Monday, August 24, 2015

Why is Property market still in doldrums??

Why is real estate market still in doldrums?? Many say, it’s because of BJP Government. But is this good or bad?? Let’s find out.

As we all know, property market in India thrives on cash (or unreported income). As long as cash is being pumped into the realty market, it thrives and investors make merry. However, the Narendra Modi government's efforts to uncover black money have reduced the generation of black money in the system. The impact of this change will become more pronounced in the coming months.

"With the new Black Money Bill (which was passed by the Parliament on May 26) and with the Cabinet approving the Benami Transactions Bill in May this year, the crackdown on Black Money will continue further.

All these steps by the Narendra Modi government have impacted the realty market in short term; however, it's a step in right direction (if we look at the long term prospects).

For too many years, people avoided taxes and pumped that cash into realty market. Consequences of such theft (avoidance of tax) meant property prices were shooting (almost doubling in 2 years). People parked their unreported income into real estate. Some bought 8 flats, some bought 15 plots. It was crazy. Real estate became the best asset class to make money in short period of time.

However, working class (or salaried class) was suffering because of high values of real estate. They could not buy their dream home. Their dreams of owning a home was fading, slowly but surely. Congress party did nothing to stop this mad rush to own the real estate.

Even though, Black Money from abroad can take time (years) to come to India. But, we have GOOD news that generation of Black Money within the country may slow down (or stop) and Property prices can become affordable for the working class and their dreams of owning a home can become a reality.

Investors can cry and they will cry, but it’s a step in right direction by Modi government. Few (maybe 1 or 2 %) investors shall not be able to decide the fate of 90% of public.

Amen :)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Mixed use properties on the rise in Kolkata

A ‘Mixed-use’ property or project is defined as any construction that combines residential, commercial, industrial and cultural units. These projects are steadily becoming the preferred option for real estate developers in Kolkata. The returns from mixed-use properties are much greater than properties which are just residential or commercial in nature.

  • Mixed-use properties are on the rise in Kolkata

Kolkata has seen its fair share of large commercial and residential projects over the years but the trend of mixed-use properties is growing. The most noticeable configuration of mixed-use properties in the city are shopping malls and residential complexes. These projects however require large plots of land for their construction.

Mixed-use properties provide many benefits for residents, businesses, investors and real estate developers. Home buyers prefer these properties as they are in close proximity to their work place, school or a shopping complex. This leads to less travelling time since many amenities are just a short distance away.

The residential segment in a mixed-use property provides a customer base for the commercial sections like a mall or shopping center, which makes it an attractive investment option for businesses.

  • Double delight for real estate developers

Mixed-use properties are also beneficial for real estate developers. The greatest benefit is that the development risk is divided between the options provided in the project. The presence of residential and commercial properties within the project attracts both sets of buyers. This leads to a faster recoup of the investment made by the developers.

Mixed-use properties can also be restructured, depending on the requirement from the developers. The reconfiguration can lead to an increase in the number of commercial units or residential units as required.

Mixed-use projects require large tracts of land for construction and the developing regions of the city are perfect for these properties. The development of these comparatively barren regions helps attract more buyers, because of the range of amenities provided. The availability of land for these projects also leads to better planning in the region.

  • The future of mixed-use properties

Earlier, these projects were rarely perceived as lucrative opportunities in the Kolkata real estate scene. However the success of a couple of early projects has altered this, making real estate developers eager to provide more mixed-use projects for the residents of Kolkata.

The options for varying configurations of mixed-use properties increases their scope, and the benefits for home and commercial owners make mixed-use properties a great option to invest in.

Summary: Construction and planning of mixed-use properties is on the rise in India. The projects cater to both residential and commercial property buyers since they provide a lot of benefits compared to stand alone complexes or office buildings.

Author Bio: One of the leading players in the real estate market, Ideal Group takes pride in its rich portfolio of world-class ongoing and upcoming residential projects in Kolkata. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Bathroom Makeovers in India

When it comes to bathroom makeover most of the people see it as an expense rather than an investment. Indeed true that the business in bathroom is plain necessity, it brings in great joy to indulge in a hot tub bath for hours if the atmosphere is right. But making over a bathroom can do much more than that. After all who would like the ugly sight of dampened walls lashed with broken tiles or leaky taps that steals the unwanted attention.

Benefits of bathroom remodeling- 

Bathroom renovations bring in tremendous benefits when done with care and planning. Here are few benefits of bathroom remodeling which brings in both form and functionality-

  1. Bathroom renovation brings in the jest of luxury.
  2. It creates right ambience giving you the joy of indulgence.
  3. It shows off your taste for design and brings in personal touch.
  4. Renovation can also mean more comfort and functionality, which lacked earlier.
  5. When somebody enters the bathroom it gives the same feeling and equal pleasure as the rest of your home.
  6. It can bring in a lot more space with the help of either virtual arrangements or physical constructions.
  7. It can also make you more space for additional storage required for bathroom linen and towels hence decluttering other part of your house.
  8. It improves the cleanliness of the bathroom by getting rid of old rusty pipes or hardware that is lashed withbuildup, which is beyond the reach of acids or other cleaning agents.
  9. It also makes your bathroom green if you can opt for energy efficient bulbs and eco-friendly materials. This’ll save you on utility bills and also create healthy environment. 
  10. Gets rid of mildew or mold accumulated over years, which otherwise could lead you to sickness. This helps to improve your overall health, psychologically as well as physically. It brings in feel good factor and lifts your spirits. 
  11. Bathroom remodeling can increase the value of your property since the potential buyers look out for beautiful and functional bathroom while buying a house.  This gives your home immense boost adding to capital gain.

4 Handy tips to uplift your bathroom interiors by giving it a makeover under budget- 

1. Move it and get some floor space-

Huge vanity in bathroom looks stunning but can consume a lot of space. Vanities are a good option for big bathrooms with enough space for mobility.  However, the same good-looking vanity can become cumbersome in small bathrooms occupying most of the space. 

