Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ajay Maken hints at Model Act for real estate sector

Lower interest rates, land availability and creation of excess supply would be the panacea to cheap and affordable housing, reckon industry experts. While discussing key challenges and opportunities faced by the real estate sector at The FE Round Table Conference on the real estate sector titled Sustainable or Bubble? at The Hilton in Mumbai, select industry expressed their views before the chief guest, minister of state for urban development Ajay Maken.

Multiple processes and clearances was also seen as a hindrance to developing real estate projects. When real estate Companies seek permission to develop a residential building in India, they have to pass through 52 levels of clearance and regulation. The panelists expressed the need for a regulatory body to oversee the growth in the industry and the minister too mentioned the “creation of a Model Act” to enhance the transparency in this key sector. Maken said developing a regulatory body would bring in more surplus of land, as developers will form more joint ventures for property development.

Niranjan Hiranandani managing director of Hiranandani Constructions talked about the paucity of action taken by the policymakers to alleviate the situation. And Rashesh Shah, chairman and CEO of Edelweiss Capital pointed out that the 11% rate charged by housing Companies was probably the highest in the world when it comes to the differential between inflation and rates charged.

The central bank, panelists concurred, was probably overreacting to the risk factor. Anuj Puri, country head and chairman of Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj said, “Ïn the real estate market, the real risk factor is the land fact as 80% of the cost is the land cost and 20% cost includes cost of construction and other transaction costs. Hence, land acquisition is the most risk factor in the real estate sector.”

Anurag Govind, Parsavnarth Developers’ COO (west) shrugged off the threat of a slump in the market and mentioned the need for developers to have a well spread operational base to beat any correction that takes place.


A Thorough Branding Professional- Dr.Kunal Banerji, MCAM (UK)

Ansal Properties & Infrastructure Ltd has a strong leadership presence in Indian real estate and the company is credited with developing modern residential and commercial properties in India and abroad. People always moan that the industry does not have skilled people. But scenario is changing and Dr Kunal Banerji, MCAM (UK) is a great example of this.
Dr Kunal Banerji, President

(International Marketing & Corporation Communication.), Ansal Properties & Infrastructure Ltd, is acknowledged for his vast experience in the field of marketing, brand building, advertising and public relations. In his 25 years of professional career, Dr Banerji has developed numerous campaigns for various large corporate clients and successfully launched several new products and brands in the market. Recently, Dr Kunal Banerji has recently received a doctorate in Real Estate Marketing and Communication from Ashwood University, Texas (USA). As President, he is also in-charge of developing associates with health-care and educational institutions. In the area of international sales and marketing, he looks after Middle-East, UK and USA. He has had the privilege of enhancing the Ansal API brand and developing dynamic marketing and sales strategies for all Real Estate projects of the group.
Dr Kunal Banerji studied at the Watford College, UK. He joined OMAXE as a Sr.Vice President in 2004 and successfully built its brand 'OMAXE- into one of the most well known and highly regarded Real Estate companies in North India, which came up with an IPO recently. He devised marketing and sales strategies for ‘The Forest', ‘NRI City', ‘Putting Green', ‘The Nile', ‘Wedding Malls', ‘Omaxe City Lucknow'.
Before entering the real estate sector, he had been associated with various national and MNCs such as FUJIFILM, J. K. Industries, ADINC (a Y&R associate) in Muscat Oman, MAA Bozell, New Delhi and The Ogilvy & Mather Group, Singapore.
Dr Banerji's vast knowledge and experience has contributed to the launches of; Guy Laroche, Rolex, Mercedez Benz, Chivas Regal in Singapore, product development of Maggi Noodles, Nescafe Classic launch in Malaysia, L'Oreal and Wella launches in Indonesia, launch of Ponds Nail Polish in South East Asia and Re-launch of Modi Xerox in India, the list goes on!.
During his tenure in J. K. Industries as a General Manager, he successfully revamped the entire department as per international lines, achieved better valuation in the price of the company's shares through Marketing & PR activities and formulated an effective motor sports communication strategy. After joining ADINC (a Y&R associate), Muscat, Oman, as a General Manager, opened up new business avenues in Malaysia and Indonesia and successfully handled various national accounts namely Mercedes Benz, Xerox, Bridgestone, Samsung, GE, Pepsi, Mazda, Oman International Bank, Calvin Klein, Sohar Milk, Dell Computers, Saj Baby Diapers, Minara Cooling Oil, and Philips Hi-fi Systems.
During his 25 years professional working period, he has maintained an interest in academics. He has taught courses at eminent institutes in India and abroad. He is also committed to share his knowledge and experience through lectures and imparted training to his own managers and staff.
No doubt, Dr Banerji's knowledge and experience will not only help Ansal API but also the real estate industry at large. We wish him well!

Ankit Vishnoi
Phone: 09873892279


'We mimic the ecosystem within the walls'

Ecology has been on the agenda of award-winning architect Ken Yeang since he started his career in the 1970s. An IT park with an eco-friendly tower at Manesar, promoted by the Millennium Spire Limited, a Singapore-based investment company, is the latest in Yeang’s efforts at greening the concrete jungle in India. The ecologist, author and professor tells Sayantani Kar how a “green tower” ceases to be a misnomer with his design innovations.

Why make green high-rises rather than any other concrete structure?

Skyscrapers are an inevitable response to the urban sprawl as they cover less land area than horizontal campuses, leaving more space for greenery.

But they are accused of using more energy and materials. We offset that by building them in an ecological manner. It makes them sustainable and green.

Which of your designs are you most proud of?

There are many. The IBM building (Menara Mesiniaga) in Kuala Lumpur and the Singapore National Library are two of them. I also enjoyed drawing up the master-plan for a waterfront site on Vancouver called the West Kowloon Waterfront.

What are the environmental innovations that you have introduced in your designs and how does each help?

Wind-wing walls is one of our innovations. These channel wind into the building, thereby enhancing cooling. They can reduce the load off artificial air-conditioning.

The National Library building in Singapore, for example, uses just 170 kWh per square metre per annum of power against the 230 kWh usually consumed by office buildings that are open 24 by 7.

We have used laser-cut light pipes to bring daylight into the buildings. We also often use optimised day-lighting and solar orientation for harnessing maximum solar energy; sun-shading and window glazing reduce solar heat and pressure on mechanical cooling systems.

How do your innovations reduce the stress on the environment that high-rises are wont to put?

We try to mimic the ecosystem within the concrete walls, thereby seamlessly connecting the inorganic building to the organic natural environment. Our methods also help preserve biodiversity and create healthier lifestyles within. The demand for non-renewable energy can be slashed by almost 40 per cent.

When you start, what are the factors that you base your design on and why?

We always start by looking at the ecology, including the soil, groundwater levels and biodiversity of the location. We look at the local climate like the sun and wind paths and shape the building to take advantage of these. We also keep in mind whether the materials can be reused and integrated back into nature.

What kind of growth do you foresee in demand for such buildings in the next 5 years?

I see exponential growth

Will the signature tower at Millennium Spire’s IT park in Manesar be your first Indian project?

No, I have been associated with projects in India for the last one year. I have designed a master-plan and a tower (both are yet to be built) for Reliance Industries, a large retail project in Chennai and a master-plan in Bangalore.

Do you think India will contribute more to the demand for green buildings?

Certainly. The green tower at Manesar will bring eco-friendly construction into mainstream real estate.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Building boom - Coimbatore

On the phenomenal growth of real estate.


A group housing project undertaken in 2006. Residential projects have gained momentum in the city.

THE real estate business was quick to recover from the debilitating phase that Coimbatore went through following the 1998 serial bomb blasts and a prolonged recession. The city and its outskirts are witnessing ceaseless construction activity; work on apartment complexes, residential “gated communities”, shopping malls, multistoreyed office complexes, IT parks, trade fair complexes, Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and engineering industries is apace.

