India’s Biggest Real Estate Firm to Get Crores

The Biggest real estate firm intends to trade in a few IT parks and its hotel business, hoping to wrap up 7,000 crore in the next two years and reduce its growing gross debts.

Its tax dues are on the peek, in the financial year 2011. It has received an additional tax demand of 546.85 crore from the IT-department in the last quarter of 2010-11. Net profit in the consequent quarter of last year was 426.38 crore.

Over the last 1½ years, the real estate major had already sold some non-core assets such as hotel sites in Delhi and Hyderabad as well as non-contiguous land parcels to receive around 3,000 crore. The company said it could sell non-core assets such as IT Parks that generate low return but not the buildings and other developed buildings. The company aspire to become debt-free by the mid term.

DLF’s initial plan was to obtain 4,500 crore from sale of non-core assets, but now plans to procure 10,000 crore in the next 2-3 years. With 3,000 crore already in its stake from sales of non-core assets in the last 18 months, it is now identifying properties to procure the balance 7,000 crore.

JP Morgan has Capitalized into Parsvnath Developer’s Residential Project

JP Morgan financed $30 million in Parsvnath Developer’s residential project La Tropicana launching in Civil Lines area of New Delhi. The deal contains of an additional funding for the real estate group through JP Morgan’s local NBFC in India. The part of the funds raised has been used by Parsvnath to provide an exit to Red Fort Capital, which had put in Rs 115 crore in the project in 2009. Red Fort has made a 30 percent return on its investment in the project. Ernst and JP Morgan did not comment on the deal.

Parsvnath sold 18 percent stake in its 16.8-acre high-end residential La Tropicana project to private equity firm Red Fort Capital for 90 crore in 2009 and later in the same year sold another 4percent to the fund for Rupees 25 crore. The 400 apartment project, which was launched in 2008, has been much delayed and is now estimated to be completed by 2013. The developer is still selling apartments in this project at 14,000 per sq ft. The project was launched at Rs 8,000 per sq ft. Last year, Parsvnath had sold 24.5% stake for 120 crore to Red Fort Capital in an office project that it is building on land it received from the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. The project is being made on a build-operate-transfer basis. January this year, Sun-Apollo India Real Estate Fund invested Rs 100 crore for a 49.9 percent stake in a residential project, Parsvnath Exotica, in Ghaziabad near Delhi.

Decline in Office and Commercial Space Demand in Mumbai

India’s business capital, Mumbai, is witnessing a decline in demand for office and commercial space with dealings down by more than half since last year. Classy office space in the center of Mumbai, but it looks there are few buyers. According to a report, need for commercial real estate is lingering. Dealings of 0.88 million square feet were recorded in the fourth quarter i.e. January to March of Fiscal 11, against the 2.81 million square feet transacted in quarter 4th of Fiscal 10, that’s a 68 percent decrease in demand.

Though sale connections showed marginal progress from 13 to 23, the number of properties leased dropped from 54 to just 28 at the same time. A Consulting agency Cushman and Wakefield points to the high level of vacancy rate of 20 percent. Usually it is the BFSI and the IT and ITeS sectors that habitually drive demand in the commercial real estate space. Also since starting of this year the market has been polluted by several scams and that has unfavorably obstructed plans of several corporates.

Still, industry experts says in 2011 demand for commercial real estate across the country is expected to be around 42 million square feet. So, 2011 will be a pretty interesting year in terms of demand. The challenge on pricing will continue to stay. As the demand & supply disparity continues, most developers have so far desisted from hikking rental values. But still, market sentiment continues to be gentle with players expecting large developers to minimise prices further.

Greater Noida’s Land Rates Inflated at 12.5% by UP Govt.

Post farmers protests for hightened land reimbursements, authorities of Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway on Monday decided to inflate land rates by 12.5%. To counterweigh the loss, authorities have also inflated land allotment rates by the similar percentage. This was revealed by Chairman Mohinder Singh at a press conference.

Moreover, authorities have permitted for 04 new metro rail projects including City Centre to NH-24 via Sector 71 overpassing, Sector 71 intersecting to Bodaki railway station in Greater Noida via Sector 121 and Noida Extension and Kalindi Kunj to Botanical Garden. The fourth link from Sector 94 to 142 via 124 and 44 will tie the Noida-Greater Noida Line to Kalindi Kunj providing a direct connection to the Sarita Vihar line.

