Real estate sector looks set for revival

According to a recent research report by J.P. Morgan, the seven-year residential down cycle that started in 2011 has ended, as is evident from the rising sales and falling debt levels of the large developers. The debt levels of listed players have gone down and their rising cash levels provide the scope for new launches. The commercial real estate sector will also help the overall sector’s growth as large developers are expected to announce major capacity expansion programs in the near future. Another report by Deutsche Bank states that the interest rate cycle is turning in favor of the real estate sector, and will support developers’ earnings outlook. The research house expects further interest rate cuts and maintains that lower financing cost will help boost demand and also improve developers’ profitability. After the introduction of the Real Estate Regulation and Development Act (Rera), large developers have been gaining market share. Other promising signs for the sector are also visible—18% increase in the number of flats sold during 2018-19 in key cities compared to 2016-17. Organized realty players are likely to benefit from market share gains amid sector-wide consolidation.

Source: The Economic Times-Wealth, Monday 01 July 2019

State govt says builders need not surrender excess land; SC agrees

Builders will no longer have to surrender excess land for public housing under the now-defunct Urban Land (Ceilings and Regulation) Act (ULCRA). The Supreme Court on Tuesday accepted the consent terms signed between the state government and builders’ body, Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry. The agreement states that builders can now just pay a one-time premium to the government for retaining the excess lands instead of handing them over for public housing. Although ULCRA was repealed in 2007, the state government had held that those builders who had not surrendered their land when the law was in force were still liable to do so.

In 2014, the Bombay high court had ruled in favor of the Maharashtra government, stating that builders cannot escape this liability. The HC had empowered the state to recover the excess land for public housing from private landowners for violations under the now-defunct Act. The builders (MCHI) challenged the ruling in the SC but worked out a deal with the state. “The acceptance of the consent terms by the Supreme Court means that ULCRA has finally been buried,” said MCHI president Nayan Shah. The Trade Union Joint Action Committee, representing 40 big trade unions in the state, and Nivara Abhiyan, had opposed the consent terms in the apex court, contending that the state was favoring land-holders.

Source: The Times of India, Thursday 04 July 2019

Monsoon testers for Homebuying

Want to buy a property? Get your umbrellas and raincoats out and go house hunting in the monsoons to assess the quality of construction of the property you wish to buy. We tell you why? While monsoons may be the time to stay indoors, realty experts suggest that it’s the best season to get out and evaluate the property you aspire to buy. Many people avoid site visits or the purchase of resale homes during the rains. But these little hassles can save you from bigger losses in the future. The secret is out! : A resale flat can be white-washed to look new or a developer can cover his construction faults and other aspects on normal days. But monsoons can lay bare the actual facts about the property you wish to invest in. While ascertaining construction quality may not always be possible in an under-construction property, the rainy season is the perfect time to check the quality of a resale house.

Infrastructure status: Real estate experts advise that home seekers should visit the construction site more than once, before making a final decision. Like visiting a site in the monsoons when the traffic is at its worst, in most places, will provide insights on the waterlogging situation, as well as travel and access to the area. We all know how getting transportation from one’s home to the workplace or to the nearest railway station or bus depot in a city like Mumbai can be in some areas. This is the time to find out and make a decision accordingly.

Source: Mid-Day, Friday 05 July 2019

Inheriting Property

Inheriting property is like winning a lottery. But the documentation needed to claim inherited property can be challenging. Let the experts guide you Understandably, inheriting property can come with loads of paperwork and legal complexities. The question then arises of what to do with the house. “First and foremost, check whether the will, which is being relied upon is the latest one, and who possesses the original will,” says Sandeep Shah, partner, NA Shah Associates LLP.

What are the hidden costs of Inherited property? : Maintaining a house comes with its fair share of expenses. And even an inherited house that has all its loans paid off could cost a lot to hold on. “There could be costs involved due to any litigation or mortgages in relation to the properties. Additional costs will be incurred as court fees for obtaining probate and for obtaining the mutation in the name of the beneficiaries/legal heirs of the property,” says Malini Raju, partner, J Sagar Associates (JSA). Other costs that should be considered are electricity and general maintenance expenses that will be due monthly.

What if the house is a Joint Inheritance? : Inheriting a home jointly with siblings or relatives can get messy. Complications could arise with regards to payment of inherited home’s mortgage, living arrangements, or maintenance. Shah states, “The course of action will depend on various factors including (a) the nature of the relationship with the co-legatee (joint beneficiary/ heir); (b) whether the co-legatee is a minor/charity/related person, etc.; (c) nature of property – residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, etc; (d) type – owner-occupied, tenanted, vacant, under dispute, under construction, etc.”

Source: Times Property, Saturday 06 July 2019

Budget to encourage more launches in the affordable housing segment

The Union Budget’s proposal on the additional deduction for interest paid on affordable housing loans is set to expedite new launches in the category. “Already, roughly 67% of all launches have been in this category. With the Budget continuing focus on affordable housing, the share of launches should improve to 75% in the second half of the year.

The Budget has proposed an additional deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh for interest paid on loans borrowed up to end-March, 2020 for purchase of an affordable house, valued up to Rs 45 lakh. A deduction to the extent of Rs.2 lakh is already in effect. “Therefore, a person purchasing an affordable house will now get an enhanced interest deduction up to Rs.3.5 lakh. This will translate into a benefit of around Rs.7 lakh to a middle-class home-buyer over a loan period of 15 years,” the finance minister had said. The rate of inventory liquidation is also likely to rise. Currently, of the total 650,000 in unsold units, including what is under construction, 35-40% are in the affordable categories.

Source: Business Standard, Tuesday 09 July 2019

Is your Building Healthy?

According to the Global Wellness Institute – a non-profit organization – wellness architecture is a practice that relies on the art and science of designing built environments with socially-conscious systems and materials to promote the harmonious balance between physical, emotional, cognitive and spiritual well-being while regenerating the natural environment. In short, it is a form of architecture that ensures quality design and delivers quality spaces. “We all are living our urban lives at a frenetic pace; hence, our homes act as an escape from the outside world where we can seek comfort. Responding to this human need (to relax, recharge and reinvigorate), architects and interior designers are focusing on designing healthy spaces. Additionally, people today, especially, the millennials have become extremely health-conscious and looking to adopt a sustainable lifestyle. This, in turn, has also encouraged developers and architects in adopting a healthy approach when designing buildings. Wellness architecture in a sense is an extension of the sustainable development agenda that puts humans at the center of the design solution,” says Anil Khurana, head – architecture, Kalpataru Ltd.

Better health through better living: “Today, with technological advancements, energy simulation modules have made it possible to study and assess a building in-depth and further incorporate design methodologies that promote user health and well-being. In short, simulation modules have now made real-time analysis possible, which helps us determine the amount of natural light a building requires, the optimum thermal comfort a home needs, etc,” says Uday Goswami, design head, Developer Spaces. Shadow analysis is another technique, which is increasingly being used by architects as it helps them maximize natural light and cross-ventilation, thus bringing the residents closer to nature. “Specially-designed spaces for recreation, relaxation, and exercise have now become an important part of all residential complexes. However, extra attention is also being given to lushly landscaped areas, as this kind of inclusion of nature in design has proven to have numerous benefits like reduced stress, better cognitive abilities, and reduced pollution,” adds Khurana.

Source: Times Property, Saturday 13 July 2019

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