Thursday, July 24, 2014

Noida Extension in the fast track of realty development

Noida Extension part of Greater Noida (part of the state of Uttar Pradesh) has come under the realty radar. The four sectors which comprise of the Noida Extension are governed by the Greater Noida Development Authority. This area was essentially dedicated to affordable homes but things are starting to change now. Noida Extension will be transformed into a new residential hub in the National Capital Region. Several new projects are launched in the area getting a good response from residents in and around Noida Extension. The Dadri Main Road connecting Noida Extension provides better connectivity along with the upcoming expansion of the metro in the National Capital Region. The area is mostly occupied by small scale and medium scale industries. In terms of social infrastructure, the area has a good stronghold with a number of entertainment avenues.

In the year 2011 we saw 2.5 lakh homes launched here out of which 1.5 lakh homes were bought in the pre constructions stage itself. The construction work came to an abrupt halt with the farmer protesting on land acquisition issues. However this has been resolved now. Property in Noida Extension turned out to be a good investment option after all.

“The housing demand in Noida Extension is going to be very high after National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB) approval, while supply is very weak. Prices are bound to increase because of various factors such as hike in compensation to farmers and rising input cost. Prices were Rs. 2,100-2,200 a sq ft in this region last year. Now we expect the same to go up to about Rs. 2,600 per sq. ft. “Amrapali Chairman, Anil Sharma told PTI.

However if you look at flats for sale in Noida, they do not fall under the affordable housing bracket anymore. With the increase in land acquisition cost and construction cost including cost of raw material in the recent past, builders are struggling to deliver the dream of affordable housing to the common man. "We were selling homes at Rs. 2,300 per sq ft in May last year when farmers protest started on land acquisition issue. Now, we will launch projects at Rs. 3,200 per sq ft in Noida Extension," R K Arora said, Chairman Supertech said to NDTV Profit.

"This area has been considered as region of affordable homes. Lot of burden has to be borne by the developers. So there will be little bit of price increase," JLL India CEO (Operations) Santosh Kumar said to NDTV Profit. With the steady increase in demand, prices of property in Noida Extension are said to go up. This will further affect the current scenario including the purchasing power of an individual.

Today Noida Extension is planned by the development authorities in such a manner that it has become a haven for urban dweller. The prices are still comparatively lower compared to the rest of the National Capital Region. Following the PPP Model – Public Private Partnership, the development authorities need to chart out future infrastructure developments here.

This is a guest post by Sulabha Kulkarni who is a freelance writer and an avid blogger. Her areas of expertise are finance and real estate sector in India.

Friday, July 18, 2014

What are the various kinds of property disputes in India? What are the laws to resolve these property disputes?

Author: Sachin Gupta | Find me on Twitter

Since time immemorial, property disputes of various kinds have resulted in tension and altercations among parties involved. The parties involved could be family members fighting for ancestral property, buyer and a real estate developer, illegal authorization of a property by someone who does not possess the property titles, cooperative housing society, or buyer and a lender, etc.

There could be multitudes of reasons for property disputes such as title certificates, illegal possession, transfer, mortgage, wrong land use, contractual, rental, etc.

All of these property disputes can create lot of trouble for the buyer or for the person holding property titles. And therefore, taking a legal route to resolve these issues becomes the eventual option. In India, state governments as well as central government have passed various laws in the parliament to resolve property related issues.

What are the various kinds of property disputes in India? What are the laws to resolve these property disputes? What kind of law is applicable to your specific property related dispute? We present them below:

Have any Questions?

Monday, July 14, 2014

What are the key takeaways for real estate sector from Indian union budget 2014?

Author: Sachin Gupta | Find me on Twitter

Last week in India was all about union budget. Since the new Modi Government came into power in Delhi, most political and economic commentators were looking forward to the Budget 2014. The media and and coffee shop discussions were all about speculating and making projections as to what will or not be included in Minister Arun Jaitley's maiden budget. The budget, which is expected to signal the dawn of socio-economic revival or “acche din” by Modi Government, was the most talked about event.

Railway budget 2014 was presented first, and then the general budget. While the industry has welcomed the budget presented by union finance minister Arun Jaitley, the opposition has slammed it. However, with this budget, one thing is given, that a common man will be able to save more. And these savings when circulated in the eco-system can boost investments and thereby GDP growth.