A raised road along the Shahdara drain is proposed from Sector 14-14A to Kalindi Kunj via Noida Sector 95. The line would be 5.8 kilometer long and cost would be Rupees 525 crore. Also, the board has agreed a laser park at Sector 91, a project for municipal solid waste management and other village development projects.

DLF’s Net Profit Dropped by 4.8%

India’s biggest real estate company, DLF Ltd, accounted a bordering drop of 4.8% in its net profit for the year ending 31 March 2011. Company’s combined net profit stood at Rupees1,640 crore in comparison to Rs1,720 crore in fiscal 2010. The earnings per share for the year stood at Rupees9.66 versus Rupees10.13 in fiscal 2010.

However, for the quarter ending 31 March, organisation’s net profit stood at Rupees 344.54 crore, a drop of 19% in comparison to Rupees 426.38 crore in the subsequent period in the previous financial year. It reported combined revenue of Rupees10,145 crore for the year ending 31 March 2011 and an increase of 29 per cent from Rupees7,851 crore in the subsequent period in the previous fiscal.

EBIDTA stood at Rupees 4,337 crore, after adjusting for a one-time cost reset due to input price high of Rupees 475 crore.

Summers Affecting Realty Sales

Summer indicates a calmness for the real estate sector as transaction volumes take a downward leap. The trend is clear seeing that estate project launches have been the least during the second quarter from 01st April 2011  to 30th June 2011. As many as 46,093 high rise apartments were launched between January 2005 till December 2010. Of these, the highest launches were during the third quarter (July to September) when over 41% highrise homes were announced in the city. In contrast, the lowest launches came in the second quarter when the launch of only 5,448 apartments that is 11.82 % were launched.

When asked why home buyers postpone purchases, real estate analysts blames it on the roasting heat and summer vacations. “It is true that transaction volumes are lesser during the summer months. This is a time when the weather is not inspiring for buyers. Moreover, since summer vacations are the longest, many families go out of town for holidays. People wait for the Navratras and Diwali as they consider this time to be auspicious which falling in the third and fourth quarters respectively.Also, as the weather is acute, many people feel this is not an appropriate time to shift into a new home. Also, since children are already into their new academic year, parents do not want to make a change.

According to the launch figures, the next highest number of launches of 13,814 apartments comes in the first quarter. Also, over 16 per cent announces were seen in the last quarter from October to December. The phase from January to March is the time for financial closures and, hence, it boosts transaction volumes. On the other hand, the winter months see a large inflow of non-resident Indians arriving back in India to visit relatives. The transaction volumes at this time are mainly due to NRI purchases.

New Parking Lot Policy

MUMBAI: An amended BMC parking lots policy submitted for state government approval, could earn it several hundred crores a year from builders. The developers , who build parking lots free in return for incentive construction rights, will now have to share 40% of their profits with the BMC. “Each new parking lot could get us Rs 50 crore to Rs 60 crore. Municipal commissioner Subodh Kumar overtake the original policy a few weeks ago because it was delayed in accusation of favoritism and corruption.

In March, CM ordered the BMC to review it after criticism that the scheme only helped builders enjoy unusually high profits under the appearence of executing a public scheme. Developers used this scheme which is very well known Parking FSI to build 50-60 storey-high luxury skyscrapers, mainly in central Mumbai.

Critics said developers spend hardly Rs 1,500 a sq ft to build parking lots, but the incentive as additional FSI from the government was worth Rs 20,000 –  Rs 25,000 per sq ft.

The amended policy will constrain the height of the parking lots to ground plus 04 storeys and two basements. The original scheme sanctioned parking towers of 10-15 storeys high. The BMC committee wants the traffic police department to evaluate peak level actual parking on all roads over 60 feet wide and 250 m in length as well as on station and public assembly areas.

The BMC issued starting certificates to 11 public parking towers, eight in the Parel-Dadar belt and three in Goregaon for 15,845 vehicles. Only these projects are given go ahead.

Why Real Estate Investments are Getting Riskier

The first quarter of this fiscal would be a difficult one for the real estate sector. Many of the big players in metropolitan cities have had to borrow funds to pay their installments on loans due to banks by the end of March 2011. In smaller cities and towns, the situation is not any better. Realtors who had overerated actual end user demand for housing, and had received advances from pioneers and investors are coming under pressure to deliver promised projects to enable them to cash in on their investments.

