Smart Cities In India: The Ideology..The Objectives

Smart City100 smart cities, the dream project of central government announced in the budget 2014 is on tarmac of taking off now. The Media has persistently reported new developments on strategizing this ambitious program. Developing smart cities across the nation at such a scale has apparently been the lawn of discussion for policy makers, opposition parties and other stakeholders in the Indian real estate sector and infrastructure domain.

Let’s look through the ideology behind smart cities, the concept and its objectives that the new government aims to accomplish.

Smart cities, the Ideology:

  • Rapid urbanization and increasing pressure on limited floor space index across urban regions in India led to the need and conception of smart cities
  • Growth of industrialization and economic progress in the country went into the need of conceptualizing more urban conurbations to effectively absorb migrant/working populating. Advanced cities in terms of sustainable living, water and energy conservation and public safety, supportive healthcare facilities and employment generation emerged as the solution
  • Increasing population demands efficient and judicious use of limited infrastructure and other public utilities which subsequently begets the urgency of radically transforming life with the use of technological innovation

Smart cities, the objectives:

  • Conceptualization of smart cities is based on achieving enhanced livability index across the corridors of growth which are expected to push economic growth in the near future
  • To boost efficiency of public utility in transportation, communication, water/gas/electricity supply and subsequently realize a modern lifestyle for domiciles
  • To establish safe and secure living environment utilizing technological innovations which subsequently adds to the inclusive growth prospects of these cities
  • Optimally utilize information technology to habilitate the migrant population with e-management systems being the spine of infrastructure

Interestingly, riding along with the critics on this project’s scope, rollout costs and source of funding, this new initiative has been received with much cheer across the construction/infrastructure sector and common citizens of the country.

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REITs..What is in there for common man?

The real estate market is yet again the prime focus for investors diverging from various other conventional markets. The signs of revival in realty market are prominent with increasing enquiries of available residential/commercial assets and new launches by developer groups. Along with the increasing traction on ground, the realty market has yet another reason to cheer in the present day.

Reit ImageThe REITs have been qualified with final guidelines issued by SEBI, the stock market regulator in the country. As we know, REITs are just another type of mutual funds which instead of stock trading, channelize the pooled investments into property market. Given a go-through by the budget 2014 and SEBI, REITs are instilling faith amongst common/individual investors in the real estate sector and its prospects of growth.

As reported by The Economic Times, REITs will enable the common buyers to invest in currently available office space and hence pump in considerable amount of funds in the cash starved realty domain. Most importantly, REITS are the platform for common man to embark on the journey of monetization in the real estate sector which has so far been way beyond the reach for them.

REITs and the Common Man:

  • No more barrier of a massive down payment to invest in real estate sector. With REITs, mid-income individuals will also be able to invest as SEBI guidelines have brought the minimum investment threshold to a bare INR 2 lac
  • For common man, now real estate will be an opportunity for investment and hence the diversification of their investment portfolio will be easier and prudent. REITs will enable the trade participation of a larger base of investors belonging to various categories of fortune
  • Being a regulated mechanism for investments, REITs will no longer let the common man be dependent on whims of builder groups and rather reassure them with bargaining power against the developers
  • By far, the ROI in real estate was solely dependent on the level of value appreciation for one or two assets owned by single owners/investors. However, REITs will let the investors hedge their investments while it is invested in multiple projects of various segments/asset classes  
  • As performed in the developed markets, REITs will bring in a venue of regular income for investors as the asset value/rentals increase in tandem with inflation. This would do away the perception of a long gestation period required for monetization in the realty sector

As witnessed, market experts envision the future of realty sector to be a win-win arena for both the developer and buyer segments. The developers are expected to be relived with enhanced cash flow as a subsequent of more investors diverging towards real estate sector. On the other hand, the buyer segment also gets their share of profits with easy and regulated investments in the real estate sector which remained out of bounds for common man till date. 

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IndiaHomes Wins The Certificate Of Excellence From Burman GSC

Burman GSCThe Oberoi, Gurgaon

13th August, 2014

For its outstanding performance, IndiaHomes was awarded The Certificate Of Excellence by Burman GSC Group at an exclusive Channel Partner Engagement and Recognition Event held at The Oberoi, Gurgaon on 13th August, 2014.