You can optimize floor space in small bathrooms by replacing vanity with modern sleek pedestal sink. This helps you save huge on your budget as well. Or the other way is to have floating vanity that still keeps the floor clear while retaining the look of sophistication. 

Petite wall mounted toilet is another way to add more room in your bathroom. Further if you want wet and dry area to be separate then a shower curtain should suffice. This not only makes it easy to keep it open when not in use but also fits in budget. Having a closed shower room can make your small bathroom too congested. 

2. Create storage space tactfully-

Storage in bathroom is so much more important than just having it done beautifully. You might not have all the space in the world to consider a closet inside the bathroom but having a few selves shouldn’t be so difficult. Sometimes it seems like it’s just not going to work and adding shelves would steal the look. However, with little planning and smart execution you solve the problem just-like-that.

Have a small mirror above the sink and install a shelf below it so that you can accommodate all your daily essentials. The space above your toilet is the most neglected area, utilize it and use it for storage with a chick cabinet or a couple of shelves. You can also squeeze in more storage space by mounting a shelf above the door or double the mirror so that you can hide away stuff behind it with a recessed cabinet or you could even have a full-length mirror that blends in with the style of your bathroom. 

3. Make it feel roomy –

Is your bath smaller and look like a cluttered cage? Here are few things you can do to make it feel bigger and better.

Go for a single tone when it comes to colour. The theory being that lighter is better, uniform color from ceiling to wall to floor makes it feel bigger. Contrast in color can chop off the space making it visually look smaller. Choose uniform colour for flooring, tiles on the wall, sink, bathtub, etc. But you can still play with colours by highlighting the hues of shelves or accessories. 

Make use of larger tiles on the floor as well as on the wall. The smaller the tiles the more the grout lines which tend to break the space and add bulkiness.  Get in some movement with pattern tiles on the floor such as herringbone pattern, which attracts the beholder to the width making it feel wider.

Bigger mirrors give it a more roomy feeling and also make your bathroom grander. You could also use mirrors or glass on top of wall cabinet to give it an illusion of depth rather than bringing it on the face with woody opaque cabinet doors.  Use clear shower curtains or clear glass to separate wet and dry area so that they don’t cut the space visually. 

4. The art and science of lighting your bathroom interiors-

Yes privacy is key in bathroom but don’t let your fear (of being seen in the state) creep in so much that you end up covering your window with dark or shady blinds. Let the light in by covering it with sheer curtains or frosted window glasses. Make use of mirrors to reflect the lights so that your bathroom makes the most from natural sunlight during the day.

When it comes to lighting your bathroom, you might want to use at least 2 types of lights- task lightand ambient light. Task lighting, like the one beside the vanity mirror or top of it helps to see yourself better. When you use the mirror to shave or for other purposes it gives a clearer reflection.You can add ambient light in the center of the bathroom required to illuminate the entire area.  Accent light and decorative light areluxurious options depending on the size of the bathroom, your bathroom décor as well as your budget. 


Smart design and styling can rock even the smallest of bathrooms all under budget. You can transform your bathroom into a space that grows visually and adhere to functionality with few tricks like the ones mentioned above. A newly done bathroom is just so much more than increasing resale value. It’s a place you want to be in, relax and bath in sophisticationwithout making you claustrophobic.

This is a guest post Contributed by Wienerberger India

Monday, July 20, 2015

Professional Real Estate Consultants (PREC) Vs Agents

Professional Real Estate Consultants (PREC) and agents play very different roles in the real estate market, even though their roles and responsibilities are similar to each other and overlaps at times. A professional real estate consultant usually handles the clients with utmost care and advises the client’s requirements on their investment activities, educate them and help them to grow their money by connecting them to the right people by advising financials, abiding government procedures and the real estate laws. Whereas the normal agent also plays a role on suggesting the properties, showing them different options and helping them throughout the property transactions.

The major difference you could find between PREC and Agent is that, PREC is a well-educated, self-mannered and more disciplined in his approach and about the market; also handles the queries and advises in a professional way and resolves all the queries effectively, whereas you cannot find these kind of qualities in normal agent or realtor and there are very few people in whom you could find professional characteristics.

The agents moves forward along with the market, whereas the PREC takes his time, verifies, understands and have all the records with him before approaching the market. Once he catches the pace of market, he will lead the market on his own proven disciplines and principles, so this makes most of the builders, investors to get accredited by them and get their services. PREC will be studying and catching the pulse of the market much better than the realtors.

Consultancy Fees

Yet again the standard market fees for an agent or PREC are set as standard of 2% on the sale value. But PREC do charge more than 2% on fewer transactions that is because of their dedicated team; such as research, marketing and sales, who has expertise in their own streams, with their own code of conduct, disciplines. Real time consultancy companies like JLL, Knight Frank, Colliers, Cushman Wakefield, Square Yards, India Homes, Prop Tiger, and Property Connect, etc are few names which we can hear in the consulting industry as they have proven their PQRSTs services to the market and that is why they are way more different from any other agents and their charges would be a little higher compared to others.

This is a guest post by Property Connect

Friday, July 17, 2015

Developers offer discounts to encourage the purchase of dream homes

Buying a house can be a challenging decision for many. After all, it involves investing your hard-earned money. People get finicky when it comes to purchasing their dream home as they expect the best amenities and facilities that are worth their investment. There have been many cases where people go house hunting for apartments in Bannerghatta road and other such places in the south, but return disappointed because of the expensive property prices. Now, you no longer have to wait for the prices to drop. Your dream home can be well within your reach as real estate developers are offering lucrative discounts for apartments and flats for sale in Bannerghatta road.

  • The slowdown in the housing industry

Unlike earlier times, potential house buyers have plenty of choices available now. Builders and brokers are willing to negotiate better deals, which wasn’t an option some time back. Working professionals, especially those from the IT sector, are ready to purchase a second home and buy apartments on Bannerghatta Road, Bengaluru, because of the declining prices. There are a large number of people who are unable to purchase their dream homes because of the weak economy. But, simultaneously, there is also a significant section of the population who is grabbing the discounted offers introduced by real estate developers. With changing times, developers are now accepting requests from buyers and providing benefits. The price corrections have already taken place in the different sub-markets, depending on the supply and demand dynamics.

