LATEST NEWS


Housing sales bookings of top 9 listed realty firms up 2% at nearly Rs 5,800 crore

5/24/2020 6:24:00 PM

Housing sales bookings of top 9 listed real estate developers rose 2 per cent to nearly Rs 5,800 crore during the third quarter of this fiscal year, according to property consultant Anarock. Sales bookings of DLF, Sobha, Puravankara, Prestige Estates, Brigade Enterprises, Mahindra Lifespace Developers, Godrej Properties, Oberoi Realty and Kolte Patil have been taken into account. "Housing sales revenue of the top 9 stock exchange-listed developers continued to grow steadily in the last festive quarter. Despite all headwinds, their collective revenues in third quarter of fiscal 2020 stood at a little less than Rs 5,800 crore, increasing 4 per cent on a quarterly basis and 2 per cent in a year," Anarock said. The first three quarters of fiscal 2020 indicate that the overall sales bookings of the top 9 developers was close to Rs 16,500 crore as against Rs 15,730 crore during the corresponding period of the previous year. Godrej Properties, Prestige Estates and Sobha were the top three players with maximum sales revenue during the first nine months of fiscal 2020. Together, they accounted for a 55 per cent share of the total sales revenue of Rs 16,500 crore. "The trend of developers deliberately restricting new supply continues, as increasing launches at this juncture can lead to more unsold stock and reflect negatively on cash flows," the consultant said. New launches by the top 9 listed developers (excluding DLF) more than halved during the period from 31 million sq ft area in April-December fiscal 2019 to nearly 15.71 million sq ft in the corresponding period of fiscal 2020. Source: The Economic Times Chandigarh

Kolkata: Tall residential buildings pass wind test unscathed

5/24/2020 4:38:00 PM

All the tall buildings in the city passed the Amphan test with only ornamental features like metal cladding and canopies being blown away by the express velocity winds. But two buildings in particular — the city’s only skyscraper The 42, and The Atmosphere which has a deck hanging between the twin towers, 152m above the ground — underwent a litmus test when Amphan came calling. And both passed with aplomb. All tall buildings are designed to sway in high velocity winds to prevent the pressure from buckling under the force. So when Amphan roared in at 133km/h, they swayed merrily for an hour. That left the building unscathed but left residents giddy with motion sickness. The swaying should have been considerable on the 61st floor of The 42, leaving residents violently sick. But a technology incorporated in the building was put to test on Wednesday evening. And it worked perfectly to ensure that the building didn’t rock. On the eve of the cyclone, a tank on the top floor was filled up with 120 tonne water. “The tower being very slender, it naturally sways quite a bit when there is heavy wind pressure or earthquake. But that would leave residents in extreme discomfort. To address the problem, a tuned liquid damper (TLD) tank was constructed at 246m, on the top most floor of the building. The TLD tank consists of two tanks, one atop the other separated by an intermediate baffle wall of 50% porosity. These tanks are filled with 120 tonne water. If the tower moves in a cyclone or earthquake, the water contained within the tank sloshes in the opposite direction of the tower’s movement due to rules of inertia. The load of the tank at the top of the tower thus compensates for the sway of the building,” explained Yashaswi Shroff of Alcove Realty, one of the companies in the consortium that developed the 250m building on Chowringhee. While several slim skyscrapers around the world use such TLD tanks, The 42 is the first building in Kolkata to put the technology into use. The building’s facade, including balcony railings and glass, held up in the wind whose speed would have reached 150km/h in the floors above. The facade was designed after wind-tunnel tests were carried out by RWDI, Canada and Windtech Consultants, Australia. “Façade design firm BES Consultants used the data to determine the structural strength required for various parts of the façade. After the cyclone, it’s completely intact,” said Shroff. At The Atmosphere, developer Rahul Saraf knew the cylone would test Deya, the triple deck hanging club in the air. But what he was concerned most was whether the palm trees atop could weather the storm. On Tuesday, the palms were reinforced. “The morning after the storm, it was devastating to see so many trees uprooted in the city. But thankfully, the palms had all survived,” said Saraf. Source: ET Realty Kolkata

PGs: A thriving business option in Zirakpur

2/26/2020 5:55:00 PM

In Zirakpur, a hub of affordable housing with several real estate housing projects, turning a house or a floor as a PG accommodation seems to be a lucrative business option here. PGs here provide an economical, safe and easy option of residence to thousands of young professionals. However, a majority of these accommodations don’t follow norms. Those residing as paying guests, students, especially boys, don’t mind sharing the rooms with others to reduce their share of rent. Scores of owners in the town have not registered their PG’s with any authority to avoid charges at commercial rates. In the absence of any check, most of the house owners charge as per their wish. According to sources, illegal PG accommodation business is flourishing in the city as over 50 per cent of the owners of such accommodation have failed to register themselves with the nearest police station. Every other house seems to be rented out to students, fully or partially, in certain pockets of the town, including Baltana, Dhakoli and other areas in Dera Bassi. As per norms, it is mandatory for PG house owners to get their houses registered at the concerned police station. Police verification of tenants is also necessary, but PG house owners are giving this norm a miss, too. Employees at Sewa Kendra said about 50 per cent of the applications they received get rejected due to wrongly attached proofs. They alleged that suppose one is residing in Zirakpur for six months and then he shifts to other PGs they attached the old proof with them and its get difficult to trace them. Though the city police hold drives against illegal PGs but after a few days, it again business as usual. Aashika Jain, holding additional charge of the Mohali DC, said, “We will be conducting inspection drives in the entire district to ensure guidelines and regulations are complied with.” She added that orders have been passed under section 144 under which the owners are supposed to report to the nearest police station if they are keeping any paying guest. Source: The Tribune Chandigarh

US, UAE and Singapore firms top investors in Indian real estate sector

2/24/2020 6:39:00 PM

While Indian real estate attracted more than $5 billion in private equity inflows in 2019, firms from US, UAE and Singapore remain bullish on the sector even as Japanese and South Korean investors are evaluating options in 2020. As per data made available by Anarock Capital, US-based Blackstone remains bullish on Indian real estate and pumped in over $1.8 billion in 2019 over $1.1 billion in 2018. Others included US-based Hines, UAE-based ADIA and Lakeshore and Singapore-based Xander Group. A few Japanese investors or corporates have been evaluating the Indian real estate investment options and we can expect them to get into gear in 2020, along with pension and insurance funds, it said. The interest of the Japanese firms is not limited to Mumbai alone but is also in other top cities such as Delhi-NCR. Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune and Chennai. Interestingly, South Korean companies may also be evaluating the Indian commercial market. South-Korea-based Mirae Asset Financial Group is showing interest in Indian commercial market but it’s still too early to say when and where, experts said. As per data from Anarock Capital, the momentum of equity investments from foreign investors into real estate restarted from 2014 onward. Since then, Indian real estate sector has received $16.6 billion worth of foreign investments. "In this period, investors’ focus has remained largely on big-ticket income-yielding commercial and retail assets – 72 percent in aggregate. This period also saw the entry of significant Canadian pension funds into Indian real estate, either directly or through platform deals with Indian counterpart. While Singapore-based funds led by GIC remained very active in this period, US-based funds led by Blackstone continued their love affair with India real estate and invested more than 5.7 bn dollars in the same period," said Shobhit Agarwal, MD & CEO – ANAROCK Capital. In 2020, funding focus is expected to remain on Grade A income-generating assets along with last-mile funding opportunities in residential projects. "A few Japanese investors/corporates have been evaluating Indian real estate investment options and we can expect them to get into gear in 2020, along with pension and insurance funds. These funds are inherently patient and come with longer investment tenures. As such, they will play a significant role in providing the long-term solutions Indian developers now need. In fact, 2020 promises to be an action-packed year for Indian real estate funding," he said. MMR and NCR were the top favourites for private equity investors in 2019; together, the two regions received close to $2.7 billion worth of PE funds, comprising a whopping 53 percent overall share. Previously in 2018, rather than NCR, it was Hyderabad that was on top in the radar of private equity investors, Anarock Capital said. The commercial segment continued to lure investors in 2019, with total PE inflows crossing $3.3 billion - though reducing by 13% on yearly basis. Meanwhile, both the retail and residential segments saw an uptick in investments in 2019 against the preceding year, it said. The residential sector received PE inflows of 395 mn dollars in 2019 against 265 mn dollars in 2018, the report said. The high potential of logistics and warehousing notwithstanding, this segment attracted about 200 mn dollars PE funds - a drop of nearly 50 percent against the previous year. Mixed-use developments saw inflows of approximately 155 mn dollars in 2019, as against 310 mn dollars in 2018, it said. "Total PE inflows in Indian real estate remained more or less the same in 2019 against 2018. However, NCR once again emerged as a major hotbed for private equity activity in 2019. Besides office real estate, the retail sector helped NCR gain traction from both foreign and domestic funds," Agarwal added. Source: Money Control Chandigarh

