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Over 50 developers to participate in Indian Property Show

21, Feb 2013, PTI.

DUBAI: Over 50 Indian realty players will showcase properties, including luxury housing and commercial spaces, at an exhibition in Doha later this month.

The exhibitors at the ‘Indian Property Show’ would include real estate developers, construction companies, banks and real estate agents, Sumansa Exhibitions, who are organising the event, said.

The show will showcase thousands of properties from across the country, it said, adding that it will provide a platform for direct interaction between developers and potential property buyers.

“Indian Property market is a hot investment option even today and the sentiment is echoed by all the developers back in India as the enquiries and purchases by NRIs have kept on increasing,” said Sunil Jaiswal, CEO of Sumansa Exhibitions.

Jaiswal said demand for residential property will remain strong because of the improving business climate and the depreciating value of rupee, which is attracting NRI to make investments in the real estate sector.

“Big cities such as Delhi and Mumbai are still offering good returns but smaller, satellite cities such as Pune, Gurgaon and Noida have emerged as key destinations for investments,” he added.

The exhibition would have seminars highlighting properties by various developers, Sumansa Exhibitions said.

Developers will be showcasing apartments, villas, row houses, commercial & retail properties and farm land from across the Indian cities like Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Kochi and other cities, it added.

Super-size terraces Bangalore’s status symbol

18 Feb 2013, TNN.

BANGALORE: A super-size terrace is the new luxury buzzword in this city. Large semi-open spaces attached to penthouses and million-dollar (upwards of Rs 5.5 crore) condos, that can be used as sit-outs, private green spaces or party areas, is the latest fancy of the gilded class here.

For example, an upcoming luxury apartment development, 77° Sky by DivyaSree, in South Bangalore, is offering buyers terrace spaces anywhere between 1,032 sqft and 1,662 sqft, equivalent to the area of standard one-bedroom and two-bedroom flats. The smallest terrace space being offered — 545 sqft — can fit six Innova cars, while the largest — 1,144 sqft — can fit almost 10 of President Obama’s super limos.

In some luxury developments, terraces come with a view and a pool. Located in North Bangalore, overlooking the Hebbal lake, Embassy Lake Terraces offers terrace spaces in the range of 770 sqft to 1,364 sqft per apartment. “Villas in the Sky, that’s what developers are offering those who can afford it,” says Ram Chandnani, deputy MD, South India, CBRE South Asia, a global consultancy firm.

In central Bangalore, Kingfisher Towers-Residences at UB City, being developed by Prestige Estates Projects, has terraces spanning approximately 600 sqft per apartment. Barely two kilometres away, developer Nitesh Estates is constructing an ultraluxury apartment development, Nitesh Park Avenue, which has terrace spaces above 600 sqft per apartment.

“What’s the meaning of luxury if you pay more than a million dollars and cannot enjoy Bangalore‘s fantastic weather?” asks Amit Bagaria, chairman, Asipac, a development management consultancy firm. Bagaria conducted a survey of luxury homebuyers and found the two things buyers wanted in a milliondollar apartment were large terrace spaces and floor-to-ceiling glass windows for more natural lighting.

A recent report by real estate consultancy firm L J Hooker (India) says that Bangalore has 52 projects under various stages of development, which have residential units priced above Rs 2 crore — of these, 25 are luxury apartment developments.

“Today, the customer is very conscious of his environment. He wants the convenience of an apartment as well as the luxury of the open space of a garden/ terrace where he can entertain,” says Mayank Ruia, head of residential, at Mumbai-based Phoenix Mills Limited. Phoenix has launched an ultra high-end development residential project in North Bangalore, wherein approximately 10 per cent of the apartment’s carpet area has been given to terrace space. “No two terraces face each other, offering complete privacy,” adds Ruia.

Terraces are becoming a regular feature in the premium apartment segment too, priced between Rs 75 lakh to Rs 2 crore, says Prashanth Sambargi, partner at Mars Realty, a real estate consultancy. “An average of 150 sqft to 250 sqft of semi-open area per apartment is the new design concept for all developers,” he says.

While Bangalore’s weather is the biggest reason for buyers wanting terrace spaces, the city’s stable pricing regime enables developers to pass on such luxuries to buyers. “Prices in Mumbai and Delhi are way too exorbitant for developers to offer such luxuries and also the weather in the two cities is not conducive to having such open spaces. So that’s what makes the trend in Bangalore unique,” says Chandnani of CBRE South Asia.