  • Rise of the buyer’s market

Builders need to keep the cash flow steady. For this reason, they are willing to provide discounts when they are close to finishing the inventory. They are enthusiastic to provide schemes rather than turning away a customer. The pre-launches are occurring at aggressive prices. Due to the rising debt, unsold inventory, and slow new home sales, builders are ready to negotiate with potential buyers. The end-user can bargain the best deals as the quoted prices remain stagnant. To make things better, the Reserve Bank of India has started offering home loans at low-interest rates. In fact, due to the recent RBI rate cuts, banks have been asked to reduce their base rate, which can substantially decrease the cost of home loans. Industry experts and financial advisers believe that now is the right time to buy flats for sale in Bannerghatta road, Bangalore.

  • Introduction of innovative offers and schemes

There are several real estate developers that are offering payment plans for possession. Such programs require individuals to pay 2 percent at the time of booking and take a loan for 80 percent. The EMI will be borne by the builder. After six months, the cost has to be paid, and the final 10 percent is due at the time of possession. Similar schemes with payment options ranging from 30-65-5 to 30-70 and 30-40-30 are designed to attract buyers. Be it cities such as Hyderabad and Chennai or apartments in Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore, developers are coming up with large projects. Real estate analysts believe that people expect an increase in disposable incomes once the economic indicators improve, and the interest rates reduce. As property prices continue to remain stagnant, this combination works as an excellent opportunity to potential home buyers and investors.

When it comes to luxurious properties, developers are ready to sit across the table and negotiate the payment scheme. So, you can choose to buy your dream home by purchasing apartments in Bannerghatta road, keeping in mind the current market conditions and flexible payment options.

This is a guest post by Deepak Yewle

Monday, July 13, 2015

India goes mobile for property search

Press Release:

The Indian consumer has moved beyond ‘on-the-go’ shopping of basic necessities such as grocery, fashion or electronic products. The consumer today has extended his purchases on mobile from ‘Roti’, ‘Kapda’ to now ‘Makaan’.
Penetration of mobile and internet connections have aided consumer convenience. Digital revolution and technological advancement has played an important role to accelerate the shift of property search from desktop to mobile. Most people use their mobile device to explore at least one of the following: search for listings, find directions to a house, look for more information, call or e-mail an agent directly, or watch a video while out looking for a home.

Attached are findings from the study conducted by that clearly indicates the growth in use of Mobile for property search.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Shock absorbers using aerospace technology for making buildings earthquake proof in India

The earthquake tremors of Nepal have not only caused extensive damage to the reinforced concrete multi-story buildings in Kathmandu, but have also shaken the confidence of people in India and ignited the fear of a magnitude 8 or higher earthquake striking North India as per statements made by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

The prohibitively high repair costs for buildings designed and built as per the building code earthquake standards has prompted Taylor Devices Inc., to launch a unique and one-of-its-kind solution for the Indian realty market. The Indian subsidiary of Taylor Devices Inc., Taylor Devices India Pvt. Ltd., has launched its brand certified earthquake resistance by the name of “Taylor Protected”, which far exceeds the minimum code criteria. Buildings vying for this certification will need to comply with extremely strict and high international standards. These buildings will have giant shock absorbers installed which will stay hidden in walls and these will act just like the shock absorbers in a car absorbing the earthquake shocks so that the building structure remains unharmed.

According to Mr. Sandeep Donald Shah, Managing Director, Taylor Devices India, “India has yet not seen this premier earthquake protection which is extremely popular in countries like US and Japan. These brand certification marks will enable the consumers in India to be rest assured that the apartment they are purchasing contains premier earthquake protection which is much ahead of its times and much higher than the minimum protection as spelt out by the building codes. “It makes great business sense for us to allocate this brand certification as our dampers are built using aerospace technology and come with 35 years warranty.” 

Presently there is no way to identify if a building is earthquake resistant, other than take the word of the seller that the building he is selling is earthquake resistant. Also there are four distinct categories of earthquake resistant buildings – Category A, B C & D - and the difference between their earthquake performances is so huge that merely saying that the building is earthquake resistant has no meaning. Category A and category B buildings stay operational even after a major earthquake whereas category C and category D buildings need to be abandoned/vacated and structurally repaired before being reoccupied.

The building code in India requires a minimum compliance to category D standard, which is “collapse prevention”. “Taylor Protected” and “Taylor Earthquake Protection” brand certification will only be given to Category A and B buildings (Operational and Immediate Occupancy buildings).

To get this state-of-the-art brand certification the building will need to meet numerous stringent earthquake resistant criteria, firstly it would need to be designed to Category B or above seismic performance standard (operational or immediate occupancy) and will have to have Taylor Devices aerospace technology dampers, that are maintenance free and come with a 35 years warranty. 

Proactively divulging the earthquake resistance category of the building will set precedence in upholding the two most important consumer rights on India i.e. “Right to Complete Knowledge” and the “Right to Awareness” which presently is being flouted by one and all in the real estate industry.

This is a press release by Neha Kaushik

Monday, July 6, 2015

Real Estate Growth in North Bangalore

Bangalore which is known as Silicon Valley of India continues to attract techies, NRIs and other skilled professionals from all over the globe. According to recent reports, there has been an increase in number of Indians returning back from abroad to the city. Bangalore is also attracting expats from other countries; these facts have become important for making Bangalore (which is an IT Hub) a preferred real estate heaven across the country. Bangalore hot areas like Jayanagar, Malleshwaram, and Koramangala, Indiranagar or Basavanagudi and other famous locations were the only choice of realty investors a decade ago. However, change of real estate trends and continuous expansion of the city has attracted buyers because of competitive price points and the growing infrastructure and the cosmopolitan culture which is spreading across the outskirts of Bangalore. All these changes have made the investment safe and guaranteed in Bangalore. In midst of all Bangalore locations, North Bangalore has shown tremendous growth in real estate and has become one of the greatest developing areas as compared to other locations.

