Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mumbai constructions grinds to a halt

Construction halts in Mumbai, so ‘they wait here endlessly for some work’
reports on the human toll of the housing meltdown. While the builders can keep taking up obscene prices of 20,000 rs per sq/ft, the laborers who build these houses struggle for 250 rs a day. An ironic state of affairs. This is extreme greed on part of the construction industry who seem to believe that they are generating mass employment for unskilled workers. K.P Singh and the lobby should be ashamed of asking for bailouts from the Indian government when they treat their laborers so shoddily. Its about time the real face of the construction industry is bought to light.

MUMBAI, NOVEMBER 21 : Every morning, Lalita Rathod joins the mass of labourers outside Khar station, an “open labour market” where people are chosen for work at construction sites. But this last fortnight, the wait outside the station has been one huge disappointment for Lalita and other daily-wagers from the Bharat Nagar slums — nobody needs them.

“In the last one month, finding a job has become really difficult. Some of my neighbours have returned to their villages as they couldn’t earn enough to pay rent here. They hope to get back after a few months when things get better,” says Lalita who brings home Rs 250 a day by lifting earth and gravel at construction sites. She says she can find a job as a domestic help but that will just get her Rs 1,000 a month — not good enough because she has five school-going children.

Rafiq Khan, a construction contractor, points to a row of skilled labourers — masons, painters, plumbers. “This line has reduced by half lately. Many have gone back to their villages and will remain there till we call them for work. First, there was an exodus of construction workers from Bihar after attacks by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena. Now, there is a lull in the real estate market. They wait here endlessly for some work.”

For a city that has some 45 million square feet under construction, Rathod and Khan’s experiences might come across as stray cases. But even the best plans have gone all wrong, so several developers are focusing on selective projects or on completing one building instead of four. At the Kalpataru Aura project in Ghatkopar, work has been stopped on all buildings except one. The DLF construction site in Lower Parel, which had earlier planned to employ about 1,000 workers, has very few workers at the site.


Anonymous said...

This is how they swindled every body,
Investor <=> Asset <=> Buyer
Stock holder paid for inflated asset prices & home buyer bought it at inflated price. As the promoters knew that real asset price is only 25%, they never invested at inflated prices. For an example: a IPO came in market for a company “Bholasingh real estate.” , with the help of auditors they shown that the company’s asset is worth 100cr [real worth is only 25Cr ] & collected 50cr from market & remaining 50% is promoter’s stake(i.e. 25cr ). Now Bholasingh started selling the asset at inflated price & home buyer falls prey of this scam. When real value of the asset revealed in the market, the prices start falling down.
Who is the looser & who is the gainer? Investor & buyer lost their hard earned money.
Bholasingh is unaffected till prices go down below 1/5th (impossible).

Anonymous said...

There is no way the government should support these unscruplous builders including KP Singh and company. On one hand they loot the customer by forming cartels and charging exhorbitant prices and then reduce price by 1-5% saying they heed to the call by government. When the actual fact is that the price have more than trebled in last 4 years. On the other hand they exploit the labout class by paying them pittance. On third front they avoid paying taxes by missapproprating black money into property deals. Also now they want to stop paying the banks whom they have borrowed because of their greed of huge land banks and now want the government to bail them out as they are cornered from all sides..SHAME ON THESE BUILDERS WHO ARE NOTHIN BUT PARASITES..I CALL ON ALL POTENTIAL BUYERS TO STAY AWAY FROM THESE ATROCIOUS PROPERTIES AND NOT FALL INTO THE BUILDERS GIMMICKS..Let them come to senses

Anonymous said...

For the next ten years atleast, no one needs to buy a home as plentiful homes are available at nominal rents. In Bangalore alone, 2 lakh flats are vacant. With no buyers, the rents are collapsing fast (just look at Craigslist Bangalore)

Aparna said...

