Residential property prices hit the roof even as demand cools

Elevated Walkway at The Grand Arch, Gurgaon

Despite a slowdown in the realty market, residential property prices have risen 33 per cent in Greater Noida, 30 per cent each in Noida, Gurgaon, and Mumbai and 35 per cent in Chennai over a period of one year ended June 2012, according to a report by brokerage firm Kim Eng Securities.

Indicating a slowdown in the demand space, the housing loan growth has declined from 17 per cent in June 2011 to 15.2 per cent in June 2012, according to the Reserve Bank of India.

Read more: Business Standard

Economy

Assocham asks RBI to set up rolling fund for Rs. stability

The Reserve Bank of India should consider setting up a rolling fund for trading in foreign exchange or allow Indian firms to issue dollar-denominated shares to avoid rupee fluctuations, industry body Assocham said on Tuesday.

According to a study done by the chamber, there is a strong co-relation between foreign institutional investors (FIIs) outflows and the movement of rupee exchange rate.

“This is emerging to be the immediate cause of the increasing frequency of oscillation in the exchange rate,” the study on ‘Financial sector instability following global crises’ said.

It said whenever an economic crisis hits the rupee and the rate depreciates, it remains at the lower level rather than comes back to the pre-crisis level.

The next crisis pushes the rate to another low. Thus, there is a “ratchet effect”.

There has been a partial exception only after the 2008 crisis when the rupee had partly recovered lost position, it added.

For averting this situation, the study recommends that “The Reserve Bank of India should have a small rolling fund earmarked for trading in foreign exchange, synchronised with the entry and exit of the FIIs”.

Also, it said, RBI should buy dollar or other hard currencies from the market when FIIs are coming in and sell when they are exiting. This should cushion the rupee.

Read more: Hindustan Times

Real Estate

Gurgaon Pataudi Road witnesses a demand for affordable housing

Located at the foothills of the Aravali hills, Gurgaon-Pataudi Road is set to emerge as another axis of industrial and commercial development. The availability of land parcels for residential and commercial development is one of the main factors driving development in this location. Before Independence, Pataudi was a princely state, which was ruled by nawabs. With the rise in demand for housing, Pataudi (along Gurgaon-Pataudi Road) has today become a cluster of real estate development and industrial set-ups.

The Gurgaon-Jaipur Expressway (part of NH-8) has a significant impact on the developments on Gurgaon-Pataudi Road. Pataudi Road would be an ideal residential destination at sniffing distance. It is widely expected that the projects along Pataudi Road will have a capital appreciation of around 15-20%, depending on the projects and their locations.

This scenario is supported by the demographics of the city, where a large influx of well-paid professionals pour in every year, which translates into a strong demand for housing in peripheral areas. Clearly, the walk-to-work concept is in. The demand also comes from people who want a second home, either for spending their weekends, or for renting out. The NRIs also account for a large portion of the demand. In several high-end complexes, corporate houses have bought apartments in bulk for the use of their senior executives. The biggest strength of Gurgaon-Pataudi Road comes from the massive employment opportunity available within a radius of 10-15km.

Read more: Magic Bricks

Internet-based system on anvil for property acquisition process: Kamal Nath

Efforts are on to create a system which would allow the conversion of leasehold properties into freehold over the internet, sparing people the pain of running from pillar to post, Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath said today.

“I am trying now, this is another problem which people have is how to change something from leasehold into freehold,” Nath said while speaking at a function organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce.

The minister said that he had asked his officers in the Urban Development Ministry as to why people could not get the process done on the internet.

“I asked them why should they come to office, come here go there and all this. It should all happen on the internet and the regulation, if you are following, a lot of people come, no problem but yet they are struggling. Going here, going there trying to convert leasehold into free hold,” Nath said.

He said that his Ministry was now trying to find ways to ease this process and added these were the reforms that were needed to improve the mood in the country.

Read more: The Economic Times

Transportation/Infrastructure

Innovative solutions for Delhi’s parking mess

The addition of 10,000 new autorickshaws on the roads in the next few months will benefit people travelling between Delhi and NCR towns the most. Delhi’s transport department officials said they will give out NCR permits to the drivers willing to take passengers to the satellite towns of Gurgaon, Noida, Ghaziabad and Faridabad.

Though the Supreme Court had lifted the cap of 55,000 autorickshaws in Delhi and allowed the government to give out 45,000 more permits, Delhi government had decided to give out only 10,000 new permits in the first phase. But the court’s decision has paved the way for autorickshaws registered in the neighbouring towns to freely cross over the state border.

“Though the decision to allow their free movement was taken in 2008, it was never implemented because of the Supreme Court order in 1997 restricting the number of autorickshaws in Delhi at 55,000 at any given point in time. There was no way we could have checked the number of autorickshaws registered in other states but plying in Delhi,” a transport department official said.

The governments of Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan had signed reciprocal common transport agreement in December 2008 to allow buses, conventional and radio taxis and autorickshaws registered in other states to move freely in their states.

While buses and taxis move freely between these states, the decision on autorickshaws could never be implemented, fearing contempt of court.

Read more: Hindustan Times

Central verges bring hope of smooth ride

In order to make the flow of traffic smoother at crossroads and traffic signals in the city, the municipal corporation has started installation of central verges at important junctions.

According to authorities, after identifying problematic traffic junctions central verges have already been constructed near Durga Mata Mandir and Bharat Nagar Chowk on Ferozepur Road. Apart from these, Kailash Chowk and Dandi Swami Temple Road also have these.