“From 1998 to 2004, Coimbatore went through a bad phase. However, after 2004, all sectors, including textiles, engineering and foundry, are doing well. The growth of real estate in Coimbatore has been especially phenomenal after 2004,” said Rajesh B. Lund, managing director, Srivari Infrastructure Private Limited and Srivari Finance and Leasing Company Private Limited. “The real estate business has done really well in the past two years. The prices are stabilising. There will be a big surge in the market after 2010,” he predicted. However, what is worrying real estate developers is that affordability has come down. Land prices have risen beyond affordability. “That is a little disturbing,” said Madan Lund, Srivari’s director and Rajesh’s brother.

Srivari Infrastructure Private Limited, Presidium Constructions Coimbatore (P) Limited and Covai Property Centre (India) Private Limited are among the important real estate builders in the city.

While Srivari Infrastructure is currently engaged in building seven residential complexes and one commercial complex, Presidium Constructions, a promoter of high-end residential complexes, is entering IT parks. Presidium Constructions plans to build a one million-square-foot shopping mall on Avanashi Road. Hari Khemchand and Suressh Menda are its directors. Covai Property Centre, headed by its managing director Col. (retired) A. Sridharan, is a six-year-old company, which specialises in building residential gated communities. It is currently building residential complexes covering an area of six lakh sq ft under different projects.

Rajesh Lund said apartment construction was “an emerging market” as Coimbatore’s residents had started to accept the idea of living in apartments and getting over the concept of independent homes with space around for gardening.

“The expectations here are for a good-sized apartment. If you build a smaller-sized apartment, it is not accepted by the market. If you build a larger one, there is no affordability,” said Rajesh Lund. The demand is for apartments with an area of 1,500 sq ft to 3,700 sq ft. A separate market existed for apartments measuring 3,700 sq ft, with two living rooms and four bedrooms. “Those who cannot afford to buy bungalows but want the lifestyle of a bungalow are looking for larger apartments,” he said.

Srivari Infrastructure, which has been in the real estate business since 1995, is currently building seven residential projects and one commercial complex in prime locations. The residential projects are coming up at Race Course Road, R.S. Puram, Tiruchi Road, Peelamedu, and other places while the commercial complex is getting ready on Avanashi Road. The multistoreyed commercial complex covers 60,000 sq ft. “In future, we want to build townships. We are planning to enter IT SEZs. We are assessing the demand. We have plans to move to Chennai,” said Rajesh and Madan Lund. Rajesh Lund expects a “big surge in the market in Coimbatore after 2010”.

The nattily dressed Hari Khemchand’s assessment is that the current real estate boom can be sustained “if the government is a little proactive” and simplified the rules. “Today, we have IT parks in Coimbatore because the government started promoting one about 15 months ago,” he pointed out. Real estate developers were looking to the government to simplify land development regulations, which should be better fine-tuned to the needs of the city, he said. “The government wants to benchmark Coimbatore, based on a metro city [regulations]. This is a little unfair,” Khemchand commented. There are areas in Coimbatore that can accommodate a high density of population because land is still available.

Presidium Constructions is currently building two residential projects, on Avanashi Road and in Sai Baba Colony. These are high-end apartments with air-conditioned club houses, gymnasiums, back-up power for lifts, and so on. The residential project on Avanashi Road is called Presidium Wisteriea, an enclave of 52 “contemporary homes”. Presidium and Nithyarjuna Properties and Developers, have teamed up to build the Wisteriea.

By the middle of 2008, Presidium will start building 60 villa apartments near Golf Course. These will be luxury villas. The groundbreaking ceremony for Presidium Constructions’ IT Park at Kalapatti will be held in March. The shopping mall, covering one million sq ft to come up on Avanashi Road, will have a multiplex, an entertainment zone, retail showrooms spanning three lakh sq feet, a car park for another three lakh sq ft and a plush hotel with 125 rooms. “The mall is huge. It is going to be Presidium’s flagship project,” Suressh Menda and Hari Khemchand said. The mall will open in June 2010. Presidium has identified 300 acres of land for building 60 super luxury getaway villas. “It is a major project,” Khemchand said, declining to reveal the location.

According to Col. Sridharan, land prices which rose to astronomical levels in the past two years because “there was so much of hype about Coimbatore have dropped 20 per cent now”. His Covai Property Centre is about to complete a residential complex at Ganapati, with 97 independent houses measuring between 1,785 sq ft and 2,900 sq ft and 48 apartments varying from 1,260 sq ft to 1,700 sq ft. This residential enclave will have a commercial complex on four floors, a club house of 12,000 sq ft and a swimming pool.

“We are going to start another residential project at Sulur, which will measure 5.25 lakh sq ft, with 160 apartments and 73 independent houses. We will finish it in two years,” said Col. Sridharan.

“We specialise in comfort and retirement homes for people above 50 years. We have three such projects – one has already been completed – on Siruvani Road,” he said. All apartments and houses in the residential complexes called Soundaryam, Santhosham and Shenbagam have already been booked. These are gated communities. A club house, a library, an activity room for festivals, an open-air theatre and a reverse osmosis plant for water treatment are some of the facilities in these complexes.•


RBI monetary stance may hit real estate industry

The real estate sector may find the going tough with a likely fall in housing demand after the RBI kept key interest rates unchanged, belying expectations of rate cut.

Real estate industry, which was expecting a cut in the interest rates on housing loans, felt although property demand would continue to rise, a reduction in rates by the central bank could have given a boost to sales. In addition, it could have generated millions of jobs in the construction sector.

"Low interest rates would have definitely promoted demand in the real estate, but even at the existing rates, the demand would continue to rise as economy is on an upswing," DLF Group Executive Director Rajeev Talwar told PTI.

The banking and real estate sector had hoped that after a 0.75 per cent cut in interest rate by US Federal Reserve, the RBI would also bring down interest rate by 0.25 to 0.5 per cent.

The interest rate on home loans have gone up from around 8 per cent to over 12 per cent within two years, hitting the home sales in metros and tier-II cities as well.

"We would have liked a softening trend in interest rates to emerge from the credit policy, which would have helped not only the real estate industry but also in maintaining the tempo of economic growth," Omaxe CEO Arvind Parekh said.

"Unlike the US Federal Reserve which is always ahead of the curve, Indian Central Bank is behind the curve and we take action only when we see economy slowing down," Parekh added.

Global real estate consultant CB Richard Ellis Chairman and Managing Director (South Asia) Anshuman Magazine said that "on the backdrop of global concerns, I don't think the government wants to do anything adventurous."


Home prices begin to pinch less on high loan rates

Newly-released RBI data showed that offtake of home loans in April-November 2007 fell 39% to Rs 32,424 crore from a year ago. Project loans to developers also eased by a fourth to Rs 12,563 crore
Home prices begin to pinch less on high loan rates- Indicators-Economy-News-The Economic Times

Global property investors favor US, but China rises

Global property investors still favor U.S. commercial real estate by a wide margin, but second-place China is rapidly closing in, according to an annual report tracking institutional investor interest.




Real estate developers catering to specific needs of Chandigarh buyers


83 exhibitors from 11 countries to participate in largest-ever edition of IREIS


US Real Estate Trounces Investors Competition


Trikona Capital Announces Special Economic Zone Approval for 76-Acre Mixed-Use Development in India


High rates hit home loans growth

Rising interest rates have hit banks’ consumer finance business, particularly the housing loan segment. In the unsecured loan segment, growth in personal loans has moderated to 20 per cent at Rs 81,451 crore as on November 23, 2007, as against a 35 per cent growth at Rs 1,05,034 crore in the previous year.

The dip in growth is led by a slowdown in housing loan portfolios of banks. Interest rates on home loans have increased to over 10 per cent, affecting demand. The rising real estate prices have also had an impact on the loan growth.

Growth in the housing loan portfolio of banks has seen a 15 per cent growth at Rs 32,424 crore as on November 3, 2007, as against a 33.4 per cent growth at Rs 53,198 crore in the same period last year.