Projects are not moving ahead because of lack of cash, and banks are not falling over themselves to lend money to the sector any longer – especially as the RBI has restricted such flows and had asked banks to be cautious of offering out too much money to real estate companies. What does all this mean and how are these indications going to affect the person who wants to invest in real estate? Firstly, potential investors should be very, very careful of where they invest in. In the absence of a real estate regulatory body in place the old statement of requirement , or buyers beware is more relevant today than ever before. Developers are facing a double setback this year.

Even if their projects come up, the support of foundations and substructures promised by government agencies such as power, water , sewage, and above all, road and transport connectivity – is just not happening on time, so projects may be finished, painted and polished, but may not be livable . The high cost of borrowing money is also hitting developers and with banks becoming cautious of extending credit to the sector, many developers are now looking towards private equity and similar sources of finance, many of which are much more expensive than bank funds. Apart from expenses, many financiers are also more wary about the money they lend.

TATA Housing Project

Company declared in the coming three years will build a luxury housing project in Gurgaon and also declared its plans to venture into the international market this financial year. The sale price of a house starts from Rupees 1.5 crore. As the company’s expansion plan company is coming up with apprx 10 new projects this year. Also, they are looking at two new lines of business related to land development. It will be smaller in size than the realty business.” The company is planning to expand operations into international markets.

The plan to get into the international market is in advance stages, while the proposal for expanding into two new lines of business is still at an intial stage. He did not reveal further details on these new initiatives.  This is the company’s second project in the city and the company is in advanced stages of launching two more projects in the Delhi-NCR this financial year.

LIC Housing to Concentrate on Senior Citizen Homes Business

LIC Housing Finance focuses to have a all India-presence for its senior citizens homes business as the rise in demand from senior citizens provokes the company to scale-up presence in other cities across the country. The 4th largest mortgage lender has finished two projects, one in Bangalore and the other in Bhubaneswar, They believe this “futuristic idea” will lead to the home finance company eventually spinning off its care home business into a listed body as early as 2014.

“We expect to make the care homes business a fully listed body in coming three to five years,” CEO of LIC Housing finance said. LIC H.F., promoted by the country’s largest insurer, the LIC of India, is looking for an existence in up to 07 cities, which it says are more “friendly to the senior citizens” and also can get land at discounted rates. The company lately finished a 98-unit project and a bigger 200-unit project in Bangalore and Bhubaneswar respectivly.

Presently the organisation is in the process of acquiring land in Jaipur, Haridwar and Goa. “More cities such as Nagpur and Pune which have historically been friendly to the retired people will be looked at.” India has 65 % of its people aged between 15 and 64 years, so the business model might find many takers. Retirement homes are built in a community format with modern amenities including gymnasium & club houses, music rooms and auditoriums. These projects also come with a house-help which is offered by the developers or owners themselves.

Fire Capital Plans to Increase $ 100Million to Invest in Housing Projects

Fire Capital, the first private equity fund focused on the Indian real estate sector , plans to increase $100 million to capitalize in housing projects. The company will increase the money initially from its existing investors in the US to invest in tier-II and tier-III cities in states like Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, told the CEO Om Chaudhry.

“There is an intense scarcity of residential projects, as India would require at least another 30 million homes by 2012 to fulfil the existing housing need. We want to cut some bit of the demand and supply gap in small towns and accommodate to the middle income segment,” he said. Majorly homes are needed in the mid and lower income group. Fire Capital, established in 2004, raised its first fund worth $121 million in 2006, with an ability to invest around $250 million through the co-investment commitments of its investor base. All the funds are almost over. It is raising the additional amount to built 25-50 acres with each builder in small towns this financial year.

The real estate sector in the country was one of the biggest effected area of the global economic recession in 2008-09 as buyers kept away from the market and banks became panicky about giving loans. Although recovery in the sector is gaining speed, but the amount of debt in the industry is a big concern. According to industry estimates, real estate firms have built up a total debt of about 75,000 crore. Property developers are increasingly approaching private equity firms to complete both existing and new projects besides repaying a part of their debt.

Lodha Group to pay Tax Rupees 60 crore

Income Tax department officials seized crores in unaccounted cash from lockers of the employees of real estate genius Lodha Group, five months after it has asked the company to pay Rs 60 crore in taxes. In January, the I-T department had raided about 20 premises of Lodha Group on alleged misquoted of income. The surprise visit by IT official was based on a tip off suggesting overestimated expenditure using faux receipts and cash payments from clients. The invade had shielded Mangal Prabhat Lodha the Chairman and his two sons the directors of the company.

