Residential Sales Contract in Mumbai, India

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Real Estate News Letter

21st March, 2011 to 27th March, 2011
1. Snapshot

2. Interest Rates

3. Infrastructure

4. Industry News

5. Private Equity News

6. Regulatory Buzz

7. Public Markets

8. Land

9. Residential

10. Commercial/ Retail

11. Township

12. SEZ

13. Hospitality

14. Input Cost
                        Trends in Nifty and CNX realty index
           per cent
          3.5                                                        3.0            2.8
          3.0                      2.3            2.2
          2.5                                                                            2.4
          0.5                                         1.2
                    -0.2               0.9                           0.8
         -1.5          -1.0
                  21-Mar         22-Mar         23-Mar              24-Mar         25-Mar
                                        Nifty           CNX REALTY

      Source : NSE

                           Trends of FII in equity markets
           Rs billion
                     21                                                             22
                                                                     19                   18
                                                  15                       15
                                   13 13                12


                   21-Mar         22-Mar         23-Mar              24-Mar         25-Mar
                                                Buy          sell

      Source : SEBI

            Per cent      WPI-Weekly inflation data (primary articles)

        16%                    16.2%
        15%                                                  14.9%
                                        14.6%                                              13.5%
        14%                                                                14.0%
        12%                                                                         12.3%

            22-Jan 29-Jan 05-Feb 12-Feb 19-Feb 26-Feb 05-Mar 12-Mar

      Source : Ministry of Commerce and Industry
Interest Rates
 No news in this section for the week
 Bhosari flyover cost pegged at 99                        Tower, Mall of India and DLF-3. The RMGL trains
                                                          will have a capacity of approx 1,000 passengers and
 crore; may open in April                                 a maximum speed of 80 km per hour. According to a
                                                          company official, trains will look more aesthetic as
 The under-construction flyover at Bhosari on the         the overhead electricity will not be used for the
 Pune-Nashik highway is again in the news for the         supply of power like in Delhi Metro. Instead, the
 high expenditure it is incurring. While the Pimpri-      power will be supplied through Third Rail, a method
 Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has               that supplied electricity between the rail tracks.
 already spent an estimated Rs 96 crore for the           However, it will be fully protected from all sides
 flyover in the past two years, a few other allied        through insulation to ensure safety against
 works, which will be taken up, will need another Rs      electrocution.
 3.58 crore.
                                                          ―Rapid Metro will be a solution to the transportation
 The Times of India, 22 March, 2011 Pune                  woes of commuters in Gurgaon. Besides the
                                                          aesthetics, the safety and comfort of the passengers
                                                          has also been kept into consideration. The work is
 Patel Engg bags Rs 161 crore                             progressing at good pace and will be completed
 Karnataka govt order                                     within the stipulated time frame of 30 months,‖ said
                                                          Sarvesh Kumar Tiwari, media head, RMGL.
 Patel Engineering has bagged a Rs 160.69-crore
 order for the upgradation of Tinthini-Kalmala road       The first privately fully-financed Metro being
 from the Karnataka Government. ―The project              constructed at the cost of Rs 1,088 crore will
 comprises upgradation of 73.8-km long stretch from       introduced the first aluminum bodied trains fitted
 Tinthini to Kalmala, a part of State Highway 61 and      with air-conditioning to cope with temperature
 State Highway 15,‖ the infrastructure firm said in a     reaching 50 degree Celsius or above.
 statement today. The project is expected to be
 completed within two-and-a-half years, it added.         The Pioneer, 23 March, 2011, New Delhi

 The Hindu Business Line, 23 March, 2011, New             Road to Haji Ali-Bandra clear, but
                                                          contract still hurdle
 Gurgaon to have its own Metro                            With the Maharashtra State Road Development
 network by 2013                                          Corporation (MSRDC) awaiting the Environment
                                                          Ministry‘s clearance to construct a coastal road
 After Delhi Metro, the millennium city of Gurgaon will   between Worli and Haji Ali, the corporation is now
 soon have a metro network of its own to cater to the     looking at ways to end the concession agreement
 commuters within the city. The work on the 5 km          with Reliance Infrastructure Ltd-led (RInfra)
 long stretch between Sikanderpur and DLF Phase-3         consortium to construct a sea link.
 has started and is targeted to be completed by
 January 2013. Equipped with latest commuters‘            According to MSRDC officials, the corporation is
 safety and comfort features, the Rapid Metro Rail        exploring all legal options to deal with the
 Gurgaon Ltd (RMGL) will cater to over one lakh           agreement. ―The MSRDC is exploring if it would
 people in the first phase of its operation.              have to terminate the agreement as the original plan
                                                          has changed from sea link to a coastal road. The
 There will be six stations on the route             --   terms of reference have changed. The MSRDC is
 Sikanderpur, DLF-2, Belvedere Park, Gateway              also exploring if the consortium can be engaged to
 carry out the new plan for which the entire contract
 may need changes,‖ an official said, requesting

 The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management
 Authority (MCZMA) had cleared the coastal road
 proposal last week. However, it also remarked that
 as per the new Coastal Zone Regulations, the
 portions of the recommended road on reclaimed
 land cannot be permitted. The MCZMA forwarded
 the proposal to the Ministry of Environment and
 Forest (MoEF), recommending an in-principle

 The Indian Express, 23 March, 2011, New Delhi

 New airport near Chennai to have
 four runways
 The proposed greenfield airport at Sriperumbudur
 near Chennai will now have four runways, instead of
 the two planned earlier. The decision will see the
 number of passengers and aircraft being handled by
 the new airport increase manifold. Official sources
 said that the master plan for the airport was being
 changed to accommodate four runways.

 ―Land is already available for the proposed airport.
 So, it has been decided to make an airport which will
 take care of future growth needs of the sector,‖ the
 sources said. The Airports Authority of India will
 shortly submit the project report to the State
 Government. Sources indicated that despite the on-
 going modernisation of the existing Chennai airport,
 a new airport would be required.

 The Hindu Business Line, 22 March, 2011 Chennai
Industry News
 Rising realty rates make small                            premises in and around Mumbai. ―Renting out flats
                                                           in redevelopment projects is on the rise. Renting
 town homes a reality                                      places for commercial and industrial purposes is
                                                           also increasing,‖ he said.
 People are moving to smaller towns as the realty
 market in and around Mumbai has been hit by               Times of India, 21 March, 2011, Mumbai
 stagnation, government officials have noticed.

 The trend is reflected in a record increase in
                                                           Mumbai home prices fall 20
 collections of stamp duty and registrations for the       percent from peak
 current fiscal. Even as transaction volumesin and
 around Mumbai remain affected by steep property           Mumbai home prices have declined 20 percent from
 prices, collections are expected to witness an over       their 2010 peak as lower sales, higher land values
 30% jump over the estimated target.                       and increased borrowing costs forced developers to
                                                           reduce prices to woo buyers, according to Jones
 As against an estimated target of Rs 10,478 crore         Lang LaSalle India. Home prices, which increased
 for 2010-11, collections are likely to scale the Rs       3060 percent last year, have returned to 2008
 14,000 crore mark by March-end, a rise of 33%             levels, Sanjay Dutt, chief executive officer of
 above the set target. While the rise in property          business at the Indian unit of Chicago based Jones
 prices in and around Mumbai contributed to the rise,      Lang LaSalle Inc., said in a report on Monday. Dutt
 officials said transaction volumes rose appreciably       expects prices to remain at these levels until the
 in smaller towns.                                         three-month monsoon season ends in September.

