year, Piramal Realty acquired a plot of land in Mumbai from Mafatlal Industries Ltd for about R760Cr. Khushru Jijina – MD of piramal Realty said that the company plans to develop five residential projects in Mumbai at an estimated investment of about R1500Cr. The company will develop about 30 million sq. ft. through land acquisitions funded from its own sources.

Recently in real estate space, Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd sold 2 acre plot in Mumbai to Adani Enterprises for R900Cr to repay its debt. Ascendas Property Fund Trustee Private Limited, the Trustee-Manager of Ascendas India Trust (a-iTrust) has acquired two operating Buildings in Hitec City 2 Special Economic Zone in Hyderabad, India, from Phoenix Infocity Pvt Ltd for R176.5Cr; while IL&FS Investment Managers bought Logix Group’s four office buildings in Noida for R600Cr.

 

 

JLL: Residential Realty Market is set to appreciate in 6 months.

Jones Lang LaSalle India, a global research firm in the real estate sector, says that prices of residential units in India in the next six months should witness marginal appreciation. JLL says: “Over 60% of residential launches in the Top 7 cities (mostly in cities other than the NCR and Mumbai) are priced in the range of Rs 2,000-4, 000 per sq. ft., which meets the demand of middle-income buyers.”

At the same time, the RBI has given sufficient indications of probable cuts in key rates during second half of 2012, which will improve affordability for homebuyers and provide lower interest costs for developers. This will help in increasing the demand for residential units in the country. JLL also argues that even in the present bad condition, prevailing absorption rates are at nearly 10-12 %, which translate into an average absorption period of 8-10 quarters for a residential project. “This implies that at average prices, any average residential project should be sold out before construction is completed in around three years from the launch.”

JLL says that new project launches, which were slow in Mumbai and the NCR in the first half of 2011 due to approval and land acquisition issues, have now started to pick up. This should improve cash flows for developers having large land banks during 2012. A number of builders have acquired huge land banks on borrowed fund. As the builders pay huge interest rates, nearly 15-18 % on the borrowed fund, the servicing of debts has put huge strain on their finances. Any improvement in off-take is likely to release them from the financing pressure.

In the present slowdown condition, despite bad financial conditions, builders are not cutting the prices as in most parts of the country; they have priced their projects at nearly cost prices. “With rising input costs, developers do not want to sell below a threshold, which does not justify their minimum replacement returns,” JLL says. “This leaves home buyers with a small window of opportunity – the next six months – when home prices should witness marginal appreciation. After six months, a second wave of high appreciation is predicted.

However, in some of the micro markets in Mumbai and the NCR, the appreciation in prices was even sharper. In the last two years, in some of the markets like Gurgaon’s Dwarka Expressway, prices have almost doubled.

Overall, the Indian real estate market went through a slowdown in the last one year. But, all the predictions of a hard landing for the residential property market in 2011 and 2012 have failed to come true, so far.

Two Indian Real Estate Deals in Asian Top Ten list.

Two real estate deals in India — the sale of Leela Kempinski Kovalam and Noida’s deal with Wave Mega City Centre – have been ranked among the top ten in their categories across Asia according to a recently published study by Real Capital. Both deals took place in August 2011.

Real Capital tracks and analyses real estate deals worth over $10 million across apartments, hotels, retail, industrial, office and development projects over the world. The Purchase of Leela Kovalam by Saudi Arabia-based industrialist Ravi Pillai, which was pegged at about Rs 500 crore ranked 10th in Asia-list of largest hotel sellers.

Bangalore and Mumbai have been named among the most active Asian markets in the office space.

Delhi was ranked sixth and Mumbai eighth in the most active Asian apartment markets. Tokyo tops the list followed by Singapore, Hong Kong, Osaka and Beijing. While Chennai comes in at eighth position among active hotel markets, India did not rank in the big league when it comes to retail deals.

HUL sells leasehold rights for Mumbai property

FMCG major Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) on Wednesday said the company has sold its leasehold rights of a property in Mumbai for Rs 452.5 crore to Ajay Piramal Group firm Piramal Realty.

HUL and entities of Piramal Realty have signed an agreement for assignment of HUL’s leasehold rights of the land and building named ‘Gulita’ situated at Mumbai for Rs 452.5 crore, HUL said in a filing to the BSE.

The consideration includes both fixed and variable components, it added.

According to sources, realty consultant Jones Lang LaSalle India negotiated the deal on behalf of Piramal Realty.

The property was taken on lease from Maharashtra government by HUL and used as a training centre, a source said, adding Piramal Realty will use the premises to develop a new residential complex.