We explain below the ‘key factors’ for potentiality of North Bangalore

  • Location: 

Inauguration of Kempegowda International Airport has made North Bangalore as a hot spot of IT city. Major infrastructure developments like flyovers and road widening, malls, and major IT hubs like Manyata Tech Park and proposed SEZ parks in Devenahalli are the major key factors for the growth of North Bangalore.

Importance of north Bangalore will definitely increase as the present projects and new launches are comparatively more and the supply of more residential apartments which is going to be delivered in the next 2 years will see a major infrastructure development.

The projects after hebbal to devenahalli covering doddaballapur, hennur and outer ring road and you can find all the big players in these roads with their unique conceptual lifestyle designing projects. And the prices are starting from 70 lakhs to 7 crores, where you can find majority of millionaires and all the top management bureaucrats residing in these areas.

  • Available land bank: 

North Bangalore offers huge land banks due to the major developments and future developments in these areas compared to any other locations, all these factors are attracting many realty players to come up with large residential projects and commercial complexes, which can go well with the needs of investors from various categories. According to the latest research from various sources, North Bangalore market is going to turn into ‘Greater Bangalore’ when compared to the other locations of Bangalore.

  • Connectivity: 

North Bangalore has a great connectivity. Entire north Bangalore is well connected with larger part of the city through rail and road. Moreover, expressway joining Hebbal and Yelahanka has decreased the travel time to airport. Upcoming projects in north Bangalore will even make its connectivity better; some of them are High Speed Rail Link, which will connect city center and the international Airport; Monorail project connecting Hebbal, JP Nagar, and Peripheral ring road that will link Tumkur Road, Old Madras Road, Sarjapur Raod and Hosur Road. Good connectivity is required in making smart investment decision, since it provides great prospect, high income, and capital gains for investors in long term.

  • Infrastructure: 

Infrastructure growth in north Bangalore has gained breathtaking drive due to Kempegowda International Airport, which became South India’s busiest airport and Manyata Embassy Business Park in Hebbal has biggest MNCs like IBM, Cognizant, Target, etc; larsen & Turbo, GKVK, Jakkur flying club. This part of Bangalore has seen numerous hospitals, educational institutes, and shopping malls in recent years. After analyzing the growth of North Bangalore in all sectors, the State Government has made a decision to increase a number of projects, which includes planned aerospace SEZ, Rs 1,000-crore financial city and the Information Technology Investment Region (ITIR).

  • Overview:

As per analysts, it is evident that North Bangalore’s real estate growth is basically driven by new infrastructure developments, land availability, greater connectivity, IT parks, and airport. Real estate market in North Bangalore’s offers diverse products for all types of requirements. Both premium and affordable villas along with apartments, row or town houses, villas, and presidential villas are available at all prices suiting to everyone’s budget. Also Karnataka government has promised to take care of basic infrastructure in north Bangalore, it is certain that investment in real estate will surely show potential return in long term. All these aspects will force real estate growth in North Bangalore region and will bring profits for anyone looking at real estate investment.

This is a guest post by Asharani C

Friday, July 3, 2015

The answer to leading a Luxurious Life - Villa

Living in a spacious setting, with large garden, a huge parking space, stairs coming out from the mid of living room and reaching spacious room set on the upper floor. With a big terrace and a few extra spaces here and there will make everybody’s dream of living in heaven on earth a reality. This is how a luxury apartment aka villa feels like. If you want to know what it is all about, keep reading.
Irrespective of the 16% buyers looking for builder floors in the emerging IT hub of India, the demand for villas continues to grow among the buyers and maintain the niche position. The reason for this demand varies from large space, decoration opportunity to a huge play and parking area.

Irrespective of whatever the reasons typical villa buyers may have, they witness the comfort and superiority they get after investing in a villa.

Reasons for this increase in demand

The factors that have seemingly led the world to demand villas are:

  1. They want to stay away from the hustle of the cities
  2. The area they will be getting is huge
  3. There is a lot of space for innovation or second income
  4. Less or no parking/ waste nuisances
  5. Rise in income

Along with the above mentioned factors, things like the excitement of living in an independent house with zero interference is what drive property seekers to Bangalore. Another important benefit of investing in villas in Bangalore can be that time of construction is faster and therefore the time of possession.

Reasons why Bangalorites are opting for luxury living provided by villas

When it comes to following your dream of living a spacious and luxurious life, things like the price, income level and taxes etc. does not stop you. In case of Bangalorites, the factors for this choice can be:

  • High level of Income

People who live and work in Bangalore are paid more than their other metro counterparts, mostly because of the high cost of living.

  • Need of Personal space

Like every other metro people, they too crave for the feeling of being secluded with no interference, where they can relax after a hard days at work.

  • Connectivity

The area where villa system is most prevalent is the Sarjapur locality. The area is easily connected to rest of the city through multiple modes of networks.

  • Land price

The price of villas here is much lower than what they will get in other metros or similar areas.

  • Amenities

The builders who houses in the Sarjapur area provide all the basic amenities that an investor can expect from living in an apartment.

Living in a villa has its own perks but some things should be given huge consideration too, like the age and condition of the property, the reliability of developers, and their past work etc. Other things you should note before making a huge investment is the locality, how is the commutation from this locality, the people who are going to be your future neighbors. Also note the resale value of your property in case you decide to sell it in future.

Villas have proved to provide a luxurious living statement along with comfort and a chance to have a second earning. Investing in one is a sweet deal, but like any other investment make sure you gather full information about the builder group.

This is a guest post by Tripti. Her articles talk about the real estate industry. She is an avid reader and a keen observer.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What are the things one should notice before taking possession of the property or new flat in India?

Sumit was finally relieved that he will be getting the possession of his flat in Noida. Sumit had bought this under construction flat in 2009. After many delays due to environmental clearances and slow progress by the developer, the flats were finally ready for possession for flat owners. Sumit and other flat buyers in this group housing project had several rounds of discussions with the builder and environment ministry for speedy delivery of flats. Because on one hand, many of these flat buyers including Sumit were paying monthly rent and on the other hand, EMIs on these flats had started. That was double whammy for Sumit and others.