Among all the sectors, it seems, real estate sector was given maximum attention by Finance ministry. There were slew of measures to revive the sector and boost the confidence of both home buyers as well as real estate developers.

What are the key takeaways for realty sector from union budget 2014? Here we present them.

  • Tax relief available for housing loan interest payment

We all know that home-ownership continues to be the lifelong dream of most middle class and lower middle class people in India. And financing this dream has become expensive due to high interest rates. While, interest rates are not the domain of Finance ministry, the ministry has increased the deductions on interest on home loan from present Rs. 1.5 Lacs to Rs. 2 Lacs. How does this help the buyer? We present the explanation below.

If Gross Income Rs 9 Lacs If Gross Income Rs 15 Lacs
Before Budget          After Budget   Before Budget          After Budget
Gross Total Income 900000 900000 1500000 1500000
Less Interest Paid on Home Loan 150000 200000 150000 200000
Gross Taxable Income 750000 700000 1350000 1300000
Less Deduction under Section 80C 100000 150000 100000 150000
Total Taxable Income 650000 550000 1250000 1150000
Tax Payable 60000 40000 205000 175000
Education Cess 3% 1800 1200 6150 5250
Total Tax Payable 61800 41200 211150 180250
Savings 20600 30900

  • Relaxation in FDI for real estate sector

With a view to catalyze investments in development of townships and infrastructure, 100 per cent FDI is allowed under the automatic route in townships, housing and construction development projects and hospitality sectors such as residential complexes, shopping centers, malls, multiplexes, Cineplex’s, commercial offices, hotels/service apartments, resorts, hospitals, educational institutions.

Prior to budget 2014, the FDI in real estate sector in India was subjected to certain conditions.
    • Minimum area requirements, in case of
      1. Development of serviced housing plots - 10 hectares.
      2. Construction-development projects - built-up area of 50,000 sq. mts.
      3. A combination project, any of the above two conditions will suffice.
    • Investment
      1. Minimum capitalization for wholly owned subsidiaries - US$ 10 million; for joint ventures with Indian partners - US$ 5 million, to be brought in within 6 months of commencement of business.
      2. Original investment cannot be repatriated before a period of three years from completion of capitalization.
      3. The investor may exit earlier with prior approval from Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB).

Post Budget 2014, some of these conditions have been relaxed. The relaxed conditions are:
    • Minimum area requirements, in case of
      1. Construction-development projects - built-up area of 20,000 sq. mts now from 50000 sq. mts.
    • Investment
      1. Minimum capitalization for wholly owned subsidiaries - US$ 5 million now from US$ 10 million.

These relaxations will hasten the growth of real estate development in tier 2 and tier 3 cities, because with new rules, small scale developers can also have access to FDI.

  • Incentives for Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)
Real Estate Investment Trusts are investment vehicles which are used to pool in investments from retail investors and the money is invested in real estate projects with steady stream of rental income. REITs are successfully used in many developed and developing countries. Mr. Arun Jaitley has announced that REITs will qualify under certain tax provisions to become a pass-through entity that distributes to its shareholders substantially all of its earnings in addition to any capital gains generated from the sale or disposition of its properties.

This will ease the pressure on banking system and provide liquidity for the real estate sector. 

  • Focus on affordable housing
With the objective of providing housing for all by 2022, the government has increased the Rural Housing funds allocation to Rs. 8000 crore for this financial year. At the same time, Rupees 4000 crores have been provided to National Housing Bank (NHB) to provide cheaper credit for the urban households belonging to low income groups.

All of this will add substantial value to the development of affordable housing in financial year 2014-15.

  • Development for 100 smart cities
This is a long term vision and by allocating the corpus of Rupees 7060 crores, Finance minister has set the stage for improvement of infrastructure in Indian cities. While, it may take years to realize the development of 100 smart cities, but nonetheless, it is a welcome step. It has been argued that the allocation is paltry in relation to the levels of investment required to realize a Smart City. Minister Jaitley's speech was marked by a silence about raising investment in this sector through the Public Private Partnership (PPP). Overall, this move signifies a positive intention in the right direction.

Have any Questions?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Affordable Housing Projects on a Rise in India

In the recent past, affordable housing projects are on the rise in India. The government has also taken several measures in order to promote affordable housing. The following post explores the same.