Credit flow to the real estate sector has also seen some drop, with the growth moderating to 33 per cent from 77 per cent. Despite the dip in credit growth to the sector, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) views the 33 per cent growth to be high.

In the personal loan segment, consumer durables loans saw negative growth. The major financier of consumer durables such as GE Money exited the business with margins coming under pressure.

The consumer durables finance business has become unattractive and competitive for finance companies as large retailers are now running their own financial schemes through their own subsidiaries.

“Select banks have consciously decided to go slow on housing and personal loans. Some banks have seen a rise in default rates on personal loans on account of reckless lending.

The rising cost of capital has forced banks to go slow on home loans. This has affected credit growth,’’ said a senior banker. The rising defaults in the small-ticket personal loans have forced players such as ICICI Bank to exit the business. Citifinancial and HDFC Bank are also going slow in this business.

RBI is also convinced that non-performing assets (NPAs) for some banks in the consumer credit, housing and real estate segments have risen, but this has no systemic implication either in terms of solvency or liquidity.

“The money and credit markets in India have so far remained relatively insulated from the international financial market developments. India’s exposure to troubled sub-prime assets and related derivatives is negligible in comparison with many other economies. Notwithstanding some reports of accelerated emergence of non-performing assets with regard to consumer credit, housing and real estate in a few banks, the preliminary assessment showed that they do not have systemic implications either in terms of solvency or liquidity. This has reflected the nuanced and gradual approach in India’s financial sector reform process with the building up of appropriate safeguards to ensure stability, while taking account of the prevailing governance standards, risk management systems and incentive frameworks in financial institutions in the country,” said RBI.

The slowdown in the personal loans segment and the housing sector has seen rebalancing in the banks’ credit portfolio. Growth in bank credit to the commercial sector moderated during 2007-08 (up to January 4, 2008) from the strong pace of the previous three years.

The non-food credit by scheduled commercial banks (SCBs) expanded by 22.2 per cent, year-on-year, as on January 4, 2008, compared with 28.4 per cent at March-end 2007 and 31.9 per cent a year ago. Disaggregated sectoral data available up to November 23, 2007, show that about 43 per cent of the incremental non-food credit y-o-y was absorbed by industry compared with 34 per cent in the corresponding period last year.

The expansion of the incremental non-food credit to industry during this period was led by infrastructure (power, port and telecommunication), iron and steel, textiles, engineering, food processing, vehicles, petroleum, chemicals and construction industries.

The infrastructure sector alone accounted for over 28 per cent of the incremental credit to industry compared with 18 per cent in the corresponding period of the previous year.

The agricultural sector absorbed around 12 per cent of the incremental non-food bank credit expansion.


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Red Fort Capital to invest Rs 2,700 cr in Indian real estate

Red Fort Capital has already acquired over 1,000 acres of land in different parts of the country, he said, while adding "We are actively looking at 21 cities, with a strong interest in Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Kolkata and Vishakhapatnam markets."


Foreigners get a piece of the real estate pie

Who's buying, and why

The top five countries whose residents are buying U.S. real estate are, in order:

-- Mexico

-- United Kingdom

-- Canada

-- India

-- China


Check developer's reputation before investing

In fact, the lure of high returns on investments in real estate has caught the attention of all the segments of investors. Though institutional investors and high networth individuals have been able to invest through the organised route, a large number of retail investors find it difficult to own piece of property owing to the skyrocketing prices.
Check developer's reputation before investing- Property-The Sunday ET-ET Features-The Economic Times

Islamic investors focus on India, China

Shifting political sands in America and Europe, especially after the 9/11 terror attack and concerns of a probable slowdown in developed economies are encouraging Islamic investors to turn their focus into growth economies like India and China.
Islamic investors focus on India, China- Markets-The Sunday ET-ET Features-The Economic Times

Friday, January 25, 2008

Jaipur witnesses real estate boom

Jaipur city has taken a leap forward from its historical heritage to join the ranks of modern technology centres of reckoning in the country.


Moving towards efficiency

Property valuation as a specialism has not developed in India and there are no educational programmes aimed at training valuers. The problem now is that the real estate market developments has moved ahead and requires these skills but the hardware to supply these skills has not developed. For a change the regulation is ahead of the market! Building human capacity such as valuation would be a great challenge in the development of REITs and MBS in India.


Realty calls: Get ready to buy that dream house

The present boom in the real estate sector is likely to continue in 2008. As the economy continues to grow at around 9%, the realty sector will continue to grow at a whopping 20%, or even more, per annum. The economic growth creates demand for commercial real estates, which leads to creation of new employment and, thereby , generating demand for residential units.


Deutsche Bank arm makes $70 mn Indian real estate

RREEF, the global alternative investment management business of Deutsche Bank, advised by Deutsche Asset Management (India) Pvt Ltd, has made its first real estate investment in India. RREEF has substantially completed the purchase of an undisclosed stake in Bangalore and Hyderabad-based real estate development company, Golden Gate Properties Ltd, for US$ 70 mn (Rs. 2735 mn).


Pyramid Saimira to raise over Rs 3K cr

The group currently runs 48 multiplexes with 800 screens across India, Malaysia, Singapaore and North America and plans to take this number to 175 with 2,000 screens in India alone by 2010. For instance, in Andhra Pradesh alone it is close to striking a deal to add 100 screens to the existing 110. While all these will be on a minimum lease period of five years, Pyramid will own at least one theatre in each district of the state, company officials said.  The new owned properties will be acquired through real-estate company — Pyramid Realty Ltd.


Polaris to build on surplus realty

Polaris Software Labs plans to unlock value by developing its surplus real estate, a senior company official said.


Goldman to invest Rs 800 cr in Bangalore company

Goldman Sachs is in advanced stage of discussions to invest around Rs 800 crore in Bangalore-based real estate player Century Group, sources said. The real estate fund of Goldman Sachs is seen infusing liquidity into a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for commercially developing over 300 acre near Yelahanka in north Bangalore, which is in proximity to the upcoming international airport.


Essar plants feet on ground, floats venture

Diversified business conglomerate Essar group is venturing into India’s growing real estate market by floating a new company — Essar Reality Holding.


UBS to expand India property business

Swiss bank UBS is expected to expand its property business in China and India, as the two countries' robust economic growth remain attractive to investors despite global economic uncertainty, said Mark Ebbinghaus, UBS' Asian real estate, lodging and leisure head.


Thursday, January 24, 2008

DLF Sells Stake in Kenneth Builders to Indiabulls Real Estate

DLF and Indiabulls formed the joint venture in 2006 to develop high-end residential apartments at Okhla in New Delhi. The unit bought its only holding, 35.8 acres (14.5 hectares) of land, for 4.5 billion rupees ($114 million) from the Delhi Development Authority in the same year.


Adani unveils major initiatives in Energy, Realty & Agri biz

Current Initiatives

- Shantigram Township at Ahmedabad: 41.5 approx Mn.Sq.Ft (Saleable area)

- BKC at Mumbai: 2.2 approx Mn.Sq.Ft (Saleable area)

- Mill Land at Mumbai: 2 approx Mn.Sq.Ft (Saleable area)

New Initiatives

- Mundra Township: 50 approx Mn.Sq.Ft (Saleable area)

- Cochin: 3.2 approx Mn.Sq.Ft (Saleable area)

- Surat: 5.6 approx Mn.Sq.Ft (Saleable area)


BL Kashyap's realty arm to invest Rs 1,400 cr

Construction major B L Kashyap Group today said it will invest Rs 1,400 crore on setting up 13 real estate projects across India during the next three years and eyes a turnover of Rs 2,300 crore by March 31, 2009


ETA Star to invest $1billion in India

ETA Star, one of Dubai’s household names, will invest more than $1 billion in India to cash in on booming sectors such as ports and aviation. This will be in addition to other combined investments committed by the company in the power and real estate sectors, which total more than Rs 9,000 crore.