Now that, flats are ready for possession, what shall Sumit and other home buyers like him verify in order to make sure possession of flats is legal? Before handing over the final payment and taking possession of the property, Sumit and other flat buyers in this group housing project shall ensure that:

  1. Property is vacant
  2. Title certificate to be handed over by seller to buyer
  3. Buildings plans, approved layouts, and other supporting documents (original) to be handed over by seller to buyer
  4. In case of new group housing project (as is the case with Sumit), it shall be verified that building has been given the occupancy/completion certificate by the concerned authority
  5. Mutation is done to reflect the name of the purchaser

Find below detailed document highlighting what needs to be checked before taking over the possession:

Friday, June 26, 2015

What are the major differences between Real Estate Venture Funds, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT), and Real Estate Mutual Funds?

Real estate investment from an individual’s point of view is a large investment wherein large amount of money (in Lacs, or in Crores) is required to purchase either a commercial or residential property. The money invested sits there in the asset and over a period of time capital gains are accrued by the investor. The capital gains thus accrued depend on supply demand equilibrium prevailing in the market. If property is available for use, the investor can use it for own purpose or rent it out to earn rental income. Thereby, investment in real estate can fetch twofold returns namely rental yields and capital gains.

However, only investors with deep pockets can afford to invest in real estate asset class. What about retail investors with small amount of money? Can’t they invest in real estate just like they invest in stock markets? Yes, they can by way of participating in either Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT) or Real Estate Mutual Funds (REMF).  Read more about Real Estate Investment Trust.

Find below the major instruments that can be used by investors to invest in real estate without actually buying a Property:

  • Real Estate Venture Funds

Investment Audience: HNIs, institutional investors and global investors (since minimum investment required by each investor is worth millions, retail investors are outside the purview)

Investment Target: Real Estate Assets (Projects/Ventures), securities (of listed/unlisted entities) or both.

Investment Returns: 25-30% (on an average)

Leading Entities: Indian players (such as Kotak, HDFC, ICICI, Kshitij, DHFL) and international players (such as Actis, Morgan Stanley, Maple Tree, Sun Apollo, Lehman Brothers etc).

  • Real Estate Investment Trusts REITs

Overview: Close ended investment vehicles that invest only in real estate assets (through property or mortgages). It is floated as a company with issued share capital. ( REITs are structured as corporations with issued share capital)

Investment Audience: Retail as well other institutional investors

Investment Target: Real Estate assets only (either through mortgages or property). It invests primarily in ready to use, constructed properties only.

Investment Returns: Returns in the range of 10-15% annually from rental income of property owned by REIT.

  • Real Estate Mutual Funds REMFs

Overview: Close ended funds that invests primarily in securities issued by real estate companies (and to some extent assets as well).

Investment Audience: Retail as well other institutional investors

Investment Target: As per SEBI guidelines, at least 75% of the total assets should be invested in real estate or related securities. Further, a mandatory 35% of assets within the stipulated 75% have to be invested in completed real estate assets. The remaining 25% can be invested in securities related or unrelated to the real estate sector.

Investment Returns: Expected returns in the range of 35% (largely capital gains through investment in securities or sale of assets at time of closure).

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

How can one verify Property Titles in India??

Looking to buy a piece of land or plot or ‘ready to move’ property? Well, it can cost you in crores of Rupees. Agreed, you have arranged for the funds and also have done your due diligence. But, did you verify the ‘title of the property’?

Before you even initiate price negotiations with the seller for buying that plot or property, make sure you verify that ‘title of property’ is clear and the seller has the right to sell the property or land. The property shall be in the approved sector or area within the city. Make sure, property is located in an area where local municipal department has provided civic services such as sewage lines, water lines, and electrification. If it’s a ‘ready to move in’ property such as Bungalow, villa or independent house, make sure that property had been developed as per the local applicable building codes.

What does clear property title mean? A title that is free from claims or legal questions and all other encumbrances about the ownership of the property. Therefore, it is imperative for you to assess property titles carefully. One should take services of legal experts when it comes to verifying property titles. However, we present below the list of legal documents that can help you in verifying the title of the land that you intend to buy.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Be wary of the hidden charges while buying property in Delhi

Description: Hidden Charges increase the actual cost of the property; therefore, it’s better to keep in mind these charges while preparing the budget for a new property.

Buying a property in Delhi is one of the most important decisions for those who want to settle in the capital. The buyer goes out of his or her financial capabilities and prepares the budget to buy the property. But often, the buyer ends up paying extra which he or she does not realize. There are a number of extra charges in the form of extra taxes and other fees which comparatively makes the property much costlier than its actual price. This extra amount other than the actual cost of the property hurts the buyer’s pocket as it gets out of the buyers allocated budget for the property. Hence, the buyer needs to be aware of these hidden charges to prepare the budget accordingly, before investing in a new property.

1. Stamp duty and registration fees: 
Getting a property in Delhi registered is an important aspect in the property buying process. It is a final agreement between both the parties that indicate the change in ownership of the property. In order to get the registration done, one has to pay a certain amount to the government. The registration form costs a particular amount, depending on the total property value. Though the charges for stamp duty and registration for Property in India varies from state to state, but usually it is between 4% to 10%. Typically, in a majority of the states, this registration and stamp duty fee adds up to 5% - 14% of the cost of the property. In addition to this expense, there is another registration fee that is payable to the court which differ from state to state and varies between 1% to 2% of the value of the property.  And, above all, there are additional costs that include lawyers and notary fees, who get the agreement done in the court.

2. Service Tax and VAT:
The service tax is applicable on the purchase of any property in India that is under construction while the VAT is charged over the value of the construction of the project. The imposed service tax is 12.36% of the 25% value of the under constructed property. Whereas the imposed VAT is between 1% to 5% of the under constructed property value. Altogether, the service tax and VAT can add up to 8% to 10% of the entire property value.