While investigating the documents found at the premises, I-T officials came across details of bank lockers in the name of the company’s employees. When these lockers, in all 26, were invaded, unaccounted cash running into crores of rupees were found. In the first raid itself, the department had found unaccounted Rs 6.5 crores in an employee’s Kalbadevi locker. Addition to that Rs 1.5 crore were found in the offices and residential premises of the company’s owners. The I-T officials had also held over 10 note counting machines from the group’s offices. IT officials said the entire exercise was undertaken by the company to escape tax. Now, the I-T department has freezed the company’s annual income at Rs 200 crore and asked the Lodha Group to pay Rs 60 crore.


Real Estate Developer to Maintain Focus on Residential Segment

Puravankara Projects Ltd. will take a call on incoming the hospitality sector in 6-8 months and which segment to target would depend on the city and the site’s location, according to a top company official. “The company possessed properties in city centres that were suitable for hospitality projects. However, the organisation has put them on hold since its focus now was on residential projects,” said the Joint managing director, PPL.

While granting that the endless rising of the home loan interest rates may have a near-term impact on the industry, he did not expect it to discourage buyers from investing in home purchases particularly in the South. Puravankara, Joint managing Director, was speaking at a press conference to announce the upcoming project in Coimbatore.

The company was asked, are they looking to expand in other regions in the county rather than being a South-focused player? Ashish said, PPL was ‘more an opportunity-driven’ company and it moved into southern cities because of the opportunities they provided. He added that the company would like to strengthen its presence in the South first. It has a joint venture project in Kolkata and also in Colombo.

State Bank of India Increases Loan Rates

Country’s largest lender State Bank of India has declared a hike in loan interest rates by 75 bps, making housing , auto and other loans tougher for both new and existing debtors. State-owned SBI has increased the base rate, or the minimum lending rate, by 0.75 % to 9.25 %.

The new rate is effective from 12 May2011, the banker said. The increase in State Bank of India’s lending rates comes a week after the Reserve Bank of India raised its lending and borrowing rates by 50 bps. SBI has also increased its standard prime lending rate by 75 bps which would mean that current borrowers will also have to pay more for their loans. With this, BPLR goes up to 14 %. State Bank of India has also elevated deposit rates by up to 225 bps on selected 04 maturities. Many banks have been on a rate hike spree since the RBI’s decision to raise short-term key rates in its annual credit policy on 03May2011.

Over a dozen banks, including PNB, ICICI Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce and Corporation Bank, have raised interest rates in past one week.

17 Commonwealth Games Flats to be Demolished

NEW DELHI: 17 flats which DDA said were constructed illegally in the upper basement of the Games Village will soon be razed. The developer Emaar MGF have been served the notice by the building department of the Delhi Development Authority to this effect on May 2.

The vice-chairman of the DDA, G S Patnaik, said these flats were “illegal and have been sealed as of now”. The flats were not constructed as per the approved building plan, said DDA officials. The issue of the illegality of these flats came up just before the Commonwealth Games.

The total cost of these flats is between Rs 30 crore and Rs 40 crore.. The developer apparently gave an application on April 28, saying they are ready to remove the 17 unauthorized flats in the upper basements, without bias to their claim and rights under Master Plan-2021 and the building bylaws, provided the completion certificate is soon issued to the balance 1,168 flats in 34 towers.

Emaar already having sold off its share of 450-odd flats, the people who bought them for approximatly between Rs 2 crore and Rs 5 crore each have been asking the developer to hand over the property. The remaining flats are with DDA. But no flat can be allotted before the completion certificate is issued. The developer decided to let go the loss of having these 17 flats destroyed to accelerate the process of getting the completion certificate.

DDA claimed that a waterproofing of the basement is still going on and DDA has to ascertain whether the construction of the Village complex is within the overall ambit of Master Plan-2021 and the unified building bylaws which are in force in Delhi, then only the completion certificate can be given once these exercise has been completed.

During a recent hearing, DDA representatives presented that these illegal flats were not safe and not likely to be fit for occupancy as widespread leakage in the basement area was noticed during floods in April/September 2010. Moreover, several service lines of other flats are passing along the roofs of the unauthorized flats.

The purchasers of the Emaar flats, however, continue to suffer. As they have bought these flats because it was a government project with a time-bound deadline for completion. We were supposed to have got possession of the flats by March this year. They are suffering huge losses as many of them are paying 12% as annual interest on the loans taken from banks.