Walton bets big on Calcutta real estate

Sourav Goswami, managing director of Walton Street Capital India, said the company was looking at two residential projects. “One of the projects will be in Rajarhat and the other within the city itself,” he added.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

REBI comes out with India's first Property Shops Chain

Indian Real Estate industry is going through a transition phase. Most of the Real Estate Sector in our country is still in the unorganized sector. Despite of good growth prospects, it is still highly unrecognized sector, which is also supposed to be one of the most corrupt sectors. It is Unorganized, Unrecognized and where half the transactions go Unreported. Property transaction in India is still extremely complicated, courtesy India’s ubiquitous red-tapism. The Indian Real Estate Industry has more negative adjectives attached to it than any other industry. This high order of anarchy was the insignia of the real estate sector till a few years ago. Not any more says Mr. Lakshmi Narayanan, President and CEO of Bangalore based company Real Estate Bank India addressing a press conference in Hyderabad today on the occasion of inauguration of “Orange Infraa”, A.P’s first Master Franchisee today by Mr. Chandrababu Naidu, former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.
REBI comes out with India's first Property Shops Chain

Asian Developers Climb After U.S. Interest-Rate Cut

Sun Hung Kai and CapitaLand are among developers from developed Asian markets that are expanding into faster-growing countries such as India and China, gauging that their greater access to international capital markets will give them an edge over domestic builders. Asia

Emaar MGF IPO on track, to open on Feb 1

Asked whether the company is considering a delay in launching its IPO or lowering the price band due to volatility in the stock markets, Shravan Gupta, executive vice chairman and managing director, Emaar MGF Land, said: "Based on the response we have got from the road show and advice from merchant bankers, we believe this is a reasonably good time to go for an IPO."
Emaar MGF IPO on track, to open on Feb 1

Talent crunch sees real estate salaries touch dizzying heights

Salary levels in the real estate business have been growing at 25-30% a year over the past two years, driven largely by the shortage of people at every level


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

India : Gokaldas plans expansion in 1 & 2 tier cities

The company had last year set up 6 new units including the SEZ at Chennai. They also have a presence in towns like Mysore and Tumkur. The 2 units in Mangalore and Hubli are proposed to manufacture around 2 million units each per year.
India : Gokaldas plans expansion in 1 & 2 tier cities - Apparel News India

Singapore's CapitaLand in 2 joint ventures to manage 2.12 bln sgd Indian assets -

Southeast Asia's biggest property developer CapitaLand said Tuesday it has entered into two separate joint ventures with Indian developers Advance India Projects Ltd and the Prestige Group to invest, develop and manage predominantly retail projects in India.
Singapore's CapitaLand in 2 joint ventures to manage 2.12 bln sgd Indian assets -

Singapore's CapitaLand invests in 15 India malls

CapitaLand Ltd. (CATL.SI: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Tuesday it was pushing into India's fast-growing retail sector by investing in 15 malls worth S$2.1 billion ($1.45 billion), with the aim of spinning them off into a REIT.
UPDATE 1-Singapore's CapitaLand invests in 15 India malls | Industries | Consumer Goods & Retail | Reuters

ICICI Group unveils IOPM Infrastructure & Real Estate Fund

ICICI Bank is the sole arranger for the fund, which will be exclusively available for ICICI Bank Global Private Clients on a private placement basis. Investment advisors to the fund will be ICICI Bank's asset management arm in India, ICICI Prudential Asset Management Company (IPAMC) Limited, and it will be advised under the guidance of Mr Nilesh Shah, Chief Investment Officer, ICICI Prudential AMC. - Middle East business, financial and industry news - Industry Press Releases - ICICI Group unveils IOPM Infrastructure & Real Estate Fund

Monday, January 21, 2008

Slowdown in housing loan disbursal

Rising home loan rates have severely impacted the housing sector, as its growth has fallen to 26.6 per cent in 2006-07 from 29.1 per cent in 2005-06 and is anticipated to slow down further to touch between 17 and 20 per cent in the current fiscal.


Realty: Chennai set to beat Bangalore

Rising prices in the real estate sector in Bangalore, the IT capital of the country has turned the attention of several realtors to Chennai, a city which is slowly but surely set to beat Bangalore in the real estate space.


Deutsche Bank arm buys stake in Indian property firm

Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) investment unit RREEF said on Monday it has invested $70 million in Indian real estate firm Golden Gate Properties Ltd, the latest in a series of deals in the property market by foreign firms.


India's booming property market

Real estate in 21st century India is changing the skyline of even satellite towns. Apart fropm the metro cities, smaller towns have attracted construction activity from big developers. Shopping malls, skyscrapers and new infrastructures are shaping new India.
The property sector boom is a direct result of return of the prodigal NRIs (flush with funds), foreign direct investments, multinationals entering every nook and corner of the country to set up base. Whether it is New Delhi, Noida, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Goa, Pune or even towns like Cochin, Udaipur, Jaipur the dynamites are paving new ways. Real estate industry is witnessing major changes.


Emaar MGF to open hotels chain with Global Hyatt0

Real estate and hospitality company Emaar MGF has agreed to enter into a joint venture with Global Hyatt Corporation of the US to set up a chain of business hotels in India under the brand name Hyatt Place. Emaar MGF is jointly owned by Emaar Properties, PJSC of Dubai and India’s MGF Developments.


Jagdish Khattar to steer auto sales and service network

As CEO of Maruti, Jagdish Khattar was known as Motown’s ace marketer. As entrepreneur, he is trying to use those skills to build what he calls an “independent, all-India, multi-brand auto sales and service network”. The first phase of his ambitious project would involve a service and bodyshop network with an all-India footprint. Mr Khattar is looking at a capex of around Rs 1,200-1,500 crore.


Emaar, Fortis plan JV to set up 25 hospitals

Realty company Emaar MGF Land Limited (Emaar MGF) and Ranbaxy Group-promoted hospital chain Fortis Healthcare plan to form a joint venture to set up 25 hospitals across major cities in India, with an investment of Rs 1,200 crore.


Emaar MGF Land IPO gets above average rating

Emaar MGF Land Ltd on Sunday said its proposed initial public offering has been assigned an above average grading by Credit Analysis and Research Ltd.


The Prudential to launch India venture

The Rock is expanding in India. Less than a year after it partnered with the DLF Group Ltd. – India’s largest real-estate developer – to establish a life-insurance venture in the South Asian nation, Prudential Financial Inc. has announced that it will team up with DLF again, this time to set up a new asset-management venture in India.


Cementing returns

Investing directly in real estate is often difficult for the retail investor. This is mainly because of the fact that you will need to lock up a large amount of money for this.


Floor Area Ratio: A crucial aspect of real estate

The issue of Floor Area Ratio (FAR) in the real estate sector has always been a contentious one. FAR is one of the key determinants for development in the country. FAR in India is low and is considered a hurdle to construction activities. While the industry has been demanding an increase in FAR, the question is whether an increase makes sense without improving the overall infrastructure in the country.


Achuthanandan keeps away from function

Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan on Saturday kept away from the foundation stone laying function of the Rs 4000 crore Cyber city here following objections raised by a Human rights group over allocation of land to a real estate company to implement the project.


Realty majors cementing ties with foreign players to stay ahead

The real estate market is evolving at a rapid pace in India. With burgeoning volumes and rising real-estate prices, developers are working out new strategies to meet project deadlines and stay on top. Large developers like DLF, Ansal API, Indiabulls Real Estate, are now tying up with international construction players to ensure timely delivery of projects. About 802 million square feet is under construction currently.