Non-metro cities are becoming the new realty hotspots

2/23/2020 6:36:00 PM

Lower prices, bigger homes and better returns on investment — paired with government incentives for affordable housing — have seen markets outside the prime metro cities pick up considerably over the past five years. According to a survey by property consultancy Anarock, 26% of property seekers looking to invest in real estate in 2019 listed cities like Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Chandigarh as their top preferences. Kochi and Bhubaneshwar in the east have seen steady growth over the last five years too. For a city like Ahmedabad, a growing realty investment hub, rapid infrastructure growth and industrialisation have been big factors driving this interest, says Santhosh Kumar, vice-chairman at Anarock. “Good connectivity and hubs like the Gujarat International Finance Tech-City have helped considerably.” The key impetus for markets in non-metro and non-prime metro cities has come from the government’s push for affordable housing. “Since 2015, more than half of all units launched nationally have been in the segment priced at less than Rs 40 lakh,” Kumar says. The incentives announced in 2014 included tax rebates that work better, in fact, in non-metro cities, says Pankaj Kapoor, managing director at realty research firm Liases Foras. “Tier 1 cities have registered 28% growth since 2015, whereas in Tier 2 cities the growth has been around 42%, according to our research. In the latter — cities like Jaipur, Bhopal or Lucknow — affordable housing projects get way more potential buyers as they can be built in prime locations because land prices and construction costs are lower. In cities like Mumbai, such projects are difficult to conceive of anywhere close to the central districts. They are always in far-flung areas,” Kapoor says. Another factor that has worked for the smaller cities is that, as the gaps in infrastructure and lifestyle have narrowed, businesses have moved in, drawing migrant professionals, creating a melting pot culture that is more cosmopolitan and urban, and eventually drawing people back home to those cities from prime metros. “People who had been working in metros are coming back for a similar lifestyle, at a lower cost, and the chance of a home of their own that they couldn’t dream of in the cities they had migrated to,” Kapoor says. UPS AND DOWNS The growth remains erratic, though, as demand and supply grow in spurts rather than a smooth upward graph. Office projects in Mohali have large vacant spaces, while in cities like Indore and Jaipur, rental rates are growing unusually fast as supply falls short of current demand, says Rohan Sharma, research head for India at the realty services firm, Cushman and Wakefield. A large potential area for growth is in the east, adds Neha Naidu, senior manager for retail at realty consultancy, Knight Frank India. “Thus far, eastern India has been considered one of the most conservative realty zones in the country. However, this is changing. The region is in the midst of being transformed from a traditional customer demographic to a product-aware, brand-savvy market,” Naidu says. An indicator is the entry of retail brands like Inox, Westside, Pantaloons and Spencers in cities like Bhubaneswar in Odisha and Dhanbad in Jharkhand. “With airports, IT hubs and multiple institutes of higher education in the region, it has a lot of factors working for it,” Sharma says. Source: Hindustan Times Chandigarh

Co-living, student housing generate higher rental yields than traditional formats: Report

2/20/2020 6:32:00 PM

The report delves into these highly promising new Indian real estate asset classes and explores their growth drivers as well as the underlying opportunities for investors and other real estate stakeholders. Sunshine sectors co-living, co-working and student housing have 7-11 percent higher rental yields than the 3 percent national residential average rental yield of traditional housing formats, as per a report by CII and Anarock. "Co-living, student housing and senior living are the next evolutionary step in the residential real estate domain, while co-working has evolved from traditional office real estate. The drivers behind this evolution are changing social dynamics, a highly enabled start-up environment, rising interest in higher education by migratory student population, and the need for quality housing solutions for senior citizens," said Anuj Puri, Chairman &ndash 2nd CII Real Estate Confluence & Chairman - ANAROCK Group. The report delves into these highly promising new Indian real estate asset classes and explores their growth drivers as well as the underlying opportunities for investors and other real estate stakeholders. Data centres with a potential of 10-14 percent rental yield are drawing high investor interest. Major players prefer Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru, the report said. Senior housing growth primarily in top cities’ outskirts and tier-2 and 3 cities like Bhiwadi (NCR), Neral (Mumbai), Talegaon (Pune), Devanahalli (Bengaluru), Mysuru and Coimbatore, the report titled Emerging Asset Classes: The Future Looks Promising, said. The report said that a majority of millennials today prefer co-living over traditional rental models. The top six players alone now have 1.18 lakh beds, and are drawing investments from both domestic and global institutions. From seed funding to subsequent rounds of financing, private equity players, developers and individual investors have backed this segment. Startups have particularly benefitted from the infusion of funds and are scaling up operations in multiple cities. While co-working as a segment has flourished in India, there are interesting differences in how local and global players address it. As of today, domestic co-working operators have restricted their presence to tier I cities, while global players are also penetrating into tier 2 and 3 cities, the report said. Meanwhile, the government's efforts to make data localisation mandatory will ensure a promising future for data centres in the country. The Budget proposal to roll out a new policy for building data centre parks underscores the importance and relevance of this promising asset class. Currently, the major data centre companies prefer Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru. As many as 451 million active internet users, 1,173.75 million mobile subscribers, the rapid rise in digital transactions, Smart Cities Mission and Personal Data Protection Bill will boost demand for data centres. The report also noted that senior living has immense potential in India largely because life expectancy here has improved to 68.8 years in 2018. Moreover, the population aged above 60 years has already breached the 100 million mark Apart from holistically dedicated senior citizen spaces, many developers are also launching integrated townships with a proportion of units dedicated to senior living. Most of these projects will thrive in tier-2 and 3 cities. Source: Money Control Chandigarh