FDI Inflow Drop by 11%

Foreign direct investment in India refused for the third consecutive month in March, dropping by 11 per cent year-on-year to 1.07 billion Dollars in the backdrop of financial havoc in Europe. The country received 1.2 billion Dollars in FDI in the consistent period last year. During the financial year 2010—11, the inflows droped by 25 % to 19.43 billion Dollars, which makes it vital for the country to fine tune its policies to attract overseas investment, sources told.

The FDI during 2009—10 had totalled 25.83 billion Dollars during 2009—10, which, too, was lower than 27.33 billion Dollars invested in the previous financial year. “The numbers are not enough, the govt. has to take more steps,” sources said. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, the nodal agency on FDI policies, has initiated steps, including merging of all related rules and regulations into a single document. In January and February FDI drowned by 48 per cent (1.2 billion Dollars) and 30 per cent (1.04 billion Dollars), respectively, over the same period previous year. The sectors that attracted FDI include services, telecommunications, housing and real estate, construction activities and power.

The major investors in India are US, UK, Singapore, Netherlands, Japan, Germany and UAE. Foreign institutional Investors have invested 3.6 billion Dollars since January 01 till May 5, 2011.

Supreme Court Questions Sahara about Fund Raising Schemes

The Counsel for the Sahara group of companies came in for some uncomfortable queries from the Supreme Court on Monday on its appeal against the bar on its recent schemes of raising the funds. Subrata Roy The Securities and Exchange Board of India had first banned two group entitites and their promoters from raising money. The Allahabad high court had, last month, declined to interfere with the order, also blowing the Sahara group in the process.

The Supreme Court on Monday asked Sahara India Real Estate Corporation to bring before it on Thursday the guidelines in which investors were asked to apply for debentures. The Chief Justice S H Kapadia also asked the corporation to show the list of its agents employed to make money. The court said it was not clear about the concept of the Optionally Fully Convertible Debenture through which the firm said it was raising the money. It asked Soli Sorabjee, counsel for the Sahara group, to explain it, but he was unable to. “If you don’t understand it, how can rural people understand it?” asked the court.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India had demanded full details on applicants for the scheme and said it was issuing the stop-order due to non-compliance. Sorabjee argued the company shouldn’t be held responsible if investors gave false addresses and particulars. Sahara is also protesting at Sebi’s public advertisement on the matter, telling investors to keep away, as having given it a bad name and helping its competitors. The Allahabad HC had rejected the plea regarding OFCD schemes floated by Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Ltd and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Ltd.

ZED – BCIL’s Two Residential Projects in Bangalore

BCIL is launching two residential projects — Zed Woods and Zed Earth — on the Yelahanka-Doddaballapur Road in Bangalore, which promise a pleasent blend of green living and urban comforts. The organisation is investing Rs 108 crore in total, out of which Rs 90 crore for Zed Earth and Rs 18 crore for Zed Woods. The Zed Earth villas come with a price range of Rs 1.5 crore to Rs 4 crore, while Zed Woods the price range is Rs 25 lakh to Rs 80 lakh.

Zed Earth spreads over an area of 18.7 acres, while Zed Woods comes over 1.5 acres. Zed Earth will have over 130 houses. The campus is carved into two large home phases. The first phase offers 44 individual, single-family houses spread over 6.7 acres. The second phase will offer at least 80 homes over 12 acres. ZED Woods will have 60 houses in its 1.5 acres against the industry norm of 65-90 homes an acre.

The speciality about the two projects is “Zed Earth home sizes offer much lower density of 0.9 in the ratio of built area to land area compared with a much higher density of 1.2 which is the norm in Bangalore. It has drawn from the vast traditional knowledge systems of Indian architecture and ‘vaastu’, and have mingled them with modern engineering expertise and architectural needs of today’s world.” These villas are muted. They offer a combination of rich wood floors, fine natural stone and earth-toned walls on the outside, sloped roofs add grace to the exteriors. Superb spaces with high ceilings, gabled roofs, terraces and backyards promise pleasant barbecue evenings. Split-levels highlighted spaces. Private quite places give personal comfort alongwith solar-powered fountains. Rich and greeny verdure offer micro climate. Every home has its own air-conditioning system that costs you under Rs 1,000 a month on a pay-only-on-use basis. Each home has a wet waste treatment system that converts all kitchen waste into odourless compost for your gardens. Zed Earth homes come in three-bedroom ranging 2,740 sq ft and 2,929 sq ft and four-bedroom ranging 4,056 sq ft options.

