Saturday, March 28, 2009

DLF customers gang up, pressurise developer to commit refund

Latest developments in the DLF's chennai project from ET.

DLF customers gang up, pressurise developer to commit refund
29 Mar 2009, 0633 hrs IST, ET Bureau

CHENNAI: Customer pressure seemed to have got the better of India’s realty giant DLF. Nearly 300 such buyers, who have backed out of the company’s prestigious ‘Garden City’ project in Chennai, refused to leave its premises till they got a written assurance that their money would be paid back in full.
Consequently, DLF has assured them that the formal refund letter addressed individually to the exiters would be given by April first. In its communication dated March 28, 2009, DLF Southern Homes, the special purpose vehicle executing the project on Old Mahabalipuram Road, said "the process of full refund will commence from 1st April, 2009, and will be completed before 30 September, 2009. The priority of disbursement shall be based on the order of first exit letters received and will be intimated by 10th April 2009."
For over a year and more, problems for the country’s largest listed developer have only been mounting. It has been facing the ire of customers, who made bookings in the 3,493 apartment Garden City project on 53 acres, which marked the Gurgaon-based realty biggie’s maiden entry in the city.
Apparently, the total number of exiters from the project was pegged at 580 out of its existing base of 1,800 customers. DLF Southern Homes was to have given a letter outlining the timeline of refund for all the exiters. But that did not happen, provoking angry reactions from the exiters, who refused to leave DLF premises until they got one.
The buyers, who advanced payments, have organised themselves into a Google Group, constantly monitoring the builder’s progress. Last month, as part of the attempts to appease its customers, wanting to exit from the project, DLF had brought down the prices from Rs 2500 to Rs 2600 per sq ft against Rs 2800 to Rs 3200 per sq ft for its existing customers. For new customers, the basic price was fixed at Rs 2750 per sq ft.
But this too seems to have not made any headway. For, on Saturday evening, nearly 300 buyers converged at the DLF office, seeking a written assurance from the developer to refund their money paid as advance for the project.
Earlier this month, the realty major had expressed its commitment to complete the project on schedule. This was in the wake of reports about consumers shooting exit letters.
If delayed approvals triggered anxiety and panic among existing customers, DLF Southern Homes MD K K Raman allayed the fears stating that "the construction activity is in full swing and we are well on schedule. We are committed to hand over the homes by April to June 2011, as originally committed."
"We do not foresee any problem in adhering to the timelines as we are adequately capitalised," DLF ED J Subrahmanian further said.

Friday, March 27, 2009


Another bubble pops. CNBC, of all the channels is running this story. Its hard to imagine that someone would slander the MBA degree to such an extent. time for a new phrase. Wonder when we see these articles about Indian MBA schools like IIM's and ISB. All Economic times does is to print articles about their average salaries in rupees, skewed every time due to dollar salaries earned by some folks who got placed in the US/UK. Morons don't understand the meaning of medians and standard deviations.

Those who can, do it,
Those who cannot, teach,
and those who cannot teach, do an MBA.

however I would not say that the MBA is useless. It has its value but a 1 year program post graduation program is better then two. Again the 100k loans for US MBA's are bad financial decisions, specially when high paying jobs are scarce. If you would know a thing about finance, this could be something to consider

Put your ear to the ground near any business school campus, and you will hear the sound of another bubble about to pop. The MBA will soon be joining equities and house titles in the museum of formerly overvalued pieces of paper.

The problem in the short term begins, like so many other fine things these days, in the financial sector. Over the past two decades, about one-third of graduates from top business schools took jobs in finance. But banking will never be what it once was (we can only hope), and consulting—the other major consumer of MBAs—is reeling, too. Couple declining demand with the fact that at the onset of a recession, the supply of students actually rises as the prospectively unemployed look for ways to fill in gaps in their CVs, and "shorting" the MBA looks like a compelling near-term trading strategy.

The really grim news for the MBA, however, is about more than short-term trends. Isn't it just a little suspicious, after all, that the sector that showed the greatest appetite for MBAs was the most grotesquely mismanaged? In fact, the economic crisis has exposed long-standing flaws not just in the modern approach to business education but in the very idea of business education.

The truth is that the relevance of the technical training allegedly offered by the MBA was always overblown. The idea that there is some body of knowledge pertaining to business management that can be packaged up and distributed to the business universe in two-year course-lets—well, it sounded good about a century ago, when it was first conceived. Maybe it still had merit when the schools were turning out only a few thousand graduates per year. But it certainly stopped making sense well before the schools achieved their current level of production of a whopping 140,000 or so graduates per year. The empirical evidence on the contribution of the MBA to individual career performance seems to bear this out—mainly because it doesn't exist. In fact, if the relevance of an M.D. to the performance of doctors were even half as unsubstantiated, we'd probably be fantasizing about tossing a few physicians in jail, too.

The other truth helpfully revealed in the throes of the crisis is that ethics and integrity and social responsibility aren't just optional extras for good business management—unless by "management," you mean "looting." Managers don't need to be trained; they need to be educated—in the sense of "civilized." Unfortunately, a business degree isn't just irrelevant to that purpose; it's positively detrimental.

Now, to be fair, people don't behave like jerks just because they spend two years in business school. After all, as many of my business school friends have pointed out, most of the first year goes into heavy partying, and the second year is really a marathon job fair. No, for the most part, people behave like jerks because nobody stops them from doing so. The charmers at AIG walked away with multimillion-dollar second homes as a reward for exposing their institution and the entire financial system to outrageous risks because it was (so far as we know) a perfectly legal way to make money. The whizzes at Goldman Sachs hedged their supersize profits with underpriced, implicitly publicly backed insurance from AIG for the same reason.