 The government collects up to 5% of the value of          The central bank's eighth interest rate increase this
 the property in stamp duty. Charges for registration      year to curb inflation has led to tighter liquidity and
 of the property document are collected separately.        higher borrowing costs for developers.
 An official said an increase in home buying volumes
 in smaller towns indicated that the areas were            Mint, 22 March, 2011, Mumbai
 rapidly urbanizing and becoming more accessible
 for building homes.                                       Mumbai witnesses fall in real
   Statistics of registered property documents
 indicate that several first home buyers are               estate sales registrations
 increasingly buying properties in such areas, a
 senior official said. Houses in smaller towns are a hit   It‘s been a weak start to the year for the Mumbai
 with second and third home buyers, who use them           real estate market with the number of property sales
 as weekend homes.                                         registered in India‘s financial capital continuing to fall
                                                           for the second consecutive month. The downtrend in
 Some experts, however, have a different take on the       sales volumes for the month of February is similar to
 rise in stamp duty collections. Sunit Gupta, co-          that seen in January. Sales registrations at 4,716
 author,                                                   are down 22 percent year-on-year and 7 percent
 Stamp Duty Ready Reckoner and Market Value of             month-on-month, according to a study by Prabhudas
 Properties in Mumbai, 2011, said transaction              Lilladher, which points out that even after adjusting
 volumes were too small to account for a big jump in       for the fewer days in February, the numbers would
 collections. ―Transactions in and around Mumbai           be more or less similar to those seen last month.
 account for 70% transactions,‖ he said.
                                                           ―The three-month moving average graph for sales
 Gupta attributed the record collection to high            registrations clearly illustrates a continuation of the
 property prices and an increasing trend of renting
Industry News
 downtrend,‖ the brokerage notes, adding that              Stop-work notice on Virar
 volumes for the lease segment continue to trend up,
 with the numbers coming in at 8,055, up 20 percent        township to continue
 year-on-year. The continuous rise in the number of
 properties being leased is probably the result of         The work at Evershine Global City, a township with
 prospective home buyers not being able to afford          311 residential buildings, commercial complexes
 purchases after the sharp rise in property prices         and malls spread over 9.32 lakh sq m of land at
 seen over the last one and a half years. It‘s possible    Dongre village near Virar will continue to be stalled,
 that prospective buyers are waiting for a correction.     at least for a while. The Bombay high court on
                                                           Monday declined to stay a stop-work notice issued
 Sales in Mumbai‘s suburbs fell sharply, down 26           to Evershine Developers, which has undertaken the
 percent year-on-year in February, on the back of a        project in collaboration with another partnership firm,
 26 percent year-on-year drop in January. In               Enigma Constructions.
 contrast, sales in Mumbai city at 824 are up 13
 percent year-on-year, albeit on the lower base of         The developer moved the high court challenging the
 last year.                                                stop-work notice issued by the Vasai-Virar Municipal
                                                           Corporation on January 11. Counsel for the
 The Financial Express, 22 March, 2011, Mumbai             developer, Iqbal Chagla, urged the court to allow
                                                           them to continue work stating the developer was
                                                           suffering losses to the tune of Rs 75 lakh per day
 But many builders are resisting                           because of the stop-work notice.
 price correction, creating hype
                                                           Hindustan Times, 22 March, 2011 Mumbai
 Sales for home properties have dropped by
 approximately 50 percent in the past few months,          Mumbai realty robust despite
 but barring a 5-10 percent correction, there is
 resistance from builders to correct prices. But real      small fall in flat sales in Feb
 estate brokers and consultants believe the
 phenomenon will not continue for long and property        Mumbai's real estate market continues to be robust
 sales are set to slump by as much as 30 percent in        despite a minor blip in February when flat sales
 few months due to rising interest rates and tighter       clocked a 2.40 per cent decline, a leading industry
 lending norms.                                            body said. The city reported a marginal decline in
                                                           flat registrations at 16,341 in February as against
 ―Developers are in denial mode,‖ said Pranay Vakil,       16,743 registrations in the year-ago period, data
 chairman, Knight Frank, global property consultants.      from the Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry
 ―As post-recession, market conditions improved,           (MCHI) showed.
 developers jacked up property rates by almost 60
 percent and are aggressively building large land          "There has been no sharp decline in Mumbai's real
 banks by borrowing money at high interest rates           estate market--there has only been a marginal
 from banks. With plummeting sales due to                  decline in sales figures of residential apartments,"
 unrealistic prices and banks seeking repayment            MCHI said in a statement here.
 having to follow strict Reserve Bank of India norms,
 developers are facing a tightening liquidity situation.   The decline in flat sales in the first two months of
 We will see a softening in property rates,‘‘ Vakil        this year is not severe, MCHI's President Sunil
 added.                                                    Mantri said, admitting, however, to a small dip in the
                                                           same during the period. Although it is a fact that flat
 The Times of India (Mumbai edition) , March 22,           sales did decline in the
Industry News
 first two-months of the current year, the extent of fall     itself.
 is not that severe as is being made out to be by
 some," Mantri said.                                          OUTLOOK: Real estate buyers and sellers are
                                                              conjecturing over how the Mumbai residential real
 In 2010 (January-December), Mumbai clocked a                 estate market will fare over the next three quarters
 total registration of 2,17,466 as compared to                of 2011. Evidently, residential property demand will
 1,94,885 in the previous year, MCHI data showed.             experience further pressure in 2011. The market
                                                              saw a period of unprecedented expansion in the first
 The Economic Times, 26 March, 2011, Mumbai                   three quarters of 2010, and it is reasonable to
                                                              expect that price appreciation will flatten or decline
 Mumbai Developers Should Look                                in many areas.

 Beyond Volumes & Pricing                                     Given the current uncertainties surrounding
                                                              regulatory aspects such as parking FSI, some
 Ramesh Nair, MD, WEST INDIA,Jones Lang                       prominent proposed high-rises will face delayed
 LaSalle India                                                approvals, impacting sales. It is also expected that
                                                              developers will offer smaller units without
 After a one-year period starting in the third quarter of     compromising on the amenities to make them more
 2009, which saw a strong recovery with a record              affordable to a larger customer base.
 40%-plus increase in prices, the Mumbai residential
 real estate market has been seeing a slowdown                RECOVERY: The current correction may last for as
 over the past two quarters across various micro              much as 4-5 months, or even during the festive
 markets.                                                     season. However, a full-fledged recovery to
                                                              Mumbai‘s glory days will happen only if the
 The past six months have seen the return of                  government puts more pressure on banks to lend
 negotiability in asking prices, and saw the return           money to the real estate and housing sector and
 from a sellers‘ to a buyers‘ market. Both registration       interest rates on home loans drop. Meanwhile,
 data and home loan disbursals are indicating a               Mumbai‘s developers will play a cautious game and
 distinct slowdown. The number of apartments being            avoid launching too many large projects in the next
 sold in the first quarter of 2011 is considerably lower      couple of quarters.
 than in the corresponding period of 2010.
 Developers who were selling their entire projects in         Like most others, Mumbai‘s residential market is not
 a few weeks are now taking months to sell their              immune to demand-supply dynamics. Any major
 unsold stock.                                                increase in supply will surely have an impact – with
                                                              increased supply, vacancy rates will increase and
 Many home buyers are playing the waiting game,               developers have to reduce pricing. Moreover,
 anticipating a further correction. The key reasons           interest rates are likely to rise marginally again,
 behind this slowdown are higher prices, higher               further curbing the demand for homes in the short
 interest rates impacting affordability, lack of liquidity,   term.
 scams diluting investor sentiment – and, to a lesser
 extent, excess supply in a few micro markets. Any            Mumbai‘s real estate story will continue to make for
 slowdown in the economy has not been a key                   a fascinating read, and it will always pay off in the
 criterion.                                                   long run. However, developers need to realise that
                                                              volumes are inversely related to price… the lower
 Many developers and agents admit that sales have             the price, the higher the opportunity.
 slowed down. Gone are the days when large
 numbers of apartments were sold during the launch            The Economic Times, 25 March, 2011, Mumbai
Private Equity News
 Kotak property arm to raise $500                         assets under management, plans to invest close to
                                                          $100 million over the next couple of months in major
 mn for India buys                                        Indian cities, he said.

 Kotak Realty Fund, the property investment arm of        The investments will mainly be in the residential
 India's Kotak Mahindra Bank, plans to raise as much      property assets, he said, citing Delhi, Mumbai and
 as $500 million of funds by the second quarter of        Bangalore as target markets. Private equity
 this year, in a bet on the long term case for property   investment in India nearly doubled last year to $7.97
 in Asia's third-largest economy, a top official said.    billion from a year earlier, according to a report by
                                                          research firm Venture Intelligence.
 * To invest $100 million in property in coming
 months                                                   Companies positioned to benefit from rising
                                                          spending power in the world's second-most
 * Targets opportunities in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore      populous country, with an economy growing at
                                                          about 8.5 percent a year, have been especially
 The fund intends to raise about $150-$200 million        sought after by private equity investors.
 from domestic investors and another $300 million
 from global markets, its director, V. Hari Krishna,      However, rising interest rates and tighter loan
 told Reuters in an interview.                            approvals could slow near-term growth in the Indian
                                                          property sector, Harikrishna said. Param Desai, real
 The long-term macro fundamentals are intact. The         estate analyst at Angel Broking, said he expects a
 markets have nearly doubled since 2005 and we            price correction over the next three to four months of
 have seen a cyclical turn. So, its a good time for       15-20 percent in Mumbai and 10-15 percent in
 investments, he said.                                    Delhi, with the satellite city of Gurgaon especially
                                                          vulnerable. He expects prices to hold up in
 Private equity funds, including four domestic and 10     Bangalore and Chennai.
 international funds, have invested a total of $14
 billion in Indian property during the last ten years,    India's central bank raised key interest rates last
 according to an industry analysis.                       week for the eighth time since March 2010. Its a
                                                          cycle. We have seen both ups and downs during the
 Of that, private equity firms have sold Indian           last half-a-decade. And we could also witness the
 property holdings worth nearly $2 billion, Krishna       revival in demand, Krishna said.
                                                          Separately, Kotak is raising a $300 million private-
 Last week, Kotak Realty Fund sold one of its             equity fund to invest in infrastructure projects in the
 property assets - Peepul Tree Properties Pvt Ltd - to    country.
 Tata Realty Fund for 5.25 billion rupees ($117
 million). The fund had made an initial investment of     The Financial Express, 23 March, 2011, New Delhi
 950 million rupees.

