Thursday, September 04, 2008

Battle for Mumbai's skies set to begin

Times of India reports

Mumbai: The skyline of congested areas in Mumbai like Girgaum, Grant Road, Bhuleshwar Nagpada and Parel could soon be filled with thousands of skyscrapers sprouting from every nook and corner, thanks to Thursday’s supreme court ruling.
The order comes as a major bonanza for builders because it once again allows them virtually unlimited floor space index (FSI) for redeveloping old, mainly pre-1940 cessed buildings in the island city. In 2005, the Bombay high court, which had admitted a PIL filed by some prominent Mumbaikars, had restricted this use of unlimited FSI on the grounds that it was leading to haphazard and unabated construction activity. The high court had observed that this rule had led to ‘subversion of urban planning’.
“Although the supreme court ruling will facilitate redevelopment of old and dilapidated cessed buildings, it will put pressure on civic infrastructure,” said a worried municipal commissioner Jairaj Phatak. However, he was confident that the island city will be able to cope up with this construction spree if the redevelopment is carried out in a proper manner.
When old buildings are torn down and rebuilt into towers, the space between two skyscrapers could be as little as five feet or even less. Mumbai’s development control rule 33 (7), which pertains to the redevelopment of cessed properties, gives sweeping powers to the municipal commissioner to relax the mandatory open spaces surrounding a building to five feet.
In congested Girgaum, opposite the Harkisondas hospital, a 38-storey tower is virtually kissing another 22-storey high rise next to it. In Nana Chowk, a pencil thin skyscraper has cropped up almost touching the adjacent building.
Over the past decade, many such residential towers as high as 30-40 floors have started springing up in areas like Girgaum, Nana Chowk and Grant Road where the civic infrastructure is already in poor shape. In fact, Mumbai’s tallest residential building, the 45-storey Shreepati Arcade at Nana Chowk, was redeveloped under rule 33 (7).
On Thursday, property redeveloper Pujit Agarwal of Orbit Corporation was ecstatic as several hundred redevelopment projects were in a limbo ever since the PIL was filed in 2004. “The Supreme court judgment has come as a relief for the entire island city, especially the two million tenants living in such buildings. Over the past eight years, we have all undergone a learning curve,” he said.
Rajesh Vardhan of Vardhaman Developers said the judgment has come at a time when several dilapidated buildings were crumbling, leading to loss of life. “Hopefully, today’s ruling will lead to systematic development,” he said.
Agarwal said that henceforth the BMC should ensure it does not condone the compulsory open spaces and in only exceptional cases, should it relax it to five feet. “The state housing authority, MHADA, should carry out due diligence to ensure that the list of tenants is not inflated by any builder in order to get more FSI. Thirdly, developers must be encouraged to go in for cluster redevelopment,” he added.
The Property Redevelopers Association said more than 500 proposals for redevelopment of cessed properties are pending with Mhada and BMC. “The pace of rehabilitation will now increase,” it said.
Four years ago, in a PIL filed by the late J B D’souza, urban planner Shirish Patel and civic activist Cyrus Guzder against the “misuse” of 33 (7), they pointed out how some builders inflated the number of tenants to avail extra FSI.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

The builder lobby are such cheats

They get to pay nothing for the parking + staircase + lift + lobby or the open spaces they call flower beds and they charge the sky for these things from buyers

India has no transparency in building codes.

Now with the supreme court judgement. We are sure to see building with not even a foot of space between them and builders charging the sky for such match boxes houses.

In India we can never expect transparency in regards to real estate because the law makers are the crooks.

Nobody can save this country.

ashish said...

We never get tired of accusing someone or the other for our ills...do we? I think the supreme court decision is a positive decision for the following reasons:

1. In the developed world,island cities always have a high FSI. In Mumbai, the FSI is 1.5 for residential buildings. In Singapore it can be as high as 25, in New York as high as 15, in Seoul 4.
2. Increased FSI reduces cost and therefore affordability.
3. It reduces the need for the city to spread to far out. Spreading far leads to increased commuting times and costs.