Zed Woods, in turn, will offer rich apartments ranging from 811 sq ft super built-up area for a studio apartment to 2,700 sq ft superior built-up area for exclusive four-bedroom apartments with lots of green features.  Zed Woods are luxury apartments with great amenities. These apartments have lush green UAS forest on one side and is on the last floor. The view is very beautiful from the apartment.


An Apartment in Mumbai goes for Rs 20 crore and Rs 61.5 crore in Delhi


An apartment, measuring approx. 3000 sqft, recently was dealt for about Rupees 20 crore on Carmichael Road. This large apartment has a huge entrance lobby, living room with an adjoining dining area and a separate study room. The master bedroom has an en suit bathroom with a walk-in closet and beautiful sea views. The apartment has separate servant’s quarters and a covered and an open car parking. The building is equipped with amenities like a garden, pool table and a gym . Carmichael Road is one of the most posh localities of Mumbai with several oldstyle bungalows and apartment buildings.


Lately, a 3-BHK apartment was sold at a price of Rupees 44,33,000 in Rich Woods, a new project by Rama Developers in Chikhli in the city. The price included of the car parking charges . Rich Woods is a project of 180 large 2 & 3 BHK apartments in 07 imposing towers with high-tech amenities and facilities. Chikhli is directly accessible from the Nashik highway and has great connectivity to the Pimpri Chinchwad area. This Group has made its mark in the city with two well executed projects to its credit. The base rates are being quoted at  3,100 per sqft, while the general residential rates in the area range between Rs 2,600 per sqft and Rs 3,100 per sqft. Chikhli area has grown as a feasible residential locality. It has become a perfect option for investors as well as ultimate users.


In a latest deal in Delhi , a 600 square yard plot was dealt at a range of Rupees 61.5 crore. This old Ground+01 property is located in Shanti Niketan which is  a rich residential micromarket in South Delhi. The property has been purchased by a well-known builder in NCR for redevelopment. The builder plans to build a Ground+3 storied structure and construction activity will start soon. The builder has already started marketing the project . The first floor is been quoted for Rs 20 crore, the second floor for Rupees 20.5 crore, and the third floor for Rs 21 crore. The project commands a premium in terms of price, due to its South Delhi location which is well connected to all the major business complexes in the NCR and most of the foreign embassies are in the neighbourhood in the location.

NRI TCG and US Based VRT Invests Rupees 270 crore in Mumbai, National Capital Region Residential Projects

NRI investor Purnendu Chatterjee’s TCG Real Estate and US-based Vornado Realty Trust, is in the final stages of investing Rupees 270 crore in two residential developments in NCR and Mumbai. The fund will invest Rupees 150 crore and Rupees 120 crore in housing projects in Mumbai and Noida, respectively, and pick up 40-45 %  in each of the projects, said a person known with the fund’s plans.

“The 400 million  Dollars Fund works with land-owners, state governments and developers; particularly medium size developers who lack both money and management talent, to produce international quality real estates, which supply to the high demand sector of the industry. The Fund takes both controlling and minority positions. The Fund also looks at investing in related sectors such as construction, mortgage, lending and infrastructure. The Fund invests between  5 million Dollars to 50 million Dollars in each investment. TCG is the property development and investment arm of The Chatterjee Group.


Real Estate Sector is Worried Over Hike in Home Loan Rates by RBI

The hike in interest rates may have a wrinkly effect on the real estate sector with construction cost rising up. This announcement by RBI will have a negative impact on real estate developers already spining under pressure from lack of capital from financial institutions. It comes as bad news even for those looking to buy a house as loans would become more costlier. Several banks like ICICI Bank, SBI and IDBI indicated that they would increase interest rates on loans in near future.

Chairman of Credai said, “The 50 BPs hike is harsh. This will deepen the cash crunch scenario which industry is facing right now. Taking out funds of the market cannot be the only solution to overcome inflation. The current pressure on prices is global in character and reflects supply side bottleneck. The solution is not monetary tightening. To me it is surprising and anti-housing policy.” Ashok Tyagi, group CFO, DLF said, “hiking interest rate has never been a tool to fight inflation. This could start impacting supply side investment.”

