Rush for holiday homes pushes up realty prices

The Corridors by Ireo – Gurgaon’s Sector 67A

The Corridors by Ireo – Gurgaon’s Sector 67A

The upper-middle class families’ desire to own holiday homes where they can unwind on weekends is driving realty prices up in many hill stations and coastal locales within driving distance from metros. With 8% to 12% appreciation per annum, many holiday home locations in the country are comparable or better off than some of their urban counterparts that are constrained by space limitations, says realty consultant Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).

While some have their second homes in hill stations like Lonavala and Ooty, within two to three hours’ drive from their first homes in Mumbai and Coimbatore, there are others who head towards lonely beaches on the East Coast Road near Chennai or farmhouses in places like Mehrauli, Bijwasan, Rajokri and Chattarpur in the National Capital Region, says JLL India residential services CEO Om Ahuja. Prices of second homes in most locations across the country are upwards of Rs 1 crore.

Read more: The Times of India

Housing Loans: Home in on best rate

If you’ve taken a home loan, get ready to tighten your belt, for interest rates have begun to creep up once again. The base rates of leading banks (which decide lending rates), after falling by 50 basis points between April 2012 and May 2013, have risen by 25 basis points in the past one month.

After the RBI’s liquidity tightening measures in July, short-term borrowing costs for banks have gone up by 1 to 2 per cent. This has resulted in banks raising their lending rates to safeguard their margins. So what should you, the home loan borrower, do? Shop around for the best deal, of course.

Best deal for newbies

But first, let’s get some background. While market interest rates have certainly shot up, it hasn’t affected all banks equally. That’s why more private sector banks than public sector banks have raised their rates in the last month. Four private sector banks have so far raised their base rates. ICICI Bank raised its base rate from 9.75 per cent to 10 per cent. HDFC Bank, which had the lowest rate among all banks, raised its rate by 20 basis points to 9.8 per cent. Axis Bank and Yes Bank have also raised their base rates.

Read more: The Hindu Business Line

Infrastructure

Gurgaon’s Rapid Metro to run from Oct 2

The first phase of Gurgaon’s Rapid Metro Rail is likely to be inaugurated Oct 2, Gandhi Jayanti. Principal Secretary to Haryana Chief Minister S.S. Dhillon Thursday reviewed the progress of work on the network here.

Dhillon said this would be the country’s first metrorail system developed in the public-private partnership mode, at a cost of about Rs.1,100 crore.

The first phase of the Rapid Metro covers 5.1 km long track, with six stations: DLF phase-II, Belvedere Towers, Gateway Towers, Moulsari Avenue, DLF Phase-III and Sikanderpur.

A major part of the line is single-track.

The interchange station is at Sikanderpur, where Rapid Metro connects with Delhi Metro via a skywalk.

This will provide seamless connectivity to Delhi Metro, thereby connecting DLF cyber city to Delhi.

Rapid Metro Rail Gurgaon Limited managing director Sanjeev Rai told Dhillon that the construction of the first phase of Rapid Metro has been completed. He said that work on the second phase from Sikanderpur up to Sector 55-56 of Gurgaon has also commenced.

Rai said that in the first phase, Rapid Metro will have three coaches, with a capacity of 800 passengers.

Read more: NY Daily News

RBI includes more segments under infra definition for ECB

The Reserve Bank today expanded the definition of infrastructure sector for raising funds through external commercial borrowings (ECBs).

Taking into account the harmonised master list of infrastructure sub-sectors, it has been decided to expand the existing definition for infrastructure sector for the purpose of availing ECBs, RBI said in a notification.

As per the liberalised definition, energy sector would include electricity generation, electricity transmission, electricity distribution and oil pipelines, it said.

With regard to communications, the central bank said that mobile telephony services or companies providing cellular services, fixed network telecom and telecom towers will fall under the infrastructure definition and would be eligible to borrow fund through ECB window.

Water and sanitation sector will include water supply pipelines, solid waste management, water treatment plants and sewage projects.

Read more: The Economic Times

India Considering Allowing Foreign Investment in Railway Sector

India is considering a plan to allow foreign investment in the railway sector as it seeks long-term capital to help revive the fortunes of Indian Railways, the cash-strapped state-run public transporter.

Foreign investment is currently prohibited in the sector.

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, which formulates policies for foreign investment, plans to seek the federal cabinet’s approval soon to allow full or partial foreign ownership in companies that build and maintain railway lines connecting industrial hubs and ports with the country’s sprawling rail network, a trade ministry official told The Wall Street Journal. The official declined to be named as the recommendation hasn’t been made public.

“This will help attract foreign investment and develop much-needed infrastructure for industries to transport goods,” the official said, adding that the recommendation could be submitted to the cabinet in as soon as two weeks.

A spokesman for Indian Railways wouldn’t comment Wednesday on the proposal.

Read more: Wall Street Journal

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