Cognizant Technology Solutions Invests in Realty Sector

The US-based company, which has large offshore presence in India, has revised its investment plan to a total of $700 million in real estate from 2011 through 2015. Cognizant Technology Solutions has increased its real estate infrastructure expansion in India by nearly $200 million.

This is to expand its campuses in India by an additional 10.5 million sq ft. This expanded programme includes expenditure on land acquisition, facilities construction and furnishings to build new company-owned IT development and delivery centres in regions primarily designated as Special Economic Zones in India.

In February 2011, the company announced $500 million of investment in its India infrastructure expansion through the end of 2014. However, at the beginning of calendar 2012, the company decided to expand its planning horizon for the India real estate programme to 2015 and beyond, said a company spokesperson. For the first quarter ended March 2012, Cognizant finished with $2.5 billion of cash and short-term investments. It spent around $60.5 million for capital expenditures during the quarter. “During 2012, we expect our capital expenditure to total approximately $370 million,” Ms Karen McLoughlin, Chief Financial Officer, Cognizant, told analysts while discussing the company’s financial results.

Cognizant ended the March quarter with around 1, 40,500 employees globally. Of this, nearly 105,000 are in employed in its India centres.

 

Indian Realty Sector growing very Fast

The real estate industry is expected to reach US $180 billion by 2020, said analysts and industry experts at a seminar organised in the city.

As part of the Management Development programme, the students of the Acharya Bangalore B School attended a three-day seminar on Real Estate Management that started on Thursday.

Realtors and analysts from the field also attended the seminar to provide the students with future prospects and various professional options.

Presenting a paper on ‘Internet and Real Estate’, Business Head of 99Acres.com, Vineet Singh said, “As per reports by real estate intelligence firms, India is ranked as the fifth most attractive destination for future real estate investments in a list topped by China. The Indian real estate industry is expected to reach US $180 billion by 2020. This is a good platform to involve both academia and industry to facilitate dual growth and understanding. We get to know what the emerging new talent holds and they learn about the industry perspective.”

Industry experts from Brigade Group, Sobha Developers and other leading real estate organisations attended the event to train the students. “I’ve always had an interest in this industry as my family deals with real estate. But at this seminar I could ask a few basic questions and get industry relevant answers,” said Niharika Singh, a student.

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.

‘Integrated Township of the Year Award’ received by the DLF Garden City Lucknow.

Garden city is DLF’s first residential project, in the city of Nawabs – Lucknow. With almost 40 per cent of the area as open spaces and plot sizes starting from 250 sq. yards and above, the township conforms to very high standards of low density population norms. The facilities at Garden city match the international living standards and give the people of Lucknow their first real taste of an exquisite lifestyle. It boasts of meticulous town planning, eco-friendly infrastructure, wide open roads, its own smart sewage disposal plant, underground cabling and massive green belts running across the township.

Garden city has bagged the “Integrated Township of the Year – North India” award at the Realty plus Excellence Awards 2012, instituted by real estate monthly magazine Realty Plus. Cheered by a galaxy of realty stars, luminaries and other stakeholders present from all over the country at a glittering award ceremony held in national capital at The Metropolitan Hotel, Bangla Sahib road, Garden city, Lucknow was chosen for setting new benchmarks for excellence in the Indian Real Estate industry in 2012′, their immaculate town planning and their outstanding contributions and efforts towards bringing about massive and positive changes in the real estate skyline of this region.

This is the fourth award in the last two years conferred upon DLF India:

* Marketer of the Year For Hyde Park Estate at DLF New Chandigarh – Estate World Awards in Association with KPMG & Bloomberg-2011

* Developer of the year – North India – Estate World Awards in association with KPMG & Bloomberg-2011

* Integrated Township of the Year For DLF Valley, Panchkula – Realty Plus Excellence Awards-2010,

Receiving the award, Ananta Singh Raghuvanshi, director sales and marketing at DLF India Ltd said, “It is extremely encouraging to enter new markets and recreate the success and magic of the past. As a group we are extremely excited and committed to our developments in Lucknow, New Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, etc. For each market, we are trying our best to think globally and act locally.”

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.

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.

 

 

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.