The one institution in India which, I think, still maintains its independence and implements the spirit of the land is the judiciary. Let's stop blaming and start finding solutions.

Pl read more at the newly redesigned www.meridharti.com

Later,
Ashish

Shailesh said...

Ashish: Doesn't SC rule hurt your group though. By increasing FSI to such high level, it takes away the argument that builders used for years. "They are not making land anymore in mumbai". It seems there is lot of land now.

The common econ 101 would say that now supply would increase drastically, will put more pressure on prices going downward. Right?

sabbalseshu said...

Speculation casuality

New Delhi, Sep 5 (IANS) A builder unable to repay huge debts Thursday strangled his wife and daughter to death before attempting suicide by slashing his wrist with a blade in his home in south Delhi, the police said.

The police found Sayeed Mohammed Abbas, 38, his wife Neelam, 35, and their two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Zenum lying on the bed in their rented, first-floor house in Maharani Bagh area in the afternoon.

The police had to break open the door to enter the house after the family's driver-cum-cleaner Santosh reported that his employer was not responding to his calls despite several knocks on the door.

Santosh said the air-conditioner was on inside, which aroused further suspicion of something being wrong in the house.

The police said Neelam and Zenum were found dead and their bodies were sent for the post-mortem examination. Abbas was rushed to the Trauma Centre of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), where doctors performed a surgery on his hand. His condition remained critical till late in the evening.

Abbas, who was from Aligarh, had married Neelam, a Hindu from Ghaziabad, three years ago. The police said it was an inter-religion marriage and the couple was living in the rented house for the past 10 months.

When we reached home, we found three of them on the bed. Abbas' hand was bleeding profusely while his wife and daughter were dead. Initial investigations suggest that Abbas gave sleeping pills to his wife and daughter and then strangled them to death, said Deputy Commissioner of Police (South Delhi) H.G.S. Dhaliwal.

Abbas then probably cut open his wrist to commit suicide, he added.

The police have recovered some sleeping pills, a shaving blade and three suicide notes from the bedroom.

In his first letter, Abbas asked his business partner Anupam to apologise on his behalf to people from whom he had taken huge loans. The two partners have a office in Sector 18 of Noida.

In his letter to the police, Abbas accused Rajesh and Sanjeev, from whom he had taken loans, of giving life threats to his family after he had shown his inability to pay back the loan money.

Neelam in her letter said that her body was to be handed over to Akbar Bhai. She also wished that her funeral to be carried out as per the Muslim rituals.

The police said Abbas was in huge debts and even the cheques of Rs.65,000 he had given as rent money to his landlord Ravi Aggarwal, who lives on the ground floor of the same building, had bounced twice.

ashish said...

Shailesh, I do not owe allegiance to any group except www.meridharti.com. Now, to answer your question:

1. Increased FSI will definitely reduce prices. However, the impact is not directly proportional to %age increase in FSI since the higher you build the higher the costs of construction.
2. Anybody who says land is scarce, doesn't understand RE or policy or both. Land can be created through policy measures such as increased FSI (on new buildings), land reclamation and rulings such as the recent one by SC to allow rebuilding dilipated buildings with higher FSI. Pl read my most recent blog post in which I have written about "gentrification" -eg. in Mumbai Dharavi is a fine example of govt policy to genttrify a neighborhood in close collaboration with private sector (builders) and other such slum development projects across Mumbai.

Lastly, please do not expect the SC ruling to result in prices crashing. Prices will simply stop rising by 15-20% p.a. Instead, they will rise in a more orderly manner much in line with GDP growth-I expect RE prices to rise between 11-12% p.a. compounded till 2012. The key is 11-12% of what current number and that will vary from city to city. Some projects in all cities are overvalued but the market as a whole is not.