Govt Approves FDI Proposals

The govt. today approved 21 foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals worth Rupees 1,027 crore, including ACB India and Oriental Tollways. FIPB took a total of 47 FDI proposals but the board delayed decisions on 17 applications and refused nine, the Ministry of Finance stated.

The board gave its approval to ‘Oriental Tollways Pvt Ltd’ (Delhi and Haryana) for launching of foreign equity in an investing company. The proposal may bring in FDI worth Rupees 475 crore and ‘Darjeeling Organic Tea Estates’ application for launching of foreign equity and to a collaborator to handle the business of production, distribution andalso the export of tea was approved by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board. The firm aims at FDI worth Rupees 93.37 crore.

City Realtors used Brokers to Grab Lands from Farmers

AHMEDABAD: With each unaccounted income disclosures in the recent income-tax raids on four city-based groups, I-T detectives are disclosing newer shady froth of real estate business in the city. I-T officials have found that the raided real estate groups had given so much of freedom to brokers to grab lands from farmers. The property consultants would strike the deal with farmers, mainly to adjust the cash transaction, and realtor would appear only at the time of documentation.

Around 200 I-T detectives had on April 28 carried out a search and survey operation on 60 premises of four city-based groups, three of which are popular realtors, while the fourth group has one of city’s well-known jewelers as key promoter. The I-T officials searched many land brokers attached with the realtors and has got Rs 6 crore black money disclosure from one such broker from whom Rs 20 lakh cash was also captured. The total disclosures in the operation have already touched Rs 66 crore. Still more such disclosures are to come while premises of the fourth group are still sealed as the promoters are out on a trip to Singapore.

I-T officials have already struck gold in the first raid this financial year and have captured Rs 8.3 crore cash from realtors and property consultants. During the search at the jeweler’s premises, the officials found a difference of Rs 60 lakh in the stock officially declared and displayed at the shop. The department is now closing in on different ways evolved by realtors to avoid tax and ground black money. However, city realtors said that employing brokers while dealing with farmers is no new thing, but now these brokers are used to do foggy deals.

“A builder would book a land at the prevailing rate with token money given through brokers. The brokers would keep the farmers hanging and depending on the cash flow of the builder he would go ahead with the deal on his will,” the official said.

The department has earlier already found that the realtors searched used cheque transaction to record cash payments by the buyer against a property.

Income Tax Department Procured Real Estate worth Rs 2,500 crore in a Fiscal

NEW DELHI: The Income Tax Department became one of the largest purchasers of real estate properties last year as it embarked on a mega expansion fling to spread its establishment for enhancing taxpayer services in the country.

The department, which has recently started a special drive to check frequency of black money in the country’s real estate sector, has acquired high-worth properties worth about 2,500 crore in more than 20 cities in the last year alone.

The largest possession by the department has been at the cost of more than 2,000 crore for the purchase of office space in the civic centre near the national capital’s marketing hub, Connaught Place. The civic centre is the tallest building in Delhi. The department has likewise purchased 56 staff quarters worth more than 89 crore at the pricey Bandra-Kurla complex in Mumbai.

“All the purchases have been done in order to inflate taxpayer facilities and to provide better living and working facilities for the department staff. No doubt the department’s purchasing power has been the largest in the last financial year.”  The department, with these possessions in the real estate sector has probably become the largest government department to acquire and create real estate in the country, the Income Tax commissioner said.

The shopping bucket of the department, has other high-profile acquires and possessions like creation of a training centre and hostel facilities for new comers of the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) at their alma mater – National Academy of Direct
Taxes (NADT) in Nagpur at the cost of Rupees100 crore.

In Chandigarh, the I-T department has purchased 5,000 acres of land for office space at the cost of more than Rupees 33 crore, a centralized air conditioned I-T office at Udaipur at the cost of more than Rupees 16 crore, acquisition of land for creation of office building for the department in Mumbai at about Rupees 23 crore and land measuring more than 9,500 sq m at Jamnagar, Gujarat for office building at  Rupees 8 crore.

Another set includes office building at Siliguri for 5.5 crore and a separate creation of 49 residential sectors and guest houses at Siliguri in excess of 10 crore. One more big acquirement by the department has been made at Muzzafarpur in Bihar for building staff quarters at the cost of more than 21 crore.

The department has also been sustained by the success of direct taxes (income tax) collection which was about 4.50 lakh crore in the financial year 2010-11. Despite the department paying 72,000 crore in refunds, the stout direct tax collection is the highest in any financial year.