Realtors say master plan a must to make NCR expansion a success

Ireo Skyon, Gurgaon

Ireo Skyon, Gurgaon

With Bhiwani and Mahendragarh in Haryana and Bharatpur in Rajasthan becoming part of the National Capital Region, real estate market in all three areas will get a major boost.

Real estate experts say this will not only ease the pressure to provide affordable housing on the existing NCR region but also help in planned development of these cities. However, they cautioned that if the authorities did not come up with a master plan immediately and check land trading, it will give rise to speculative buying, pushing up property prices “artificially”.

Anil Sharma, president, CREDAI NCR and CMD, Amrapali Group, said: “It’s good news as far as real estate development in these areas is concerned but it’s just a first step. Now master plan should be prepared and implemented as soon as possible otherwise builders will start accumulating land, leading to speculative price rise.”

Read more: Hindustan Times

Developers now homing in on studio, serviced apartments

Real-estate players are now eyeing first-time home buyers, expats and those who come for medical treatment by offering studio and serviced apartments. Even non-resident Indians who want to park their funds in real estate seem to be keen.

With a slew of such projects under way, developers are banking on them to help generate quick cash-flows, as unlike other types of apartments, investors are not required to shell out huge amounts.

In fact, such is the interest in both studio and serviced apartments that even the Delhi Development Authority has proposed a new provision in the Master Plan 2021 for introduction of such apartments.

According to the proposal, studio apartments will be allowed to come up in residential zones, while serviced apartments will be restricted to commercial centres.

Ideal for extended business and leisure trips, serviced residences combine the comfort and privacy of a home with the services of a luxury hotel.

Read more: Business Line

Vertical growth an option where there is scope: Sheila Dikshit

In less than a week after Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit’s claim that she won’t allow Delhi to grow vertically till she is alive, she and union urban development minister Kamal Nath seemed to be on the same page on the issue of allowing highrises in the national capital. However, Dikshit insisted that green and open places of Delhi must be maintained.

The two leaders said vertical growth is an option in areas where there is “scope”. The minister stated this on Monday in Dikshit’s presence on the sidelines of NCR Planning Board meeting.

Nath said Delhi can’t expand horizontally and hence vertical growth has to happen. But he cleared the air saying such development can happen in new areas where there is space and opportunity for such growth. “My opinion is clear, I have said. Where we are sitting today, there can be no highrise here. But where there is new development, Delhi cannot expand, it has Haryana one side and Uttar Pradesh on another. So the increasing population and the 40 lakh people who live in slums and unauthorized colonies. What is the solution? The land is expensive. So where, it is possible, there should be high rises, in the new areas.” Since he took charge of the urban development ministry, Nath has been pushing for high rise real estate development in areas including outer Delhi. He has also expedited the process of finalizing land pooling policy, which will pave way for such development. Nath said that he does not suggest having vertical growth in the old areas, where they cannot take burden of high rise buildings.

Read more: The Times of India

Foreign investors, wealthy individuals in race for Novotel hotel

Fourteen financial institutions and wealthy individuals have shown interest to acquire Hyderabad’s biggest five-star hotel, Novotel, said people with direct knowledge of the matter. The 305-room property, located at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, has been put on the block by its owner infrastructure major GMR Group. The move tracks the sell-off trend in the hospitality industry where as many as 75 branded hotels have put the ‘for sale’ boards.

Hospitality specialist HVS India is running the sale process of Novotel Hyderabad Airport Hotel, which could fetch a price of Rs 350 crore. Launched in 2009, the property is managed by French hospitality group, Accor. GMR’s goal to sell the property is to use the proceeds to invest in its other business ventures, said the people. Selling the asset would also help in cutting GMR’s debt, which is over Rs 37,000 crore. The Bangalore-based enterprise has been selling interests in certain road and power assets as part of its debt restructuring exercise.

Interested parties are expected to fire the bids for the Novotel Hyderabad Airport Hotel in the coming weeks, said the people.

Read more: The Times of India

Godrej Properties buys back HDFC PMS stake in two projects

Godrej Properties has bought back HDFC Asset Management Company Ltd’s nearly 50 per cent stake each in the realty firm’s two projects at Chennai and Chandigarh for an undisclosed amount.

HDFC PMS (Portfolio Management Services) had invested about Rs 100 crore to pick up stakes in Godrej Properties’ two subsidiaries, which are developing realty projects in Chennai and Chandigarh, sources said.

In a filing to the BSE, Godrej Properties said the company has bought back from HDFC PMS, its 49 per cent stake in subsidiary Godrej Estate Developers, which is developing Godrej Eternia project in Chandigarh.

Similarly, Godrej Properties, part of Godrej Group, has given exit to HDFC PMS by purchasing its 49.9 per cent stake in the subsidiary Godrej Sea View Properties, which is developing ‘Godrej Palm Grove’ project in Chennai.

The exit was provided as per the buy-out option available under separate agreements with the HDFC Asset Management Company for Godrej Eternia project at Chandigarh and Godrej Palm Grove at Chennai.

Read more: The Economic Times

Rupee depreciation may boost NRI investments in realty sector

The depreciation in rupee provides a psychological boost to both non-resident Indians as well as developers, real estate consultancy firm Cushman & Wakefield said.

On Wednesday, rupee depreciated to an all time low of 60.72 against dollar. Today, it recovered at bit to 59.36 level.

“If the rupee maintains its current levels, developers could see more interest from NRI buyers as long as the capital value levels are also maintained and do not see a big hike during the period,” company’s Executive Director (residential) Shveta Jain said in a statement.

At current rupee levels and sluggish market conditions in many markets that are expected to remain that way for the next few months, NRIs could possibly benefit substantially from some attractive options available in the markets, she said.