3. Preferred Location Charge (PLC):
The term Preferred Location Charge, commonly known as PLC refers to the extra charge that is levied from the buyer to buy property in Delhi in their choice of location. This is applicable specifically in a housing complex, layout or residential community. Though this charge differs from builder to builder and project to project. Lavish villas, penthouses facing the sea or garden are most likely to have higher PLCs.

4. Utility Charges:
The charges referring luxury amenities or those linked with the building come under utility charges. This includes parking in open or closed space, clubhouse membership for a lifetime or yearly, firefighting provision, electrical and various other charges associated with Government utilities as well. Apart from these there are other charges involved while buying property in Delhi such as maintenance, security charges, and others also. Security charges refer to the expense for employing security personnel, installing and maintaining security arrangements like CCTVs camera, intercom among others. These extra charges add up to the initial cost of the project in a huge way and become a burden on the shoulder of the buyer.

5. External Development Charge (EDC):
EDC is usually meant for the maintenance of roads, water, sewage, electric supply, lights and development of the surrounding area. It varies from location to location and adds up to 10% of the entire cost of the project. Sometimes the government also levies development charge on the developer. These charges also are also charged in the form of maintenance fees in advance for a longer period of time. This is a great disadvantage the buyer as he has to shell out extra amounts for which he does not prepare himself.

This is a guest post by Seema Chauhan

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Launch of Virtual Tours for Resale and Rental Properties

Indian consumers are increasingly becoming digitally savvy and prefer using online interactions owing to the cost efficiency. Resale and rental properties are no exceptions. With new improvements in design and marketing, every realtor is trying to provide better service. CommonFloor decided to launch live-in virtual tours to improve the property search efficiency for its consumers. Read on to see how and why this idea was conceived.

Why Virtual Tours? 

Sumit Jain, the co-founder and CEO of Bangalore based real estate portal, CommonFloor had one thing to say about the use of pictures. “Photographs are of the past”, he said. This makes every sense since technology today can drive multiple applications in a jiffy. The world is transitioning to virtual reality and Google Glass today, and it makes all the sense to revamp one’s services for today’s age.

By using virtual tours for resale and rented properties, CommonFloor is aiming to provide a close to reality experience. The idea essentially was to eliminate the need to visit the property to make a decision on the same. The live-in virtual tour on the CommonFloor website and mobile app are set to do exactly that.

In 2012, had introduced the concept of verified listings that were backed with data. They sent their team to visit every listed house and verify and collect information about the listing. It was the differentiating move then, which the competition adopted within a year’s time.

How is this Information Collected? 

CommonFloor plans to create a hybrid model with its virtual tours. They plan to have their team actively map every single listed house in their portal while empowering brokers with technology. A plan to scale the operations up to 5 lakh property mappings is in place as more than 5000 properties have already given virtual tours. The company provides its services to the customer for free, whereas the revenue pitches is on a “per lead” basis from the brokers/homeowners.

Lalit Mangal, the co-founder and CTO of CommonFloor explains the virtual tours to be a product that gives the company a cutting edge in the market and provides the seekers with a wall-to-wall and ceiling-to-floor exploratory power.

CommonFloor currently has a team of over 1000 employees and has listed over 1 lakh residential projects from 200+ cities. They have also developed the virtual reality based device called CommonFloor Retina that takes live-in tours to the next level.

This is a promotional post by Pravitha Rohit

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Hottest Countries for Real Estate Investment in 2015

The Global real estate market has evolved big time in the last few years and the investors are now increasingly investing in emerging economies like India. Even though the rating agencies world over have given preference to developed nations like United States, Australia, France, Hong Kong, Singapore, England and the United Arab Emirates ahead of India, the nonresident Indians and institutional investors world over believe otherwise. And their belief does make a lot of financial sense.

The Indian property market is among the fastest growing sector in world realty and as a result the country has emerged as the hottest destination for realty investments in 2015. Here are the important reasons for renowned interest in Indian real estate industry –

  • Lower prices

Barring few places in Delhi, Noida, Mumbai and luxury flats in Gurgaon, the realty prices in India are much lower as compared to the world’s average. This basically means that the investors from across the world have greater chance for price appreciation with lower input costs. Additionally, the evolution of multitude of online real estate portals has meant that people sitting abroad can now purchase property in India without actually having to do personal on-site visit. These portals features lakhs of verified realty listings and the users can get complete details of all properties/projects from the comfort of their home or on mobile apps.

  • Rupee factor

The value of rupee is the other big reason why people from across the globe are aggressively investing in Indian realty market. The value of 1 USD is equal to nearly 64 rupees, while 1 Australian dollar is nearly 50 rupees and the Singapore dollar is not far behind valuing approximately 48 rupees. This means that people spending in foreign currency to buy flats in India will have to invest a lower sum.

  • Favorable norms for foreign investors

The other big factor for India emerging as the hottest country for property investments in 2015 is the favorable foreign direct investment (FDI) norms. The Modi government has brought in several reform measures to relax FDI rules in construction sector. The central government has also eased the entry and exist norms which has led to a flurry of offshore money in the country. Its trending FDI in realty sector!

  • High demand for residential housing

The expected price appreciation is also one of the critical reasons why the country is attracting lot of investment in infrastructure domain. The realty prices across the country have appreciated more than 200% in the last 10 to 12 years. And looking at the current growth rate, most analysts believe that the prices in construction segment including residential, commercial, industrial as well as hospitality segment, will appreciate annually at the rate of 12% to 14% in the coming few decades. The government reform measures such as building 100 smart cities, housing for all by 2022, constructing new highways, roads, rail tracks, ports and airports will go a long way in complementing the growth. In fact, as per the recent news, the market size of Indian real estate is all set to touch 180 billion USD by 2020.

This is a guest post by Rajveer Das

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

What is mortgaging and what are the Costs involved in mortgaging

These days, buying a house has become relatively easier in India because of evolution of the housing finance sector.  While cost of buying a property has surged, the availability of housing finance has helped middle class buyers to own their dream home. In order to avail housing finance, a buyer typically mortgages his/her property with the lender. A mortgage therefore is a method of using property for the payment of debt.