Station house officer (traffic) Beant Juneja said, “In the absence of barricades (central verges), vehicular movement becomes random especially with different types of vehicles moving at different speeds. The construction of these verges would essentially mean that the traffic movement will be more organized now. We have a plan to introduce these verges at various points in the city, which have already been identified.” He added, “We have already installing a few at various sensitive points, including Durga Mata Mandir and Bharat Nagar Chowk on Ferozepur Road. Next we plan to have barricades in Sarabha Nagar area.”

Read more: The Times of India

Monorail project to start next year

NEW DELHI: The monorail project looks set to move into high gear with the Delhi Metro having started work on the revised detailed project report. The work on 10.8km-long Phase I of the monorail, which will run from Shastri Park to Trilokpuri, will start by next year, a DMRC official saids.

“We have received the original DPR that was undertaken by RITES and have started work on the revised DPR. It will be ready in three months,” said a senior Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DRC) official.

The expected ridership of this line in 2017 is 1.37 lakh as per Delhi Metro.

Read more: The Times of India

Haryana to use satellite data to monitor infrastructure projects

Haryana Space Application Centre (HARSAC), Hisar, is developing the spatial data infrastructure to provide satellite data and thematic maps for planning and monitoring of various programmes and schemes in the state.

“Departments would be able to access all the available information from HARSAC resources. The project is being supported by the department of science andtechnology, government of India, with a grant of Rs 2.03 crore,” said a HARSAC spokesperson.

According to the Haryana Science and Technology Department, the Haryana Space Applications Centre has been doing various projects like Ground Water Prospects Mapping for Haryana, Space Based Information System for Decentralized Planning (SIS-DP), Demarcation of unauthorized colonies, Delineation of paleochannels, Mapping and management of water logging in central Haryana, preparation of police station jurisdiction atlas of Haryana and National Urban Information System (NUIS).

Read more: The Times of India

Business News

Demand for logistics spaces increase in H1 2012

According to the findings of CBRE’s latest report titled “India Logistics Market View”, India witnessed an increased market activity in H1 2012. Demand for logistic and warehousing spaces was not only limited to leading cities such as NCR (National Capital Region), Mumbai and Bangalore, but was also spread across the leading tier II cities.

E-tailers invested heavily into strategically located assets, and have been taking up quality warehousing space across India, primarily in NCR, Mumbai and Bangalore. However, availability of large land parcels at relatively low cost, connectivity to multiple markets across states and industrial clusters, has led to the emergence of some tier-II and tier-III cities as favoured destinations for the development of logistics parks and warehouses.

Rental values witnessed growth across most micro-markets due to higher demand for warehousing and logistics facilities. The coming months are likely to witness additional supplies across cities, which will positively impact transaction activity in these locations.

Read more: The Economic Times

The Leela Palace to open sea-facing hotel in Chennai

The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts, owned and operated by Hotel Leela Venture Ltd, would soon open a sea-facing hotel here, its first such property in South India.

The Mumbai-headquartered hotel chain would launch ‘The Leela Palace Chennai’, its eighth property in the country, spread across six acres, facing the Bay of Bengal.

According to a statement, the 11 floor, 326-room hotel would provide latest facilities.

The hotel is designed by architects Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart and Associates USA.

“The Leela Palace Chennai symbolises the spirit of Chennai which has rapidly evolved into a global business and technology hub, while deeply rooted in traditional culture, music and heritage of South India,” The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts President Rajiv Kaul said.

This property would raise the bar of luxury hospitality in the region and provide a world-class destination for discerning travellers as well as city residents, he said.

The company currently manages hotels in Bangalore, Gurgaon, Mumbai, New Delhi and in Goa, Kovalam and Udaipur, the statement added.

View article: Business Line

Education

XLRI to start Delhi-NCR campus by 2014

Top-ranked B-school XLRI, the oldest such institution in India, has firmed its expansion plans. Its new campus in the Delhi-NCR region will become operational by 2014. The institute is simultaneously working on increasing seats at the Jamshedpur campus.  XLRI director Fr E Abraham said, “The expansion of seats in the Jamshedpur campus and the Delhi-NCR project are being perused simultaneously.”

“We will make the Delhi-NCR campus operational by 2014. We have identified land near Gurgaon and the construction process will start soon,” he said, adding, “The institute will use its internal financial resources to execute this project.” The new campus will initially be started with 120 seats with 60 seats each in business management (BM) and human resource management (HRM). Faculty of the new campus will be a mix of existing and new members, he said.

Though Abraham admitted that XLRI is opening its new campus in an already cluttered market, he said the differentiating factors like inclusive approach and high ethics place XLRI at a different plank. So, it sees no competition from any other B-school. “We are not here to compete with any B-school. We are expanding to spread the philosophy of XLRI and the high standard of academic environment that we are known for,” he said.

Read more: MBA Universe

India News

Now, get a new passport in 30 days

Citizens will no longer have to wait endlessly for their passports. The ministry of external affairs has fixed a time limit of 30 days for the issuance of new passports, 15 days for re-issue of passports and one to seven days for Tatkaal applications.

In addition to this, all regional passport offices have been directed to introduce walk-in facilities to smoothen the process submission of documents. The walk-in services cater to the needs of eight categories of passport applicants—senior citizens, physically-challenged persons, minors below 15 years whose parents hold valid passports, applicants for Tatkaal services (fresh/re-issue), issue of police clearance certificates (PCC), deletion of emigration check required (ECR) status in passports without any change of personal particulars, seeking new booklets in case of exhaustion of visa pages and central/state government servants, their spouses and dependent minor children who have no objection certificate/identity certificate.

Read more: The Times of India

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