Later,
Ashish
www.meridharti.com

Anonymous said...

Why would house prices continue to rise by 11-12%? Is there any analysis of affordability or income growth to back up that statement? If I were to buy a few properties, would meridharti.com offer me insurance that would compensate me for losses if property prices go down?

Anonymous said...

So Ashish, you are telling us that if prices will double in 5 years. The 50L flats in Pune commonly found nowadays, which are unaffordable to the vast majority of people, including myself, will now cost 1crore. Cool. Actually at this point, I do not care if they become 2crores also, because I will continue to rent those brand new nice flats for 13,000 Rs as I do now. heheheheheh. Because nobody other than investor/NRI who will not be staying there will be buying those flats.

So how many flats are you buying now Ashish? After all, you do want to double your money, it is a sure thing. Also, if prices will never go down, why have realty stocks crashed by over 60% this year?

Observer said...

Contrary to Mr. Ashish's sunny forecasts of continued 11-12% growth in house prices, the markets have already corrected by 10-15%. This, from one of the major builders themselves, Ansal. So it would be advisable for readers to be very careful and do extensive research, and also be fairly sure of their job security before buying at these prices. It is laughable to think that these already inflated prices are going to double by 2012. Well, they may double, but what will be the point if the transaction volume is very low? Sure, I can put up my house for sale for 10 crores, or even 20 crores, but what is the point if no one buys it.

Anyway, here is the link to Mr. Ansal's comment.

http://www.livemint.com/2008/09/04000109/Realty-bites.html

Sushil Ansal, chairman of Ansal API says that the markets has come down by 10-15%. Ganesh Raj, partner and head real estate, infrastructure and government of E & Y says that land valuations have come down by 10-20%. Raj points out the big players and financiers are most likely to be the ones who will manage long enough for the industry fundamentals to turn positive. However, the small players may suffer. “The question is how long will the downturn last? Those who can hold on will be able to weather it and others will be forced to sell,” he says.

Shailesh said...

Asish: I will try to answer your points.

higher you build the higher the costs of construction.

At present the relationship between construction cost and actual prices quoted by builders is completely out of whack. My family has been in construction business for long time. From what I understand, decent class B residential unit should cost about Rs 1000 to 1500 per sqft as construction cost. The prices being quoted even in far flung suburbs such as Thane and Kandivali is Rs. 6000 to Rs 10000 per sqft. Most will be willing to pay decent profit for Builders, but 300% profit is unreal.

Anybody who says land is scarce, doesn't understand RE or policy or both.

Large part of speculation is based on the common psychological fear among buyers. Most buy because they don't want to be left behind. Especially coastal or island cities have additional fear of land restrictions. This fastens bubble. You take out this psychological fear and lot of people will back off from paying large sums for housing.

I have lived thru 2 big RE bubble. In 1993 to 1995 period in Mumbai India and from 2000 to 2005 bubble in US. Both these bubble had similar characteristics. Primarily few people make money in beginning, then majority follows them (like Fools Rush in). The majority normally never wins. Even in US, where I currently live, prices near NYC have fallen back to 2003 level. India esp Mumbai is no different.

Anonymous said...

I DON'T KNOW WHY YOU GUYS ARE WASTING TIME TO RESPOND TO ASHISH'S COMMENTS.

HE IS A PAID WHORE OF THE RE GANGSTERS AND IS BASICALLY CLUELESS ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING AND WHAT IS COMING. READ HIS PAST POSTS FROM THE LAST MONTH.

THIS IDIOT SHOULD NOT BE EVEN ON THIS BLOG TRYING TO CONVINCE PEOPLE. I WOULD SUGGEST TO ALL HB BEARS TO IGNORE HIM AND KEEP RENTING. FANNIE AND FREDDIE IN US ARE TOAST THIS WEEKEND, A BIG WORLDWIDE RECESSION IS LOOMING. RE IN INDIA'S MAJOR BUBBLE AREAS LIKE DELHI AND MUMBAI AND ITS SUBURBS WILL GO DOWN BY 50-60% IN THE COMING YEARS. DON'T BUY. WAIT AND RENT AND REAP THE BENEFITS AFTER 2-3 YEARS.