Starwood, Oberoi arm in realty deal

Kingston Properties, the flagship company of leading construction and real estate firm Oberoi Constructions, has sealed a management contract with US-based Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. Accordingly, Starwood will operate and manage its five-star brand, Westin Hotels & Resorts, with real estate offered by Oberoi in Goregaon, Mumbai


Mr. Vijay Kumar Jatia, CMD, Modern India Ltd,

Modern India Ltd (MIL) was founded by a British gentleman Mr. Gordon and was called “The Gordon Mills”. Gordon Mills was officially incorporated into the Indian Companies Act on 24th October 1933 as the “Modern Mills Ltd.” (MML) under ownership of the Sirur family. Over years Modern Mills Ltd. became one of the reputed business houses in the Indian Textile industry. With the mill workers strike in the 1980’s MML went into a deep financial burden and had to shut down production facilities and went under the BIFR scheme. MML was later taken over by the Jatia family in the early 1990s. MML closed down its manufacturing unit in 2004 and was one of the last textile mills still functioning in Mumbai. After shutting down its manufacturing facility, MML changed its identity, renaming itself to “MODERN INDIA LTD” (MIL). With changes in the Government policy, MIL started to focus on other areas of business and today operates a real estate company. At the same time MIL started a Technical Training Institute called the “Indian Institute of Jewellery” (IIJ). MIL is also in partnership with “Gitanjali Gems Ltd” in the form of a Joint Venture in the name of “Modali” (Modern - Gitanjali).


Munish Baldev joins India Bulls as President

A civil engineer by profession, Munish Baldev started his career with the Ansals Group where he eventually rose to the CEO,s position. Having worked his way up, Munish is today one of the few professionals from the Indian real estate industry who possess hands down experience in construction, mall management, marketing & right tenant mix to name a few. Being a globe trotter from the beginning, Munish brought along with him experience & business acumen picked up from his various foreign sojourns that revolutionsed the Indian real estate industry.

After his stint at Ansals, he joined retail pioneer Vikram Bakshi, MD Mcdonalds, to take care of his shopping mall projects. After a year, Munish was brought into Unitech Group as Head Retail where he pioneered two large format properties-Metro City Walk Amusement Centre in Rohini & The Great India Place mall in Noida, the largest operational mall in the country.

Financial Giant India Bulls soon came beckoning where Munish has recently taken charge of the burgeoning real estate business of the Group. “As President India Bulls, the canvass is much bigger and I am looking forward to integrate my past experience with the vision of the promoters,” says an upbeat Munish Baldev. “With Trust, dynamism & leadership as the main tenants of our corporate ethos, coupled with 640 branches and a solid customer base of 4,50, 000 of India Bulls, real estate as a product would be accepted very well,” explains Baldev.


Friday, January 18, 2008

Pragnya to focus on South with second fund

Pragnya's recent investment was in L&T South City Projects, a special purpose vehicle floated by L&T Urban Infrastructure, Dinesh Rankia Associates and Pragnya Fund 1 to develop an integrated township project off Old Mahabalipuram Road, Chennai's IT corridor.
Pragnya to focus on South with second fund

Indian Real Estate Firm Unitech Branches Out Into Telecom Sector

Real estate firm Unitech is branching out into the Indian telecom sector with a new business that will be operated as a separate entity. The company’s announcement came after it obtained a pan-India telecom license.
Indian Real Estate Firm Unitech Branches Out Into Telecom Sector

Property Portals: House hunting - livemint

Real estate portals with national reach, such as, and, which were mostly launched in the last two years, have come as a blessing for people such as Saha and Maxwell. According to San Francisco-based, which monitors Internet use, Indiaproperty, 99acres, Magicbricks and Indiaproperties are among the top players in the field in terms of daily reach.
Property Portals: House hunting - livemint

Building intelligence into buildings

According to a recent market study, real estate in India is expected to rise from $14 billion to $102 billion in the next 10 years.
Deccan Herald - Building intelligence into buildings

Thursday, January 17, 2008

SVP Builders to Invest Rs. 500 Crores

Will Deliver 3100 Flats which includes 50 Lakh sqft of Residential Space 7 Lakh sqft of Commercial Space by 2010; Additional 2000 Flats by 2011; Forays into Healthcare


'Building India': DLF's Big Gamble

With land holdings of almost 750 million square feet spanning the country, about 20% more than its next-biggest competitor, DLF's corporate slogan is apt: "Building India."


Sustainability and international investment to drive real estate in 2008

Sustainabity, better quality construction and transparency will be the key drivers of the GCC real estate market over the next year, according to new research by Jones Lang LaSalle


An international approach to commercial real estate

Many countries enjoy strong real estate fundamentals, boosted by commodity-rich economies (Australia, Brazil, Canada and Russia) or by rapid urbanisation and an emerging middle class (China, India, Mexico and Turkey). Once these new professionals secure their first jobs (in new office buildings), they buy their first cars and go shopping.


Arvind Singhal: The Modern Alchemy

In the interim, perhaps yesterday’s stars like Infosys should consider de-merging its internal guest house accommodation bank (it reportedly has over 15,000 rooms), its campuses’ real estate, its on & offline hiring expertise, its internal catering experience, and its formidable treasury function assets into independent companies, get re-rated and become sizzling hot once again. And I should try to convince my wife that we have successfully run a household for 25 years and therefore we should unlock some value by announcing plans to get into food & grocery, real estate facilities management, financial advisory, and entertainment and leisure businesses!


Patel Engg hires DTZ to value its land bank

Patel Engineering (PEL), a Mumbai-based construction major, has roped in global real estate advisor DTZ to value its land bank across the country ahead of a proposed sale of part equity to private equity players in its recently floated wholly-owned subsidiary — Patel Realities India (PRIL).


The Good News About the Recession

Dubai investors purchasing Indian real estate, Indian builders buying German engineering products and services, and German engineers buying toys made in China....


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Alony Hetz in joint $200m SE Asia real estate venture

Alony Hetz Property and Investments Ltd. (TASE: ALHE) has signed an memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Singapore-based Pacific Star Holding pte Ltd. to set up a real estate fund to invest in Southeast Asia, to be called Pacific Arrow Star. The new fund will focus on Vietnam, but will also consider business opportunities elsewhere in the region.
Alony Hetz in joint $200m SE Asia real estate venture

Dubai's Emaar Properties' 2007 profit rises 3.2% on international operations - MarketWatch

Dubai-based Emaar Properties, the Middle East's largest property developer by market value, recorded a 3.2% year-on-year rise in profit for 2007 as its international operations started contributing to its income.
Dubai's Emaar Properties' 2007 profit rises 3.2% on international operations - MarketWatch

The current credit crunch is more than the bursting of a ‘bubble’

If you find the web of international economies and money incomprehensible, take heart. You are not alone. That is how it is: “beyond comprehension,” as Satyajit Das says. He is the author of Traders, Guns & Money,’ a book that talked about the known and the unknown in ‘the dazzling world of derivatives.
The Hindu News Update Service

Pioneer Uses SAP to Improve Customer Relations

The Pioneer Group, a well-known corporate house stepped into the world of real estate in the year 1986 and pioneered the organized real estate industry in India. Pioneer Property Management has been at the forefront of the infrastructure boom. The company provides all real estate solutions for a diverse range of users and needs, including comprehensive consulting, marketing and management of large-scale housing, commercial and industrial projects. Pioneer also has a financial assistance team to assist its clients for housing as well as corporate financing. It has a strong network and business associates spread across Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai. > News > Technology > Pioneer Uses SAP to Improve Customer Relations

LIC seeks bids to consolidate realty assets

Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), the country's largest life insurance firm, today said it plans to consolidate its real estate portfolio across the country.
LIC seeks bids to consolidate realty assets

Homes of India show to begin in Alkhobar

More than 20 builders from various parts of India will take part in the two-day Indian property exhibition dubbed "Homes of India", to be held at Carlton Al-Moaibed Hotel in Alkhobar starting tomorrow, organizers said.
MENAFN - Middle East North Africa . Financial Network News: Homes of India show to begin in Alkhobar

Marg to focus more on developing industrial clusters-India Business-Business-The Times of India

Chennai-based Marg (formerly Marg Constructions), a real estate and infrastructure company, is unleashing its 2,500 acres of land bank to develop industrial clusters. G R K Reddy, MD, Marg, said, "We have acquired lands in select pockets in Andhra Pradesh which we want to develop as industrial clusters. For the lands on the fringes of Vijayawada, we want to create a building products cluster. This piece of land is close to cement companies and is in the vicinity of Krishna river. It is an ideal location for making building products."
Marg to focus more on developing industrial clusters-India Business-Business-The Times of India

The Great Indian Mutiny » Bangalore : Surviving the ‘BYTE’ - Part1

Bangalore was your quaint old south Indian city — a pensioner’s paradise and a garden city. Misty mornings heralded the start of beautiful, often sunny days. Laden with rich aroma of filter coffee, crisp morning air soon displaced this misty blur. The tune of suprabhata would fill the neighborhoods from some one’s old transistor
The Great Indian Mutiny » Bangalore : Surviving the ‘BYTE’ - Part1


Sales of residential units in Phase 1 of its Chennai township development, Hiranandani Palace Gardens, continue to be strong both in terms of volume of residential units sold and the level of pricing achieved.