If we ask why no one stopped these people, however, we come right back to business school. It was the market fundamentalism that dominates business school thinking that assured us that markets are self-regulating. It was the management myth—the idea that there is some specialized, teachable body of expertise that constitutes management—that confirmed the strange notion that these people were capable of regulating themselves. And it was the shareholder-value model from Business 101 that said all you need to do is load up managers with tons of stock options and they'll be sure to do the right thing. These aren't just ideas that happen to be taught at business school; these are the ideas that provide the rationale for the existence of the schools. The only semblance of a theory behind modern business education is that it purportedly produces "experts" in shareholder-value maximization who are capable of forming an ideal, self-regulating market.

It's a neat theory, of course, and pretty radical, too. But not since the fall of the Soviet Union has a system of belief woken up with so many parking tickets on its windshield.

The reality is that business school is now chiefly a community of intention. It brings together people who share certain career aspirations—for the most part, to make big bucks—and occupies their time teaching them a few technical things that they don't need to know, along with a code of conduct that says, in essence, whatever is legal is ethical; and if it makes money, it's a positive duty. It's now clear that we would have all been much better off if, instead of cloistering these people on fancy campuses with world-class golf courses, we'd have sent them off to do two years of national service.

For the benefit of beleaguered business school academics, it's worth pointing out that a world with fewer MBAs is not necessarily a world without business studies. On the contrary, once researchers dispense with the idea that they have to package their material for the purported benefit of junior managers everywhere, they could actually study business. Maybe they could even learn to criticize it. Maybe they and their students could even learn to report on it, the way that journalists used to do.

In the meantime, since the national-service idea probably isn't going to gain much traction, I suggest that it's time to go long on the humanities. Now that we've tried business with savages, perhaps it's time to give the educated a shot.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

35% - 50% drop - The new normal

So It looks like Mumbai is no different then the rest of the country. All the arguments of island city, no area to develop , constant demand, no supply, blah, blah seem to have failed. Credit and affordability drives markets. For too long we have been subjected to the builder and realtor rhetoric and many have been suckered into buying properties at outrageous prices.

From what I see 3000 per sq/ft seems to be the floor for housing in suburbs. Now depending on the builder you can get suckered into the super-built up area and end up paying 40% more but atleast
the base price is down.

Source : CNBC-TV18

Home buyers should gear up for good news. Home sale volumes seem to be bouncing back but at steep discounts. Mumbai developers have started bringing down prices, and in some cases the dip is as high as 50%.

CNBC-TV18’s Priyanka Ghosh reports.

For those who are waiting to buy a house, this could be a good time. New project launches in the market is witnessing a steep correction, with apartment prices in suburban Mumbai recording a dip by a whopping 50% in some cases, a clear indication of how hard pressed developers are for sale. Not surprising, as many of them have had single digit transactions last quarter.

Sandeep Runwal, Managing Director of the Runwal Group said, “In Thane, if you were selling at Rs 5,000 per sq ft (earlier), prices are down to Rs 3,100 and 3,300 per sq ft (now). So, you have seen a realistic correction of 45-50%... but it has brought the consumers back into the market.”

Sanjay Dutt, Managing Director of Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj added, “I am talking about developers like Akruti, Lodha and Rustamjee, who have launched projects in the region of Rs 2,500 and Rs 3,000 a sq ft and from whatever I have learnt, they are selling.”

The Runwal Group sold 600-700 apartments in the past three months at a discount of 40-45%. Whereas, HDIL sold 70% of its Kurla project in five days, in March 2009 after launching it at a 35% discount.

CNBC-TV18 learns that Thane alone had 6,000 transactions in the past three months. Companies like Orbit Corporation and Nirmal Lifestyle too have revised pricing to the tune of about 35%.

That, according to experts, is in tandem with the average price correction Mumbai has seen this quarter.

But there is another rationale to this rampant price reduction. We understand that developers have come under tremendous pressure from both banks and private equity players to sell and churn inventories if they want funding and disbursal of loans. And, of course, in a cash strapped environment, developers have little choice to accept these terms and bring down prices to sell.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Mumbai project prices

I'm trying to consolidate some of the information posted in the comemnts. Lets keep updating this list.


Everything was 7.5k and above. Now uniform 7000 (except Diamond Garden - about 10k)

Raheja Acropolis - Aphrodite building - Two months ago - 8600. Now 7200.

Remaining buildings in Deonar - havent checked, but have to trade down compared to Raheja.

came across this fantastic construction in Deonar, problem was all apts were 2200 sq. ft. Normal times, would have been a 9-10k building, was quoting 7.5-8.5. Not much available though, apparently.

Central Mumbai

Have only started research here.

Ashoka tower, Parel - Peninsula Project, Quoting 20k, Investor at 18k

Ashoka Garden, parel - Another Peninsula Project - Was 14000, now magicbricks has a seller at 11500.

Dosti Flamingoes - 10k, down from 12-14.

6:56 AM
Anonymous Cool Head said...

Common Man,
Here's to add to your database. A colleague was shown a new complex coming up at Thakur Village Kandivli, in the "luxurious" category. Builder says 5999 discounted from 7500 a few months ago. Broker signalled that if serious can be had for even 5500, my colleague is angling for about 4000.

7:02 AM