Over the last 3-4 years. One thing has been clear that these builders have raised money from various sources and in the end at the peak they had also listed with the equity markets...FII's, Market Cap and finally investors all of them will give way one by one. Also, in the end builders greedy for growth, over-leveraged. tried to also grab every piece of land they could acquire calling them land banks. The intent clearly was to do what De Beers has done to diamonds, acquire everything and artificially drive up demand thus robbing the honest, hard-working person on the street of his savings. A lot of my friends have been literally hood winked by these builders and their con sales men the brokers. I have seen people literally promising anything and lying to make a sale...since there is no way to get consumer redressal, people not used to these sales criminals get taken in and lose 10's of lacs of their savings and retirement money. After this day light robbery the builder will come in and charge double for things like parking..they charge you for super-built up and then they charge 5-6 lacs minimum for open-air parking!

I hope that this bubble bust makes some of these builders and brokers go bankrupt as retribution for all the crimes they commit. And for once the govt. should favor the unprotected hard working middle-class and not these fat, bloated, fast-talking, lying criminals.

Ending my Rant..

Anonymous said...

Nice report on realty business:

Anonymous said...

It is not only the builders and speculators who are responsible for this Super Housing bubble but also the so called savvy, high earning Techies albeit without the realization. The housing finance companies, banks not only sneaked in IT companies’ campuses but also invaded the private company email accounts. They have been flooding email boxes with the ‘exclusive offers’ only for YOU. With impunity they made it a vehicle for the unscrupulous builders to lure the stressed out techies. In the campus they planted ATM machines with the snazzy ads about one or the other new housing projects. The HR guys turned the blind eyes to the cartel of banks and builders who has sucked the money in broad daylight. The IT guys with their zeal went overboard and dumped the hard earned money to balloon the real estate bubble. In this mad rush they forgot how their parents with very less income provided good education to them, built a decent home and retired with the ample money in the kitty to fend off rainy days.

The first step should be to kick these banks, housing finance companies out of the campuses and prevent them sending emails to company's private email accounts.

The sincere request is to stop for a moment and ponder over how our parents planned for finances and took care of us. Please remember for most of them there were no financial consultants, brokers, glib home loan estate but just the old age WISDOM.

Anonymous said...

As a commitment to discount by Vulture strategist, see the 20% official price cut nationwide.

Why Vulture strategy is expecting minimum 50% price cut despite high demand?

--Converting high demand in to profitable investment require appropriate price level which we don’t see in the current market so prices has to fall.

--In last 3 years Indian builder received ample of funding from ECB(external commercial borrowing), PE(private equity), Hedge fund, (highly leveraged funds).
Now due to global financial crisis the liquidity dried up on wall st. & funds started de-leveraging. So no more FII funding.

--Will this money again come back to fuel Indian real estate? NO.
Due to falling prices, it has created lot of opportunities in developed countries & other parts of the world, which are much more attractive than India investment. US housing is much cheaper & better than India real estate.

-- Due to global job losses, NRI remittance has reduced drastically which is impacting badly to Bank as well as real estate sector.

What’s ahead?
Indian real estate companies have to think about how to simulate the demand as freebee & price cut has failed to gain the same interest as 2007.

Guys, don’t be impatient, let it fall then only pick up. 50% price cut is guaranty.


Anonymous said...

The Indian Real Estate industry is very vaguely regulated.

In fact it can be said that it is more of organised criminal syndicate than anything.

Why is there no law to define what is carpet area/built up area or super built up area. Why is parking space sold by builders.

There are too many loop holes in Indian real estate industry.

And these loop holes are taken advantage by all builders in unity.

The government is running on criminal and builder money.

There is too much black money in this country. As some one said, Indians have over 1200 billion dollors of black money in Swiss banks.

Anonymous said...

Heard the latest, the building which are given to under SRA (having 225 sq ft area) . The builders would not need to provide flush for the toilets .

LOL .....

so we have vertical slums now...

long live mumbai

Great for people who live near these buildings,


What a scam..... SRA

Anonymous said...

Prices will crash

Anonymous said...

Greedy Indians are going to eat from the toilet soon.

Shame on all the IT pros and buyers who overextended themselves and shame on the Govt. to shake hands with corrupt buiders, instead of saving general people who voted for them.

Time has come for all greedy bastards to get fucked.

Rahul said...

I'm a regular reader here and the analysis is really great, both by Vic as well as lots of posters. However, the credibility of the blog as well as the poster is reduced when they use inappropriate language.