Observer said...

Indians are now beginning to invest in the US market because US real estate prices are lower than Indian real estate prices. Builders are feigning ignorance and trying to prop up the local real estate market. I do not know if people realize the irony of this occasion. A property in a developed country like the US with world-class infrastructure is cheaper than a property in India, which has shoddy infrastructure. Here is the link below:

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/HNIs_eye_cheap_property_in_US_as_prices_drop/articleshow/3453397.cms

NEW DELHI: It seems the US sub-prime lending crisis has come as a boon for Indian high networth individuals (HNIs). An increasing number of affluent Indians are now eyeing property in the States. Indians with existing professional connections in the US are showing the maximum interest in American real estate. With the sub-prime crisis badly hitting the US economy, property prices have fallen by nearly 35-40%. This makes properties in the US a much sought after proposition for the Indian investors.

Observer said...

A Deutsche Bank report on Indian real estate predicts a major correction in real estate prices overall in the next year or so. In some areas, it is predicted to be severe, mainly because of the reason of cash-flow which I had predicted in another post previously. Buyers can afford to wait and rent, however developers need bookings in order to maintain their cash-flow position and pay interest on the bonds etc.
Small developers are more vulnerable compared to big developers who have cash reserves.


I wonder where Mr. Boss is. Maybe he has more insight than people from Deutsche Bank and other top firms. After all, he always has the "RIGHT ADVICE FOR YOU"! I am sure Mr. Boss is out there buying properties since he is absolutely convinced like Mr. Ashish above that real estate prices always go up!

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Market_News/Deutsche_BankProperty_prices_to_fall/articleshow/3453430.cms

MUMBAI: Tight financial markets will likely aggravate the downcycle in the real estate sector and lead to a sharp fall in property prices and defaults by few developers, Deutsche Bank said. Reiterating its underweight rating on the sector, the investment bank forecasts further downside in realty shares, which have declined roughly 33% so far this year.

“We are yet to see a sharp fall in fundamentals for the sector in terms of a sharp fall in property prices, defaults by developers to banks, and a sharp decline in revenues and profits,” Deutsche said in a recent client note.

The investment bank opines that a severe downcycle in the sector now seems inevitable with the reversal in economic growth, low property prices, slump in mortgage rates and under-supply of units.

“We forecast major shortfalls in net cashflow, with asset-liability mismatches in a tight financial market environment and a currently cautious central bank. Most developers will not acknowledge a significant downcycle, but their financials (slowing growth, falling margins, rising debtors and gearing) and actions indicate otherwise,” Deutsche said.

Observer said...

Another point from the Deutsche Bank report.

"Despite weak demand and slow sales, developers have not yet been willing to reduce their property prices. It seems that they are prepared to hold properties rather than reducing their property prices since they have made significant profits during the last 2-3 years. However, the same is not true for the secondary market.”

I think the above profits over the last few years were made primarily on the backs of all those techies who took out those 20 year loans. I hope the US/EU slowdown does not affect those high-earning techies, because they cannot afford to miss even ONE EMI, before the bank calls to warn them. Already my neighbor, who received an appointment letter from TCS, has been asked to defer the joining date by six months. My cousin in ICICI Bank tells me that bonuses have been frozen at ICICI Bank and other banks as they prepare for a rise in loan defaults, and they are going in for cost-cutting exercises.

For all those people who leveraged themselves highly to buy those 50-60L flats, thinking that salary increases would take care of the ballooning payments, I can only say that they should have been careful and not listened to the real estate lobby. After all, they have made huge profits off of these people, and now the banks and the techies will have to deal with the problem.