Hyderabad is the world’s second most affordable office market: Survey

14 Feb 2013, ET Bureau.

BANGALORE: Hyderabad is the world’s second most affordable office market after Surabaya in Indonesia, according to a survey, while Chennai and Pune are at fifth and sixth positions, reinforcing India’s reputation as among the cheapest destinations for foreign firms to set up operations.

“Tier II cities in China and India continue to dominate the list of top-10 most affordable markets globally,” said a survey by consultancy firm DTZ, which measured occupancy costs per workstation in 126 business districts across 49 countries in 2012.

“2012 has seen office space absorption rates across Indian cities drop by a fifth. We expect the office space absorption to be stable in the current year, driven by signs of overall improvement in global and domestic economies. Rentals are also expected to appreciate across the country,” said Rohit Kumar, head of research at DTZ India.

According to the survey, it costs companies between $2,620 (about Rs 1.41 lakh) and $9,810 (Rs 5.27 lakh) per annum per employee in the top six Indian cities to set up operations, compared with $23,500 (Rs 12.63 lakh) per workstation in London West End.

China’s Chongqing and Nanjing, followed by Cancun in Mexico, also figure among the ten most affordable markets. As per the report, a majority of markets in North Asia and India saw a 2-10 per cent rise in occupancy costs. This has forced occupiers in many markets to increasingly consider secondary space, particularly where prime space is limited to cut cost.

The total commercial office space absorption for the quarter ended December 2012 was 6.8 million sq ft, a decrease of 19 per cent compared with the previous year. Vacancies across cities are expected to rise in 2013, except Bangalore, a recent report by DTZ India said.

“Companies continue to consolidate and relocate to less premium locations. Many firms are now looking to cut real estate costs, which comprises 22-27 per cent of the total operational expenditure, the second biggest component after human resource,” said Sridhar Raghavendra, founder of FM Zone India, a real estate and facility management firm.

Provident Housing Ltd forays into Mangalore

11 Feb 2013, PTI.

BANGALORE: Provident Housing Ltd, a wholly- owned subsidiary of the real-estate developer Puravankara Projects Ltd, is foraying into Mangalore with the launch of its property ‘Skyworth’.

“The Provident proposition with its dual emphasis on affordability and quality has been extremely well-received in other markets. We are delighted to bring this ‘premium affordable’ innovation to Mangalore,” Group CEO Jackbastian K Nazareth said in a statement here.

The property is located on a hilltop which furnishes all its apartments with panoramic “sky-vistas”, he said.

Provident Skyworth entails two bedroom apartments of 1091 square feet, priced at Rs 39.22 lakhs and three bedroom apartments of 1,377 square feet, priced at Rs 48.07 lakhs (prices are inclusive of open car-parking), Nazareth said.

These ‘premium affordable’ homes are of uncompromising quality, he added.

The company is embarking on similar initiatives across major cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Mysore, Pune, Baroda, Ahmadabad, Kolkata, Nagpur and Jaipur, Nazareth said.

CREDAI hails infra status move for affordable housing

5 Feb 2013, ET Bureau.

Welcoming Union Housing Minister Mr Ajay Maken’s move to accord infrastructure status to affordable housing, realtors’ apex body CREDAI called for extending similar treatment to the entire housing sector.

“We are happy that the Centre has come half way through on the developers and customers’ demand for according infrastructure status to the housing sector to facilitate easy financing and other benefits and to give a much-needed boost to the most important need of a man after food and water,” said Mr. Lalit Kumar Jain, National President of CREDAI.

CREDAI – Confederation of Real Estate Developers Associations of India – has over 10,000 members and associations in 20 cities across the country.

Mr. Jain said Mr Maken, in his speech in Mumbai at an international conference, has made a good beginning and “we hope he will move further in a positive direction.”

CREDAI has been relentlessly campaigning for infrastructure status for housing sector, declaring it as an industry and creation of special housing zones with tax reliefs on the line of SZEZ,” Mr Jain pointed out.

He expressed the hope that the State Government will take note of Mr. Maken’s suggestion to increase FSI limits so as to encourage housing for slums that sprang up in central locations.

“We have been stressing that nobody would like to be displaced from the area where one has grown up and has his source of income there. Relocating such people – who are in millions – will only lead to added pressure on the existing infrastructure like travelling,” Mr. Jain argued.