I believe the prices are going to crash beyond imagination. And the downfall will accelerate and will really shock people. I think the prices will easily fall 50-70%, so no need to hurry.

Shailesh said...

India realty sector set for correction: Report

Mumbai, November 24: : India's property market is poised for a correction and residential property rates will have to drop by up to 30 per cent in some geographies for affordability to catch up, a report on said on Monday.

However, such a fall could trigger significant negative effects on the economy with construction, consumption and investment taking a hit, a Goldman Sachs Economic Research report said.

Related industries such as steel and cement on the backend, and hotels, trade and transport on the front-end will be impacted, it said.

Income growth will fall, reducing demand for housing as the economy continues to slow due to the knock-on effects of the global financial crisis, lowering demand for real estate.

Anonymous said...

Thank you poster @9:05 AM for the information “In last 3 years Indian builder received ample of funding from ECB(external commercial borrowing), PE(private equity), Hedge fund, (highly leveraged funds), the source which has now been dried up”.

The Frankenstein monster has reared it ugly head and now is not listening to his master ( a plea from Finance minister, policy makers to reduce home prices) and will make its strong presence felt during the incoming states and central election.

Anonymous said...

My dear Rahul,
You don't decide what is appropriate language or not. This is the anger among people that gets expressed.
It is still better than a lot of so called big high society rich people who are ruining and fucking the middle class of their wealth.

If I had to decide, all the corrupt people should be brought in front and stoned to death like Saudi Arabia. These people misuse democracy and power given to them by People of India.

Shailesh said...

Arvind Singhal: The denial of reality

As if on cue from the USA where there is an increasing clamour for more government bailouts, many in the Indian private sector have started to make similar noises. Of all those who have been the most vocal in seeking government support, subsidy and protectionism, the case being put up by the realty sector is the most disturbing. When the recent economic boom started in 2003, land prices in posh Delhi localities ranged from Rs 40,000 to Rs 60,000 per square yard. Builders’ flats in Gurgaon for middle-income customers were being offered for booking at Rs 2,200-2,500 per square foot, while premium residential developments in South Mumbai came to market at Rs 4,000 per square foot. Office rentals in Gurgaon were at Rs 30-35 per square foot per month while in Mumbai, they hovered around Rs 100 or so. In April 2008, the same prices respectively had shot up to Rs 400,000 per square yard, Rs 6,000 and Rs 28,000 per square foot, and Rs 120 and Rs 400 per square foot per month. While this increase, ranging from 300 per cent to 1,000 per cent, put many Indian developers on the Forbes list of billionaires, it also resulted in the destruction of the primary demand for residential and commercial property from actual users since it became unaffordable and unviable, and brought only speculators to the market. In this situation, the noise from the real estate sector exhorting the government to facilitate reduction in the home loan rates is nothing but a denial of the reality that unless the property prices are scaled back to 2003 (or even 2005) levels — making them affordable/commercially viable for actual users once again — the realty sector will not see a boom again irrespective of the lending rates.

But alas, will Government listen to this. The short answer is No. In the name of Financial stability, they will reduce interest rates.

Shivaji said...

There is one fact that is overlooked by the contributors to this blog. That is, the major investors in real estate are our own MPs, Ministers, Civil servants, Police officials etc etc. These guys will do their best to salvage their investments and exert pressure on banks to lower interest rates, overlook certain aspects of lending criteria & direct banks to provide loans real estate developers. By now these guys in power very well know that real estate is doomed but they hope that extending the life of the bubble, they hope to rescue their investments.

How far these guys are going to be successful in their venture is anybody's guess. Those who are at the receiving end, people like us, should totally refrain buying property until the storm settles down.

Anonymous said...

Dear Bolggers,
No matter if the interest rates go down or the Govt. borrows money from World Bank or IMF for a bailout. THE HOUSING IS NOT GOING TO RECOVER. IT HAS TO GO BACK TO SUSTAINABLE LEVELS WHICH I THINK IS 60-70% DROP IN METRO AND HIGH BUBBLE AREAS.

The culprit has been exposed and major inventory is going to start building up in the coming months with no buyers in the market. This is the first phase which already happened in US more than 18 months back. Guess, what will happen here in India even after 12 months?