In the past few years, HUL has been selling off some of properties it owns, including some in Gurgaon and Mumbai, to unlock value.

Shares of HUL today closed at Rs 399.55 on the BSE, down 1.08 per cent from its previous close.

Real Estate Sector: A look at urban investments in Mumbai.

India’s growth story has many facets; one of the integral parts of growth – and arguably the most important one – is urbanization. In fast-growing economies, cities are significant investment and employment generators, which in turn carry the growth momentum forward. The sustainability and liveability of any city depends largely on the quality of its infrastructure and real estate stocks. Needless to say, cities also require large sums of money to create urban asset stocks, including buildings and infrastructure.

Over last decade, India’s population grew by 18% while its urban population grew at almost double that rate (at 32%). Currently, about 31.2% of India’s population lives in urban areas. The country’s share of urban population has increased by almost 3.5% over the last decade. What is even more astounding is the increase in the built-up real estate stock in its cities and towns.

Data from the 2001 census shows that about 110 million ‘Census Houses’ exist in the urban areas, which indicates an increase of 39 million over the last 10 years. In other words, real estate stock shows a compounding growth of 4.5 % per annum as against the growth rate of 2.8% in urban population. Obviously, such massive growth needs adequate support from infrastructure.

However, the state of affairs with infrastructure in Indian cities is not very encouraging. Most of the cities still have to deal with issues in terms of roads, public transportation, sanitation, storm water drainage, solid waste management systems, etc. on a regular basis. With the volume of real estate stock increasing inexorably in the cities, there is an acute problem with the basic needs like energy and water in the store for urban India.

The private sector contributes most of the development of real estate stock; however, the responsibility of infrastructure development lies squarely with public sector entities such as ULBs and other utility companies – most of which are Government agencies. The investment pattern in our cities shows a similar trend – the private sector invests in the development of real estate stocks, while the public sector invests largely into infrastructure development.

The quantum of investments in most infrastructure projects is huge, and the agencies responsible for its development are seriously under-financed. They depend either on domestic grants like JNNURM or on intercalation financing involving bilateral and multilateral agencies. In some instances, funds are mobilized from private sources in the form of Public Private Partnership. The private sector generally tends to shy away from investments into city-level infrastructure projects, as most of these projects are considered non-remunerative. They prefer to focus on investing into the development of real estate stock.

Mumbai, India’s financial capital attracts massive investments – largely in the real estate sector. The city being the nation’s epitome of high real estate prices and land scarcity, huge sum of money keep chasing land in the city – while infrastructure augmentation lags behind. Way behind.

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.

“India is a top focus for Realty Moghul” says Trump Scion.

Trump’s eponymous real estate group expects to sign multiple deals for Indian residential projects and hotel contracts over the next five years, despite a market riddled by regulatory uncertainty and bureaucratic red tape.

“India, among other emerging markets, is the biggest push for our organisation,” Donald Trump Jr, an executive vice president of The Trump Organization, said on Wednesday.

Trump, whose portfolio includes projects in South Korea and Turkey, in addition to hotels and skyscrapers in the United States, is close to signing a couple of deals with Indian developers, the younger Trump said without providing details.

“Equity investment will depend on individual projects and partnerships but first we would like to form relationships which allow us to understand the processes and spectrum better,” the 34-year-old said on the side-lines of a hotel conference.

The developer entered India last year with a joint venture partnership with Rohan Lifescapes to build a 45-storey luxury residential tower in Mumbai.

However, work on the tower, which will bear the Trump name but involves no equity from the U.S. developer, has been halted for about nine months since authorities said it lacked the necessary permits, a common problem in an industry wrapped in red tape.

Indian developers are often hit by changing regulations. In Mumbai, for example, the scrapping of a rule granting extra floor space in exchange for providing public parking facilities has meant many projects must reapply for clearances.

But Trump, whose father is worth an estimated $2.9 billion, according to Forbes, says the lure of an emerging India outweighs the regulatory headaches.

“The Indian market is starved for a good luxury product and it needs a brand like ours,” he said.

“I like the regulatory changes I am seeing. It may slow things down a bit but will create a level playing field and will help in eliminating the unknown for an outside investor coming in,” he said.

The company plans to focus expansion in the country on luxury residences and hotels, and would look at cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and the state of Goa.

Some local players such as privately held Lodha Developers and Godrej Properties are emerging as strong brands in India’s luxury housing space, but the market remains fragmented.

And despite a slew of interest rate hikes that have cooled India’s overall property market and hit luxury developers particularly hard, Trump is bullish.