 Many of the investors are concerned over exits, but
                                                          HDFC realty fund to exit Bangalore
 we could demonstrate this as a market where we           IT SEZ
 can make decent exits too, said Krishna.
                                                          Realty fund HDFC Property Ventures Ltd is selling
 INVESTMENT ACROSS CITIES                                 its investment in a technology export zone in
                                                          Bangalore back to the developer, making its fifth exit
 The fund, which has about $750 million worth of          in recent months.
Private Equity News
 The sale will earn the fund returns of `490 crore on        Century raises 200 cr from Kotak
 the `210 crore it invested in Manyata Business Park,
 an information technology (IT) special economic             Bangalore-based Century Real Estate has raised Rs
 zone (SEZ) in north Bangalore, less than five years         200 crore from Kotak Realty Fund, the property
 ago, said an executive of HDFC Property who is              investment arm of Kotak Mahindra Bank, through a
 briefed on the matter.                                      private placement of non-convertible debentures
 ―It was an excellent investment for us where the
 developer has delivered well, with 7.5 million sq. ft       The fund fully subscribed to the issue last week.
 already leased out in the (12.5 million sq. ft) SEZ,―       Century managing director Ravindra Pai declined to
 the executive said on condition of anonymity. ―How          comment on the matter.
 ever, the liquidity situation is tight in real estate and
 there may be a slowdown in exits for a temporary            The money will be invested in a special purpose
 period.―                                                    vehicle (SPV) floated by Century to develop a 10-
                                                             acre residential project coming up on Old Airport
 HDFC Property, the realty fund of India's largest           Road in Bangalore. The project comprises of 650
 mortgage lender Housing Development Finance                 high-end apartments costing upwards of Rs 1.5
 Corp. Ltd, had put up for sale six office properties in     crore each.
 which it had invested about four years ago, as it pre-
 pared to return money to investors. The fund's              Last year too Century had raised money – Rs 100
 previous exit was from Embassy Golf Links, an               crore -- from Kotak through NCDs. Kotak, in turn,
 office property in Bangalore. The sale to a clutch of       sold 80% of the book to high networth individuals
 wealthy individuals earned it returns of `220 crore on      (HNIs). The company is using the funds to develop 7
 an investment of `51 crore, the executive said.             new projects with a built-up area of 1.7 million sft.
 Analysts said HDFC Property's recent exits were             TOI had previously written that the company is in
 triggered by the quality and rental yield of its assets     discussions with Baring Private Equity Partners
 across property markets.                                    India (BPEP) and Morgan Stanley to raise $150
                                                             million . This too could be concluded soon.
 Office properties are finding more buyers as these
 are be- ginning to generate substantial rental              Dayanand Pai-promoted Century Real Estate has a
 income, said Ambar Maheshwari, head of                      land bank in excess of 3,000 acres around
 investment advisory at DTZ International Property           Bangalore valued at over $2 billion.
 Advisors Pvt. Ltd. ―We will continue to see a
 combination of buybacks and secondary sales,                The Hindustan Times, 25 March, 2011, Delhi
 where funds exit by selling their stake to an- other
 fund,― said Maheshwari.
                                                             4 real estate funds raise Rs. 2,500
 Bangalore, India's technology hub, is seeing an             crore
 increase in demand for space in dedicated export
 zones as many blue- chip IT firms are expanding             At least four real estate funds are raising money
 their offices to keep up with a growing economy.            about Rs. 2,000 crore to invest in rental yield assets
 There is limited ready-to-move space in these zones         because of the lower risk and regular income
 but a significant supply addition is expected in            associated with such property compared with new
 Bangalore by mid-2012, BNP Paribas Real Estate              developments. Interest in rental yield assets has
 Research, India, said in its latest report.                 also increased as there is now a substantial stock of
                                                             property with high specifications that was
 Live Mint, 24 March, 2011, Bangalore
Private Equity News
 established in the past three-four years, It‘s the first   following the slump of 2008-09. Delays, occasioned
 time so many rental yield-focused funds are there in       partly by that slowdown, have also eroded the
 the market,‖ said Amit Goenka, national director,          internal rate of returns.
 capital transactions, Knight Frank India Pvt Ltd.
                                                            Rental yield investments have done better. Earlier
 This indicates a shift in the model of investment          this month, Kotak Realty Fund sold its stake in
 from development, such as residential projects, to         Peepul Tree Properties Pvt. Ltd, an information
 developed—commercial         space   that‘s  been          technology park, to Tata Realty and Infrastructure
 completed and rented out, he said. In mature Asia-         Ltd, for Rs. 385 crore, making a fourfold return.
 Pacific markets, 70% of transactions are for               Kotak had invested Rs. 95 crore in 2006.
 acquiring existing yield properties.
                                                            Private equity firms are drawn to stabilized assets
 JM Financial Property Fund, the real estate fund of        as they don‘t carry development risks, which are
 JM Financial Ltd, managed by Infinite India                becoming increasingly difficult to underwrite, given
 Investment Management, is aiming to raise a Rs.            the political flux, said Anuj Puri, chairman and
 400-500 crore rental yield fund known as JM                country head, Jones Lang LaSalle India, referring to
 Financial Real Estate Income Fund from domestic            issues such as land acquisition.
 investors. The fund has already registered with the
 regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India,         The demand for office space in India over the next
 or Sebi.                                                   five years (2010-14) is estimated at an approximate
                                                            240 million sq. ft. The National Capital Region (Delhi
 ―We plan to raise the fund from high networth              and its suburbs), Mumbai and Bangalore will
 individuals (HNIs) and domestic institutions over the      account for 46% of this demand, according to the
 next couple of quarters,‖ said R.K. Narayan,               2010 Cushman and Wakefield India Real Estate
 director, Infinite India.                                  Investment Report.

 Anand Rathi Financial Services Ltd (ARFS) is               ―For developers, this is a good alternative source for
 raising a Rs. 250 crore rental yield fund along with       funding and (to) monetize their assets because real
 real estate consultancy firm Knight Frank. After           estate mutual funds (REMF) haven‘t taken off yet
 deploying up to 75% of this money, they plan to            and real estate investment trusts (REIT) have been
 raise a $200 million offshore fund. Indiareit Fund         a non-starter in India or for Indian developers,‖ said
 Advisors Pvt. Ltd, the real estate fund promoted by        Narayan of Infinite India. REMFs invest in property,
 Piramal group chairman Ajay Piramal, plans to raise        either directly or indirectly.
 around Rs. 1,350 crore in a debt fund and a rental
 yield fund this year.                                      Live Mint, 25 March, 2011, Mumbai

 LIC Housing Finance Asset Management Co., a unit
 of LIC Housing Finance Ltd, is planning to raise a
 Rs. 500-750 crore real estate fund which will invest
 in rental yield and other assets within real estate.
 ―We are tying up with different domestic institutional
 investors and financial institutions,‖ said a top LIC
 Housing Finance official, who didn‘t want to be
 named. ―We have registered with Sebi and are likely
 to launch it by June this year.‖ Returns from
 development projects have generally been lower
 than expected because of market conditions,
Regulatory Buzz
Home loan foreclosure fee waiver                          Builders face tougher norms in
not viable: Bankers                                       cessed redevelopment
Although the ministry of finance has suggested            The Maharashtra government‘s proposal to levy
public sector banks to waive off foreclosure charges      stamp duty on the transfer of residential tenancy
on housing loans, major bankers are not yet ready         rights as per Ready-Reckoner rates will have a huge
for the move. In a recent communique to public            bearing on the redevelopment of cessed properties
sector banks and the Indian Banking Association           in the island city. Experts and developers say this
(IBA) as reported in FE on February 23, the finance       move will make it more difficult for unscrupulous
ministry advised lending institutions not to impose       builders to make a quick buck, stem the rot in the
any penalty in case a borrower pre-pays home loans        redevelopment of old buildings, and introduce a
from his/her own funds.                                   certain degree transparency in the system.

However, KR Kamath, CMD of Punjab National
Bank, said the foreclosure charges are quite valid        Under the prevailing rules, tenancies can be
hence there is no question of going back. ―I have         transferred by paying a nominal fee of Rs 20 per sq
certain liability to commit during the tenure of the      ft. A stamp duty consultant who did not wish to be
loan, and hence, I need some additional money to          named said, ―This is a very small amount, and it was
compensate in case the account was getting closed         easy for developers to create bogus tenancies. A
beforehand,‖ he said.                                     developer undertaking a redevelopment scheme
                                                          could make huge profits if the flats are in his name.
TM Bhasin, CMD of Indian Bank, said the banks had         This is especially the case in south Mumbai where
put foreclosure in the banking industry at a time         property rates are over Rs 30,000 a sq ft.‖ It is not
when credit demand was sluggish. However, things          uncommon for developers and landlords to evict
have changed today. Now the banks have entered            tenants or undervalue the price of the flat in the sale
into an era of robust credit demand.                      agreement, thereby causing loss of revenue. ―With
                                                          this new proposal, the government has sought to
―So, I won‘t mind if some of my borrowers want to         rectify this,‖ said the consultant adding that up until
shift their loans. I mean, we are already offering        now the concept of stamp duty is alien to old
competent rate of interest for our loans. Still, if any   properties.
lender is ready to offer an interest rate, which is
even less than his bank‘s cost of deposit and thus is     ―One has to shell out a maximum Rs 8,000 as
ready to spoil one‘s balance sheet, then I have no        stamp duty to register the tenement in a new name,‘‘
issue,‖ Bhasin said. But, these kinds of activities are   he said. By insisting on stamp duty as per the
quite few in the industry. ―I don‘t agree that if we do   Ready-Reckoner rates, the government has just
so, then foreclosure will become a common feature         made it difficult for developers to create bogus
at my bank,‖ Bhasin added.                                tenancies while redeveloping a cessed property
                                                          under the 1991 Development Control Regulation 33
VR Iyer, executive director of Central Bank of India,     (7), said another housing expert.
said the bank charged pre-payment penalty on
home loans so as to have cover for the funds, and         So, if a tenant under the pagdi system wishes to
assets. ―Whether the borrower is going for                transfer the tenancy he or she will have to shell out
foreclosure of his home loan from his own cash            more on stamp duty. This will be transferred to the
flows is one of the factors we look at while finalising   person purchasing the property.
the pre-payment penalty,‖ he said.