How infrastructure push will impact real estate sector

2/20/2020 6:29:00 PM

Infrastructure is a key driver of the economy of a country and is known to play a pivotal role in determining the value of properties in any particular region. Infrastructure is a key driver of the economy of a country and is known to play a pivotal role in determining the value of properties in any particular region. Lack of road, rail or air connectivity to any particular region results in lower property rates there as compared to areas having good physical infrastructure. And infrastructure is limited not only to connectivity alone, whose existence though is a necessary precondition for development of other kinds of civic amenities. Demand, and hence price, of real estate is directly proportional to the distance of the location from areas providing jobs, industrialisation and civic amenities. Major housing and commercial hubs have developed in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region and National Capital Region following the establishment of good connectivity options of areas on the suburbs of Mumbai and Delhi. For example, Noida, an industrial township across the Yamuna River in Delhi, developed not only as a prime residential and commercial destination but also as an institutional base following the commissioning of the DND flyway in the year 2001. Areas further south of Noida, including Greater Noida, have also been on the growth trajectory with the extension of the Delhi metro and the commissioning of the Yamuna Expressway that connects the national capital to Agra. More recently, in the National Capital Region, the commissioning of the Hindon Elevated Road has resulted in the appreciation of property rates in Raj Nagar Extension in Ghaziabad by enhancing its direct connectivity with the UP Gate on the border of Delhi. Apart from transportation networks, infrastructure also includes civic amenities like electricity and water supply, drainage, waste disposal and sewage treatment facilities. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Central government under the able leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been committed to the development of all kinds of infrastructure in a big way which will have a ripple effect on the overall value of properties in the real estate market in the country. These projects are also aimed at creating job opportunities through industrialisation which will further boost real estate. The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, for example, aims to provide all-weather road connectivity in rural areas across the country. In order to boost industrialisation through the ‘Make in India’ policy initiative, the Central government has also begun work on establishing two defence industrial corridors, in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, respectively. The under-construction Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor project is a planned industrial development corridor project that will link several major cities of the country with the financial capital Mumbai and the national capital Delhi. The Bharatmala project aims to construct several greenfield highways across the country at a cost of over Rs 5 lakh crore. The Sagarmala project will similarly connect different ports of India along its 7,500-km-long coastline, thereby providing a big boost to the logistics sector. Similarly, the UDAN scheme of the government of India aims to provide cheap and economical air travel options to all citizens of the country. These connectivity projects are not only expected to boost existing prices of properties but will also open up hitherto unexplored real estate markets in different parts of the country. Development of civic amenities is a time-consuming process and improvement of connectivity provides good access to the existing facilities during the gestation period. For example, good road connectivity from Gurgaon or Noida enables citizens to avail world-class medical facilities provided by the government in the national capital of Delhi. The Central government has, however, also been at the forefront in establishing and extending civic amenities to the remotest parts of the country. The Saubhagya Scheme aims to provide electricity connections to over 26 million households across the country while the AMRUT scheme aims to provide water connections and sewage facility to all households. Besides, the Central government has identified 100 cities across the country for infrastructure development under the Smart City Mission. The mission is a urban renewal programme under which existing cities will be retrofitted with state-of-the-art physical infrastructure, including road networks, potable water supply systems, sewage treatment plants and electricity supply systems. In addition, basic governance services will be provided to citizens with the help of IT-enabled solutions. Greenfield areas will also be identified in each city for infrastructure development under the mission. A total amount of Rs 2 lakh crore has been estimated for development of the 100 smart cities which will ultimately result in spiralling real estate development in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. In December last year, the Central government further announced a National Infrastructure Pipeline to be undertaken across the country with funds generated from the Central and state governments as well as the private sector. Projects worth over Rs 100 lakh crore in the fields of energy, roads, urban development, and railways will be executed across 18 states and territories across the country under this programme over the next five years. With India aiming to becoming a $5-trillion economy by the year 2025, the National Infrastructure Pipeline programme is expected to have far reaching consequences in ensuring that the share of real estate is a major contributor to achieving the goal. In the first five years, sectors including roads, energy, urban development and railways will gobble up the majority share of the fund. The National Infrastructure Pipeline project also envisages development later in the fields of logistics, air connectivity, education, digital services, farm incomes and health services. In addition, development of commercial and retail hubs is a necessary precondition to appreciation of prices of residential properties and vice-versa. Homebuyers are attracted to housing hubs on the basis of availability of services and convenience including shopping malls, supermarkets, banks, food and entertainment zones, leisure facilities and so on. The converse theory of commercial players and retailers getting attracted to populated housing hubs is also true. Sources Financial Express Chandigarh

USD 5 Trillion Economy – Indian Real Estate as Key Contributor

2/17/2020 6:46:00 PM

Union Budget 2020-21’s almost pointed negligence of the real estate sector was most puzzling – especially since the previous budget had envisaged an ambitious blueprint for the country’s economic future. For realizing the vision of making India a USD 5 trillion economy by FY 2024-25, the development and growth of its real estate sector is imperative. Across developing and developed economies, real estate and economic growth are inseparable concepts. Real estate is a key driver of economic growth, and by laying the groundwork of making it more organised and transparent, the government has already made it a more secure and attractive investment environment. The fact that the latest budget gave no more than a cursory glance at real estate is a missed opportunity to build further on this groundwork. To propel the Indian economy into the top league of global economies, the growth engine of real estate cannot be ignored. Realty’s Contribution to GDP to Double Despite global headwinds and slow economic growth in the country, the India Brand Equity Foundation expects India’s real estate sector to grow to a market size of USD 1 trillion by 2030. It is also likely to contribute 14% of the country’s GDP by 2025 – almost double its current contribution of 7-8%. Over the years, real estate growth – particularly in housing – has been crucial in driving the Indian economy. Regulatory reforms such as RERA, GST and IBC and relaxation in foreign direct investment have already made the industry more transparent and credible, leading to increased end-user demand. It was expected that Union Budget 2020-21 would aim to keep this momentum going and thereby emphasise economic growth. To achieve this, radical changes in the taxation system and as well as regulatory policies are of paramount importance. Infrastructure Creation – Driving Growth While the latest Union Budget did not provide any real boosts to real estate other than in terms of affordable housing, it did continue to focus on infrastructure. Real estate development goes hand-in-hand with infrastructure as the latter opens up peripheral areas and creates new avenues of growth. Earlier, the government had already allocated INR 100 lakh crores for infrastructure investments to improve transport efficiency over the next five years. Multi-modal infrastructure development such as roads, rail and metro improves living conditions and spurs demand for residential, commercial, retail and warehousing real estate. Supporting Job Creation Union Budget 2020-21 failed to give clarity on the deployment of the previously-announced INR 25000 Cr alternate investment fund. Completing and handing over these stuck projects will increase buyer and investor confidence and help usher in a strong revival for the housing sector. Improved sales will lead to a strengthened housing supply pipeline and create jobs across the entire white-to-blue-collar segments of real estate development. This factor cannot be ignored. After agriculture and manufacturing, the real estate sector has the most potential for large-scale job creation. Associated with over 200 allied industries including cement, steel and sand, housing development has a multiplier effect on several allied sectors. According to the National Skill Development Council, there is a requirement of 109.73 million skilled manpower by 2022 in 24 key sectors. The building, construction and real estate sector alone is expected to generate 76.55 million jobs by 2022. The government’s mega initiative of ‘Housing for All by 2022’ itself promises to be a major employment generator – and, by direct implication, an overall economic growth dynamo. In the second phase of PMAY-G, during 2019-20 to 2021-22, 1.95 crore houses are expected to be provided to eligible beneficiaries. This effort alone can and will create large-scale employment for skilled and unskilled labourers. The Need for Investor Participation Major reforms such as GST, RERA, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code and Benami Property Transaction Act have had a lasting impact on the real estate sector. Despite the initial churn and pain, they have increased financial discipline and a healthier ecosystem. By instilling renewed confidence in home buyers and domestic investors, these landmark reforms have improved the perception for India as a global hub for investments. As per ANAROCK data, private equity investments in India’s real estate sector clocked in at over USD 5 billion in 2019, of which commercial segment comprised the lion’s share at over USD 3.3 bn, followed by retail sector with USD 970 mn and residential of USD 395 mn. A large chunk of these investments came from foreign private equity funds like Blackstone, Hines, Ascendas and Brookefield. However, housing remains an unpalatable investment category for smaller domestic investors. The Union Budget was an ideal platform from which to announce initiatives to boost private investor participation. Currently, India’s housing sector is riding almost exclusively on end-user sales, which are not enough to revive residential real estate and its related benefits of furthering the Housing for All by 2022 goal and generating increased employment. As the second-largest employer and a major contributor to the country’s GDP, the real estate industry is one of the Indian economy’s strongest pillars. It cannot remain a neglected stepchild – it must become the apple of the government’s eye. A convincing revival of the Indian real estate sector is essential for the economy to move out of its current slow phase and achieve the mammoth targets – Housing for All by 2022 and making India a $5 trillion economy by FY 2024-25. Source: APN News Chandigarh