The provisions relating to mortgage of property are contained under Sections 58 to 104 of the Transfer of Property Act 1882. Section 58 of the Act specifically defines the meaning of mortgage and other related terms, according to which, mortgage means the transfer of an interest in specific immovable property for the purpose of securing payment of money advanced or to be advanced, by way of loan or an existing or future debt. The transferor is called a mortgagor, the transferee a mortgagee, the principal money and interest of which payment is secured is called 'mortgage money', and the instrument by which transfer is affected is called a mortgage deed.

A property can also be mortgaged with the lender for securing a loan for the purposes other than owning a home. Therefore, mortgage is simply a loan against property. Lender charges interest rate from the borrower on the outstanding principal. Borrower is supposed to make a monthly payment to pay the interest charges as well as clear off part of principal amount. Failing to make monthly installments can lead to repossession of property by the lender.

The tenure for which loan is secured by the borrower is pre-decided by lender and borrower at the time of sanctioning of loan. Usually, the tenure of a typical home loan is 20 years because houses tend to be expensive. There are various charges that are involved in availing a home loan from the lender. Find below the list of these charges:

Friday, June 5, 2015

Mahindra World City - Mahindra World City, Chennai India’s first Gold Certified Integrated Business City

“Transforming urban landscapes by creating sustainable communities“– has been the mission of Mahindra Lifespace Development Limited.

Mahindra Lifespace Developers Ltd. - the real estate and infrastructure development business of the $16. 5 billion Mahindra Group, is a leader in sustainable urban development, through the creation of residential and integrated large format developments across nine Indian cities - Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Jaipur, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore. The Company’s residential & commercial development footprint includes over 0.8 million sq. m. (8.3 million sq ft.) of completed projects and over 1.0 million sq. m. (11.3 million sq. ft.) of ongoing and forthcoming projects.

Mahindra World Cities pioneered the concept of integrated cities designed to create a balance between Life, Living and Livelihood. These integrated urban centers are located near existing metros and comprise SEZs, Industrial Parks, Retail and Social Infrastructure.

Promoted in a Public Private Partnership by the Mahindra Group and TIDCO (A Govt. of Tamil Nadu Undertaking), Mahindra World City surpasses the conventional definition of a business space - it is a business eco-system, carefully linked and integrated to function with efficiency. Mahindra World City, Chennai is India’s first integrated City and Corporate India’s first operational SEZ.

Mahindra World Cities are serving as hotbeds of industrialization by attracting foreign businesses and providing Indian companies the environment to export, at the same time they are providing windows of opportunities to local economies. With exports generated in excess of USD 1 billion in FY 2013-14, our cities also focus on integrated modern living.

Etching its name on India’s business map, Mahindra World City Chennai, has attracted corporate giants such as BMW, B.Braun, Capgemini, Holiday Inn Express, Infosys, Ingersoll Rand, Lincoln Electric, Parker Hannifin, Renault-Nissan, Tesa SE, Federal Mogul, Fujitec, NTN Corporation, Timken, TVS Group of Companies and Wipro among others.

Planned as a single point destination for domestic and global companies, Mahindra World Cities include Special Economic Zones and Domestic Tariff Areas. At full stage of development, it envisions to generate direct employment for more than 2, 00,000 people. The Lifestyle Zone, located alongside the Business Zone, offers residences, schools, medical centers, retail malls, business hotels, recreation and leisure facilities, and wide open green spaces for a clean, healthy environment. Bringing life to the city is an environment replete with culture, sports, music, festivals and a lot more.

Mahindra World City Chennai, located on NH45, spreads over 1550 acres and houses more than 60 blue-chip companies across IT, Auto, Fashion and Apparel, etc. MWC Chennai partners with the Indian Green Building Council to become India's first "green township." It is a partnership with the State Industrial Development Body, viz Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation Ltd (TIDCO).

Being one of India's fastest growing commercial and industrial centers, Chennai welcomes many global organizations to set up within its borders. Tamil Nadu, with a proactive state government and investment-friendly policies, has been at the forefront of attracting investments in India.

An international airport, two modern seaports and abundant skilled manpower, a huge talent pool of engineers, make Chennai the ideal destination of choice.

The Paranur Railway Station is the first station of its kind in India to be built in a Public-Private partnership. The Paranur station serves as a Gateway to Mahindra World City. Railways have become a preferred mode of transportation for a majority of the employees who currently reside at Chennai and the suburbs. Moreover, the railways serve as cost effective, efficient and comfortable mode of transport.

The residential and social amenities zone at Mahindra World City, New Chennai designed by M/s HOK, USA, won two international awards for the ‘Mahindra World City’ master plan from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Mahindra World City: A Green township that has aspired to achieve balance between Life, Living and Livelihood

Mahindra Lifespace Developers Limited, the real estate and infrastructure development business of the $16.5 billion Mahindra Group, announced that Mahindra World City, its integrated city in Chennai, has been India’s first township to be awarded with Stage I certification under IGBC Green Townships.

It was evaluated on four environmental categories as defined by IGBC which included – Site Selection and Planning, Land Use Planning, Transportation Planning and Infrastructure Resource Management and Innovation in Design & Technology.

Mahindra World City Chennai is a city of many firsts in the journey of sustainability. It has been a pioneer in commissioning an Off-grid solar power plant in the State of Tamil Nadu. Located in The Canopy, the 75 kw Off Grid - Solar power plant, has the capacity to generate 1, 16,000 units of clean electrical energy annually, offsetting almost 60 tons of CO2.

India’s first ‘Green Homes’ developer and one of the first companies to receive the ‘Platinum-rated' green homes pre-certification from IGBC, the properties enhances a sense of well-being that translates into better health, its design maximizes sunlight and cross ventilation translating into lower energy consumption and it uses building materials that enhance temperature insulation.