The Financial Express, 24 March, 2011, Mumbai             The Times of India, 24 March, 2011, Mumbai
Regulatory Buzz
                                                         The construction work will be limited to the area,
Lavasa gets conditional nod to                           614 hectares, for which permission was granted by
complete hill project                                    the Pune collector. It will have to set up a high-level
                                                         verification and monitoring committee, which will
The Environment Ministry's expert appraisal              include experts, representatives of the Union
committee has given conditional permission to            Environment Ministry and district administration.
Lavasa     Corporation      to  complete     pending     Lavasa will have to commit funds, as indicated by
construction work on 257 residential buildings in the    the expert report on the amount of penalty, re-
3,000-crore planned hill station township. The           compensation and creation of an environmental
incomplete buildings are located in a 614 hectare        restoration fund. It will also have to meet conditions
area of the proposed hill town.                          stipulated by the ministry and agencies of the state
The committee has said that Lavasa needs to
rework the planning and development of the entire        The decision by the expert committee to allow the
project,   including    the  environment     impact      corporation to complete unfinished construction in
assessment. It will have to submit a revised             the 700 hectare area was taken as "substantial
proposal. The recommendations have been                  development" had already taken place there. "In
accepted by the ministry. The Lavasa case comes          view of this and considering all related
up for hearing in the Bombay High Court on Friday.       consequences, there is no other alternative before
                                                         the expert appraisal committee, except appraising
"The EAC has made certain recommendations,               the project ex-post-facto and specifying certain
which we have accepted. And that is being                conditions with a view to minimise future damages.
presented in the court on March 25," Environment         However, for the remaining area, where construction
Minister Jairam Ramesh said. The expert appraisal        is yet to take place, there is still a chance to
committee has examined the application for phase I       examine, analyse, review and correct the entire
of the project, which covers an area of 2,000            model of development in the right environmental
hectares. The hill station township will finally         perspective,"   the    committee    said    in   its
encompass an area spanning 5,000 hectares.               recommendations.

According to reports from Maharashtra's town             The Economic Times, 25 March, 2011, Mumbai
planning and valuation department, the Pune
collector had given permission for non-agricultural
use for an area of about 614 hectares. In this area,
the plan to build 935 residential buildings was given.
Of the 935 residential buildings, 131 buildings are
almost completed, 257 buildings are under
construction above plinth level and the construction
for 547 buildings is yet to begin.

The expert committee has recommended that
permission to complete the construction of the 257
units is subject to the corporation meeting five
conditions. Lavasa will have to guarantee that there
will be no hill cutting, digging, excavation, and that
no activity involving generation of soil, its use or
transportation/disposal will be carried out.
Public Markets
 Gitanjali Gems to rejig business;                        Sobha Developers' stock price
 eyes realty                                              target cut
 Gitanjali Gems plans to restructure its business         Enam Securities has cut the stock price target for
 under five verticals — jewellery manufacturing,          Sobha Developers to Rs 313 from Rs 324, but
 branding, retailing, international business and          maintained a buy rating despite a slippage in sales
 infratech. ―The idea of the restructuring is to unlock   volumes. In a note, the brokerage said slippage in
 value for investors as each of our business verticals    sales volumes and higher costs and taxes shall result
 have grown substantially and need dedicated focus        in a 10 percent decrease in FY11 profits. However,
 to grow them even further,‖ Mehul Choksi, Chairman       increase in land prices and realisations in Bangalore
 and Managing Director, said.                             shall compensate in the medium term, it said.

 As part of the infratech business, Gitanjali plans to    The Financial Express, 22 March, 2011 Mumbai
 redevelop land in the city's western suburbs of
 Borivali and Andheri and in Panvel in Navi Mumbai.
 This will be possible by shifting their facilities.
                                                          Madhucon bags Rs 1,500-crore
 Likewise, the company plans to launch projects in        highway project
                                                          Madhucon Projects Ltd announced that it has
 The Hindu Business Line, 22 March, 2011, Mumbai          received a letter of award from the National Highways
                                                          Authority of India (NHAI) for four-laning of the Ranchi-
                                                          Rargaon-Jamshedpur section of National Highway-33
 Tata Housing to invest Rs 10,000                         between km 114 and km 277 in Jharkhand. The
 crore, develop 40 m sq ft in three                       company said in a statement that it would
 years                                                    commission two toll-ways in Tamil Nadu by month-
 Tata Housing Development Company Ltd plans to
 invest nearly Rs 10,000 crore in developing another      The project, awarded under the National Highway
 40 million sq ft of housing across India in the next     development programme Phase III, will be taken up
 three years, a company official said. This includes      on design, build, finance, operate and transfer
 the company's plans to invest nearly Rs 3,500 crore      (DBFOT) on annuity basis. The 163-km stretch
 in low-cost and affordable housing.                      project is estimated to be worth Rs 1,500 crore and
                                                          have annuity component of Rs 133.20 crore, with a
 The company, which signed an MoU with the                concession period of 15 years, including construction
 Gujarat Government during the Vibrant Gujarat            phase of 912 days.
 Global Investors' Summit in January 2011, will
 invest Rs 1,000 crore to develop two integrated          The Hindu Business Line, 22 March, 2011 Hyderabad
 townships, Rajeeb Dash, Marketing Head, said.
 Work on both the projects is expected to star in the
 next three to four months and it will be executed by     Probe sought into Balwa's 140-acre
 Small Value Housing Ltd, a 100 percent subsidiary        Goa seaside project
 of Tata housing launched in 2010.
                                                          After creating waves in the Lok Sabha for his role in
 The Hindu Business Line, 22 March, 2011,                 the 2G spectrum allocation scam, Shahid Balwa, co-
 Ahmedabad                                                owner of Dynamix Balwas Realty Group (DB Realty)
Public Markets
 has now held centre-stage in the Goa Assembly on
 Tuesday. The Opposition BJP on Tuesday
 demanded a probe into a controversial 140-acre
 seaside project, being developed by a firm co-
 promoted by Balwa‘s DB group.

 BJP legislator Damodar Naik said the Town and
 Country Planning (TCP) department should probe
 the Balwa-promoted firm DB Realty and how it came
 to acquire huge tracts of prime coastal land.

 He told the Assembly that the State should keep an
 eye on the mafia investing heavily in the State‘s real
 estate sector. ―Shahid Balwa, the promoter of Aldeia
 de Goa is now in CBI custody in the 2G spectrum
 scam. DB Realty and Balwa himself is linked to
 Dawood and Chota Shakeel,‖ Naik said.

 ―In whose hand is Goa going into? These big land
 sharks who are coming here, are linked to the
 mafia,‖ he said, adding the TCP should probe the
 ownership titles of the Aldeia de Goa project. ―This
 is a dangerous precedent for Goa, because the
 mafia is investing money here,‖ Naik claimed.

 Aldeia de Goa, is located near the Siridao-Bambolim
 bay, on the outskirts of the capital and boasts leisure
 facilities including a 30,000 sq ft club house,
 swimming pool, jogging track, well equipped gym,
 amphitheatre, tennis courts, a 5-star hotel from the
 Hyatt chain, a shopping mall and food court.

 The Pioneer, 23 March, 2011
No news in this section for the week
 Ashiana Housing completes                                 time. We are very enthused by the success of our
                                                           first township, Amstoria, and we are confident
 Ashiana Aangan phase-III                                  Astaire Gardens will get similar response," he said.

 Ashiana Housing, one of the growing developers in         "Astaire Gardens comprise 45 per cent open and
 India, hands over Ashiana Aangan Phase 3,                 green areas and is ideally located off the NH 8 and
 Bhiwadi. The group has announced the completion           Golf Course Extension Road with a panoramic view
 of Phase 3 of its most prestigious group housing          of the Aravallis," the company's Senior Vice-
 project.                                                  President (Marketing) Amit Raj Jain said.