US, UAE and Singapore firms top investors in Indian real estate sector

2/17/2020 6:04:00 PM

While Indian real estate attracted more than $5 billion in private equity inflows in 2019, firms from US, UAE and Singapore remain bullish on the sector even as Japanese and South Korean investors are evaluating options in 2020. As per data made available by Anarock Capital, US-based Blackstone remains bullish on Indian real estate and pumped in over $1.8 billion in 2019 over $1.1 billion in 2018. Others included US-based Hines, UAE-based ADIA and Lakeshore and Singapore-based Xander Group. A few Japanese investors or corporates have been evaluating the Indian real estate investment options and we can expect them to get into gear in 2020, along with pension and insurance funds, it said. The interest of the Japanese firms is not limited to Mumbai alone but is also in other top cities such as Delhi-NCR. Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune and Chennai. Interestingly, South Korean companies may also be evaluating the Indian commercial market. South-Korea-based Mirae Asset Financial Group is showing interest in Indian commercial market but it’s still too early to say when and where, experts said. As per data from Anarock Capital, the momentum of equity investments from foreign investors into real estate restarted from 2014 onward. Since then, Indian real estate sector has received $16.6 billion worth of foreign investments. "In this period, investors’ focus has remained largely on big-ticket income-yielding commercial and retail assets &ndash 72 percent in aggregate. This period also saw the entry of significant Canadian pension funds into Indian real estate, either directly or through platform deals with Indian counterpart. While Singapore-based funds led by GIC remained very active in this period, US-based funds led by Blackstone continued their love affair with India real estate and invested more than 5.7 bn dollars in the same period," said Shobhit Agarwal, MD & CEO &ndash ANAROCK Capital. In 2020, funding focus is expected to remain on Grade A income-generating assets along with last-mile funding opportunities in residential projects. "A few Japanese investors/corporates have been evaluating Indian real estate investment options and we can expect them to get into gear in 2020, along with pension and insurance funds. These funds are inherently patient and come with longer investment tenures. As such, they will play a significant role in providing the long-term solutions Indian developers now need. In fact, 2020 promises to be an action-packed year for Indian real estate funding," he said. MMR and NCR were the top favourites for private equity investors in 2019 together, the two regions received close to $2.7 billion worth of PE funds, comprising a whopping 53 percent overall share. Previously in 2018, rather than NCR, it was Hyderabad that was on top in the radar of private equity investors, Anarock Capital said. The commercial segment continued to lure investors in 2019, with total PE inflows crossing $3.3 billion - though reducing by 13% on yearly basis. Meanwhile, both the retail and residential segments saw an uptick in investments in 2019 against the preceding year, it said. The residential sector received PE inflows of 395 mn dollars in 2019 against 265 mn dollars in 2018, the report said. The high potential of logistics and warehousing notwithstanding, this segment attracted about 200 mn dollars PE funds - a of nearly 50 percent against the previous year. Mixed-use developments saw inflows of approximately 155 mn dollars in 2019, as against 310 mn dollars in 2018, it said. "Total PE inflows in Indian real estate remained more or less the same in 2019 against 2018. However, NCR once again emerged as a major hotbed for private equity activity in 2019. Besides office real estate, the retail sector helped NCR gain traction from both foreign and domestic funds," Agarwal added. Source: Moneycontrol.com Chandigarh

Residential realty sees early signs of green shoots

2/13/2020 6:39:00 PM

The country’s residential real estate market is beginning to look up. India's top 35 property markets, including tier I and II, recorded 3% year-on-year and 5% sequential growth in sales during the quarter ended December, data from Liases Foras Real Estate Ratings & Research shows. Of these, 27 cities saw an upward momentum in sales in the quarter ended December, while new launchesan indicator of confidence among builders to start marketing their projects—climbed 38% from a year ago. The dominance of affordable housing continued on both the counts, driven by government incentives which have not only made housing projects attractive but also bolstered the confidence of end users. Apartments priced below Rs 50 lakh accounted for over 58% of the sales in the December quarter. This cost segment saw 66% new launches, according to Liases Foras Real Estate Ratings & Research. “The year 2018-19 had seen marginal decline in both sales and launches. The downward slide has now been arrested and the trend is reflecting an upward movement,” said Pankaj Kapoor, managing director, Liases Foras Real Estate Ratings & Research. “Time correction has improved home buyers’ affordability, and with inquiry levels going up, builders have garnered confidence to launch more projects.” Apart from government incentives, home loan rates have also been on a decline. Over the last one year, the Reserve Bank of India has reduced the repo rate by 135 basis points. In December, State Bank of India (SBI), the country’s largest lender, reduced its external benchmark rate by 25 basis points. The revised effective benchmark lending rate of 7.8% came into effect from January 1, 2020 and new home buyers have been getting loans at an interest rate starting from 7.9%. "Gradually, the sentiment among the industry stakeholdersbe it developers with new launches, fence sitters turning into the actual home buyers, or investors returning back to the sectorshows signs of resuming confidence with cascading effect of a slew of positive economic measures by the government," said Niranjan Hiranandani, national president of National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO). Project launches are increasing as response from homebuyers has been improving. For instance, property developer Sunteck Realty sold 125 apartments worth over Rs 200 crore at its project in Mumbai’s Goregaon suburb in December. The company recently launched another project in Naigaon near Mumbai. On Monday, Piramal Realty also announced it is selling over 300 apartments, with sales value of Rs 200 crore, at its Thane project that offers apartments starting at Rs 57 lakh. The highest supply in the affordable housing segment during the quarter was in Pune, followed by MMR and NCR, where the segment accounted for 75%, 49% and 82% of the total new supply, respectively. During the quarter, unsold stock in 35 cities increased by 4% from a year ago to 1,315,000 units. This increase can be attributed to the high number of new launches this year. Weighted average price across these markets showed a marginal of 1%, both on sequential and annual basis. Prices declined marginally in 16 cities and increased in seven cities, data shows. The government recently extended by a year the tax holiday for new affordable housing projects, a move which is expected to increase supply in this segment. Source: The Economic Times Chandigarh

It’s official: Chandigarh’s Manimajra is now Sector 13

2/10/2020 6:29:00 PM

City Beautiful now has Sector 13. The UT administration has notified the renaming of Manimajra as Sector 13, along with renaming of certain other colonies and villages as sectors. As per the notification, apart from Manimajra, Sarangpur Institutional Area will be renamed Sector 12 (West); Dhanas, including Milk Colony and Rehabilitation Colony, as Sector 14 (West); Maloya and Dadumajra as Sector 39 (West); and pocket number 8 below Vikas Marg as Sector 56 (West). Industrial Area Phase 1 and 2 will be designated as Business and Industrial Park 1 and 2, respectively. Under the Chandigarh Master Plan-2031, the reference area for planning constitutes 144 square kilometres, including 60 sectors in the sectoral grid as well as the peripheral areas around them. French architect Le Corbusier’s Phase 1 plan was divided into a grid of 30 sectors with Capitol Complex as well as Civic Centre as its focal points, while the Phase 2 layout included Sectors 31 to 47. Phase 1 comprised 30 low-density sectors spread over 9,000 acres (Sectors 1 to 30) for 1.5 lakh people, whereas Phase 2 consisted of 17 considerably high-density areas (Sectors 31 to 47) spread over an area of 6,000 acres for a population of 3.5 lakh. Thereafter, nine more sectors were added (Sectors 48 to 56). WHY SECTOR 13? The residents of Modern Housing Complex (MHC), Shivalik Enclave and Uppal Marble Arc had for long been demanding these areas to be included in the sectoral grid of the city. Col Gursewak Singh (retd), president, Resident Welfare Association, Modern Housing Complex, said, “In February 2019, we again wrote to the UT administrator and adviser to grant the status of Sector 13 to these areas. Administration was not sure about using number 13, so they had offered to rename the area as Sector M.” This, however, was rejected by residents. “Residents don’t consider number 13 inauspicious. In fact, it will be a fitting tribute to Guru Nanak on his 550th birth anniversary, as he shunned all forms of superstition and propagated true meaning and value of ‘tera’ (13) in his teachings,” Singh said. ADMN HAD SOUGHT SUGGESTIONS The administration had issued a public notice seeking objections and suggestions from residents regarding renaming several areas not covered under the sectoral grid. Residents were allowed to submit their suggestions/objections by December 16 to the UT chief architect office at Sector 9. In response, the UT administration had received around 60 objections and suggestions. Source: Hindustan Times Chandigarh

Delhi Chandigarh lead among UTs in national e-governance service delivery assessment