Half of Mumbai lives in slums and the solution to housing shortage is manifold. Mass rental housing for the benefit of people with transferable jobs and those who cannot immediately buy houses of their own, affordable housing for low income groups and economically weaker sections with enhanced FSI limits and special housing zones on the outskirts like Navi Mumbai and Thane and Mira-Bhayander are some of the solutions that CREDAI has suggested.

CREDAI has also put forth a plan of action to the government to come with realty reforms covering banking and administration. Affordable finance for affordable housing sector and speedy or single-window system of clearances, automation of the project clearance process to eliminate human interaction that causes corruption are among the steps that CREDAI suggested.

Mr. Jain expressed the hope that the Centre will follow-up with Mr. Maken’s welcome move and announce some pragmatic and practical measures to give boost to the housing sector.

Housing, along with construction industry, contributes as much as 11% to the GDP and supports some 400 industries which can substantially multiply if supported with proactive policies. Hence revival of housing sector is vital for rejuvenating the national economy, he added.

Sobha sells properties worth Rs 1,540 cr during Apr-Dec 2012

3 Feb 2013, PTI.

NEW DELHI: Realty firm Sobha Developers has achieved 24 per cent higher sales booking in the first nine months of this fiscal at Rs 1,540 crore, compared with the year-ago period on increase in volumes as well as realisation.

The company’s net debt stood at Rs 1,320.8 crore as on December 31, 2012, up by Rs 28.6 crore from previous quarter.

According to analyst presentation, Sobha recorded new sales value of Rs 1,540 crore during April-December period of this fiscal, as against Rs 1,237 crore in the year-ago period.

In volume terms, the company sold 2.68 million sq ft of new space during last three quarters, as against 2.42 million sq ft in the corresponding period of previous year.

Average sales realisation also improved by 12 per cent at Rs 5,738 per sq ft against Rs 5,110 a sq ft during the period under review.

On debt position, the presentation said that consolidated net debt rose to Rs 1,320.8 crore as on December 31, 2012 from Rs 1,292.2 crore as on September 30. The average cost of debt stood at 13.58 per cent.

Earlier this week, Sobha reported 7 per cent increase in consolidated net profit at Rs 52.6 crore for the quarter ended December 31, as against Rs 49.4 crore in the year-ago period.

Revenue grew by 37 per cent to Rs 431 crore in the third quarter of this fiscal from Rs 315 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

Sobha has presence in seven cities — Bangalore, Gurgaon, Chennai, Pune, Coimbatore, Mysore and Thrissur. It has completed 83 projects aggregating to 20.78 million sq ft of saleable area and is presently developing 43 projects with 17.4 million sq ft of saleable area.

AIG private equity buys out Bangalore-based RMZ’s stake in Hyderabad project

30 Jan 2013, ET Bureau.

BANGALORE: New York-based private equity fund AIG Global Real Estate has bought out Bangalore-based developer RMZ Corp’s 50% stake in their stalled joint venture mall project in Hyderabad, a person with knowledge of the development said.

“RMZ has exited its Rs 53-crore investment in the mall-cum-office project,” the person said. “AIG now plans to set up a residential property on the 11-acre plot and is willing to put in additional capital for developing it.”

The project will be launched by the first quarter of the next fiscal, subject to internal approvals, the person added. Bamasish Paul, managing director of AIG Global Real Estate’s India operations, did not confirm the development, but RMZ’s managing director Raj Menda said, “The dispute was settled amicably.”

The deal closes a chapter of wrangling between the partners over whether the project should be residential or for mixed-use. The project, which was to be completed by early 2012, never came up, blocking AIG Global Real Estate India Advisors’ Rs 350-crore investment.

About four months ago, the AIG firm had served a legal notice to RMZ for failure to let it exit its investment in the project.

ET had reported in October last year that RMZ had sought $20 million from AIG as payment towards notional loss of profit for allowing it to exit the project. The person quoted earlier said AIG will build over 1,500 apartments, priced between Rs 50 lakh and Rs 60 lakh each, with a total out lay of Rs 1,000 crore.

According to property consultants, the residential sector in Hyderabad has bounced back after the slowdown and price correction of 2008.

“Total absorption in the Hyderabad property market went up 14% to 4.06 million sq ft in the third quarter of current fiscal,” according to a recent report by property research firm Liases Foras.

Builders oppose real estate regulatory bill

15 Jan 2013, PTI.

NEW DELHI: Realty industry bodies CREDAI and NAREDCO today opposed the government’s proposed real estate regulatory law saying that the bill in the current form is not practical and only favours property buyers.