 A half an hour‘s drive from Gurgaon, Ashiana              With an entry threshold of Rs 60 lakh, the property is
 Aangan is strategically located at Bhiwadi, one of        most competitively priced, Jain added.
 the fastest growing townships and industrial hub in
 northern India which caters to your requirements in       The Financial Express, 23 March, 2011, Delhi
 every single way and it‘s proximity to commercial
 hubs in Delhi, Gurgaon & NCR.
 The Phase-3 of Ashiana Aangan, consist 280 units
                                                           True Value Homes to invest Rs 800
 comprising a total saleable area of 400,000 sq ft.        crore
 The first two phases of Ashiana Aangan which
 comprises of 640 units has already been handed            Chennai-based real estate developer, True Value
 over last fiscal and people have started                  Homes India Pvt Ltd (TVH), is planning to invest Rs
 accommodating it already.                                 800 crore over the next three years to develop
                                                           around 12 projects, majority of which will be in the
 The project is claimed to be one of the biggest group     residential segment.
 housing projects in Bhiwadi and hopes to be a
 landmark once all the phases are completed.               The company has so far developed six million sft
                                                           cumulatively in both commercial and residential
 Business Standard, 21 March, 2011, New Delhi              space. It is now developing around five million sft
                                                           with major share of the projects in Chennai. It has a
 BPTP launches second premium                              few more projects in the pipeline -- to develop
                                                           around seven million sft -- and which may go up
 township in Gurgaon                                       according to the market condition in future, said N
                                                           Ravichandran, chairman, TVH.
 Real estate developer BPTP Ltd said it has
 launched its second premium township Astaire              ―We have projects in Chennai, Coimbatore and
 Gardens at upcoming Sector 70 A, off NH-8 here.           Trichy. TVH is also looking at the fast growing Tier II
                                                           cities for property development. We are planning a
 "Spread across 102 acres, Astaire Gardens is an           joint venture project in Madurai. Our current pipeline
 eclectic mix of contemporary design comprising            is to develop a total area of around 12 million sft on
 plots, independent floors and villas, large plot sizes,   around 12 projects,‖ said Ravichandran. The
 24x7 facilities, security, a state-of-the-art health      investment would be from internal accruals and
 centre, schools, a creche, sanctuary and the club,"       debt.
 BPTP Ltd Director (Strategy & Systems) Sandeep
 Bedi said.                                                Besides, the company is looking at starting projects
                                                           at Thiruvananthapuran and Kochi in Kerala in the
 "We are the first real estate player to launch two        medium segment. It also has plans to start a project
 unique townships in Gurgaon in such a short span of       in Bangalore. However, he refused to divulge details
 of projects stating it was in the pipeline.                  Apart from The Whisper Valley in Jubilee Hills,
                                                              Koncept has offered several landmark residential
 Of the total projects, 80-90 per cent would be               projects in Hyderabad, including Ambience Fort,
 residential, while the rest would be in the                  Ambience Anthem, Ambience Canton, Trails and
 commercial space, he said.                                   Palm Country, among others. It has recently taken
                                                              up its first project in Visakhapatnam.
 TVH recently announced the launch of its Rs 125-
 crore high-end green residential project, TAUS, at           The Botanika will be ready for occupation by
 Old Mahabalipuram Road, near here, with 403                  December 2012. The developer plans to take up the
 apartments. The company, which clocked a turnover            second phase of the project with two more towers of
 of Rs 500 crore in the fiscal 2009-10, expects to end        23 floors each, which will take another 24-36 months
 the current fiscal with Rs 650 crore.                        to take off.

 Business Standard, 23 March, 2011, Chennai                   MP Agrawal, chairman of Koncept Ambience, says
                                                              being at Gachibouli, the luxury condominium project
 Luxury condominiums in                                       makes it the most sought after location, as it is not
                                                              only in the epicentre of the financial district, but also
 Hyderabad soon                                               in proximity to all the relevant IT hubs and social
                                                              infrastructure like retail, entertainment, fine dining,
 Koncept Ambience, a Hyde-rabad-based developer               schools, colleges, etc. At le-ast three five-star hotels
 known for developing the country‘s first villa               and a major commercial complex are coming up
 township, The Whisper Valley, in the city, is coming         near the project. They are expected to be within
 up with a high-end luxury condominium project, The           1,000 metres from The Botanika.
 Botanika, near Hi-tech City, in the IT hub of Andhra
 Pradesh.                                                     On the rising competition, Agrawal said, ―The
                                                              immediate competitors in the luxury segment and in
 The residential project in Gach-ibouli is spread over        the neighborhood are Lodha and Emaar in terms of
 7.5 acres of land and consists of 278 condominiums           price tag, but our project has an edge considering its
 in three 23-storeyed blocks, overlooking the 130-            location – close to the IT hub and overlooking the
 acre Botanical Gardens. The size of single floor             Botanical Gardens.‖
 plate condominiums varies from 3,700-4,375 sq ft,
 while that of the sky-high villas (duplex) varies from       Financial Chronicle, 24 March, 2011,
 6,000-8,000 sq ft. In all, the total built-up area will be
 one million sq ft.
                                                              Kent offers luxury villas in
 The project also consists of an independent tower,           Bangalore
 nesting a suspended clubhouse from 16th to 19th
 floor. The clubhouse offers features such as                 Bangalore-based deve-loper Kent Projects has
 temperature control dip pool, business centre with           la-unched a luxury villa project, Kent Novella. It is
 conference facility, fine dining facility like barbeque      developing the villas jointly with Anchor Buildcon
 and multi-cuisine restaurant, gym with top of the line       and Triangle Reality Ven-tures.
 equipment and a library.
                                                              Spread over 20 acres, Novella will consist of 109
 The developer is offering all the amenities that             villas. The size of the villas will vary from 2,400 sq ft
 complement the mo-dern and discerning lifestyle.             to 4,000 sq ft. The 4BHK vaastu-compliant villas will
 The price of condominiums starts from Rs 1.8 crore.          be in three categories – north facing, east facing and
 However, the developer will provide the price on             west facing. Each villa will have its own terrace
 request, based on the quantum of customisation.
 garden, meditation pool, barbeque pit, home theatre         Unitech has received ―over 300 bookings, garnering
 area, bar counter and gym area.The prices start             almost Rs 200 crore‖ in its Unitech South Park
 from Rs 1.9 crore. The project is scheduled to be           project in Gurgaon, the company said in a
 completed by the middle of 2013.                            statement.

 ―Kent Novella is being designed to bring about a            The country‘s second largest realty firm had
 different lifestyle. It will include all features and       announced in February that it plans to make
 facilities that can invigorate an individual‘s body and     available 10 million sq ft (msf) of area in the next
 soul. In a true sense, it will be an idyllic existence to   few months. In February last week, Unitech had
 cherish,‖ said M Wilson, head (sales) of Kent               launched a township project in Rewari.―These are in
 Projects.                                                   line with our business plan to launch almost 10 msf
                                                             in the next few months,‖ Unitech Managing Director
 Kent Novella is situated 12 km from the Hebbal              Mr Sanjay Chandra said.
 Flyover, 14 km from Manyata Tech Park, 9 km from
 Bangalore International Air-port and 900 metres             ―The demand and pricing environment of the
 from National Highway 7. The company believes               residential product is stable and there has also been
 that Novella‘s proximity to the international airport is    a marked improvement in the demand for office
 its USP.                                                    spaces. We are working on a wide array of projects
                                                             to tap this growing demand,‖ he added.
 The township will be surrounded by lush landscaped
 gre-en-ery on three sides, 40-ft wide ma-in Spartek         The Hindu Business Line, 24 March, 2011, New
 roads and 30-ft wide internal roads with trees,             Delhi
 streetlights and walkways, the company said.
                                                             SOHO apartments coming to
 The luxury residential project will also feature an
 exclusive cl-ubhouse covering 15,000 sq ft built-up         Gurgaon
 area, with an additional 5,000 sq ft area for
 swimming pool, and a landscaped lawn complex                One of the major concerns that affect professionals
 spread over two levels.                                     living in a metropolitan city is the amount of time and
                                                             energy spent in commuting to the workplace. The
 According to the company, the clubhouse is                  option of being able to ―walk to work‖ would be
 thoughtfully located in the south-east corner of the        welcomed by most metro-dwellers. This is the
 site, thus making it accessible to non-residents from       concept behind Vigneshwara Developers‘ Smart
 the road, while retaining the privacy of residents.         Office Home Office (SOHO) project, which the
 The clubhouse will consist of a coffee shop, a multi-       co-mpany claims would bridge the gap between
 purpose hall, an indoor games centre, a massage             residence and office.
 room and wi-fi connectivity.
                                                             Coming up in Sector 74 of Gurgaon, SOHO is
 Financial Chronicle, 24 March, 2011                         targeted at the senior management of companies,
                                                             with homes th-at are accompanied by a ―virtual
                                                             office‖. What this means essentially is that one can
 Unitech sells 300 housing units for                         manage one‘s office from home by combining the
 Rs 200 crore in Gurgaon                                     residence and work place.