However, she felt investments in the sector may not happen immediately.

“Though it is commonly felt that with each depreciation cycle, NRIs will find it cheaper to invest in the sector, this does not happen immediately,” Jain said.

The primary reason is that there are logistical constraints such as identifying the right property, negotiating a deal, being able to repatriate large sums of money in outright purchases and completing all the necessary documentation and formalities during the transaction life-cycle, she said.

Read more: The Economic Times

Sheila Govt wants more hospitals in NCR region

The Delhi Government today stressed the need for building more government hospitals and educational institutes in the NCR region in order to ease pressure on the city, in the 33rd meeting of the NCR Planning Board today.

Expressing concerns over the increasing number of students and patients coming from the neighbouring states to Delhi, the Delhi Government urged the NCR Planning Board and Union Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath to devise an action plan for providing quality services to the satellite towns.

The board was requested to come out with a set of guidelines for disposal of waste of Delhi in collaboration with UP and Haryana. Delhi generates around 9000 metric tonnes of solid waste per day.

Delhi was represented by Lt. Governor Tejendra Khanna, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Chief Secretary D.M. Spolia, Principal Secretary (PWD), Principal Secretary (UD) and Transport Commissioner.

The Chief Minister stated that Delhi being the hub of super-specialty and advanced treatment, it bears a heavy burden of patients from the neighbouring states.

Read more: Tribune India

NCR pie grows with slices of Haryana, Rajasthan National Capital Region grew bigger on Monday with the inclusion of two more districts of Haryana and one in Rajasthan, a move that will not only decongest Delhi, bursting at the seams with a population of 16 million, but will also give a boost to infrastructure in the two states.

The NCR Planning Board (NCRPB) had agreed to include Bhiwani and Mahendergarh in Haryana and Bharatpur in Rajasthan in NCR, union urban development minister Kamal Nath said. Taken together, the three districts are eight times the size of Delhi.

“The NCR region must grow simultaneously to reduce pressure on the health, educational and economic infrastructure of Delhi,” Nath explained. A proposal to include two more Haryana districts — Karnal and Jind —would be taken up later.

Urban planners say the move could help develop new growth centres and attract investment beyond the present NCR boundaries often overshadowed by “developed suburbs” such as Noida, Gurgaon and Faridabad. The success will, however, hinge on two big factors: connectivity and infrastructure.

Experts say it will give a leg up to the realty market but only if accompanied by adequate infrastructure and job creation.

Read more: Hindustan Times


Delhi-NCR gives more jobs than Mumbai, statistics prove that

Mumbai’s share in generating new jobs sharply plummeted while Delhi-NCR has catapulted to the top slot, an industry survey has revealed.

New jobs generation in the country’s commercial capital fell sharply by 28 per cent during the first quarter of fiscal 2013-14 against the corresponding period last year, said ‘Job Trends Across Cities & Sector’, a study conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry (Assocham) released here Tuesday.

“Mumbai’s share in generating total number of new jobs across India fell from over 14 per cent last year to just around 10 per cent,” Assocham secretary general D.S. Rawat said while releasing the study.

In contrast, Delhi-NCR remained numero uno in new job generation with a maximum share of over 27 per cent as compared to other cities, Rawat said.

Referring to Mumbai, the study said that around 13,100 new jobs were generated here compared to 18,00 in Q1 last year, mostly in the IT, IT-enabled services (ITes) and hardware which accounted for 32 per cent with banking, financial services, insurance (BFSI – 18 per cent), academics (seven), advertising and event management (five), telecom and other manufacturing (four) and hospitality (three per cent).

Sectors like engineering and construction, realty, automobiles, retail, infrastructure, human resources, FMCG and and others notched an insignificant increase in new jobs generation, it added.

According to Rawat, a total over 125,500 new jobs were generated in the country during Q1 of the current fiscal, which is a decline of two per cent – or 127,700 new jobs created during the same period last year.

Read more: The Economic Times


L&T Construction wins Rs 3,057-cr orders in June

Construction major Larsen & Toubro today said its June order book touched Rs 3,057 crore across various business segments.

The building and factories business secured orders worth Rs 1,808 crore during the month, while the water and renewable energy business bagged orders worth Rs 628 crore, said SN Subrahmanyan, whole-time director and senior executive vice-president at L&T’s infrastructure & construction vertical.

A major order came from the water resource department of Jharkhand for constructing the Kharkai barrage. Another turn- key order came from West Bengal Power Development Corporation to supply equipment, material, erection and services for plant water systems of the Sagardighi thermal power extension project units 3 & 4 (2x500mw).

The company also received orders for various utility development work in Gurgaon from a private developer, including an additional order on operating projects, he said in a statement.

Read more: The Economic Times


India seeks investments from US in power sector

Inviting US investments into the power sector, India has said both countries can work towards developing hydro and thermal power stations with the possibility of technology transfer.

“I see a huge technology transfer in the transmissions sector between the two countries in the areas of smart grid operability, micro grids tower technology and gas insulation on transmission towers. The US is well-equipped in putting large hydro projects in place,” Power Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia told PTI.

Scindia, who is on a visit to the country seeking investments in the power sector, said “US has expertise in large hydro projects and this is where India can benefit from it a great deal”.

He said there could also be cooperation on thermal projects.

“I would urge them to engage with each other on a regular basis,” he added.

On the Indian power sector the Minister said: “We now have a capacity of 230 gigs (gigawatts) of power. In the last two decades alone despite all the problems that have beset the sector, India has added 165 gigs worth of capacity”.

In the last fiscal alone, India added 20 gigs of capacity, he said adding on the transmission side, the Southern Grid will be interconnected by the end of Jan 2014.

Read more: The Economic Times

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