Ex Realtor said...

Very interesting blog. I do agree with most of the observations. The building industry is the oneworst hit in this economic down turn. Having worked for a top builder in Mumbai and recently made redundant, I can confidently say that the worst is yet to come. The speculators are likely to see their dream of making big money slowly vanishing as the days go by. The builders are resisting a melt down hoping for a miracle but it is unlikely that they can hold on for long.

My estimate is that during next diwali period, the prices in Mumbai will be down by 40% of the current, and thereafter depending on the market.

It is prudent to wait and buy at and opportune moment. Based on my experience, the price in Bandra West should be around 4000-6000 sq ft by 2009 diwali for a A class construction. Currently the prices start at 20000/ sq ft for a B class construction which are are not only exorbitant but a total rip off.

Anonymous said...

Message from PN Vijay


With all the money hope chidambaram will stabilize the markets and bring cheers to the people who already bought flats

cynic said...

Chidambaram's glib talk is not going to change the economy. With the coming election in mind, he has been trying to boost the market by sweet talking about 9% growth. While the rest of the world is in recession, we will achieve 9% growth!!!!!!!!! what a joke. The UPA government is just buying time. If US and Europe stop outsourcing, we will be in a deep shit. The gulf countries, the major foreign currency earning source, are planning to cut down development plans that may result mass movement of labor force back to India. Everything points to recession but the govt says that we are on top of the world

Buckle your belts guys. Do not rely on the 420 government

Anonymous said...

Well, the Govt. cannot say the truth as it will cause PANIC in housing prices and stock market.
Even if prices fall by 20-30% in the next 2 months, Govt. will still say it is just a correction and NOW is the time to buy.

All Govt. and RE Lobby will always say it is the right time to buy as they want their interests to be safe guarded.

Anonymous said...

Lot of people are still in dilemma that, the corrupt politician, civil servants, builder lobby OR black money can influence the market fall. If that is the case it would have happens till now, what are they waiting for? They already tried & found that fall is inevitable that is the reason they start begging to people that prices has bottomed, this is the right time to buy. WITH THE HELP OF POLICY CHANGE THEY CAN POSTPONED THE FALL BUT THEY CAN’T STOP IT.
The past engine of real estate growth is grinding its teeth.
No foreign fund for speculation, no NRI buyers, no IT/ITS buyer. Do you think the HNI people are going to buy home now? If they are high net worth they already have nice bungalow.
Why Banks are reluctant to extend the credit to Builder? Even after interest rate cut banks are not willing to give credit to builder against property because they know that the collateral (apartment+shop+office space) is illiquid, yes there is no buyer to buy it at builder’s quoted price, so it is a illiquid asset. If banks will try to extend the credit they will go bankrupt as the toxic asset will come on their balance sheet. Recently Fitch has put ICICI on watch list means there is a chance that the credit rating will degrade. If you will read the analysis, it is pointing to car loan, home loan, loans to builder on ICICI’s balance sheet. No wonder if you are receiving the promotional mail about new project launch from ICICI.
When will it bottomed down? As per experts when some companies will go bankrupt it’s a sign of reaching to bottom which will clear the financial mess.

So guys let it fall then only pick, next year minimum 50% price cut is guaranty.


Anonymous said...


When you say 50 % cut can you explain further... currently DLF is giving apt in blore for 2800... will it come to less than 1400 ??

Anonymous said...

The finance minister is once again up to his tricks.

“Chidambaram said that the only major impact of the ongoing global economic crisis has been on inflation, which will take some time to moderate.”

Yes, the inflation has come down and so the salaries. Doesn’t he take his friends from IT companies listed on NASDAQ and NASSCOM chairman to task for incessantly mouthing lies AND ONLY lies about going on hiring spree when in fact they are playing the delaying tactics for new recruits? Check below.

Engineers’ salaries melt to Rs5000

"Priyesh Shah, who passed out from an engineering college in Mumbai this year, is doing just that. Last July, when Shah was
in the penultimate year of the course, a leading IT company selected him for recruitment. After his graduation, however, the
Hyderabad-based company kept postponing the joining date, which was initially supposed to be June 23.Frustrated, he approached several other companies, ultimately finding work with HCL Infosystems. But the salary of Rs7,000 a month was a far cry from the earlier offer of Rs25,000.