 Realty firm Unitech on Wednesday said it has sold           Sunil Dahiya, managing director, Vigneshwara,
 over 300 units worth Rs 200 crore in its mid-income         explained, ―In a place like Delhi, the central business
 housing project at Gurgaon launched last week.              districts (CBDs) that we had earlier were Nehru
 Place or Rajendra Place. With the economy                 in top firms. Dahiya explained, ―We are talking
 evolving over the years, companies have moved to          ab-out individuals who will want to work from
 areas like Gurgaon, which are the new CBDs.               Monday to Friday, and hop off to farmhouses to
 Companies that arrive in India send their                 spend the weekends. Hence, the studio
 torchbearers with a small team first to break the ice.    apartments.‖
 They are the core professionals who would not want
 to be restricted in their efficiency by wasted hours of   Construction on the project,with an entire built-up
 work. We have tried to fit the home and the office        area of 2 lakh sq ft, has already begun and it is
 around their convenience, around the hours when           expected to be ready by 2014.
 they want to work, and not vice versa.‖
                                                           Financial Chronicle, 24 March, 2011
 The virtual office offers features like telepresence
 and a globally accessible telephone number. Your          Ground Realty Key Transactions
 calls would be screened at a BPO and messages
 sent to your cell phone. You can then exercise the        DELHI
 option of taking or rejecting that call. With
 telepresence, you would be able to attend meetings        A 2,587-sq-ft luxury apartment was sold in Sector
 being held at multiple destinations at the same time.     57, Gurgaon at a price of . 1.45 crore, all inclusive.
                                                           This is a secondary sale transaction. This apartment
 Dahiya informed that the telepresence studio, which       is located on the eighth floor of one of the high-rise
 he calls a ―shared resource‖, would also enable           towers and the buyer had to pay . 100/sq ft as
 residents to transfer a record of their heart beat and    preferred-location charges, which is included in the
 blood pressure and other routine checks to the            price. The unit comes with two car parking spaces.
 doctor, eliminating the need for frequent visits—         This group housing project is built on around 14
 again a time-saving mechanism.                            acres of land area with ample open spaces. The
                                                           apartment comes with amenities like 100% power
 It helps that the SOHO complex is part of the 2           backup for flats and common areas, security and
 million sq ft business park that Vigneshwara is           door-phone facility, a well-equipped club and a
 coming up with in Gurgaon. Since the offices as well      swimming pool. The developer is also providing
 as residential area will be on the same campus, it        laminated wooden flooring in all the bedrooms and
 adds to the company‘s offer of providing an               vitrified tiles in living and dining area.
 integrated work-cum-office living space. Residents
 of SOHO would have the added advantage of                 MUMBAI
 access to a helipad right on top of the office
 buildings, and multiplexes along with retail shops        In a recent transaction, a 1,900-sq-ft 3-BHK
 located within the premises.                              apartment measuring around. located in Meher
                                                           Apartments at Altamount Road was sold for . 10.9
 Among other facilities that it boasts of are provision    crore which was inclusive of a covered car parking
 of foreign exchange services, courier services,           space. This was a resale transaction for the
 travel age-nts, medical clinics and a three-level         apartment located on the sixth floor of the building.
 parking that would accommodate 5,000 cars.                Altamount Road, one of the most expensive streets
                                                           of the world, is the most premium residential
 The 500 sq ft one-bedroom studio apartments cost          location of South Mumbai, boasting of famous
 between Rs 50 lakh and Rs 65 lakh. The size of the        properties like Antilla — Mukesh Ambani‘s famous
 apartments is surprising considering that the             27-storied building. This area is also home to
 company is targeting the top 10 per cent of               several Bollywood stars, Consulates and top state
 management and semi-management professionals
 government officials. The current residential rates at   management, a model for other realtors to emulate
 Altamount Road range from . 50,000-75,000/sq ft,         as there are very few realtors who are providing in
 depending on the building, location, amenities           house property management services to the
 provided, floor, view from the apartment and age of      homeowners. Commenting on the move, Ankur
 the building.                                            Gupta, joint managing director, Ashiana Housing
                                                          Ltd. said, ―Be it sales, resale or rentals, Ashiana has
 PUNE                                                     never encouraged third party or brokers‘
                                                          involvement in any way whatsoever.
 Recently, a 3-BHK apartment with an area of around
 1,482 sq ft located at Kunal Crimson project was         To save our customers from fraud and unjust price
 sold for . 75 lakh, all inclusive. The possession of     deals, we extended our Facility Management
 the property is due in 18 months. Kunal Crimson          services.‖ Since 1979, Ashiana has stood the test of
 located at Aundh Annexe is easily accessible from        time for its quality of construction, and its
 Khadki Station, University Circle, Shivajinagar as       maintenance as Facility Management is indeed a
 well as Pimpri-Chinchwad. Presently, this project        hallmark and USP of the company. Ashiana Housing
 has an availability of 27 apartments of 2-1/2 and 3-     is a group that have never seen themselves as a
 BHK configurations with saleable area varying            company that constructed houses and just moved
 between 1,382 sq ft and 1,482 sq ft. The residential     on as they believe in establishing strong affinity with
 price in the area ranges from . 3,500- 4,500/sq ft.      our customers.
 The project offers amenities like a club house,
 gymnasium, jogging track and a children‘s play           With such a belief the company started Facility
 area. Aundh Annexe is an established area of Pune        Management services under VML, which is
 and commands a premium on account of good                constantly improving and streamlining.
 connectivity to the rest of the city.
                                                          The Pioneer, 25 March, 2011
 The Economic Times, 25 March, 2011, Delhi

 Ashiana Housing launches resale,
 rental services
 Ashiana Housing Ltd., one of the finest developers
 in India, strengthening its Facility Management arm,
 has launched resale and rental services for
 Ashianaites, recognising the need and to safeguard
 its customers from unfair deals of third party

 Ashiana started this service under its subsidiary
 VML. Once the property has been bought, the
 company will assist its homeowners in renting or re-
 selling their properties. With its people centric
 approach, this new service will help homeowners to
 have smooth transaction be it resale or rentals, and
 will also help in getting better and fair deals and
 make their lives hassle free. The group has set itself
 up as the yardstick for excellence in facility
Commercial/ Retail
 Commercial property to see                                Building Code (ECBC) for commercial buildings will
                                                           be mandatory for eight states, including Delhi and
 robust demand in 2011 first half:                         Maharashtra, from FY 12.
                                                           The Governments of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Tamil
 The demand for commercial property in the country         Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and West Bengal
 is expected to remain robust in the first half of 2011,   will also have to make ECBC mandatory for any
 boosted by strong manufacturing activities, says a        new construction of commercial buildings coming up
 survey.                                                   in their states from April 2011 onwards, a senior
                                                           official said.
 "... Despite the expectation that interest rate hikes
 will continue in the first half of 2011, the growth       "From the coming financial year (2011-12), these
 profile of commercial property remains quite robust       eight states will have to implement the ECBC norms
 on account of a strong manufacturing sector," an          in all the new commercial constructions," BEE
 RICS India Commercial Property Survey released            Director General, Ajay Mathur, told reporters on the
 today said.                                               sidelines of a seminar organised by the Bombay
                                                           Chamber of Commerce and Industry, here.
 The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
 acts as a self-regulatory body for qualifications and     The need for energy will increase three-times over
 standards and has more than 1,50,000 property             the next 15-years in order to sustain development,
 professionals as members.                                 he said.