  • Introduction

India has been a land of stark contrasts when it comes to the real estate and property market. At one side, impenetrable metro areas have witnessed some of the highest property rate increases and have attracted new dwellers from all over the country; on the other side, the overall property trends for the country have experienced a much lower uniform growth and investors have been complaining that they are not getting expected returns on the money that they put in the real estate market.

Despite the apparent slump in the property market for high-end housing projects, builders and development companies working in the low income housing sector have reported great sales and returns. Through special packages, attractive pricing, and targeted focus on mid-level income groups, these developers have ensured high sales and have created so many great options for investors pan India that they are at times confused over which package would offer them the best deal. The initiatives by the central government have also considerably aided these changes and made affordable housing more popular.

  • An urge by the central government for increased focus on affordable housing

The market may have become saturated for luxury and high end segments, but the affordable housing segment is not just on a high, it is experiencing a boom. Simply designed, high quality homes that are aimed at low income groups, and offer buyers a lot of flexibility when deciding a payment plan are a huge hit and have made the builders in this segment very happy. For example, in Chennai, with an advance payment of as little as INR 1.25 lakh some builders will offer you a  new home.

M Venkaiah Naidu, the Minister of Urban Development and Housing and Poverty Alleviation, has asked banks across the country to make it easier for people with low income to get financing for home loans in a simpler manner. He also issued an expeditious completion order to the various builders involved in affordable housing projects, and made it their top priority.

  • Affordable Homes on the Rise
The push by the central government towards an increase in affordable housing is not just for a few cities, but for the country as a whole. The urban poor in particular, slum dwellers and people living on rent should have increased access to cheaper homes, and the government is trying to make sure that this happens.

Of late, the Bangalore property market has also witnessed the launching of affordable homes. Several builders are investing in new projects that belong to the affordable category. Needless to say, an increased demand has been witnessed in this particular segment. Real estate developers like Tata Housing Group and Provident Builders have already forayed into this segment. Welworth City at Doddaballapur, is the first flagship affordable housing project in Bangalore.

On the other hand, Tata Housing is all set to launch its maiden affordable housing project under the banner New Haven. Managing director and chief executive officer Brotin Banerjee, of Tata Housing said in a statement, “Envisaging a rising demand for affordable homes with premium facilities in the Silicon Valley of India, we are pleased to bring this iconic and successful affordable housing brand for the people of Bangalore”.

Localities in Bangalore where affordable homes are on the rise are Mysore Road, Hosur Road, Kanakpura Road. Investors are targeting these areas to build affordable housings.

Kerala has sanctioned a sum of INR 14.59 crore for the development of homes intended for the individuals and families belonging to low income groups. Tamil Nadu is also experiencing a high, with the Chennai-Vizag industrial corridor, and that will bring in a new wave of affordable housing projects. Chennai in particular has already several such projects underway, with some builders offering homes at prices as low as INR 18 lakh.

Industrial development schemes are also expected to close the gap between the number of people living in the low income bracket, and the affordable housing projects that are available to them.  With thousands of workers who will need affordable homes close to the new factory and plants that will open up, the demands for homes that offer quality at a low price will also rise exponentially.

  • Schemes available for individuals falling in the low income bracket
M Venkaiah Naidu,  has asked the banks to make it more attractive for individuals belonging to the low income bracket to apply for home loans. He also requested that the process be made simpler. A central bank that governs property development across India is needed, and Naidu says that either the NABARD will need to have its jurisdiction extended, or an alternate organization like the SIDBI will have to take up this new role. Schemes that encourage builders to use new technologies have also been discussed, and construction tools like gypsum boards are expected to be used to make these homes, ensuring the quality in the construction work, while bringing down the overall costs even more:

  1. Banks to make home loans more attractive for low income groups
  2. A central body to be put in place for managing development of affordable housing pan India
  3. Use of newer technology in construction to be encouraged in order to reduce costs

  • Price trend for affordable housing projects
Low income houses across India are becoming even more affordable. Newer construction technologies reduce the cost of building a home, sometimes by as much as half. The average cost of building a house will now be closer to Rs 900 per square foot, as opposed to the normal Rs 1500 per sq foot. Combined with the government plans that will provide builders, land at subsidized rates, affordable housing is expected to become a lot more affordable.

This is a guest post by Puspashree Mohanty