Friday, June 18, 2010

Where the rich live ?

Soft marketing article by the WSJ to pump up real estate in India. Mostly sponsored by the builders. The question to ask is where do the rich get the money , and how much tax do they pay and have paid over the past few years. I dare WSJ to carry out an article on this topic.

Super-luxury apartments are back in vogue and they are bigger and better than ever before.

As India's economy has gained momentum over the past several months, super-wealthy corporate professionals and businessmen are once again ready to pay $1 million or more for their dream homes. That can buy apartments with five bedrooms or more spread over 5,000 to 10,000 square feet and with amenities like personal lap pools and jogging parks in the sky.

From gold tiled bathtubs to sky-high verandas, luxury living is back. Following a market lull in 2008, India's wealthy class is again dishing out top dollar for luxury apartments. WSJ's Shefali Anand reports.

Home builders are rushing to meet this demand. At least a dozen super-luxury apartment complexes are being built across India right now, mostly in the major metro cities of Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore.

The recent flurry of activity is a sharp reversal from early 2009, when the luxury housing segment was all but abandoned as the Indian economy's growth slowed. Developers had to slash apartment prices by 30% to 40% in February and March 2009, in order to find buyers, says Sanjay Dutt, chief executive officer for business at Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj, a real-estate services firm. Developers are trying to outdo each other in breaking fresh ground in luxury.

Some market experts are now getting worried about prices, which they say have reached near peak-2007 levels. Given that, and the huge upcoming supply, there could be downward price pressure on these apartments over the next few months, says Poonam Mahtani, national director of Colliers International (India) Property Services Pvt. Ltd., a real-estate-services firm.

In south Mumbai's Lower Parel neighborhood, for instance, around 10 million square feet of area is likely to be freed up for building high-end apartment buildings, according to an estimate by Religare Capital Markets Ltd. To create enough demand for these apartments, prices need to drop by 20% to 25%, says Suhas Harinarayan, managing director and co-head of research at Religare Capital Markets.

S.D. Corporation Pvt. Ltd.

While real-estate prices are tough to predict, buyers might benefit by waiting for a few more months. When many of these apartments come to market at the same time, they can get better prices, say consultants.

Buyers who don't want to wait are still getting a better deal than they were before the downturn, because developers are providing more value for the same price.

"Up till now, we didn't have properties which were fully fitted out in terms of closets and woodwork," says Shveta Jain, director, residential services, Cushman & Wakefield India Pvt. Now, however, these fittings are commonplace.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Pune : More registrations, less permissions

Pune mirror has an article which is bullish on Pune real estate. 21,000 registrations in 2010. It appears the the trend is strong and barring an unforeseen event of great magnitude, volumes will continue to be healthy. Once inventory vanishes I think prices will start rising. I was just checking with some builders and they are not negotiating. In the past they used to say get the checkbook and they will discount the price, now it appears they are not in a mood to bring their price down. Other buyers, end-users or sellers can post their experiences in this thread.

In the past I have always show my bullish stance for Pune vis-a-vis Mumbai and I think in terms of volume we will see more growth. The other number we need from banks is the NPA (non-performing assets) or loans in default. That could pressurize the market if the trend in that number is rising.

Flat sales show good healt- Link

Here is a win-win situation for the government and builders. After the recession-related slump in property deals, figures at the government registration office here show that, compared to last year, more people are purchasing flats in the city. In fact, the registration department has doubled its revenue as compared to the first quarter of 2009.

In Q1 of 2009, the registration office collected Rs 113.9 crore against registration of 13,033 flats in the city, whereas in 2010, revenue shot up to Rs 294.04 crore - more than double. March is the one of busiest months in the registration office.

This year, 8,900 flats were registered in March. Last year, in the same month, the number was 3,553, which translates into a 2.5 per cent increase. When we spoke to V D Dhansheety, joint district registration officer, he said, “In March, there are a lot of festivals.

On the auspicious day of festivals as well as towards the end of the financial year, people are more eager to buy flats. Therefore, in this month, more registrations happened. In mid-2008, the recession started. After that, the number of flats registered came down considerably.”

Dhansheety added that though banks reduced their home loan interest rates, no one came forward to invest in flats. “In 2009, due to improvement in the market, people started purchasing flats. The number is not a satisfactory one. But, in Q1 of 2010, there was an increase in registration of flats.”