IndiaHomes has been consistently honored by industry bodies & real estate developers for its customer-centric real estate advisory. At this exclusive gathering of channel partners, IndiaHomes was venerated for its valued support and association with Burman GSC Group for its project named Burman GSC, located at Sector 82A, Gurgaon.

Burman GSC is a new-age real estate development firm specializing in developing iconic landmarks that symbolize ‘Pride Of Ownership’ for their clients. Their core focus is on real estate development and management of assets and includes residential, serviced residences, hospitality, retail and commercial office space under its ambit.

IndiaHomes is your first stop if you are in the market for property – buying, selling, renting or home loans. All services are completely free to the consumer, and include property short-listing, comparison, site visits, unbiased recommendations and expert advice through every stage of the process.

Present across all 50 major markets of the country, IndiaHomes believes in an ethical customer-centric approach that provides complete assistance from the day you begin your search for a property till the date you move in. IndiaHomes’ core values center around service, integrity, trust and excellence. If you are looking for a reliable and hassle-free experience to home buying or selling in the country, you have arrived at the right destination. Let us take over from here.

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The IndiaHomes Millennium City Golf Tournament

August 9th 2014

Bangalore, Karnataka  

IndiaHomes is proud to have sponsored The IndiaHomes Millennium City Golf Tournament which was a huge success and an event that hosted experienced golfers from various walks of life.

Golfan FB PostHeld on August 9th 2014, the event was enthralling with an excellent weather and spectacular ranges of Prestige Golf Shire golf course, one of the best golf courses in India. With inspiring participation of more than 80 golfers, the tournament proved to be an exciting day of golfing and get-together for all participants, associate members and organizers.

We hope that you all fully enjoyed this day and it proved memorable for exceptional golfing and building relations. 

Hope to meet you again for the next edition of IndiaHomes Golf Tournament to be announced soon! 

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Ten Myths About Investing In Indian Real Estate- Debunked

Is India’s real estate market a bubble waiting to burst? Or it is just another sparkling growth story of the highest order? There are many such theories attached to this dynamic and somewhat diverse sector and here’s busting ten of the top myths: 

Real estate prices will surely rise in the futureDebunked Stamp

Bull markets are always built around one particular myth and people tend to have this strong perception relating to the upward movement of prices over time. This often spurs rapid buying decisions. In reality, there is no land shortage and prices have been known to fall in areas with stagnant demand in metros like Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore. 

A home always fetches quick returns 

Many of us believe that real estate is the sole path to wealth but the real return on real estate investments is not something which will cheer you up quickly! Returns are fluctuating and may depend on multiple circumstances. If you are looking for quick returns, invest in market instruments instead. 

A home is a veritable piggy bank 

People used to treat a home as a piggy bank earlier owing to low interest rates and cooperation from banks. Equity could earlier help you tap into credit lines but banks are now more skeptical about lending against equity, especially your immovable asset after the recession. 

The bigger the down payment, the better 

A smaller down payment may actually benefit you with regard to availing a lower rate of interest since less than 15-20% automatically entails buying insurance. Low down payments also help you snap up properties right away without waiting to save enough. 

Value for money is possible only in the suburbs 

Another common myth, life in the suburbs may cost you more than you think in spite of the cheaper prices of apartments and land. This includes transportation and related costs of amenities which can often equal your savings on the property. 

Redecoration makes for a good investment proposition

Remodeling will never really get you as much as you think. It depends on your own selling skills and the kind of buyer you get. With the tight situation in contemporary times, buyers never really want to fork out much for newer additions. 

Go for the first possible discounts 

Often, realtor groups and companies offer luring discounts which may seem tempting at first. However, this often makes us buy rapidly owing to an expectancy of price rise in the future. However, developers often use this tactic to push sell a property. 

Rentals may not always be a good option 

In spite of the overwhelming fear of rentals, the fact remains that they are a good way to start earning some income after you buy a property. Once the value of the property appreciates, you can always look to sell it for better gains. 

Local developers offer the best, lowest priced properties

Check the credentials of the developer thoroughly. Local developers often default on delivery and this raises your expenses considerably. It is best to stick with experienced and reputed names. 

Property prices are always fixed 

The truth is they’re not! Developers can be negotiated with if they are in a hurry to clear old inventory and you may end up getting a good discount in the bargain! 