Minister of Urban Development Kamal Nath and Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) Ajay Maken today called a meeting of six industry chambers — CREDAI, NAREDCO, CII, Ficci, Assocham and PHDCCI — to discuss the draft bill.

HUPA is planning to bring this bill in the forthcoming Budget session of the Parliament to regulate the sector. At present, inter-ministerial consultations are on after which Cabinet clearance will be sought.

“We opposed the bill in the current form. Bill is not practical and it is one sided, in favour of consumers,” NAREDCO President Naveen Raheja told PTI.

“We have demanded that all stakeholders in the development of real estate should be brought under the ambit of this bill including government agencies which give clearance to this project,” he added.

The association sought that all consumer complaints should be addressed to the proposed real estate regulator and no other authorities should attend their complains, Raheja said.

The Real Estate Regulation Bill aims to establish a regulatory authority for enforcing fair practice and accountability norms and fast track dispute resolution mechanism in real estate transactions.

According to sources, the six associations were asked to give their representation in writing.

They said CREDAI and other organisations also opposed the bill. A CREDAI official said the draft is detrimental to the interest of the industry and is one-sided.

Source: Economic Times

CHD Developers to invest Rs 300 crore on Gurgaon housing project

16 Jul 2012, PTI.

NEW DELHI: Real estate firm CHD Developers Ltd today said it will invest about Rs 300 crore over the next four years to develop a housing project in Gurgaon.

Last week, the company had announced acquisition of a realty firm Empire Realtech — which has 12.34 acres on Dwarka Expressway, Gurgaon — for about Rs 100 crore. The land is licensed and has all approvals in place.

“We will develop a group housing project comprising 600 units on this land. We will target mid-income segment. The project will be launched by end of this year,” CHD Developers Chief Operating Officer Ravi Saund said.

Asked about the investment, he said it would be about Rs 300 crore, including land cost, and to be funded from internal accruals.

On the acquisition, Saund said: “Dwarka Expressway is fast becoming the next real estate destination and thus has been on our radar for growth plans”.

CHD had acquired 7,000 shares of Empire Realtech and the latter has become wholly-owned subsidiary of the company.

Many housing projects are coming up on Dwarka Expressway Sobha Developers, Assotech, Puri Construction, Chintels and ATS, among others, are developing projects in this area.

CHD also has projects at Karnal, Vrindavan and Haridwar. It is already constructing a project on Sohna Road, Gurgaon spread over 16.5 acres.

The company had posted a consolidated net profit of Rs 4.89 crore on a turnover of Rs 155.2 crore during 2011-12 fiscal.

Boon for flat buyers: Apartment deed possible without builders

15 Jul 2012, TNN.

NEW DELHI: Easing the process of giving exclusive rights of ownership to flat buyers, the Delhi high court has held that land owning agencies, DDA and L&DO, can execute the deed of apartment in case builders fail to execute the deed. This will enable flat buyers to get exclusive right over their houses and they need not be dependent on the promoter to transfer and mortgage the property.

Allowing a PIL that sought a directive for enforcement of the Delhi Apartment Ownership Act, a bench of acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said, “We are of the opinion that the dispute, whether the promoter or the builder has failed in executing and registering the deed of apartment, would be within the scope of Section 13 (4) of the Act and the competent authority would be entitled to pass an order directing the promoter or builder to execute the deed of apartment.”

It added that if the promoter or builder does not execute the deed of apartment even after this order, the competent authority itself can execute and register the deed on behalf of the builder.

“Similarly, the disputes, if any, as to who at present is entitled to the apartment, are also to be decided by the competent authority,” the bench said while disposing of the PIL.

In May 2010, the high court had directed the land-owning agencies to appoint a competent authority under the Delhi Apartment Ownership Act so that flat buyers can avail of benefits under the Act.

The PIL complained that after more than two years of the court directive, nothing had been done due to which buyers had failed to obtain absolute ownership of the flats and also faced difficulty from builders for transfer or mortgage of the property.

The HC said, “A Secretary in the Delhi administration or the vice chairman of DDA or the Land and Development Officer of the central government” could be authorized by the administrator by a notification in the official gazette as “the competent authority under the Act”. Accepting the petitioner’s allegation that the first obligation for executing the deed is on a builder or promoter of a group housing society and buyers faced problems due to the reluctance of builders to come forward to facilitate the execution, the bench said if builders failed to do so, a competent authority can execute the same.

During the hearing, L&DO had claimed that the agency cannot be forced to transfer title in the apartments in favor of the people claiming it without payment of the dues.

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