Rainwater harvesting facilities for the park and recharge pits to collect rain water are imperatives within the city with the companies within Mahindra World City having rainwater harvesting facilities within their campuses. A network of storm water drains has been constructed along all the roads and the entire run-off water from surrounding water bodies and excess rain is conveyed through the storm water drains into the Kolavai Lake.

Mahindra World City, Chennai has developed the best in class infrastructure to create an international destination that attracts global investors and generates economic activity and livelihood opportunities.

The business zone is classified into a Domestic Tariff Area (DTA) and three sector-specific Special Economic Zones (SEZs) for IT (Services and Manufacturing), Auto Ancillaries and Apparel and Fashion Accessories.

The ethos of Mahindra World City has been creation of a holistic ecosystem which not only nourishes business but also makes quality living inside the city a reality. The master plan envisages development of Social and Commercial Infrastructure to integrate work and living. The current developments at Mahindra World City, Chennai include multi format housing, railway station, school, hospital, hotel, commercial centre, club among others.

With excellent living spaces, amidst clean, green, natural environs, Mahindra World City has been built and designed with one simple aim - to make life better for its residents. Spread across 285 acres, the zone has been well planned to provide living spaces supported by modern social infrastructure to over 6000 families across diverse segments.

MWC is located on National Highway 45, not far from the airport, seaport and has a railway station. Nearly 15,000 people use the train services every day.

Mahindra World City is a budding destination for retail, recreation and leisure products and services, providing the perfect setting as a city extraordinaire. The master plan includes a hotel, a hospital, multiplexes, shopping malls, outdoor sports and common recreation centers. The City is located in a rapidly developing industrial and residential belt, well connected by road and rail. The retail and social zone of the City will cater to the people living and working in both the World City and surrounding areas.

MWC Club offers endless options for recreation, leisure, sport and fun that are designed for everyone. Whether it's swimming and lazing in the pool or pampering your senses at the spa while others enjoy playing a game of tennis, it is here at MWC Club that you can truly maximize life and experience the best.

This is a promotional post by Mahindra World City Chennai. If you would like to promote your projects, write to us at

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Detailed Guide: Finding and Moving to a New Home

Are you in your 20s or early 30s? And starting your master’s degree or settling in a new job or just got married, chances are, you have encountered this massive hunt. Yea hunt and we are talking about finding the right place to stay and live in a city of your choice. While real estate prices have boomed in major metros across India, and therefore, only option you are left with is to find a decent 1BHK or at most 2BHK apartment near your workplace or institute.

As easy as it may sound, the whole experience of settling in a new home is tedious to say the least. And when we talk about new home, what we mean is renting a home which is of right size, located close to your workplace and is in close proximity to commercial & institutional centers such as malls, hospitals, schools, etc.

So, what are the things one should pay attention to while looking to rent a home in a metro across India? How should I as a home seeker go about the whole experience? We list down the steps based on true experience.

  • Finding the right place
    • List down your ‘wants’ and ‘needs’
    • Search on Internet
  • Preparing to Move
    • Sign the Lease Agreement only after consultation
    • Hire a mover, it’s always worth it
    • Identify your unloading zone in advance
  • Packing Your Bags and Boxes
  • Setting Up
  • The Décor


One can subscribe to the below Guide “The Most Jugaadu 1 BHK Ever” by Voucher Cloud that has tips and tricks for the young population in India which can help them select/buy/transform their 1 BHK into an awesome crib. Hope you will find this useful.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

What shall I do if interest rates go up?

Sumit booked his apartment in a builder project in 2010 in Noida Extension. He booked a 4BHK unit measuring 2250 Square Feet at a base selling price point of Rs. 1950 per Square Feet. Prices were affordable and he was able to book the apartment within his budget:

Area of the Apartment (SqFt) 2250
Base Selling Price (Rs/SqFt) 1950
Development Charges (Rs/SqFt) 225
Car Parking (Rs) 150000
Club Charges (Rs) 100000
Interest free Maintenance Charges (IFMS) in (Rs/SqFt) 85
Final cost of the apartment (Rs) 5335000

Out of the required 53.35 Lacs, he arranged for 13.35 Lacs from his own sources such as cash, provident fund, and fixed deposits. Balance amount of Rs. 40 Lacs was availed from a leading bank in form of home loan. Home loan rates in 2010 were hovering at around 8 to 8.25%. Which meant his monthly payment in form of EMI was Rs 33458 for a period of 20 years. His home loan interest rates were of floating type. This meant whenever, RBI revises repo rates, home loan interest rates would go up or down depending upon RBI monetary policy.

Everything was going as per plan; however, as the inflation started to go up because of various macro economic factors, RBI started revising its monetary policy. The focus of RBI moved towards bringing inflation under control. And therefore, interest rates started moving up. From about 8% in 2010, the interest rates jumped to about 11% in 2014.

What it meant for Sumit was that his EMI outlays increased over a period of time. At one point of time, he was paying monthly payment of Rs 41288 in form of EMI. That’s an increase of Rs 7830 per month.

What can Sumit do to maintain his EMI under control?

  1. Stretch the loan tenure: Sumit had availed home loan for a period of 20 years. However, since, interest rates had moved up, he could sit with bank officials and seek to extend the loan tenure to 25-30 years. Thereby, he can bring his EMI under control.
  2. Move to another lender: Sumit can also move to another lender offering lower interest rates. In this case, he has to study and analyze the offers by various banks. And if there is a difference of about 0.5%, then, Sumit can switch to another lender to bring his EMI under control. However, he should check if there are any pre-payment charges with existing lender. As per RBI rule, customer can move from one lender to another without paying any pre-payment charges.
  3. Prepay portion of the Loan amount: Sumit can also prepay some portion of his loan amount to the existing lender. This way, his EMI would come within manageable limits.
  4. Avoid shifting to fixed loan rates: When interest rates are fluctuating, many people believe fixed rates are way to go about. However, fixed interest rates are more expensive and at the same time, one cannot take benefits of lower interest rates as and when RBI brings interest rates down. Therefore, Sumit should stick to points 1, 2, or 3 and should completely avoid point 4.

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