 According to the report, the sentiment in the             "Energy efficiency and renewables are key
 investment market is seen to be stabilising after         ingredients of a green energy future. Adoption of
 strong price gains in previous quarters and               energy efficiency practices will also help reduce
 substantial increments are not expected. Demand           costs for energy users, energy imports of countries,
 for commercial property continues to remain strong        and result in reduction in pollution," Mathur said.
 at the macroeconomic level.
                                                           Deccan Herald, 24 March, 2011, Mumbai
 However, the report noted that "growth in
 investment activity seems to be losing momentum           Van Heusen to target smaller cities
 for the first time since the market recovered from the
 crisis in 2007". There is a trend of oversupply rising    Targeting profitability through market penetration in
 across the three segments of office, industrial and       the Rs 60,000 crore branded garments market,
 retail property. The findings are based on a recent       India's leading apparel maker Madura Fashion &
 survey of more than 400 people, who are into              Lifestyle will now aggressively market their premium
 different areas of the commercial property sector.        brand Van Heusen in smaller cities. "Every year, the
                                                           company will open at least 40 new exclusive stores
 Deccan Herald, 23 March, 2011, New Delhi                  throughout the country, most of which would be in
                                                           the tier-2 and tier-3 cities," Ajay Ramachandran,
 ECBC for commercial buildings                             Brand Head of Van Heusen, told PTI here.
 mandatory for eight states from                           At present, 40 per cent of the brand's Rs 650 crore
 FY 12                                                     annual turnover comes from their 120 exclusive
                                                           stores, most of which are located in the metros and
 The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) today said          large cities. With the opening of new outlets, Madura
 that implementation of the Energy Conservation            Fashion, owned by the Aditya Birla Group, is hoping
Commercial/ Retail
 that the turnover would jump to Rs 850 crore next           Cinépolis India is a 100 per cent owned subsidiary
 year. "At present, around 70 per cent of the brand's        of the Mexican movie theatre chain, boasting over
 turnover comes from the top 7-8 towns. Corporates           2,500 screens across the globe. The chain entered
 like us have not given enough importance to                 India in 2007 with a humble four-screen multiplex in
 penetrating deep into the market," the company              Amritsar. With an investment of Rs 30-40 crore in
 official said. Pointing out that there is little headroom   the Thane property, Cinépolis is now aiming bigger.
 for growth in the metros, he said that the sales figure
 reported from smaller cities like Patna, Lucknow,           PVR, one of the big names in movie viewing, has no
 Jaipur and Trichur are "mind-boggling". "The per            problem with such plans. ―It basically shows that
 square foot sales is as good in the tier-2 cities as we     there is an increased level of interest in the market.
 have in the metros. Plus, the rentals are lower by at       As it is the country is too large for one company to
 least 50 per cent. So there is a clear retail               penetrate,‖ points out Pramod Arora, Group
 profitability which is emerging out of the smaller          President, PVR. PVR holds 13 per cent market
 towns," Ramachandran said. Places like Durgapur,            share and plans to increase its presence, including
 Jamshedpur, Guwahati, Patna and Ranchi are on               in multiplexes and plexes for luxury movie watching.
 their list this year. Having invested around Rs 35          However, Arora adds that PVR would prefer to have
 crore so far in opening exclusive stores, they will         just normal multiplexes with higher occupancy.
 now invest Rs 4-5 crore each year to open the new
 outlets under a franchise model. With aims to               Cinemax, which currently has 15 per cent market
 transform itself into a complete lifestyle brand, non-      share, does not think the megaplex model will work
 apparels will also be sold under the international          in India. Sunil Punjabi, CEO, Cinemax, maintains,
 Van Heusen brand, which was launched in India in            ―Megaplexes are made for patrons that consume
 1990.                                                       movies which are in the third or fourth week.
                                                             Alternate content is another stream which is fed on
 A whole gamut of products including men's ties,             megaplexes. India is a different market and almost
 belts, footwear, eyewear, watches and luggage will          90 per cent of the revenues are based on regional
 soon be available under the premium brand name.             content. The life of Hindi content is not very long.
 They will also enter the women's shoes and bags             Hence, the demand for such movies would be low.
 segment. "We expect a good demand for these                 But in case of markets where regional content is
 products as we can offer a complete shopping                strong especially southern India, larger screens are
 experience to our customers. In the next three              valid. We believe in such markets, a multiplex with
 years, the non-apparel business should contribute           seven-eight screens is ideal.‖
 around 8-10 per cent to our total sales,"
 Ramachandran said.                                          Cinépolis plans to show regional movies along with
                                                             the popular Bollywood and Hollywood movies in the
 Financial Chronicle, 24 March, 2011, Kolkata                megaplex. To make the movie-watching experience
                                                             even better, Cinépolis will be launching Cinépolis
 Showtime gets bigger                                        VIP, a luxury movie viewing experience. The
                                                             expansive lobbies, recliners for watching movies,
 Cinépolis is betting big on megaplexes. The Mexico-         personalised service, live kitchen for gourmet foods,
 based multiplex operator has tied up with Vivacity to       a less-crowded theatre will come at a price as the
 open a 14-screen megaplex — the country's largest           ticket prices will be two-three times more than the
 so far — in Mumbai‘s Thane. Vivacity, developed by          regular cost. Then there will be Club Cine whereby
 Sheth Developers, would be spread over 25,000               viewers will get to choose his own seating and
 square feet carpet area and house big brands like           cuisine.
 Shopper‘s Stop and Hyper City as anchor tenants,
 along with several mini-anchors and 150 shops.              Business Standard, 24 March, 2011, Mumbai
Commercial/ Retail
 Retail shopping clicks in Tier II                          Erode, Tirunelveli, Tuticorin, Nagercoil, Madurai,
                                                            Thanjavur, Kumbakonam, Pudukottai, apart from
 towns                                                      Tiruchi and Coimbatore.

 The common perception is that big departmental             He said Spencer's Retail was ‗doing extremely well'
 stores more easily gel with urban landscape than           in the southern districts. The idea was to scale up to
 with smaller towns with rural flavour.                     a shopping area of 40,000-50,000 sq ft. in each town
                                                            with either single location stores or smaller stores in
 But the experience of a major retail chain, which has      multiple locations.
 a pan-India presence with about a million sq.ft in
 retail shopping space, seems to show that people
                                                            By market standards, the business growth in the
 living in smaller towns in States such as Tamil Nadu
                                                            secondary towns was very high and in some of
 are no less savvy in shopping in big format stores
                                                            them, Spencer's was the only major brand.
 compared with their counterparts in big urban
 centres. The Spencer's Retail chain has found that
 growth comes not only from metros and big towns,           Mr Jagannathan said after weathering recession and
 but also from smaller towns justifying its faith that in   consolidating its operations, Spencer's Retail was
 the retail business MNCs, big corporates and the           on an expansion mode and is on a ‗property hunt' to
 kirana stores or ‗ Namma Annachi stores' could all         expand in places such as Salem and Madurai. The
 co-exist!                                                  goal was to add close of 1 lakh sq.ft in retail space
                                                            in the next 18 months in Tamil Nadu.
 According to Mr Jagannathan, General Manager,
 Spencer's Retail Ltd, Chennai, the company in the          Better value proposition
 last one decade had developed about 30 hyper
 stores and 180-200 smaller stores. After stabilising       Mr Jagannathan said with aspiration levels growing
 its operations, it is now focussed on expanding the        even in smaller towns, the idea of modern stores
 bigger format stores in 12-14 clusters in the country,     has clicked even in these towns where people see
 with the South being a focus area for business             the value of such stores over typical grocery stores
 development.                                               as the former provided them with the ‗touch and feel'
                                                            experience with a wider range of products on
 He said though Spencer's has been present in Tamil         display. He felt that the neighbourhood stores, large
 Nadu for nearly a decade, its activity was focussed        format retail stores and the FDI-funded retail stores,
 highly on Chennai. It has around 60-65 stores in           if allowed, could co-exist. He did not expect any
 Tamil Nadu with bigger stores only in Tiruchi and in       negative impact from any MNC entry into retail
 Coimbatore, where a new big store was opened on            space and felt that the market would only expand by
 March 24.                                                  their entry and benefit from the growth in modern
                                                            stores format.
 The rest of the stores, known as ‗daily format stores'
 are 2500 sq-3000 sq.ft in size. The hyper format           The Hindu Business Line, 27 March, 2011
 stores are in 35,000-50000 sq.ft in area but in Tier II
 towns, these hyper stores could be 15,000-20,000
 sq.ft in size.                                             Tanishq to open 15 outlets
 Expanding presence                                         Tanishq, the jewellery retail business of the Tata
                                                            group, is planning to invest around Rs 150-200 crore
 He said Spencer's has now expanded its presence            in setting up around 15 showrooms in various parts
 to 12-14 towns in Tamil Nadu reaching out to Salem,        of the country in the next fiscal year.
Commercial/ Retail
 Speaking on the sidelines of the launch of its sixth
 showroom in Chennai, at Chromepet, CK
 Venkatraman, chief operating officer (jewellery
 division), Titan Industries Ltd, said, ―We are looking
 at opening 15 showrooms in the country before
 March 2012. The total investment would be around
 Rs 150-200 crore.‖

 With today's launch, Tanishq retail chain now has
 123 exclusive boutiques in 76 cities. The area of
 proposed showrooms would range from 3,000 sft to
 20,000 sft, including four to five large showrooms
 spanning total area of more than 8,000 sft each. The
 largest of the upcoming outlets would be a 20,000-
 sft showroom in Mumbai, he added.

 The new showroom in Chennai, with an area of
 4,000 sft, would provide a range of traditional
 Bengali jewellery, wedding jewellery in plain gold,
 diamonds, polki and kundan. The new showroom
 would also provide facilities including Karatmeter, a
 device to measure the purity of gold, for its

 Business Standard, 25 March, 2011, Chennai
No news in this section for the week
Land acquisition talks in April
District collector Vikas Deshmukh on Tuesday said
that talks for land acquisition for the second phase
of Bharat Forge-MIDC special economic zone (SEZ)
will be held with the farmers in the first week of April.

 Land belonging to around 9,000 farmers from seven
villages in Pune district has been notified for the
second phase of the project. The multi-product SEZ
is a joint venture between the Khed Economic
Infrastructure Private Limited (KEIPL) and
Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation
The MIDC will have 26 per cent equity in the project.

Deshmukh said, ―We will initiate the round of talks
with the farmers in first week of April. Talks will be
held over the rates of compensation and other

The SEZ is proposed to be developed on 4,500
hectare of land located in 17 villages in Khed and
Shirur talukas, around 40 km from Pune. In the first
phase, around 1,705 hectare of land have already
been acquired, while 1,600 hectare of land in around
5 villages has been notified for acquisition for the
second phase of the project.

The Times of India, 23 March, 2011, Pune
 Four Seasons checks in                                      When completed, the new building will be the third
                                                             tallest hotel in the city. The first and second slots will
 After beating entry blues, the high-end hotel brand is      be occupied by the 125-storey India Tower (coming
 planning the third-tallest property in India, apart from    up in Marine Lines in south Mumbai), and the Park
 other expansion projects                                    Hyatt, which is expected to house 117 storeys.