2/9/2020 6:26:00 PM

Delhi, Chandigarh, Daman and Diu administration have emerged leaders among Union territories across all parameters for national e-governance service delivery assessment (NeSDA), according to an official report released here on Saturday. The assessment is done broadly for four categories – Union territories, remaining states, union territories and central government ministries websites. Haryana and Rajasthan are the leading states in the assessment under the "remaining states" category comprising 18 states. Among the north-east and hill states, Nagaland has got the first rank with its service portal having an average compliance of more than 45 per cent to the criteria assessed across all seven parameters, including ease of use, end service delivery and content availability among others, according to the report released by Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh at the 23rd National e-governance Conference here. The conference, which is being jointly organised by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), Government of Maharashtra and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, was attended by various senior functionaries of the state and central government, including V Srinivas, Additional Secretary, DARPG. The website of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) under the finance ministry is the winner under the assessment of central ministry service portals category. Whereas, the ministry portals of health & family welfare, and human resource have emerged leaders across "all parameters", the report said. The NeSDA framework primarily assessed all the service portals (state/UT and central ministry service portals) on seven key parameters, namely accessibility, content availability, ease of use, information security & privacy, end service delivery, integrated service delivery and status & request tracking. The framework covers six sectors, namely finance, labour & employment, education, local government & utilities, social welfare (including agriculture & health) and environment (including fire) sectors. Giving details of the assessment of the Union territories, it said data related to Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Chandigarh, Delhi, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Pondicherry were reviewed. Of these, the portal of Andaman and Nicobar Islands has been adjudged first on the four parameters, viz., accessibility, content availability, ease of use, and information security and privacy, the report said. "Delhi, Chandigarh and Daman & Diu are the leading UTs with their service portals having average compliance of more than 10 per cent to the criteria assessed across all seven parameters," it said. Delhi and Chandigarh are the leading UTs with their service portals having average compliance of more than the prescribed criteria under integrated service delivery parameter. Under the "remaining states" category, Haryana and Rajasthan are the leading states with their service portals having average compliance of more than 60 per cent to the criteria assessed across all seven parameters. Haryana has got first position and Rajasthan secured second rank in the category. The remaining states category included West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Punjab, Bihar, Odisha, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Kerala, Goa, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. In the north east and hill states category, Himachal Pradesh, Tripura and Assam are leading states with their portals with more than 60 per cent compliance to the criteria assessed across all the assessment parameters, including accessibility, content availability and ease of use. "Nagaland is the leading state with its service portal having average compliance of more than 45 per cent to the criteria assessed across all seven parameters," it said. The north east and hill states included Himachal Pradesh, Tripura, Assam, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Manipur. The web portals of CBDT, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Rural Development and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, were also assessed in their effectiveness in e-governance service delivery. "Ministry portals of health & family welfare and human resource development are the leading portals with compliance of more than 60 per cent to the criteria assessed across all the assessment parameters," it said. The CBDT portal has been ranked first under the assessment of central ministry service portals, according to the report. Source: The Week Chandigarh

MSME policy a big draw for investors in Mohali

2/7/2020 6:26:00 PM

The micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) scheme for the industry is proving to be a big draw for investors in Mohali. In two years since the launch of the revised industrial policy, as many as 134 units have registered themselves for starting business here, which is expected to bring Rs 300 crore in investments. Major sectors of interest are information technology (IT); agro and food processing; automobiles and auto parts; textiles; engineering; pharmaceuticals; electronics; sports; hand tools; and leather industry; which will be set up in various industrial areas of Mohali. Harjinder Singh Pannu, general manager, district industries centre (DIC), Mohali, said, “We have given regulatory clearance to most of the units which are in the process being set up. With this, around 50,000 jobs will be created.” “Moreover, to boost MSMEs in the state, the Punjab government has already launched Punjab MSME Awards,” he said. Infra, norms conducive to growth One of the IT investors, who did not wish to be named, said, “Mohali has great potential for MSMEs due to the international airport and proximity of other states. I have already got an approval and the unit will be set up within six months.” Sibin C, Director Industries and Commerce, Punjab, said, “Mohali is becoming a hub for MSMEs. We are improving the infrastructure in focal points and trying to provide all the facilities to entrepreneurs. Also, under the new Right to Business Act, MSMEs do not need any permission to start initially for three-and-a-half years.” Under the Industrial and Business Development Policy 2017 of Punjab government, besides having competitive power tariff of ₹5 per unit, MSMEs also get 100% reimbursement of GST incentive for seven years; up to 100% FCI on inter and intra state sales; 100% exemption in electricity duty for seven years; 100% exemption/reimbursement of stamp duty and additional incentives, with a focus on diversification. Need for more The industry in Mohali began in 1978 with just 10 units, but today, it has about 10,000 units, including the manufacturing and IT/ service industry. These industrial units fall under three heads – Phase 1 to 4 fall under Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA), Phase 7, 8-A and 8-B under Punjab Small Industries Export Corporation Limited (PSIEC) and Phase 9 industrial area falls under Punjab Infotech. Two decades have passed since the industrial focal points were created, but basic amenities are still missing in the area. In the absence proper eating joints and recreational spots in industrial area of Phases 7, 8, 8-A and B, which is being projected as an IT hub, most professionals have no choice but to depend on roadside eateries. Non-functional streetlights, inadequate parking spaces, choked drains, waterlogging, and heaps of garbage due to lack of a regular clearing system in place, are the bane of the industrial area. Yogesh Sagar, president of Mohali Industries Association, said, “It is good that more MSMEs are coming up, but at the same time, the state government should improve the basic infrastructure, for which a special purpose vehicle was notified but rejected by the MC. I urge the authorities to sort out the matter for the welfare of industrial areas.” Source: Hindustan Times Chandigarh

Affordable housing gets further support as Budget extends tax holiday

2/4/2020 6:17:00 PM

Affordable housing has received a further boost as supply of these projects is expected to increase further as the government has proposed to extend the tax holiday for new such projects by one more year. Realty developers are expected to launch more affordable housing projectsthe segment that has been leading demand pattern since last 18 monthsto claim 100% tax deduction on profits from such projects. Last year, the government had extended the timeline for approval of such projects on or before 31 March 2020. An extension in the dateline is likely to ensure continued interest from realty developers’ side to launch and build more affordable housing projects helping the government achieve the “Housing for All” objective. “The extension of the tax holiday for affordable housing projects will provide more room for additional launches of these projects. However, the demand could have been better if the buyers’ sentiment had also been taken care of,” said Satish Magar, President, CREDAI National. However, he also added that the sector’s impending demand for rollover of loans could have helped the realty industry given the ongoing liquidity concerns. The government has also extended the deadline for the first time homebuyers’ to avail additional Rs 150,000 interest deduction on home loans by a year till 31 March 2021. Currently, loan interest payment of up to Rs 2 lakh is allowed as tax deduction for all segments of housing, while housing loan principle repayment up to Rs 1.5 lakh exempted. The move is expected to prompt demand from first time homebuyers. “Considering that majority of home buyers fall in the lower and mid-income segments, this tax benefit will boost demand substantially. This will significantly benefit first time home buyers who enjoy the benefits of interest subvention under the CLSS (Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme) and the extended tax benefits,” said Ramesh Nair CEO & Country Head, JLL India. Last year, the government had allowed this additional tax deduction for interest paid on housing loans taken between April 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020. This is applicable for houses priced below Rs 45 lakh in tier II, III and peripheral parts of metro cities. The Finance Minister has also proposed increasing the limit of difference between circle rate and transaction value for taxing income from capital gains to 10% from current 5%. Following this, if the transaction value is less than circle rate by over 10%, the difference will be counted as income for buyer and seller. “The direction of the Budget is excellent. However, on one hand the buyers want prices to come down, but the government is limiting the reduction in prices,” said Niranjan Hiranandani, National President, NAREDCO while adding that rental housing should have been given some attention by the government to support Housing for All. Source: The Economic Times Chandigarh

Budget 2020: FM proposes 5 new Smart Cities

2/3/2020 6:09:00 PM

In her Budget speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has proposed the setting up five new Smart Cities. The government in 2020 has allocated Rs 6,450 crore for the Smart Cities Mission for the year 2020-2021. There has been no change in allocation from what was budgeted last year. “There is a case for maximising the benefits of three separately developing economic activities: (1) the upcoming economic corridors (2) revitalisation of manufacturing activities and (3) Technology and the demands of aspirational classes. We have to benefit from their convergence. Hence, it is proposed to develop five new smart cities in collaboration with States in PPP mode. Such sites would be chosen that offer the best choices in terms of aforementioned principles,” the finance minister said in her Budget speech. Experts have welcomed the announcement. “Focus has been retained on urban development by committing to five additional smart cities,” said Anurag Mathur, chief executive officer, Savills India. In 2019, a sum of Rs 6,450 crore was allocated for the Smart Cities Mission for 2019-20 against Rs 6,169 crore in 2018-19. The government in 2018 had proposed over 50 percent increase in the allocation for smart cities from Rs 4,000 crore for 2017-2018 to Rs 6,169 crore for 2018-2019. Under the SCM, 100 Smart Cities have been ed in four rounds based on an all India competition. All 100 cities have incorporated Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs). Since the launch of the mission, 5,151 projects, worth more than Rs 2 lakh crore, have been identified for implementation which are at various stages of implementation. As per statistics made available by the ministry of housing and urban affairs, the value of tendered smart city projects is over Rs 1,62,000 crore, the value of work orders issued is around Rs 1,20,000 crore and the value of all completed projects is more than Rs 25,000 crore. The Smart Cities Mission was launched on June 25, 2015. The first list of 20 cities announced on January 28, 2016. A fast-track list of 13 cities was announced on four months later. The second list of 27 cities was announced on September 20 2016. The third list of 30 cities announced on June 23, 2017 and the final list was announced in January 2018. Under the mission, the Centre allocates Rs 500 crore to each of the cities for implementing projects proposed by it. This amount is matched with a grant of the same amount by the respective state. Source: Moneycontrol.com Chandigarh