At least others who are potential buyers should wait and carefully evaluate their situation before taking any major decision. This is what separates the rich and the poor people in the country. The rich get richer based on the ignorance of the poor.

Anonymous said...

Fannie and Freddie in US got a bailout. The stock markets should see at least 600 point jump this monday both at DOW and Sensex.

This bailout is going to bite US in the rear after the elections are over. When India needs a bailout, Indian Govt. cannot afford one.

Anonymous said...

And Gold prices with all precious metals will crash.

Anonymous said...

Crash I mean it doesn't go to zero, but may go down by $80-100 per ounce for Gold.

Observer said...

More layoffs happening in the tech industry, as Wipro and others reduce their workforce by 4-5%, and carry out cost-cutting exercises. I wonder how many of them had taken a 20 year home loan, and leveraged themselves to the maximum? I am sure Ashish and Boss would be able to compensate them and will gladly pay their EMIs on their behalf!

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Wipro_Tech_puts_3000_staff_under_scanner/articleshow/3456167.cms

NEW DELHI: Wipro Technologies has put about 4-5% of its workforce, about 2,400-3,000 employees, under the scanner for non-performance. While some would be given counselling to improve their performance, others would be asked to leave.


“It’s not just our view, but the industry’s view, that we have to be thoughtful of additions and drive productivity. We took a closer look at our hiring and realised that we did not need to hire more, since there were people on the bench,” Mr Kumar said. Bench refers to the buffer of employees not assigned to a particular project.

As the company works towards improving utilisation rates while keeping a tight rein on employee additions, its bench strength would come down. At the end of the quarter ended June 2008, Wipro’s utilisation rate was 78% (excluding trainees) and 74% (including trainees).

“We want to raise utilisation by 1-2% during the year and the bench strength would go down by a similar percentage,” Mr Kumar said.

Anonymous said...

I think major layoffs are coming to India. Moreover, those 50 lac paypackets will also dry up fast as the world is going into a deep recession. This week the stock markets will do good all over the world due to massive Fannie/freddie bailout. But it will all fall into a deep recession and the money tap for India is going to trickle rather than a fast flow as we saw in the last 5 years.

Don't get optimistic with the 800 point increase of SENSEX this monday but chickens are coming home to roost shortly.

sabbalseshu said...

The IT layoffs will not have any effect on the housing market in major metropolitan cities. Here is the reason, why

1. 95% of the medium/high end houses under construction/ ready possession are booked/owned by black market banias/gangsters/ corrupt government officials under benaami titles. Market fluctuations will not have any effect on their investments.
2.Assuming 5% of the home owners who have mortgages on their home become delinquent, the banks will simply takeover their homes and resell them at a profit. (30-40% of the total value of the home is collected by the builder as black portion, and the bank lends the rest 60% . Thus the home has 40% more value than the paper.

Unless the income tax department starts cracking down on black money, the situation is unlikely to change

This is India, and this is the reality

sabbalseshu said...

It is wrong to compare the market fluctuations in India with the developed countries. Corruption is deep rooted in our society and every business transaction has a white cum black portion.

Anonymous said...

When the consumer confidence tanks, people feel that housing will no more appreciate and if it tanks even by 20%, everyone even the gangsters will walk away. Just wait and watch. If India is different, it would be much worse as a lot of things are out of whack and not based on fundamentals. Patience is the key and it would be interesting to watch as it all unfolds in the coming year.

Shailesh said...

1. 95% of the medium/high end houses under construction/ ready possession are booked/owned by black market banias/gangsters/ corrupt government officials under benaami titles.

Show us the proof. I am Bania and have businesses as well all my relatives are in business world. With today's inflation, and tough competition from Chinese goods, not many are doing that great. And if 95% of properties are bought using black market money, you have much more systemic issues. The collapse is imminent in that case.

2.Assuming 5% of the home owners who have mortgages on their home become delinquent, the banks will simply takeover their homes and resell them at a profit.