 The Four Seasons Mumbai, with its grand edifice in          The company is also expanding to other parts of the
 Worli, opened its doors probably in the worst               country such as Bangalore where it had a ground-
 possible period.                                            breaking ceremony last month. Hotel properties are
                                                             also scheduled to come up in Jaipur, Gurgaon and
 Being a luxury brand, room rates at the Four                Hyderabad.
 Seasons are significantly higher than the average
 rates charged by other players in the five-star             Four Seasons has also signed agreements for
 segment. For instance, an entry level standard room         managing two resorts in India‘s most favourite
 for a night will set you back by Rs 18,000 at the Four      leisure destinations - Goa and Kerala. These will be
 Seasons against the average five-star rate last year        in addition to the four resorts which the company
 of Rs 11,000, according to consultancy firm HVS. So         manages in places like Mauritius and Seychelles.
 competitors predicted that the high rates would be a        The properties will be built under tie ups with local
 big deterring factor for customers.                         developers who will also invest in them, while Four
                                                             Seasons will manage them and give its brand name.
 They seemed to be correct as Four Seasons
 recorded average monthly room occupancy of just             Four Seasons is jointly promoted by its Canadian
 around 40 per cent. Questions were also raised              founder Isadore Sharp, Microsoft‘s Bill Gates and
 whether the hotel chain had made the right choice of        Saudi Arabia‘s Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal.
 having a hotel in an area which is dotted with
 chawls, defunct mills and narrow access roads.              Business Standard, 21 March, 2011, New Delhi

 Keeping in mind an extended surge in demand, Four           Peppermint plans 10 budget
 Seasons is putting up two new ballrooms in the              hotels by yearend
 property. But perhaps the biggest statement of a
 rebound in its fortunes comes from the fact that the        Peppermint Hotels, a new player in the affordable
 owners (Delhi‘s Jatia family) are planning a huge           hotels segment, is eyeing tier I and tier II cities for
 expansion in the same area.                                 expansion to launch 20 hotels by the end of 2012.
                                                             The budget hotel brand is a 100 percent subsidiary
 The 33-storey hotel will soon be dwarfed by a tower         of the Bangalore-based Royal Orchid Hotels.
 that will be two and a half times taller – 84 storeys. It
 might sport an Aer bar similar to the one present in        ―We are expanding at a steady pace. At present we
 the current structure, which is also India‘s first          have hotels in Gurgaon, Jodhpur and Jaipur. We
 rooftop bar. The financial details, including the           plan to launch soon in Bangalore, Goa, Kumarakom,
 investment for the new hotel, are being finalised.          Ahmedabad, Baroda and Chennai. We are looking
 While construction of the two new ballrooms will            at launching 10 hotels by the end of this year. All
 begin this month, the new skyscraper, which will            deals are firmed up and work on all sites is
 have office space, service apartments, guest rooms,         progressing well,‖ said Arjun Baljee, founder and
 restaurants and Four Seasons-branded residences,            director of Peppermint Hotels India.
 is in the design stage and will be finalised by the end
 of this year.                                               Financial Chronicle, 22 March, 2011, Kolkata
 Jaypee Group to expand hotel biz                          Overseas hospitality chains
                                                           eyeing Pune, Ahmedabad
 Hospitality division of the Rs 10,000-crore diversified
 business conglomerate Jaypee Group has chalked            For long, the growth of hospitality industry in India's
 out plans to expand the number of hotels under its        western region has revolved only around Mumbai—
 ambit. Over the next three years, the company             obvious reason being it is the financial capital of
 would develop new hotels on its existing land             India, and requires quality accommodation for the
 parcels along with other real estate constructions.       large business traveller community that visits the
 "We plan to increase the hotel rooms by around            city for work. But as businesses diversify to different
 70% over the next three years," Manju Sharma,             locations and geographies, the demand for hotel
 director Jaypee Hotels told HT. Sharma added that,        rooms is also expanding to other cities in the region.
 at present the company owns and operates 900
 hotel rooms in over seven hotels across North India.      Ahmedabad and Pune are the latest buzz for most
                                                           Indian and overseas hospitality chains which are
                                                           looking to get a foothold in the corporate travel hotel
 "The domestic tourism is on a rise and there is a         accommodation space in India's western region.
 severe shortage of hotel rooms, especially in the 4-
 star category. Our plan is to initially develop hotel     AHMEDABAD
 properties in the land parcels already owned by the
 company, such as those around the Yamuna                  Ahmedabad, the capital of Gujarat, is an industrial
 Expressway connecting Greater Noida with Agra,"           base for sectors such as chemicals, textiles,
 she said.                                                 pharmaceuticals and food processing industries
                                                           accounting for more than 21 per cent of the total
 Sharma refused to divulge further details on the          factories and employing around 18 per cent of the
 exact locations of the hotel properties planned. "We      total workers in the state of Gujarat, making it the
 definitely aspire to have a pan-India presence but for    largest contributors towards the Gross Domestic
 now we wish to develop hotels on our own land."           Product (GDP) of the state, says a report from
 She ruled out any plans to acquire any hotel chain in     Knight Frank India.
 the country.
                                                           The infrastructure and industrial development in and
                                                           around Ahmedabad is encouraging and the city is
 Jaypee Hotels owns and operates 5-star and 4-star         said to become a major commercial hub in the
 hotels across Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida, Agra and       western region after Mumbai.
 Mussoorie, among others. It recently developed a 5-
 star hotel Jaypee Greens Golf and Spa Resort at           It has more than 11 Special Economic Zones, 10
 Greater Noida at an estimated investment of Rs 500        industrial parks and 12 industrial estates at various
 crore. The group owns and operates its hotel              stages of implementation. Additionally, the Delhi
 properties and has no plans to tie up with any            Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) which will pass
 international hotel brand for the management of its       through Ahmedabad is expected to attract huge
 hotels.                                                   amount of investment over the next 10 years.

 India currently has around 1,00,000 hotel rooms in        PUNE
 all categories, which is less than the hotel rooms
 present in Dubai, Bangkok and Las Vegas.                  In the last few decades, the main economic drivers
                                                           of Pune's growth have been manufacturing and
                                                           education sector. However, over the last 10 years,
 Hindustan Times, 23 March, 2011, New Delhi
                                                           information technology (IT) has gained momentum
 with the city making it one of the fastest developing     With these projects, Ista would take its total room
 IT destinations in India.                                 inventory to close to 1,500 from the current 750.
                                                           Besides, IHHR Hospitality owns a ‗destination' Spa
 From attracting ancillary engineering industries in       – Ananda – in Himalayas. ―This, in fact, is our first
 the 1960s, today, Pune has witnessed the entry of         property which came up in 2000, and we forayed
 auto-majors such as Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto and           into the hotels business much later in 2006. We
 Bharat Forge Ltd. Manufacturing majors such as            have been adding almost a property a year since
 Kinetic Engineering, Force Motors, Daimler                then,‖ said Mr Khanna.
 Chrysler, and Cummins Engines have a set up in
 the city, says the Knight Frank report.                   These hotels, according to him, are currently
                                                           witnessing, on an average, 70 per cent occupancy
 At present, the automotive and the IT sectors are         ―with 35 per cent repeat ratio.‖ Ista is in a marketing
 the driving force behind Pune's rapidly growing           pact with Preferred Hotel group primarily for
 hospitality sector. The hospitality sector of Pune        distribution as well as to give it corporate access in
 thrives primarily upon the business and corporate         key source markets such as the US and Europe.
 travellers. Developments in the corporate and the IT      Elaborating on the brand's marketing strategy, Mr
 sector have propelled many new brands to venture          Khanna said, the hotels offer ‗dynamic pricing' which
 in the hospitality sector in the past decade and          works more like best price of the day, based on
 especially in the last 3 to 5 years. In Pune, there are   several parameters.
 around 20 hotels in the upscale, midscale and
 economy category hotels that sum up to a total room       Overall, the company has invested Rs 750 crore so
 inventory of 2,277.                                       far. At 1:1 debt-equity ratio, it is now making an
                                                           operating profit (before allowing for interest, taxes,
 A total of 15 new hotels consisting of 3,502 rooms        depreciation and amortisation), he said. In 2007,
 will become operational in Pune by 2013 across the        Morgan Stanley took 15 per cent equity exposure in
 upscale, midscale and economy segment of hotels.          the company.

 The Hindu Business Line, 24 March, 2011, Mumbai           The Hindu Business Line, 26 March, 2011, Chennai

 Ista Hotels plans Rs 700-crore
 investment in next 4-5 years
 Ista Hotels plans to expand its footprint with four
 more properties — in Jaipur, Coimbatore, Navi
 Mumbai and Nagpur — in the next four to five years,
 entailing an investment of around Rs 700 crore. Ista
 Hotels, from IHHR Hospitality Pvt Ltd (promoted by
 a clutch of individual investors, including a few
 NRIs), currently has four ‗five-star luxury' properties
 — in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Amritsar and Pune.

 The brand's fifth hotel is set to be flagged off in the
 next few months in Ahmedabad. This will be on a
 management contract basis. ―In the second phase,
 the company will take up Navi Mumbai and Nagpur
 projects,‖ said Mr Ashok Khanna, Managing
 Director, IHHR Hospitality.
Input Cost
 No news in this section for the week
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