Budget 2020: Fund allocation for housing sector up 18.39%

2/2/2020 6:06:00 PM

Budget 2020 saw the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry outlay touch Rs 50,039.90 crore, a nearly 18.39 percent increase from the revised estimate of Rs 42,266.72 crore for 2019-2020. In 2020, the outlay for the flagship scheme of the government – the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – has been granted Rs 27,500 crore as against the revised estimates of Rs 25,328 crore in 2019-2020, nearly an 8.5 percent increase. The government in 2020 has allocated Rs 13,750 crore for the Smart Cities Mission and AMRUT for 2020-2021 against Rs 9,842 crore in 2019-2020, which is about 40 percent more than the amount set aside last year. Under the SCM, 100 Smart Cities have been selected in four rounds based on an all India competition. All 100 cities have incorporated Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs). Since the launch of the mission, a total of 5,151 projects have been identified for implementation by the cities worth more than Rs 2 lakh crore which are in various stages of implementation in the 100 cities. The Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) scheme that is targeted at upgrading urban infrastructure across 500 towns and cities. The Metro has received an allocation of Rs 17,482 crore, a .73 percent decrease from the revised estimates of Rs 17,612 crore last year. In 2019, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) had been given Rs 414.70 crore grant as against Rs 50 crore in 2018-19. This was almost an eight-fold increase. The Housing for All by 2022 initiative was launched by the Modi government within five months of assuming office. It’s all about ensuring a home for every Indian by 2022. To boost affordable housing and achieve the vision of Housing for all by 2022, the government (Central and State) have undertaken several initiatives, such as Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) that aims to build 1 crore homes in urban and rural India by 2022. Affordable housing has also been accorded infrastructure status, ensuring that developers in this segment have access to cheaper loans. The Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme for the Middle Income Group (CLSS for MIG) was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 31, 2016 and was earlier extended twice till March 2019. The government in the last week of December 2018 extended the interest subsidy scheme till March 2020 for first time urban home buyers who have annual income between Rs 6 lakh and Rs 18 lakh. The carpet area of a housing unit was initially revised to up to 120 sq m and up to 150 sq m for MIG I and MIG II respectively in November, 2017 and further enhanced to up to 160 sq m and up to 200 sq m for MIG I and MIG II, respectively in June, 2018. As per data shared by ministry of urban affairs and housing, out of a validated demand of 1.12 Cr houses in urban areas, 1 crore houses have already been sanctioned under PMAY (Urban). Further, a total of 57 lakh houses are in various stages of construction of which, nearly 30 lakh houses have been completed. The houses sanctioned so far under the Mission involve an investment of about Rs. 5.70 lakh crore with Central assistance of Rs. 1.6 lakh crore. The Central Government is contributing Rs.1.00 lakh to Rs.2.67 lakh for each house under different verticals of the scheme. As on date, nearly Rs. 60,000 crore of Central Assistance has already been released. Presently, works of about Rs. 3 lakh crore is ongoing and by the time Mission accomplishes its target of 1.12 crore houses, the entire activity will trigger an investment of more than Rs. 7 lakh crore. In order to supplement the additional requirement of providing the Central Assistance, over and above the budgetary support, Government had made a provision for raising Extra Budgetary Resources (EBR) to the tune of Rs 60,000 crore of which, Rs 38,000 crore have already been raised and disbursed. The government has also created an Affordable Housing Fund (AHF) worth Rs 25,000 crore has been set up to aid stuck housing projects. The Credit Linked Subsidy for the Middle Income Group (MIG) was introduced for the first time in the housing sector with effect from 1 January 2017. The MIG beneficiaries with annual income upto Rs. 18 Lakh are eligible for claiming interest subsidy on their housing loans. For the MIG, the Government has increased the area of house up to 200 sq m. The government has developed a web based real time monitoring system called CLSS Awas Portal (CLAP) to ensure peoples’ participation and transparency leading to efficient delivery and minimising grievances. Land is the biggest challenge for implementing this scheme. Its current shortage in major city-centric areas prevents the development of affordable housing in areas where it is most direly needed. The cost of land currently accounts for as much as 30-50 percent of the cost of a project within city limits. However, RBI regulations do not allow banks to fund land purchase. Source: Money Control Chandigarh

IIM-Amritsar to set up centre near Chandigarh

1/31/2020 6:03:00 PM

The Indian Institute of Management-Amritsar (IIM-Amritsar) is planning to establish a management development centre in the vicinity of Chandigarh to offer self-financing MBA courses. The premier management institute started in Amritsar in 2015 is looking at Chandigarh, Mohali and adjoining areas for the off-campus centre proposed to be set up over three to five acres of land. It plans to offer master of business administration (MBA), short-term executive education courses and part-time evening programmes in specialised fields such as data mining and data analytics for professionals. “As Chandigarh and Mohali have information technology (IT) parks and lots of other industries in various sectors, we are examining the viability of establishing the centre to cater to their needs as well as provide an opportunity to professionals in and around Punjab who want to upgrade their skill in management education. These will be self-financing courses,” IIM-Amritsar director Prof Nagarajan Ramamoorthy said. He said the institute was looking at a few sites for the project but no final decision had been taken. “A lot will depend on the financial feasibility of the location. We will finalise it in a month or so,” he said. MOHALI LIKELY LOCATION The management institute is already in touch with the state government for allotment of land for the management development centre in the institutional area. Additional chief secretary, investment promotion, industries and commerce, Vini Mahajan said the IIM had recently written to the department for land. “There are two-three plots of land available in Mohali which is fast emerging as a major educational hub of our region,” she said. Mohali is already home to the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Indian School of Business (ISB) and the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), with Amity Group and Ashoka University also coming up with campuses in the city. BIDS INVITED FOR MAIN CAMPUS The IIM, which is currently operating out from Government Polytechnic College near the Guru Nanak Dev University campus, is expected to move to its permanent campus at Manawala during the academic year 2022-23. Ramamoorthy said the bids were invited by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) on January 21 for construction of the permanent campus on turnkey basis in the first phase at a cost of approximately ₹320 crore. “With a completion period of 22 months, the campus should be ready by January 2022,” he said. Starting with a batch of 44 students, the institute has grown to 254 students. Source: Hindustan Times Chandigarh

Railways identifies six routes for high-speed, semi high-speed corridors

1/29/2020 5:58:00 PM

The Railways has identified six sections for high speed and semi-high speed corridors, Railway Board Chairman VK Yadav said on Wednesday, adding a detailed project report on these sections will be ready within a year. The new corridors will join the under-construction Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed route. Trains can run at a maximum speed of over 300 km/hr on a high-speed corridor, while on a semi-high speed corridor, the maximum speed can go beyond 160km/hr. In a briefing ahead of the Union Budget, Yadav said the six corridors include the Delhi-Noida-Agra-Lucknow-Varanasi (865 km)and the Delhi-Jaipur-Udaipur-Ahmedabad (886km) sections. Other corridors are: Mumbai-Nashik-Nagpur (753 km), Mumbai-Pune-Hyderabad (711 km), Chennai-Bangalore-Mysore (435 km) and the Delhi-Chandigarh-Ludhiana-Jalandhar-Amritsar (459 km) sections. "We have identified these six corridors and their detailed project reports (DPR) will be prepared within the year. The DPR will study the feasibility of these routes which includes land availability, alignment and a study of the traffic potential there. After these things are studied, we will decide if they will be high-speed or semi-high speed corridors," said Yadav. India's bullet train project between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, the country's first high-speed corridor, will be completed by December 2023, he said. Yadav also said that 90 per cent land acquisition work for the bullet train project will be completed in the next six months. "We need 1,380 hectare of land for the project. 1,005 hectare was private land of which we have acquired 471 hectares. 149 hectare was state government land of which we have got 119 hectare. The remaining is 128 hectare which is railway land which has been given to the high-speed corporation," he said. Yadav also said that five bids for civil engineering work which includes track work and tunnels will be opened in March and finalised within six to eight months thence. Source: Business Standard Chandigarh