Vatika may hive off business centres unit

Real estate and hospitality company Vatika Group plans to hive off its unit running Vatika business centres as a separate entity with a view to let it raise money through an initial public offering (IPO) in fiscal 2009-10.
Vatika may hive off business centres unit - livemint

Puravankara to launch over Rs 12 bn project in Chennai

Puravankara Projects announced today (Monday) that the company plans to launch its mega housing project `Purva Windermere` at Pallikarnai, Lake district in Chennai with an estimated project cost of over Rs 12 billion.
Puravankara to launch over Rs 12 bn project in Chennai

Retail players constrained by high realty cost: Modwel- Interviews-Opinion-The Economic Times

MUMBAI-based Wadhawan Retail, the two-year old retail business of Wadhawan Holdings under Spinach convenience store brand, has been on an acquisition spree. In just a year, it has acquired a host of regional retailers, including Delhi-based Sabka Bazaar and Home Store, Bangalore-based Smart, management contract of co-operative firm Maratha Stores, and is now planning another sizeable acquisition. Wadhawan Holdings CEO Gaurav Modwel spoke to Chaitali Chakravarty on the company’s retail plans.
Retail players constrained by high realty cost: Modwel- Interviews-Opinion-The Economic Times

Why real estate continues to be hot property for investors?- Realty Trends-Real Estate-Markets-The Economic Times

The real estate sector has always been a favourite with Indian investors as they are comfortable putting their money in an asset class that offers them the ‘touch and feel’ benefit.And there seems to be every reason to continue to repose faith in the realty sector as it has been growing at around 30% per annum, with most reports generated by reputed banks and institutions making encouraging predictions for the sector.
Why real estate continues to be hot property for investors?- Realty Trends-Real Estate-Markets-The Economic Times

India looks to the world for investment

Those looking to invest in property overseas may find encouragement in many things. Low prices, growing tourist markets, expanding economies, expanding infrastructure and more airports are all factors which encourage investors.
Assetz® News - India looks to the world for investment

Unitech plans pvt placement

Unitech, the biggest real estate firm in the country after DLF, is set to mop up around Rs 5,000 crore through private placement to qualified institutional investors. According to highly placed sources, the company is conducting a road show abroad and is expected to complete the transaction by next week.
Unitech plans pvt placement- Hindustan Times

BSR and Lehman Brothers in Indian real estate venture

Another Israeli developers is entering the Indian real estate market. BSR Engineering and Development Ltd. (TASE:BSRE) and Lehman Brothers Real Estate Partners have signed an memorandum of understanding (MOU) to set up a joint venture to buy land in India for the development of residential and commercial projects.
BSR and Lehman Brothers in Indian real estate venture

AIG Investments eyes India realty mart

US based AIG Investments is planning for a portfolio management service (PMS) through which it will invest in the Indian real estate market.
AIG Investments eyes India realty mart

HospitalityBizIndia :: Property transactions made safer

Bajaj Allianz General Insurance and ICICI Lombard plan to launch their ‘title insurance covers’, shortly in India. In the multi-crore, high risk real estate business, an insurance cover is important in case of property transactions/acquisitions falling through.
HospitalityBizIndia :: Property transactions made safer

Cross border smart partnerships

MALAYSIAN Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) will continue to support local real estate agents to set up operations overseas, according to president K. Soma Sundram.“We will facilitate smart partnerships between local and foreign real estate agents for possible cross-business cooperation,” he told reporters after the opening of the Malaysian Annual Real Estate Convention (MAREC 08) in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.
Cross border smart partnerships

Hindujas to put Rs 80K cr in oil fields

Hindujas have 40 acres land in Bangalore, which is witnessing a real estate boom because of the mushrooming IT and ITeS companies. “The Bangalore project would be the first real estate project to be taken up. We have received all the clearances for the project,” he said. Hindujas plan to build complexes for IT and ITeS and some residential in the 40 acres. “We are planning more investments in real estate in other cities particularly tier II,” he said without giving further details.
Hindujas to put Rs 80K cr in oil fields

South India tops North for tier-III realty development- Realty Trends-Real Estate-Markets-The Economic Times

South India has outscored the northern part of the country in terms of emergence of new growth centres in the fast-growing real estate sector with Thiruvananthapuram and Mangalore being named as the top two tier-III cities by global realty consultant Knight Frank.
South India tops North for tier-III realty development- Realty Trends-Real Estate-Markets-The Economic Times

IPO rally in '08 to be dominated by power, real estate and financial services - livemint

Among real estate companies, EmaarMGF, Gammon Infra and a host of others have lined up their public offers.
IPO rally in ?08 to be dominated by power, real estate and financial services - livemint

Spectral Services helping cos save energy- Power-Energy-News By Industry-News-The Economic Times

“Energy efficiency is no rocket science,” says Prem C Jain, founder chairman of Spectral Services Consultants in Delhi. Jain should know—after all he heads a company that helps make buildings in India save energy and go ‘green’.Going green also needn’t be expensive, insists Jain. The key is in making smart use of available resources, and innovating. “At energy efficient building energy is saved whereas in a green building it is also recycled,” he says.
Spectral Services helping cos save energy- Power-Energy-News By Industry-News-The Economic Times

Real estate developers fear Mumbai property rates may shoot through the roof soon

Real estate developers fear 30% to 50% increase in prices as well as demand for property in Mumbai, Pune, Nasik, Chennai and Bangalore, compared with the ongoing steady demand and prices in Delhi and the NCR region from March 2008 onwards. According to industry experts, with Indiabulls (14 lakh sq ft of commercial and retail) and Peninsula II (5 lakh sq ft) properties under construction in Lower Parel in Mumbai, the demand for residential properties is expected to rise by 30% from March 2008. While Indiabulls property is expected to be operational thisyear with a parking space for 3,500 cars, the Peninsula II properties will be completed next year.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

SEBI readies REIT for investors

As one of the biggest show stealers in the Indian real estate industry over the last couple of weeks, the draft regulations on REITS published by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) elicited a spate of responses from developers and other stakeholders in the real estate industry at the recently concluded Natcon organized by the Confederation of Real Esatet Developers Associations of India.


Building blocks of urban India

Builder, real estate, property developer… terms like these are still looked at in askance by many Indians even today, and arguably for good reasons. Much of the business remains unorganised, hence opaque and subject to a lot of black money-based dealings. Though no business can claim full marks on the ethical score, the real estate business finds itself lower on the scale. One must also admit that this portrayal in some measure is due to depictions in Indian popular cinema. ...


Can Chennai overcome urbanisation woes?

You know the truism about the best laid plans of mice and men? Nowhere does it apply more than in the area of urban planning, in India especially. But despite their plans going awry, architects, town-planners, civic officials, industry and citizens bodies continue to persist with the exercise.

The most recent one in this vein is the one floated by the Confederation of Indian Industries for the city of Chennai. Euphonically christened MAP Chennai Region, it proposes to develop a 5,000 square kilometre region around the southern metropolis, ringed by the cities of Marakkanam, Arakkonam and Pulicat.