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Foreign Equity Participation…Focus of Indian Realty Sector

The pro-growth stance of the majority government at center and a favorable budget is turning around the realty affairs in India. Now there are evident signs of revival across subsectors of construction and growth in infrastructure across key metropolitan regions in the country. Along with the retreating testing phase that soured market sentiment in past, the realty sector is once again pursuing all venues of funding to effect sustainable growth in India.

Foreign investment is once again the favorite amongst Indian developer groups who suffered the brunt of drying liquidity over the last year. Favoring growth, the new initiatives by central government like the proposal to set up 100 smart cities have encouraged local developers to source foreign funds for their strategic contribution to growth of realty sector in the coming future.  

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, in first half of 2014, private equity and other modes of investments have already more than doubled their millions of dollar investments into Indian realty sector. Factually, the economic slowdown over the last year rationalized asset values in Indian market and now offers prudent investment options for foreign investors to fetch reassuring ROI in the coming years.

Furthermore, the soon to be introduced REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) and easing norms to encourage block-free FDI routes are complementing foreign collaborations in the Indian construction domain. The already existent international players in India like Blackstone and Morgan Stanley are now betting upon fresh investments in the country.

Captivatingly, at this juncture of growth taking-off for realty in India, the foreign equity participation comes around with the improved financial health of local stakeholders. The cash rich developer groups are launching expansive residential/commercial projects with constructions undertaking on self-owned land tracts. Along with an encouraging contribution by foreign players and ever increasing demand of assets, the future brings hopes for a more inclusive growth of Indian realty sector with a critical participation of foreign investment groups. 

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Investors Abroad: Destination Next For Indian Realty

The spell of speculative and twitchy stance in the Indian real estate market seems to be ending now. Finally the time for hyper traction in housing segment has arrived and realty domain is witnessing the much awaited restoration. The builder-buyer sentiment as picked up post general elections and budget 2014-15, which is now at work for sprawl of construction across the country.

As reported by The Financial Express, leading property funds in India are now the recipients of tranches from overseas. The funders abroad, are now conceding to improved economic outlook in India which has a special stress on the development and expansion of housing facilities and supportive infrastructure.

The current year has recorded reassuring investments from foreign private equity players who have sited immense potential of return on their investments in the commercial and residential domain in India. Buying stakes in underdevelopment commercial/residential properties has been conventionally opined to be the best offering of Indian realty market.

With a new government at center and its focus on developing 100 smart cities and affordable housing, the foreign investors are now safely banking upon the reassured future returns, riding on their investments in the current day. Foreign investors are leaning more towards the residential sector which has been known for its ever sustained demand, a subsequence of tremendous pressure on limited availability of land tracts in urban regions across the country.

Not to overlook, in the past few months, Indian realty as a brand has gained remarkable recognition in the overseas property market. Leading developer groups in India have been in news for their strategic takeovers of prime properties in cities like London and other major metropolitans around the world.

Around this time, the most crucial fillip to realty sector has come from political stability, established after the majority government taking charge of core economic affairs at the center. Considering the positive market sentiment and enhanced brand recognition in the present day, the near future looks promising for a significant growth and development of India realty market across its subsectors. 

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Mumbai Witnessing Growth In Resale And Compact Housing Market

The residential sector in Mumbai is maturing with fast changing demands of the buyer segment in this city. Along with a slew of project launches and an improved market sentiment, the buyers in Mumbai and its suburbs are now shifting towards resale properties and lower ticket sized assets. A barefaced reasoning to this shift is a continual hike in the value of fresh properties and the availability of cheaper assets in the secondary/resale market in Mumbai.  

As witnessed, the mid-income group of home aspirers are now settling for compact homes, available in the resale market across regions like Powai, Wadala and Thane. Comparatively cheaper in the secondary market, resale properties have emerged as a prudent option for buyers who don’t wish to move away from city limits. Furthermore, resale properties are also attracting investors for robust rental incomes.

As recounted by Livemint, leading developer groups like Hiranandani Constructions Pvt. Ltd and Lodha Developers Ltd have caught the pulse of demand in realty market today. Such captains of realty development are now developing mid and small sized dwellings with contemporary amenities to attract a larger base of buyers belonging to the not so affluent segment.

Interestingly, the size of 1&2 BHK apartments are now being reduced to suit the budget of the dominant segment in the buyer’s market. This dominant segment comprises of salaried professionals, retired officials and people who aspire to diversify their investment portfolio with new investments that could fetch recurrent rental/lease incomes and capital appreciation in the future.

