Indian real estate offers some of the best investment options

Ireo Skyon, Gurgaon

Ireo Skyon, Gurgaon

The real estate market in India will continue to witness stable conditions for the next two to three quarters and then see improvements, expects Sanjay Verma, chief executive officer for the Asia-Pacific at Cushman & Wakefield. Edited excerpts of a conversation with Nivedita Mookerji:

Do you think the real estate sector is on the verge of another meltdown globally?

Sanjay Verma

No. While there might be some concerns about overbuilding in certain sectors, in certain markets, the likelihood of a global meltdown is extremely low. Such an event would require a major global recession, led by steep declines in the US and a hard landing in China. Europe is in recession currently and the markets are continuing to weather that storm. It would take declines in demand from the US to cause global employment to decline enough to lead to a global meltdown and we see that as very unlikely.

How is the ongoing slowdown impacting the property market in India? Is it expected to get any worse over the coming months or do you see things improving?

The ongoing slowdown has had a mixed impact on property markets in India. In the commercial office sector, we have seen that though companies are still committed to their expansion plans, they are in a wait-and-see mode and are progressing very slowly on executing these.

Read more: Business Standard

Haryana cracks whip on realty defaulters

In a move that may ring warning bells for the realtors and developers with projects in Haryana, the state government has cancelled the licence granted to a private group housing society in Sonepat for failing to deposit the external development charges (EDC).

Sources said the town and country planning department (TCPD) is currently scanning the proposed realty development and more such projects may face axe if they fail to settle their dues.

The first to face the axe was Navjyoti Overseas Pvt Ltd as the TPDC refused to renew its licence to develop a group housing society over 6.81 acres at Garh Shahjanpur village in Sonepat. It had failed to submit EDC and bank guarantee.

On April 12 last year, the state introduced a policy giving the defaulter colonisers to deposit their EDC by July 17. To avail the benefit, realtors were to deposit 25 per cent bank guarantee of the outstanding enhanced EDC and submit an undertaking. However, the Navjyoti Society failed to do so. Its outstanding, in the meantime, reached Rs 241.80 lakh on account of enhanced EDC.

Read more: Indian Express

Infrastructure

Delhi Metro Phase III a landmark for city

Completion of Delhi Metro phase III will not only provide lakhs direct connectivity from Kashmere Gate to the satellite town of Faridabad, but also connect all other Metro corridors.

The Violet Line (Central Secretariat to Badarpur) is the only line which will undergo extension from both ends, thereby providing connectivity to all parts of the National Capital, along with easing commuting till Faridabad.

With a length of 43.21 km, the proposed corridor will have 32 Metro stations – 21 elevated and 11 underground. The corridor will have five interchange stations at Mandi House, Central Secretariat, Kashmere Gate, Kalkaji and Lajpat Nagar.

After Gurgaon and Noida, Delhi Metro will once again transcend boundaries under phase III – this time entering Faridabad and smudging boundaries further.

Extension of the Violet Line will not only ease passenger volumes at the busy Rajiv Chowk and Kashmere Gate interchange stations but will also provide direct connectivity from Kashmere Gate to Faridabad.

Read more: Daily Pioneer

To improve its image, Delhi govt gets working on roads

In a major showcase of infrastructure development during an election year, the Congress-led Delhi government has left no stone unturned to ensure that all the roads taken over from BJP-led corporations are not only improved but also upgraded with signages, street lights and drainage.

A total of 647 roads that will be relaid in different parts of the city will have PWD painted on the zebra crossing as a mark of the Public Works Department’s effort and ownership. The project will cost over Rs 1,800 crore.

The roads were handed over to PWD by the corporations last year, after the government claimed that BJP-led local bodies were doing a shoddy job of maintaining the stretches.

“Most of the roads being relaid will be ready before the onset of monsoon,” PWD Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan said.

Read more: Indian Express

In 3 years, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has razed or is probing over 80,800 illegal structures

MUMBAI: While Thane is clearly the hotbed for illegal construction, Mumbai has not been spared the menace.

The city also has had its fair share of building collapses, most of which have been attributed to illegal or poor construction. In fact, building collapses in the city over the past seven years have claimed lives of about 250 people, statistics shared by opposition leader in the legislative council Vinod Tawde on Friday suggest.

Another indication of the illegal construction activity comes from the fact that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) alone claims to have razed 59,808 illegal constructions since 2010.

Interestingly, while slum colonies are often blamed for the illegal menace in the city, the official data claims that over 49% of the illegal constructions razed (29,536 out of 59,808) during the period were residential and commercial non-slum structures.

Read more: The Times of India

Home Loans

Axis Bank aims Rs 50,000 crore home loan portfolio by FY15-end

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Axis Bank is targeting a 30% growth in its home loans every year over the next two years to take the portfolio to Rs 50,000 crore by end of FY15.

Country’s third largest private sector lender Axis Bank is targeting a 30 per cent growth in its home loans every year over the next two years to take the portfolio to Rs 50,000 crore by end of FY15, a senior official has said.

“We are targeting a growth of 30 per cent every year in home loans and conceptually we should reach the Rs 50,000 crore mark for the portfolio,” the bank’s head for consumer lending and payments, Jairam Sridharan said.

He said the total home loan portfolio stands at Rs 30,000 crore, occupying a major part of the retail lending assets, which stood at Rs 43,000 crore.

The bank’s retail assets had grown 43 per cent in the quarter ended December 2012.

Sridharan conceded that troubles in the economy have resulted in a drop in home loan demand which is visible through a dip in the growth rates, but said the bank is confident of maintaining its guidance of 30 per cent growth.

Read more: The Economic Times

India Mortgage Guarantee Corporation to commence operations soon

India Mortgage Guarantee Corporation, a joint venture between the National Housing Board (NHB), Genworth Financial, Asian Development Bank and the International Finance Corporation is expected to commence operations soon. “We have applied for a license to the Reserve Bank of India which is expected to come in soon,” RV Verma, chairman and managing director, National Housing Bank said.

The company will have an initial capital base of Rs 120 crore. “This has already come in and the authorised capital (maximum capital the company is authorized by its constitutional documents to issue to its shareholders) would be Rs 750 crore,” Verma said. The National Housing Board has a 38% stake in the company, Genworth Financial 36% with the International Finance Corporation and the Asian Development Bank holding 13% share each. Meanwhile, the National Housing Board’s is expected to close its books this June with Rs 18,000 crore in disbursements. The company which follows the July-June calendar has disbursed Rs 17,000 crore so so far to banks, housing finance companies and regional rural banks, with 92% of the money going to banks and housing finance companies who in turn finance home loan borrowers. “We are expecting an 18% growth in disbursements this year,” Verma said. In addition, NHB is also looking to raise Rs 14,000 crore through market borrowings next fiscal.

Read more: The Times of India

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