His classmate Mayank Vasani has had to settle for Rs5,000 against Rs21,000 offered to him last June by an IT firm that is
listed on Nasdaq."

Anonymous said...

Anon for DLF:
Yes, it will be offered even at lower than 1400 psft. Just wait for some time, maybe a year or so.

No builder will be able to sell at these prices. Moreover, Bangalore has a supply of houses for the next 10 years. No more construction is needed.

Anonymous said...

Amid The Slump, A Mumbai Developer Pegs Sales With 'Buyback' Offer
Despite the gloom in the realty sector, Sunil Mantri Realty has managed to sell 50 apartments in one week with a buyback offer incorporated in the sale agreement. As per the scheme, the developer offers to buy back flats three years later if prices dip. The realtor has booked 50 units in four of its projects - three upcoming ones in Gwalior, Sholapur and Bangalore and one nearing completion in Mumbai. The offer began on October 25 '’08 and ended on November 2 '’08. The company aims to offer 50 more units under the scheme.
15 Nov 2008 The Hindu Business Line

Anonymous said...

I think Govt. should do the following to prevent another bubble and to bring back sanity to housing market:
--Keep interest rates same or even higher.
--At least 20% down payment on RE.
--Should value RE based on the rent to mortgage ratio i.e. a house renting for 20K should be around 120x20K=24lacs. Govt. should set prices based on above and kill demand. When Govt. comes with a bailout, that is also socialism, so why not make housing availeble for all citizens who voted for them as it is a basic necessity.
--Govt. should mandate 5% increase on RE based on inflation or bank rates.
--Govt. should definitely stop this black money business. All transactions in white with proper taxes to the country for its growth.

All this may not happen as all top people are thieves and how would they marry their kids lavishly or have them educated in US/UK? Don't these thieves have any conscience?

Ex Realtor said...

Re. Anonymus 9.15pm

Mantri Constructions

The 50 investors who have bought apartments are associates of mantri.( relatives, friends, investors). We are living in 21 century, and if someone gets scammed by the builder, the person deserve it. No doubt, it is a innovative scheme, but home buyers are unlikely to take the bait. There will be many more scams like this as the builders get desperate.

There is no binding law in India that can male a builder to adhere to his promises. Normal person always fail to notice the small print and then gets screwed up.

Abdulla said...

Those of you dreaming of a drastic price cut and doomsday pundits, please read the following which appeared in economic times.

Realty cos fight shy of price cuts
21 Nov 2008, 0202 hrs IST, Sanjeev Choudhary, ET Bureau

NEW DELHI: Real estate companies
seem little inclined to listen to the government’s call to reduce prices. Even as realty firms such as
DLF, Parsvnath and Emaar MGF demand rollback of taxes, they are reluctant to commit any price cut.

An association of developers, Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (Credai), has asked member developers to reduce prices, but no one seems willing to announce any cuts.

“The government has imposed a number of taxes on the real estate sector. It needs to roll them back,” said DLF chairman KP Singh. He, however, didn’t make any commitment on price cut. “Prices are a function of demand and supply. Today, supply is far ahead of demand,” he said, adding that housing demand will pick up only after interest rates are brought down to 6-7%.

Most developers are banking on the possibility that the Reserve Bank will slash rates that will in turn bring home buyers back into the market. Many developers don’t think it is possible to slash prices.

Delhi-based Emaar MGF feels lower interest rates and an improvement in general economic sentiment are the answer to revive residential market, not price cuts. Emaar MGF managing director Shravan Gupta says several micro-markets across the country have already seen a correction of 20-25%.

“We have already cut prices, which have brought our margin down to 15% from 30% last year. If we cut prices further, our margin will get wiped out,” said Mr Gupta.

Parsvnath Developers chairman Pradeep Jain, too, feels prices are unlikely to come down, even though builders may focus on small-size homes to bring down overall cost. “The ticket size will get smaller for making homes more affordable. But per square feet rate will not come down,” said Mr Jain. He is the president of the Delhi chapter of Credai, which gave a call to its 3,500 members on Wednesday to reduce prices.

