Saturday, August 01, 2009

On offer in Chennai: Get new flats for old

CHENNAI: It’s commonplace to exchange old utensils, gold jewellery or cars for new. But ever heard of a builder coming up with an exchange offer 

that translates into: ‘You take my new flat; instead, I will buy your old one’? 

In what could well turn out to be a trendsetter, Chennai-based L&T Arun Excello Realty — a joint venture between an L&T subsidiary and a local real estate group — has offered an apartment exchange scheme exclusively to senior citizens. For them, the builder has reserved the ground and first floors of Estancia, an integrated township being promoted 18 km from the Chennai airport on the Madurai route. 

They have also tied up with international realty consultant Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj (JLLM) to guide elderly customers through the nitty-gritty of the transaction, including evaluating the worth of their old apartments. It is also the first time in Chennai that senior-citizen-friendly flats are being launched within an integrated township. Two other builders had recently launched such apartments in the city. 

Detailing the concept, P Suresh, MD, L&T Arun Excello Realty, said, “Senior citizens quite often feel out of place in the din of city life. They would have put up with hardships for decades, for the sake of their children’s education. In retired life, instead of living alone, feeling insecure and coping with daily challenges in managing the household, we invite them to our gated community that provides a secure environment. They will not be neglected or left alone, but will form part of a community, including children. We also offer to organise even the housekeeping.”

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Stock market bubble blog

Maybe it is time for a blog on the stock market bubble. All Indian indexes are fluctuating like pendulums and noone seem to know the direction of the market. Just few months ago, every commentator on CNBC India was forecasting doom and gloom. Now everyone is cheering the market rise and predicting the moon. Its time for a bottom up analysis of the situation and try to gauge the market commentary from the trenches of our desks. We might not be on Dalal Street, however let them not insult our intelligence by propunding gibberish market analysis. The blog is at Hope to see some of you folks there.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bangalore periphery realty prices slip below guidance value

Economic Times reports.

If Whitefied with all the IT parks can drop 30% offically, what about Devanhalli which has nothing but Greenfields :). In fact I know of deals in Shantiniketan taking place at below 3000 so the drop of 40% is not unheard of. Maybe a drop by 70% in Devanhalli is not a bad idea to start with.

BANGALORE: Bangalore’s realty market has thrown up a queer problem with property prices in peripheral areas falling below the guidance value set
by the government.

While buyers pick up property at prevailing (lower) market rates, they are having to cough up higher stamp duty for registration. This is because stamp duty is calculated on the guidance value set for each area/property.

“There could be strong case for downward revision of guidance value in peripheral areas,” says K R Niranjan, inspector general of registration and commissioner of stamps in Karnataka. Typically, the government conducts a valuation exercise around October every year and issues fresh guidance values based on property price trends.

If prices continue to be south-bound, the state will have to look at aligning the value to prevailing rates and this could well be the first downward revision in Bangalore. Instead of an annual revision, B S Shankaranarayanan, a legal expert in the realty sector, suggests timely and periodic revision of guidance values based on property price movements.

“This will help the public in cases where there is a price decline and enable the government to mop up more when prices go up,” he adds. And, like a builder in the Yelahanka suburb says, this is as good a time as any to bring about a correction in guidance value.

In a particular instance relating to Devanahalli, which witnessed a steep spurt in prices, given its proximity to the new airport, the value was revised during the year, a state government official says.

Requests seeking downward revision have started trickling in with buyers of the Prestige Shantiniketan project in Whitefield and builder ETA (for The Gardens project on Magadi Road) approaching the department.

The guidance value of Prestige Shantiniketan project is 3,200 per sq feet while it is Rs 4,200 per sq feet for ETA and hence, stamp duty would be calculated on these rates. But, realty sources quote the prevailing basic market rate for ETA at Rs 3,400 per sq feet while prices in Whitefield, where Shantiniketan is located, have suffered a very sharp decline of even up to 30%.

Typically, the guidance value is pegged approximately 20% to 40% below market prices to allow for escalation during the year. In the last three revisions, there has only been an upward revision of the guidance value. In fact, in April 2007, the revision was in the range of 100% to 300%, mirroring the realty boom. But, a builder says, the government hiked the rates when the market had already peaked out, marking the beginning of the downward curve.