Indians among top 5 realty buyers in US

Cashing in on the real estate crash in the US, rich Indians are busy snapping up American properties. Affluent Indians are among the top five international buyers busy scouting for plum deals, confirms the US realtors association.

“During the last 12 months ended March 2012, Indians — residents and non-residents — have bought 12,000 homes in the US,” says Stephanie Singer of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), a US industry body. Leading the list of foreign buyers are Canadians, Chinese, Britons, Indians and Mexicans, with the most buys reported in Florida, California, Arizona and Texas.

US real estate prices have dipped by almost 26 per cent over the last decade. Between 2006 and 2011, the average yearly median price of US houses has declined from $222,043 to $164,542, confirms NAR data.

Read more: The Asian Age

Home sales in May remain stable in Bangalore, moderate in Gurgaon

Home sale volumes remained stable in the month of May in key cities across the country. According to data from property research firm PropEquity, “Bangalore maintained stable volumes with May 2012 residential sales of 5 million sq ft.” Mumbai saw a slight increase in month-on-month and quarter-on-quarter sales. Gurgaon also saw moderate volumes with 3.6 million sq ft sold in the month.

“The monsoon is typically a lean season for the sector and the next leg of launches is expected in September 2012 when the festive season kicks in. We remain positive on the sector as most of the slowdown is already in current valuations,” said a Religare Institutional Research report on the real estate sector.

Sales of homes in Gurgaon in May stood at 3.6 million sq ft as compared to a six months average of 4.1 million sq ft. “We continue to believe that overall volumes in Gurgaon may remain moderated in the mid-term due to limited new launches and a relative increase in prices. The trend may change once big projects from Godrej, Indiabulls Real Estate and Adani hit the market,” said the report.

Read more: The Economic Times

IT Sector

HCL to hire 10,000 employees in US

HCL Technologies on Wednesday said it will give salary hikes of up to 8 per cent to its offshore employees and its plan of hiring 10,000 people in the US and Europe is also on track despite the global economic uncertainties.

“About 75 per cent of the workforce will receive their hikes in July, while the remaining at management levels will get it in October as per our cycle. “Offshore employees are getting hikes of about eight per cent and onsite employees will get two per cent increase,” HCL Technologies Vice-Chairman and CEO Vineet Nayar said.

The hikes are in line with most of the other players like TCS and Wipro, who have given similar hikes. They are also sticking to their hiring targets.TCS expects to hire 50,000 people this year, while Wipro has not disclosed its numbers.

Read more: Rediff

Indian IT companies step up US hiring

The pace at which Indian IT will expand its direct presence in the US with local hires looks certain to accelerate rapidly.

While the general anti-off shoring mood among American politicians and the growing difficulties in obtaining visas are two big reasons for this, there are other reasons emerging.

With Indian IT’s capabilities growing and customers willing increasingly to outsource complex work to them, a lot more of onsite work is imminent. Wipro’s CEO for the IT business T K Kurien told TOI that IT architecture work, system design and prototyping work will happen onsite, in front of the customer. “This means that it’s not enough to have a dedicated sales force at the client end; you also need system architects in different geographies,” he said.

Read more: The Times of India

Retail News

US apparel: India 3rd fastest growing

At a time when India’s textile and clothing exports to the US are slipping, American apparel import is finding a firm footing in the country. India finds itself among the three fastest growing markets for US apparel during the first five months of 2012.

This, ironically, comes at a time when the US manufacturing sector is reeling under the impact of a continuing downturn and the American textile and apparel industry is severely cramped by its lack of competitiveness in international markets. Besides, the US dollar has appreciated sharply against the rupee during much of this year, which renders American exports to India even less competitive than otherwise.

Read more: The Financial Express

India’s shopping malls lose bustle as economy cools

Eight months ago, multi-storied Phoenix Market City opened for business in the eastern suburb of Kurla with a total floor area of 1.13 million square feet, the size of about 15 soccer fields. To date, just two-thirds of its 320 stores have been taken up and foot traffic can be thin.

Asia’s third-largest economy is growing at its slowest pace in nine years and sluggish consumer spending is forcing mall developers to scale back plans. It will take years for the glut of retail space conceived during headier times to be absorbed by tenants, even as India fine-tunes rules to make it easier for foreign shops to enter the country on their own, analysts say.

Read more: Reuters

After US & Europe chains, Asian retail group eyes India

Once foreign direct investment (FDI) is allowed into the multi-brand retail sector, international retail chains Walmart, Carrefour and Tesco may face competition from an Asian player—Malaysia’s Parksons.

A Parksons spokesperson told Business Standard the group wanted to set up department stores across Bangalore, Chennai and Delhi. The chain, which sells products ranging from groceries and cosmetics to fashion apparel, plans to invest in India by 2013. So far, only retail chains from the US and Europe have expressed interest in investing in India.

Today, Parksons, with a sales turnover of $3.25 billion, announced its foray into the Sri Lankan market, adding India was next on its agenda. Without specifying whether it would operate in the multi-brand or the single-brand category, a company spokesperson said, “The retail model will be keeping in sync with the nation’s stipulations.”

Read more: Business Standard

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