Chandigarh’s second government medical college in the works

1/29/2020 5:54:00 PM

Even though a detailed plan for the new government medical college is yet to be prepared, UT administrator VP Singh Badnore will be presented the proposal of the project on Wednesday. A senior UT official on the condition of anonymity said, “On January 29, UT administrator VP Singh Badnore will be presented the proposal for his in-principle approval. After getting his nod, the administration will fill an online performa and send it to the central government for approval. The detailed plans for the project will also be prepared thereafter.” UT adviser Manoj Kumar Parida had announced a new medical college for the city in his Republic Day speech at parade ground in Sector 17 on Sunday. NEW COLLEGE HAS TWO BLOCKS The college will have two branches—one at the existing Government Multi-Specialty Hospital in Sector 16 (GMSH-16) and another in Sarangpur. This is the second medical college to come up in the city after the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32. The medical infrastructure of GMSH-16 will be utilised to run the college, and other facilities like the hostels, administrative wing, and additional classrooms will be housed in a facility to come up in Sarangpur. “The GMSH-16 is already equipped with medical and health facilities required for a medical college. These will be fully utilised for the running of the medical college. Additional infrastructure in the existing compound can also be created on spare land. Rest of the infrastructure required for running the college like office spaces will come up in Sarangpur,” said the UT official. “The upgraded GMSH-16 will have 50 seats. After the projects starts, there is a plan to seek additional 50 seats. The existing medical college, GMCH-32, has 150 seats,” the official added. GMSH-16, earlier known as General Hospital, is the oldest hospital in the city. CENTRAL APPROVAL EXPECTED SOON The administration expects Centre’s approval relatively quickly. “Though we cannot set a timeline on Centre’s approval, as the instruction to examine the need for a need medical college or upgrading of the existing hospital to a medical college in the city came from the Centre, we expect the approval to come soon,” said the official. While waiting for requisite approvals, the administration is also working on finalising the site. “The exact site for the new campus in Sarangpur is yet to be demarcated, but the health department has requested around 15 acre land for the purpose. The land in Sarangpur will be allotted by the administration. With land free of cost from the administration, cost of the project will be limited to constructions costs,” said the official. Source: Hindustan Times Chandigarh

Realty sector in consolidation mode even as it awaits stable recovery

1/27/2020 5:51:00 PM

About five years ago, the managing director of a leading property firm in south India had said at a realty sector convention outside the country that future meetings of developers would take place in boardrooms, and not in ballrooms. He made the remarks after sensing the government’s mood and view about the realty sector at that point in time. His prediction of a lesser number of players in the sector appears to have come true. The real estate industry in the country is seeing a consolidation now. Three major reforms &ndash demonetisation, GST and Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA) &ndash have had a significant impact on the realty sector, leading to the exit of numerous small players. GST and the stringent regulatory regime RERA marked a paradigm shift for real estate developers. With transparency and accountability becoming new watch-words, there are no short cuts anymore. The realty sector has been forced to follow rules and norms. The bigger and smarter players managed to tweak their business to adjust to new rules, while smaller and unorganised players struggled to formalise their business, and faced huge challenges. M Murali, Chairman & Managing Director, Shriram Properties, agrees that the realty sector has been going through a consolidation mode. “We estimate not more than 50-60 real estate developers in the country going forward. These will take care of 95 per cent of the market. There will be another 1,000 players serving the remaining 5 per cent of the market. This is what we see now. Every city may have 10-15 big players serving most of the demand,” he added. Ramesh Nair, CEO and Country Head, JLL India, also points out that the number of developers operating in the Indian market had been reduced by nearly 50 per cent in the past four to five years. Reputed developers with healthy balance sheets sailed through 2019, while the smaller ones faced extreme financial constraints. This has driven non-serious players out of the market while other smaller players joined hands with larger developers, he added. However, Niranjan Hiranandani, National President, National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO), felt that it would be difficult to term the ‘churn’ of developers to contractors and vice versa as ‘consolidation’. “Traditionally, we have seen contractors try and scale up their work and to become developers. Similarly, developers with spare capacity tend to take up contracting work for others. So, those who are over-leveraged would, in any case, have to merge with or be taken over by fiscally-sound companies RERA has probably speeded up the process,” he stated. In addition to key major reforms, the liquidity crunch caused by the IL&FS crisis also adversely affected most of the developers, resulting in the rationalisation of business operations. On the other hand, housing demand was impacted by the prolonged economic slowdown that led to muted consumer sentiments with slower growth in residential sales. While regulations have been a major factor in triggering consolidation in the realty space, changing buyer needs have also played a vital role. Hence, realty players who couldn’t keep ‘in sync’ with buyer requirements and couldn’t adapt to the new customer requirements had to leave the market, pointed out Hiranandani. Homebuyers have become more informed and cautious while making their home purchase decisions. They now prefer buying in projects by developers with established track record in terms of transparency, quality and timely execution, said Nair. Amid all this, the realty sector appears to be seeing a revival in demand. Though it is not even, many markets have seen a spike in housing sales, and unsold inventory is getting reduced. In 2019, housing sales witnessed a 6 per cent growth year-on-year. New housing project launches grew 25 per cent in the top eight cities in the mid- and low-ticket size category during the December 2019 quarter. Even as the industry awaits some sops in the upcoming Budget to drive housing demand, the industry believes that the new mantra is ‘perform or perish’. RERA lays down the framework under which one has to perform. Those who adapt to the new system will remain in business, it is that simple. Source: The Hindu Business Line Chandigarh

6 key trends that will shape real estate in India in 2020

1/24/2020 5:48:00 PM

The New Year may be more than promising for developers and home buyers where the growth is led by the positive change in the business ecosystem. The real estate industry is in the cusp of transformation and the past decade has played a crucial role in shaping the sector. The realty sector and its ancillary industries witnessed a series of structural reforms with advent of RERA, policy change, industry consolidation, fast proptech growth, and so on, which has helped increase transparency and trust between builders and buyers. Furthermore, the clarion of ‘Housing for All’ has brought the mid-income housing and affordable housing sector to the foreground. The real estate industry has certainly evolved from brick and mortar to a service-driven product offering and the growth of the sector will be largely driven by ever-evolving customer requirements, technological transformations, and a favorable policy environment allowing it to flourish in the coming years. As reported by the Indian Brand Equity Foundation, the real estate sector in India is expected to reach a market size of US$1 trillion by 2030 and contribute 13 per cent of the country’s GDP by 2025. 2020 will certainly be a positive year for the real estate market. Here are a few major trends that will lead to the growth of the sector. 1. Both residential and commercial sector to grow 2020 has a great potential for both residential and commercial real estate business. In the last few years, the office space gained traction in most cities with IT/ITeS players contributing to majority of the leases. Also, the warehousing sector will gain traction. Rapid urbanization and white-collar migration will ensure strong growth for the commercial sector, which in turn will translate into higher residential demand. With concepts like ‘Housing for All’, affordable housing will continue to be the key growth driver. 2. Sub-urban cities to get more traction Markets such as Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore have seen a steady rise in demand for homes and we are optimistic that this trend is set to continue in FY21 as well. The affordable housing segment will create demand in secondary markets like Goa, Coimbatore and the likes. 3. Co-living and co-working spaces will continue to rise Over the past few years, there has been a significant change in the buying behaviours of customers, especially the millennials. They are more inclined towards co-living spaces that is more dynamic as compared to the usual rented space. On the other hand, the rise in gig economy led to high demand in co-working spaces in major cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune markets. This trend is set to grow in 2020. As per Knight Frank, ‘In India, the co-living concept is gaining widespread acceptance and though the concept is novel, it’s here to stay. This trend is giving impetus to an organised rental market in cities such as Bengaluru, NCR and Pune in the same way as co-working spaces did for shared office space.’ 4. Technology reshaping the sector Smart tech and innovation in the sector is no longer a distant future. In terms of construction, the key players will adapt to the latest technology – data gathering, artificial intelligence and machine learning which will play a key role in redefining the realty sector in India. With improving the quality of construction, the technology will also help boost timely completion of the projects. Smart homes will continue to be the choice of customers. The real estate market will tap this space with ambitious projects and according to industry estimates, the Indian smart home market is currently valued at about $893 million and is expected to grow by leaps and bounds in the next five years. 5. Sustainable and green living will be widely accepted Both developers and home buyers have been supporting green technology. This will continue to grow with developers focusing on technological advancements in procuring raw materials that are eco-friendly and sustainable designs that are environment sensitive. The customers as well are opting for smart homes which make way for sustainable living. 6. Luxury housing will be redefined The traditional concept of luxury housing will witness a major shift effected by the demands of the new age home buyers. The luxury housing will evolve to accommodate a holistic and elevated living experience that the developers will have to incorporate. 2019 has been a year of reforms in the industry with an increased focus on transparency and customer centricity by both, policy makers and developers. The regulatory framework has helped regain the trust in the industry. Also, the systematic implementation of the government reforms will definitely help in rekindling consumer sentiment, which will eventually push the growth of residential segment in the coming quarters. We expect the New Year to be more than promising for developers and home buyers where the growth is led by the positive change in the business ecosystem. Source: Financial Express Chandigarh

Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Pune biggest markets for student housing in India: Report

1/22/2020 5:39:00 PM

Delhi-NCR, Mumbai and Pune are the three biggest markets for student housing in the country, and these cities require an additional 4.75 lakh beds from organised co-living operators to meet the current demand, according to a report. Cushman & Wakefield (C&W), in association with the Student Accommodation Providers Forum of India (SAPFI), on Wednesday released a report “Exploring the Student Housing Universe in India City Insights”. The report has identified education clusters in the cities of Bengaluru, Delhi-NCR and Pune, the three biggest markets for professionally managed student accommodation (PMSA) operators. The report estimated 9.08 million migrant students in India, amounting to over 24 per cent of 37 million total student enrolments in the country's higher educational institutions (HEIs) for the year 2018-19. "Delhi-NCR with 7.45 lakh students enrolled in HEIs as of 2018-19 has 50 per cent outstation students. There is demand for additional 2.5 lakh beds from PMSA operators," it said. Bengaluru has the highest number of HEIs in India with student enrolments estimated at 5.38 lakh. With 60 per cent outstation students, additional demand currently stands at around 92,000 beds, the report said. In Pune, the report said student enrolment stood at nearly 4 lakh. With 60 per cent outstation students, additional capacity requirements in PMSA segment is 1.33 lakh beds. Anshul Jain, Country Head and Managing Director-India, Cushman and Wakefield, said: “The significant mass of migrant students in the higher education sector today demand and expect quality student accommodation facilities providing food, security and a range of amenities. While globally, PMSA has found its footing as part of the mainstream real estate sector, in India it is still in a nascent stage." With policy support and private investments, Jain said the student housing segment could be the next growth driver in the overall realty sector. Kaushal Mahan, Convenor, SAPFI, said, “The sector is expected to witness a huge amount of foreign direct investment inflows resulting in job creation and economic development." Mahan said this segment requires encouragement from the government for building a favourable policy ecosystem. Source: The Economic Times Chandigarh

Co-living fetches higher yields than traditional renting: report

1/21/2020 5:32:00 PM

The co-living sector is expected to become an exciting asset class for real estate investors as the demand for beds, particularly with the tech-enabled organised players, outstrips supply. A new report by PropTiger.com, a real estate advisory firm, says that co-living fetches much better yields compared to traditional ways of renting property. "Data available with PropTiger DataLabs show a property for students in Sector 125, Noida, for example, is expected to give approximately 8-9 per cent rental yield whereas, housing for professionals is expected to provide nearly 5-7 per cent rental yield on an average as compared to meagre 2-3 per cent traditionally," the report states. "As an investor, co-living sector serves as a new asset class for the investor to earn better yields," it adds. On an average, across India's top cities, rental yields of co-living spaces can go as high as 8-11 per cent, compared to the average yield of 1-3 per cent of residential properties. Not only this, the sector can potentially prove to be the light at the end of a long dark tunnel for many developers stuck with residential inventory they cannot sell. Developers can repurpose their inventory towards co-living, suggested Dhruv Agarwala, the Co-founder of Elara Technologies. The company owns brands such as PropTiger, Housing.com, and Makaan.com. He estimated that between $350 million and $400 million has been invested in the sector till date. Here are some interesting highlights from the report: There were about 37.4 million students in India pursuing higher education courses in 2018-19 - 15 million of them are migrants. The overall occupancy recorded in hostels within college campuses across India was only 6.5 million in 2019. Therefore, there is a huge demand-supply mismatch which has traditionally been met by the unorganised PG accommodation sector. "In recent years, over two dozen organised players have entered this segment to bridge this gap," the report stated. The bigger companies in the co-living segment today include OYO Life, Zolo Stays, NestAway, CoHo, CoLive, Guesture, and Stanza Living, among others. The organised players mostly offer better facilities and security, besides a community and social layer. By the end of calendar year 2019, organised companies contributed over two lakhs beds. Each bed earned Rs 12,000 a month on average. "Hence, the organised players in this segment are currently generating a combined Rs 2,880 crore ($407 million)," the report stated and predicted that the industry can grow to a Rs 2 trillion market size in the top nine cities by 2023. "As the home ownership preferences have changed since the last decade, supply side also needs to change. Migrant millennials will drive the rental housing segment of residential real estate sector, where co-living is one of the strongest sub-segment," the report stated. The Model Tenancy Act, it added would also impact on the co-living sector, once implemented. Source: Business Today Chandigarh

Real estate developers eyeing co-living for future growth

1/21/2020 2:11:00 AM

Real estate developers in NCR are venturing into the coliving segment as demand for houses continues to be sluggish. Delhi-based ASF Group, which has a residential complex in Gurgaon, has decided to construct a model tower for coliving before it considers converting the existing complex into a coliving building. According to Cushman and Wakefield, India’s coliving market size is expected to double by 2025 to $13.92 billion across top 30 cities. “Coliving is a real possibility and we expect a return of 8-9% there against 2-3% return in rental,” said Anil Saraf, chairman of ASF Group. “While we will construct a model tower keeping in mind the requirement of coliving, we can also convert the existing complex into a coliving facility.” ASF is developing an IT sector specific special economic zone (IT-SEZ) in Gurgaon and the coliving will be part of the campus. Noida-based Gaurs Group, which has delivered more than 50,000 units in 25 years, said time is changing and in the next 4-5 years coliving will be a major market. “In the next few years, rental housing and coliving is going to emerge as a major market, and since we aim to deliver another 50,000 flats in 5-7 years, we have to keep pace with the changing market,” said Manoj Gaur, managing director, Gaurs Group. A Cushman and Wakefield report on coliving has said the market for coliving in India is evolving at a rapid pace, with investments from national and international institutional investors bringing in much-needed seed capital. “Within India, the coliving model is currently catering to mostly millennials comprising single, young working professionals and students. Furthermore, as the business evolves, coliving shall transform the face of the rental housing market in urban centres,” said Anshul Jain, country head for Cushman and Wakefield. Coliving facilities are now becoming prominent in Gurgaon, driven by working professionals. “There is definitely opportunity in coliving, but players need to wait for profit. In future, we might see developers constructing flats just for coliving,” said Amarendra Sahu, cofounder of NestAway Technologies. NestAway is in the home rental market and forayed into the coliving space with its subsidiary Hello World. The cost of a private room in a coliving facility is generally lower than renting apartments in Delhi, Sushant Lok-Gurgaon, and Sector 61 in Noida, thereby making coliving an attractive prospect for millennials. Stanza Living, a shared accommodation company, has been targeting this high-demand space through a tech-enabled, service-led living solution curated for student needs. “There has been a steady increase in migrant student housing needs, as well as spending appetite for achieving better standards of living. Instead of traditional rental setups, parents and students are choosing professional operators that offer high-quality propositions curated to suit the unique lifestyle needs of new-age students,” said Anindya Dutta, cofounder of Stanza Living. The Elara Technologies that owns several housing portals has tied up with Oyo Life and Zolo to promote their co-living spaces on its platform, as it enters the co-living market. Source: The Economic Times Chandigarh