"This is a regional development plan," says G R K Reddy, managing director of city-based infrastructure development company Marg Constructions [Get Quote], and chairperson of CII Infra 2007, the event where the plan was unveiled, "to take the pressure of migration off the city and to bring about inclusive growth."

Taking as its model the National Capital Region, where you have Noida and Gurgaon to take the population load off Delhi, the plan seeks to develop a network of cities and towns in the region, in a "hub and spoke model" in Reddy's words.

For example, Arakkonam, which has the largest engineering workshop of Indian Railways, and the manufacturing plants of TVS [Get Quote], Tamil Nadu Telecommunications [Get Quote] Limited and MRF Tyres, could be a centre for engineering excellence; Madurantakam, with the automobile testing facility and the Ford and BMW plants nearby, could become a centre for automobile engineering excellence; and so on.

Very noble indeed. But that's not all town-planners have come up with for Chennai. The city is to soon have a new master plan, its first in 31 years. And as residents will say, not a day too soon.

A sleepy, colonial town until even a decade ago, in the globalised India of today, Chennai is the preferred destination for the IT/ITES, auto and auto ancillaries, leather, apparel industries, with a 70 million population projected to grow at a CAGR of 2.34 per cent between 2001-11.

Naturally, that has led to problems, the most acute being the lack of sewerage and drinking water, said to affect 40 per cent of the residents.

Unlike the first MAP Chennai plan, which is still only a proposal, the master plan, albeit a draft yet, has official sanction. And very unlikely for official plans, is being sounded out by stakeholder groups -- citizens, NGOs, architects and the like -- for the past eight months, to preclude the occurrence of the kind of problems that rose with the Delhi Master Plan.

The response from the experts, however, is mixed. Subhash Chandra, chairman of the state chapter of the Institute of Town Planners, feels that the views of industry, the biggest driver of growth, have not been included enough.

Next, there is no provision to attract private participation in city development in the PPP model, something that CII's Chennai MAP plan incorporates in its estimation of Rs 24,000 crore (Rs 240 billion) investment in the next five-six years.

G Dattari, former chief urban planner of the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) and advisor, Sustainable Madras Support Project, finds many good things in the plan.

"For one, it makes provisions for 'urbanisable' land leaving flexible its specific use, industrial or residential, which will lead to composite development of localities. Two, it suggests making the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board the nodal agency for clearances, so that hazardous industries are regulated." Ch Gopinath Rao, former national president of the Institute of Valuers, however, finds "no logic" in the plan's not clearly demarcating land for agricultural use.

It's early days yet to know whether Chennai MAP region will see the light of day, but there have already been a lot of positive noises. It has now been referred to the CMDA for its views, informs Chandra.

However, there might be hope for the MAP Chennai plan from the master plan itself, which says that "the government has been considering to declare the areas adjoining the CMA as a Region comprising parts of the Thiruvallur and Kanchee-puram Districts for preparing Regional Plan, considering the developments coming up in the Kelambakkam-Tiruporur, Orgadam-Sriperumbudur and Gummidipoondi-Ponneri areas".

The problem, of course, is not with the plans themselves, but with the cavalier way in which governments everywhere and the multifarious bodies having jurisdiction over a particular area deal with them.

Dattari calls the government the "weakest link", while Gopinath Rao says it is officialdom's lack of foresight that is the stumbling block, because by the time it has reacted to a problem, the problem itself would have been magnified manifold. In this regard, he maintains, the master plan may not improve matters, but it will at least not aggravate them.

Next, it is debatable whether the centrifugal model of urban planning is such a great idea. As Dattari says, "NCR has not been a very effective idea on the ground."


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Dwelling on low-cost dwelling demands

Low-cost housing or LCH is slowly getting high on the agenda of developers. While this is understandable, because of the enormous gap between supply and demand, what should be worrying is that high land cost, and lack of connectivity owing to poor infrastructure are proving to be major impediments to LCH in India.
The Hindu News Update Service

Unitech likely to hive off telecom business

Unitech likely to hive off telecom business- Telecom-News By Industry-News-The Economic Times

Int’l real estate expo in B’lore

Int’l real estate expo in B’lore

Bandra Kurla Complex: Rentals rise in line with record property prices

The Hindu Business Line : Bandra Kurla Complex: Rentals rise in line with record property prices

DLF, Hilton plan first branded residential hotel in Goa

DLF, Hilton plan first branded residential hotel in Goa- Hotels / Restaurants-Services-News By Industry-News-The Economic Times

Indian property expo wins huge response

Steep Rent Hike Irks Tenants

Steep Rent Hike Irks Tenants goes offline with series of property bazaars in 2008

India media news marketing India advertising Indian brands tv media newspapers

India showcases 200 property projects

Arab Times :: India showcases 200 property projects

India native measures career by 'the extra mile'

NewsOK: India native measures career by 'the extra mile'

Petition on temple land

The Hindu : Tamil Nadu / Chennai News : Petition on temple land

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Stations facelift to wagon Rs 10,000 crore to Laludom

The Railways plan to unlock around 300 hectares in Delhi, Patna, Howrah, Agra, Jaipur and Chennai railway stations and hope to generate over Rs 10,000 crore from their development. The Railways would unlock around 100 hectares in Delhi out of which around 20 hectares would be used for commercial development. The rest of 200 acres would be unlocked in the other cities.
“Works on Patna and New Delhi would start by March,” an official said. He said New Delhi station modernisation project could cost up to Rs 5,000 crore and big infrastructure players like DLF, ADAG, Tata and GMR are among the players that are in talks with the Railways for the contract. The Railways have appointed Hong Kong-based Terry Farrell and Partners as consultant for the architectural design for modernising New Delhi Railway station. Consultants for Patna railway station makeover is set to be finalised in a month.
“Delhi and Patna railway stations makeover is topmost priority for the Railways at the moment. The rest of cities would follow suit subsequently,” the official said.
The Railway land are likely to command a price of around Rs 30,000 per sq ft, akin to commercial real estate prices prevalent in Central Business District (CBD). Analysts said this could be largest A-grade real estate space available after completion.
The Railways are in talks with the urban development ministry for grant of an additional floor area ratio (FAR) of 1 against the permissible 1.5 on railway land. Apart for unlocking land in these cities, the Railways have also decided to exploit about 500 acres in Mumbai, which could also add significant moolah to its kitty. The Maharashtra government has agreed to grant Railways a floor space index of four in Mumbai against existing norm of 2.5.


Unitech to go for $1.5 billion QIP

Board has already given nod for the issuance of 200 million shares.

In the largest-ever qualified institutional placement (QIP) by Indian corporates, real estate developer Unitech is expected to raise $1.5 billion (Rs 6,000 crore) through the QIP route in a couple of months. The QIP was expected in the first quarter of 2008, sources said.

The company’s board has already given approval for the issuance of 200 million shares to increase the paid-up share capital of the company, Unitech told exchanges on December 7. With a total share capital of 1,623.37 million, the company could dilute upto 12 per cent in the company.

If the company does a QIP of Rs 6,000 crore at today’s closing price of Rs 516, the dilution could be in the range of six to seven per cent, sources said.

In the previous major QIPs, GMR Infrastructure raised nearly Rs 3,965.52 crore ($1 billion) last month and wind energy company Suzlon raised nearly Rs 2,182.70 crore last year.

When contacted, company executives said: “We have already received shareholders’ approval for a QIP and we are considering the same. However, we have not finalised anything,” he said.

According to sources, the company is expected to use the QIP proceeds for its upcoming projects and telecom foray, which it is planning in all 22 telecom circles of the country. Unitech is also foraying into Mumbai real estate market with an investment of Rs 4,000 crore.

Unitech has several business segments relating to residential, commercial, IT parks, retail, amusement parks and hotels.

According to its annual report for 2006-07, it has 50 million square feet of ongoing projects. The company is also planning to build 50 malls across the country with an investment of Rs 20,000 crore.

Unitech has raised over Rs 3,100 crore (360 million POUND) on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange through its arm Unitech Corporate Parks Plc (UCP).