Your argument is horrible. If there was some buyer available, why would homeowner not sell himself and reap that profit. Why give that profit to Bank.

Bubble in Real Estate are well understood. There is no denying. The faster the bubble got created, it will fall even faster than that. Learn from mistakes of flippers in US. Real Estate is going down as Indian govt can not bail out this exclusive speculator class. I feel India today is more capitalist then US.

Anonymous said...

TODAY THE STOCK MARKET IN iNDIA WILL GO DOWN BY 500 POINTS.

MEDIA IN INDIA IS STUPIS AS THEY SAID THE RALLY IN MARKET YESTERDAY WAS DUE TO THE NUCLEAR DEAL. THEY NEED TO KNOW WHAT US GOVT. DID BY BAILING OUT FANNIE/FREDDIE.

Observer said...

Almost 80% of commercial space in India built in the last 2 years is driven by the IT/ITES sector. Here is the following link to the above claim.

http://www.indianrealtynews.com/real-estate-india/real-gains-for-indian-real-estate.html

Of course, as these IT/ITES offices are filled, being a labor intensive industry, it has also driven demand for residential housing from the well paid employees, purely based on wage arbitrage with US/European citizens. The catch however is that with global wages, come global labor practices like layoffs/terminations. Job security is no longer assured unlike in public sector jobs.

Now in both USA and in Europe, there are increasing signs that a major recession may be imminent. Unemployment in USA has already increased to 6.2%, a 5 year high, and is projected to go up to 7% or more. The financial industry in the US/Europe is coming under increasing strain, and is projected to suffer huge losses. As the financial industry shrinks, projects from the financial and insurance industry will also shrink. Also, since credit is not easily available, businesses in the US will not be able to spend more on IT/ITES projects, and will either freeze or cut planned spending on those items.

Already TCS is seeing delays in major projects, and is desperately trying to diversify.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Software/Tata_Consultancy_sees_project_delays/articleshow/3461742.cms

The following article paints a gloomy picture of cutbacks on IT spend by major US/Europe corporations. This may explain why the IT companies are now desperately trying to drum up business in India and other developing countries.


http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/ITeS/IT_budgets_cut_in_more_than_40__large_businesses/articleshow/3464399.cms

Given the above, and the anecdotal evidence that many hires are being asked to defer their joining dates, what is the outlook for those 50L flats in most metros and cities like Pune etc? After all, most of those flats are aimed at the IT/ITES employees. I think the Deutsche Bank report warning of a severe slowdown in the organized housing sector is quite prophetic.

Observer said...

Burnout in IT/BPO/ITES jobs is projected to rise, particularly with age. Here is an article with relevance to the Indian scene with 12-14 hour workdays and increasing resemblance to the job insecurity of the US/European workers.

http://www.expresscomputeronline.com/20041018/technologylife01.shtml

So, if a manager who is 35 years old, with a savings of 15L in the bank, leverages himself to the hilt to buy a 50+L flat, he is making the following assumptions.

a. For the next 20 years, he/she will be making EMI payments without fail, EVERY SINGLE MONTH, of 40-50K rupees.
b. He will be continuously employed, and in good health, in the same city, and will be as productive at 55 as he is when 35.

Everyone in the IT industry knows that after 40, it is hard to sit for 12 hours a day programming/making reports. Programming and application development is a young man's job. So, unless the person makes it to the managerial cadre, his job may not be as secure since he will have to compete with fresh 30 year old programmers/developers with experience.

So, if we have 1 million IT/ITES workers today, we must have 1 million senior managers 20 years hence since you do not expect a 55 year old to be doing programming/application development/making reports/sales calls etc. A normal ratio of 25 workers per senior managers would require 25 million workers in the IT industry. With our colleges barely churning out 100,000 employable graduates, over the next 20 years, less than 2 million IT employees are available. So where is the projected growth going to come from? Also, this assumes there is no backlash from the developed countries, and no protectionist measures to protect their own IT workers. I will leave the obvious conclusions to other readers.