As discussed above, the increased traction in resale, rental and lower ticket size apartments testifies a revival in Mumbai realty market. Realty ecosystem in Mumbai is now, reviving with improved sentiment amongst the buyer, investor and developer segments. Based on current property trends, the near future for real estate sector looks promising in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. This region which has time and again topped the wish list of home aspirers in India is now set to become the arena for hyper growth in resale, rental and smaller assets’ market. 

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Noida and Greater Noida: The land of Property Appreciation

New Okhla Industrial Development Authority, better known as Noida is the region which has witnessed rapid urbanization over the last decade. In the present day, this city has emerged to host major media houses, leading IT and ITeS corporations and expansive residential pockets. Along with catering options of rewarding occupation and habitation to migrant population, Noida and Greater Noida have been a respite to ever increasing pressure on limited Floor Space Index in Delhi and its peripheries.

As witnessed, Noida and Greater Noida primarily flourished owing to the dire need of cheaper residential, commercial and institutional assets in Delhi NCR. This is the region which tops the list of home aspirers and India Inc. looking to establish their base in North India. Subsequently, in tandem to substantial absorption rate of assets here and need to enhance the infrastructure support, now the Noida development authority has decided to revise the circle rate properties with a hike of 10 percent, beginning August 1st 2014.

The latest decree to revise property circle rates in Noida and Greater Noida has come to cheer the investors who made the right choice and speculated an appreciation in the future. Not just the investors, buyers looking out for investing over the next few months can also hope for a natural price correction and stable market with enhanced social and civic infrastructure in the coming years. Increased circle rates will eventually lead to more investments in developing regions like Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway.

Most importantly, the buyers can now benefit from a rational evaluation method for properties which will no longer bear fixed circle rates. Unlike the current procedure, now the circle rate of assets in residential flat category will be computed against services provided by developers in respective projects. Furthermore, the cap of 25% has been fixed for services which include club, gym, security, power backup and swimming pool. Earlier, 25 percent was levied irrespective of the number of services available in a residential project. However, this will now change to attract 5 percent for each service wherein the maximum charge for all services would go up to 25 percent only.

As discussed above, Noida and Greater Noida are the regions which have witnessed massive urbanization and absorbed migrating exodus from across the country. Growing commerce and residential sectors have been the drivers of growth for this region. Moving forth, with the revised property rates of residential properties, the real estate market in this area is expected to advance and prove more lucrative for buyers and investors in the near future.   

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A Rejigged Land Acquisition Act To Attract More Investments In Realty Sector

The conventional diktats operating in realty sector are now being rearranged to be responsive to current population pressure and demand of assets in the country. Such endeavors to reorder the land acquisition and mixed-land use policies aim to blend with rapid population growth across the metro cities in India. In this direction, the central government’s rounds of consultation with other parties/stakeholders have emerged to be reassuring for investors in the realty domain.

The Land Acquisition Act in practice during the present day is conformist to the interests of farmers/landlords. Conceding to the ever increasing demand of residential and commercial units, this act falls short of striking a balance between the privately owned land tracts and scarcity of land to host fresh projects. Hence the rural ministry, has now undertaken the realignment of the land acquisition act to stimulate a smoother industrialization and construction process.

Real estate market in 2014As reported by Zee News, the clauses like ‘mandatory consent’ of 70 and 80 percent locals for Public Private Partnership and Private projects respectively, need amendments in the present day. Consent for PPP projects could be diluted as the ownership of land remains with the government in these projects. Furthermore, the requirement of 80 percent support by the locals for commissioning private projects could also be brought down to 50 percent.

Being at the stage of informal discussions amongst the political parties, these amendments are regarded as major boosters of growth for realty sector. Once the balance between demand of construction and rights of farmer is realized without compromising the interests of latter, a fresh decree will pave way releasing land pools for construction. It would also induce some respite to the skyrocketing property prices in the metro regions which now vouch for huge absorption numbers for assets across the subsectors of realty domain in India.

Deliberations accounting concerns of all stakeholders and a speedy enactment of a fresh Land Acquisition Act will certainly complement the realty sector’s growth which has started showing signs of revival over the last quarter. With the pro-development government at the center and efforts to attract further investments into the Indian industries via various revised measures, the near future looks promising for realty and infrastructure domains in India. 

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