Unitech is also considering to float a Real Estate Investment Trust (Reit) in an overseas market to raise $2-3 billion (about Rs 8,000-12,000 crore) to meet its expansion plans.

The company’s shares closed at Rs 516.95, down 1.54 per cent over yesterday’s close of Rs 525.05.


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Excess reliance on foreign funds in realty not good: HDFC

Excess reliance on foreign funds in realty not good: HDFC- Policy -Real Estate-Markets-The Economic Times

India Property Exhibition in Kuwait

Mangalorean.Com- Serving Mangaloreans Around The World!

Chennai-based Sabari Inn on expansion spree

Chennai-based Sabari Inn on expansion spree- Hotels / Restaurants-Services-News By Industry-News-The Economic Times

Punjab’s real estate industry goes hi-tech!

PUNJAB’S REAL estate industry has gone hi-tech, especially in Mohali and Chandigarh.

Taking a cue from their NRI brethren, the local real estate fraternity has taken to the internet media in a big way to promote their business.

Most builders have their own websites where the clients can reach and get updated on every facet of the project. Of great interest to the majority of the residents are the residential and commercial projects coming up in the region.

A local entrepreneur based in Mohali has gone a step further. Aps Randhawa, president & CEO of is busy building a real estate portal providing services such as asset management, retail management, online marketing and free listing of properties to become a leader in the real estate industry not only in Punjab but in the whole of India. He is supported by a bunch of youthful IT professionals - all local Punjabi boys and girls who wish to give competition a run for their money. They include Rajesh Kumar, who is excited by the global reach of his work as he provides guidance and customer care services to NRIs. Says Aps Randhawa, "In the success of my real estate portal, I see the success of Punjabi enterprise."

It is true that entrepreneurs like Aps Randhawa are the people who will make Mohali the IT City of Punjab.


SEBI gives go-ahead to Emaar-MGF IPO

Realty major Emaar-MGF's application to go public has got the stamp of approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to launch its Initial Public Offering (IPO). The IPO is expected to hit the market in the first week of February and raise between Rs 5,000-6,000 crores, making it the second largest realty IPO in the country till date. The company will offload 11 crore shares with the pricing expected to hover around Rs 500-600 per share.
According to sources, the go-ahead came on Tuesday, subject to compliance of observations. "The documents will be finalized in another day or two and filed by Friday or Monday. This is only a formality and we expect to get everything ready so as to launch the IPO in early February," says the source.
Emaar MGF Land, a joint venture between one of the world's leading real estate companies Emaar Properties PJSC of Dubai, and MGF Development of India, filed its Draft Red Herring Prospectus (DRHP) with SEBI in September last year to enter the capital market with its IPO of equity shares.
The global co-ordinators and book running lead manager to the issue are Enam Securities Private Limited and DSP Merill Lynch Limited. The Book Lead Managers are Citigroup Global Markets India Private Limited, Kotak Mahindra Capital Company Limited, HSBC Securities and Capital Markets (India) Private Limited, JP Morgan India Private Limited and Goldman Sachs (India) Securities Private Limited.
The company is engaged in the development of properties in the residential, commercial, retail and hospitality sectors. Its operations span various aspects of real estate development such as land identification and acquisition; project planning, designing, marketing and execution.
Some of the current projects under implementation include development of Palm Springs and Palm Drive in Gurgaon, Mohali Hills at Mohali, the prestigious Commonwealth Games village, Delhi and Boulder Hills, Hyderabad. 
Many real estate companies launched their IPOs last year, but the largest of them all was the DLF offering in July 2007, which raised Rs 9187 crore.


Realty developers urge govt to increase Floor Area Ratio

In order to create more affordable housing, the real estate industry on Tuesday urged the government to increase the Floor Area Ratio while developing infrastructure across the country.
At a national conference organised by the Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Associations of India (CREDAI), various developers, consultants and experts emphasised the need to increase the Floor Area Ratio for creating housing for all.
"If we really want to change the quality of life of poor and create housing for them, we have have to increase the Floor Surface Index (FSI) (or FAR)," Hiranandani Constructions Pvt Ltd Managing Director Niranjan Hiranandani said.
He suggested that the FSI should be increased to between 4-6 in the country.
However, Urban Development Expert Chandrashekhar Prabhu viewed that before increasing the FAR, infrastructure in the country should be developed first.
"Infrastructure is the key issue. First develop the infrastructure and then increase the FSI," he said.
Global real estate consultant CB Richard Ellis Chairman and Managing Director Anshuman Magazine also opined in the same way and said: "Ideally infrastructure should have been developed first and then FAR be increased. But unfortunately in India, it is not happening."
The prices of the properties have gone through roofs because of supply constraints, Magazine said, adding "... the only solution is to increase FAR and develop infrastructure simultaneously."
He said that the current average FSI in the country is between 1.25 and 2.
DLF Group Executive Director Rajeev Talwar also favoured a change in the existing FAR norms.


India's IT city is showing no signs of slowing down!

Bangalore topped the list of commercial real estate usage - it absorbed around 9 million sq ft in 2007 - over 4 million square feet short of its actual demand for the year, according to Cushman & Wakefield 's annual year-end report. The national capital region of Delhi came in second with 10.6 million square feet followed by Chennai with 8.7 million square feet

Anurang Mathur, Deputy MD, Cushman & Wakefield said, “Most of the demand comes from IT/ITES sector and Bangalore has lead for the last 3 to 4 years in the demand for this industry and hence in the office market as well. Now it has a critical mass and good breath hence we expect it to continue to do well.”

But the face of the Bangalore commercial real estate market looks all set to change. Reason -the city is facing a large space crunch for commercial property in the central business district. Commercial property rates that rose by 10-15 percent last year are expected to increase similarly this year; especially after the opening the new airport.

Mathur said, “This is airport is very far from the current airport and CBD and there is a lot of land and opportunity available for commercial development between the airport and the city. We will see plenty of action in those areas and all that real estate will change.”

The opening on the new airport is expected to change the dynamics of Bangalore’s commercial real estate market, areas like Indiranagar, airport road and the inner ring road that flourished until now because of their proximity to the current airport may witness a drop in interest levels

Nevertheless industry experts are bullish on Bangalore’s commercial market. They don't expect to see a situation of over supply for at least two years.

Commercial real estate (in million sqft)City Demand Absorption

Bangalore 13.32 8.7

NCR 10.6 6.6

Chennai 8.7 6.4

Mumbai 4.5 1.4

Source: Cushman & Wakefield Annual Report


Parsvnath Developers wins contract worth Rs. 90 crore from Shirdi Sai Trust

Parsvnath Developers
Parsvnath Developers Ltd, a major real estate player in the country has announced that the company has won a contract of Rs 90 crore from Chennai-based Shirdi Sai Trust for building an ashram in Mahrashtra.

Under the contract, Parsvnath will construct dormitories, residential blocks and an open air theatre and restaurant block over an area of approximately one million sq feet.

The company is already developing a 3-star hotel at Shirdi over an area of 50,000 sq feet.

The project will be initiated within the month of January 2008 and the work will be completed within 21 months from the date of commencement of construction, an official release said.

Pradeep Jain, Chairman, Parsvnath Developers Ltd said, “We feel privileged to be part of this great social work. Service to the pilgrims is paramount for us. The ashram will provide comfortable stay to Sai Baba devotees visiting the pilgrimage. Once complete, Shirdi Sai trust will hand over the ashram to Shirdi Sai Sansthan for ownership, management and further maintenance.”

Parsvnath Developers Limited a leading real estate developer in India has a PAN - India presence and an experience of more than 17 years in offering state of the art construction in 48 cities and 17 states with across key verticals of real estate industry.

At 11:55 am, stock of construction firm, Parsvnath Developers was quoting at Rs 546. It has touched an intraday high of Rs 583 and an intraday low of Rs 545. The stock was recommended for Buy yesterday by TopNews. The stock touched an all time high in yesterday’ trade.