There is a wide spectrum of views among developers on price correction in the residential market. Even as Emaar MGF’s Mr Gupta says a price correction of around 25% has been seen in several micro-markets across the country, Mr Jain of Parsvnath says prices have remained stable. Another Delhi-based realty firm Omaxe CMD Rohtas Goel says prices have reached ‘rock-bottom’ by having corrected up to 40-50%.

The correction, developers say, is not with respect to the rates at which transactions were made in the past. “There is no benchmark to compare rates of new launches. We can only compare it with our estimates of prices, which similar projects could have fetched in good market,” says Mr Gupta.

Therefore, price correction, as mentioned by developers, remains debatable. Developers say price correction can be seen only in new launches, as old buyers will not allow builders to reduce prices in an ongoing project.


The price correction has been happening. Interest rates are expected to be lowered to 7-8%. The best time to invest in housing will be Jan-June 2009. The demand outstrips the supply, therefore waiting is futile. Indian economy is strong and the growth is unstoppable. Please do not listen to pessimistic loser, for these guys do not wish to move forward in life.

Anonymous said...


Think about your friends and relatives... everyone will benefit out of price cuts... why are you crying unnecessarily... Still you will make money on commission... If volume dries up you are in deep shit...

Anonymous said...

when prices come down by 50 % (i.e 1000 - 1200 PSF in in bangalore) i believe we need to buy the properties which are ready for occupation as the new ones may be compromised on quality... any thoughts??

Anonymous said...

the present ones are also compromised on quality, it is not proportional to price at all, read about the famous highrise slab collapse in bangalore

Anonymous said...

Let the builders not cut prices. No one is going to buy and they will soon be sitting on a huge inventory. They'll have to reduce prices and even drastically if the properties don't move. They don't have a choice else they will be out begging on the streets.

Btw, this time interest rate cuts will not make any difference as the fever is over and people are getting to reality. Now masses are understanding the value of 1Cr and their aukaat to pay it back.

Anonymous said...

BTW, this "correction" or price-cut or what you will is going to happen regardless of what crack-pot schemes this abdulla or sunil mantri or dlf/singh think of. The US govt could not prevent the recession with their trillions of dollars printing ability, compared to which the Indian govt. will do nothing and thus..

I am reminded of the famous dialogue of Agent Smith in Matrix-1 - Hear that Mr. Anderson? That is the sound of your death! That is the sound of inevitability...

These are economic cycles. Markets do not rise by 300-1000% and correct by 20% to resume climbing to another 1000%!! If it does climb another 1000% and rates of flats become lacs/sft..who is going to buy? and what if it falls from there back down to 2000 rs/sft..all the people who have bought at the top will be killed..literally.

Vik said...


Can you write down your experiences while working for the the realty firm ? What was was inside scoop ? Your advise will be valuable to everyone reading this discussion.

Anonymous said...

We are very happy to hear that Builders are not going to reduce the prices, we have never asked any body to cut the prices. Then why builders are coming to us, begging that the prices have bottomed down, it’s right time to buy?

We are not interested to buy from them, we will buy it in Bank auction, agree you will not get 2% commission, we can understand the pain.
Every one here has 20% price cut offers, so your economicstimes ref doesn’t make any sense here.

Today Fitch, put UCO bank on watch list, due to bad loans on balance sheet, ICICI is already on watch list, very soon Bank will get rid of this toxic asset from Balance sheet & auction will start.
The Vulture strategist group is expecting price decline in all goods & commodities in next few months. Every know that US is now worrying about deflation(falling prices ) risk, considering the US the world’s largest consumer, we expect overall price fall in every sector. Check the fuel prices, it’s coming down.
As housing is the epicenter of the bubble, it will have long & deep correction.

Guys don’t be impatient, let it fall then pick up, minimum 50% price cut is guaranty.


Anonymous said...

My dear Vulture,


Anonymous said...

Read this :

Review about a builder Al-Track group of Pune :

This builder has put up his hoardings all over the place in Pune about his famous construction and this forum tells you the reality now.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, for all those braveheart "investors" and "proud second- home-owners" here are some stories to thrill and enthuse you into buying more "properties". Go to the link below and get a blow by blow account.