Observer said...

Major recession coming to the US. This is getting scary. History will look at this period and the winners will be separated from the losers in the next year. Those investors who sell their assets now and move into cash will thank themselves. Deflation/recession is never good for land prices, nor for wage growth.

I confidently predict that the inflation being witnessed by India today will sharply turn down and drop from 12.5% now to less than 3% by this time next year. This however, may not be good news for the IT/ITES folks because this will also be compounded by a dollar collapse, which will severely crimp margins and make Indian IT/ITES salaries look bloated, reducing the wage arbitrage. Also, because of the increase in unemployment levels in the US/Europe, there will be more protectionist calls, and competition from native workers in those countries who will now work for lower wages. This, together with the lower dollar, will eliminate the wage arbitrage advantage with India. Tough times are ahead, and I would advise Indians contemplating purchasing those 50L apartments to be very very careful.

Read the following, which is very scary.

http://www.financialsense.com/fsu/editorials/swagell/2008/0902.html

Observer said...

Real estate companies are now trying to get into telecom, building power stations, and are starting medical colleges. Looks like their real estate business is dull nowadays. I wonder why they are not taking the RIGHT ADVICE FOR U and building more apartments and houses? Prices are going to go up by another 12% year after year! We have this astute insight from Ashish and the BOSS. I would suggest Ashish and the BOSS should start calling these real estate companies, instead of posting here, and give them the RIGHT ADVICE.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Markets/Real_Estate/Realty_Trends/Realty_majors_diversify_into_other_areas_as_slowdown_begins_to_hurt_/articleshow/3418509.cms

sabbalseshu said...

Housing prices are directly related to the black money circulating in the market. Corruption/black money rules the roost in in cities like Mumbai. IT slowdown,job layoffs, inflation, interest rates etc will have minimal effect on the prevailing market trend.
It is foolish to expect significant drop in prices as investors in Mumbai can hold the prices indefinitely as most money invested is black and persons involved can afford to do so.

If there is a crackdown on the benaami investors by the government, the real estate prices may witness a steep fall. However, in the current circumstances this is unlikely as the administration itself is highly corrupt and most investors happen to be part of the existing government machinery.

sabbalseshu said...

Just because the blogs of Ashish and the BOSS are not to your liking, doesn't make them the real estate stooges. I find most theories flouted by Economic Times are based on western models and lack desi reality. As I mentioned in my earlier blog, corruption rules the roost. This is part of our culture/system and I don't see it changing in the near future

Prashant said...

This time its different. India is different than US. RBI is more vigilant that Fed. Indian RE was bought with black money, so it won't go down, blah, blah, blah.

Do you know what's common in ALL bubbles in history? Arguments such as the above. In every bubble people find reasons to justify the unreal price increases of the asset price (housing, stocks, etc). One interesing example - the Chinese were saying this time it's different for the stock market. It reached 6000. Now its sitting at 2300! I can enumerate many such examples, but you get the point.

The only truth about bubbles is that they burst, no matter what! Re-posting this link which illustrates the point - http://www.chrismartenson.com/bubbles
There are some naive bulls who believe that it is their duty to say good things about RE otherwise, the market will go down. So they keep talking good. Alas, in the long term, the market is not driven by the bulls or the bears, it is driven by the fundamentals. In this case, the prices are unjustified, given the income levels.

Concern for inflation is valid. Real-estate is a great way to hedge against inflation. In other words, a house price will definitely keep up with inflation over long term. But that in NO WAY means you should overypay for the house. First the house prices need to come back to realistic prices. My estimate it that they will correct by more than 50% in next 2-3 years. That is the time to start thinking of buying real estate. Till then sit tight!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Prashant,

Prices in Mumbai are unrealistic.

Actual these prices are of ten years hence.

The bubble will burst.

Arguments by the builder lobby paid media is the festive season will bring in the buyers.

But from where??? Where are the buyers.

As sabbalseshu said the RE market in India driven by black money. and the goverment is part of that.

The corrupt are the ones who hold benami property.

India can never get out of this rut because thats the way our Independent netas want. Politics is a pot of gold and diamonds.

Which political party is fighting for the peoples things like for people travelling from beyond Borivali (Virar Local).

Look at the state of road in Mumbai.

No power in Navi Mumbai for over 8 hours

No water in major parts of Mira road to Virar.

No political party will fight for these things.

My RIGHT ADVICE to all is to wait and not jump into buying property as these prices.

RE Brokers and builders lobby try to show that there is scarcity of Housing in Mumbai through so called paid Journalists (doubt if we can call the idoits who call them selves as journalist know anything about journalism) I know of a building buit in Kandivali which is still 40 % vacant.

So people. Wait

The prices have to correct.And correct big time.

Those willing to pay 9000.00 or even 6000 for flats in Malad/Kandivali/Broivali or beyond Andheri are idoits.

Anonymous said...

What 40% vacant? Ha! I can show you several buildings that are 100%vacant!!
I was surprised when after about 6 months, I saw some people living there (clotheslines,etc). On enquiring I found that the builder had rented out some of the flats to sucker people into thinking that some flats are getting sold!!!
What a joke.

mallapottell said...

If Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray decides to go after the Benaami home owners in Mumbai, the prices of flats will tumble by 50% within 3 months. At present, the only organization that can challenge builder/black money mafia is ShivSena.

sabbalseshu said...

NRIs eye Mumbai properties after dollar value rises
Real estate companies say there has been a sudden spurt of interest in properties in the city by non-resident Indians ever since value of dollar increased from Rs 38 to Rs 45
ALPITA MASURKAR


Non-resident Indians (NRIs) have once again renewed interest in the real estate market in Mumbai that has been witnessing a slump for some time now. With the dollar appreciating once again and its value increasing from Rs 38 to Rs 45, housing in Mumbai seems to have become cheaper for NRIs.
A 3-BHK apartment on the 23rd floor of Maker Tower ‘B’ in Cuffe Parade, one of the most expensive addresses in the city, has already caught an NRI’s eye. According to sources, Knight Frank, the property firm dealing with this property is in talks with the client. However, Ghulam Zia, national advisor for Knight Frank, refused to confirm or divulge any details.
Varun Santhosh, who works in the US, said, “The appreciation of the dollar has actually helped. I was looking for a house in Mumbai for some time now. Since the value of the dollar has increased, the time seems right to buy a house here. A couple of places in the western suburbs have interested me and I may take a decision soon.”
Speaking to Mumbai Mirror, a representative of Wadhwa Developers said, “The dollar going strong has indeed led to an increase in the number of NRIs investing in Mumbai. Wadhwa Developers looks at projects that are unique and that make a statement and this interests NRIs. Its projects at Goregaon and Oshiwara have seen a lot of inquiries from NRIs.”
Lodha Group, seconds this opinion. “The trend is indeed helping the market here. Several NRIs living in Singapore and other countries have booked apartments with the Lodha Group in Mumbai,” said an official from the Lodha Group.
Property expert Sunil Bajaj said, “This trend is being observed right from the western suburbs to the city.
However, the excessively high rates in the city are still discouraging NRIs from investing there. It is not migrants who are investing at this stage but those who still have connections in the city.”
However, Dharamraj Bhor of S Dharamraj and Co, a real estate agency in Bandra does not agree that NRIs are flocking to buy property in Mumbai, terming it as mere talk being circulated in the market.
“There are two reasons -- one, there is the belief that the value of the dollar will increase even more that is making the NRIs hold on for sometime.
Secondly, the political tension in Mumbai over the local language and residence has also deterred many NRIs from investing here at this stage,” he said.