Pre-commitment for Commercial space in key markets on the rise

Pre-commitment levels in key office markets across India have been on the rise, which is an indication of sustained demand and occupiers’ interest in commercial spaces. The pre-leasing activity is gathering pace not only for commercial projects to be completed this year, but scheduled to be completed over the next two years. Unlike residential properties, commercial projects are bought or leased closer to the project’s completion date and stronger pre-commitments from occupiers is a sign of business uptrend.

Among the key markets, Pune has seen the highest pre-commitment levels among Indian office markets. At the end of second quarter, Pune’s pre-commitment activity stood at 48%. Bengaluru has already seen 39% of its total supply coming through 2017 pre-committed, while Mumbai and Delhi-NCR have also recorded pre-commitment levels of 33% and 22%, respectively, showed a JLL India study. In Mumbai and Delhi-NCR, pre-commitment activity is being seen in projects getting completed in 2019 too. Mumbai already has a pre-commitment level of about 17% for projects expected in 2019.

Source: The Economic Times, Saturday 16 September 2017

PEs keen to invest in affordable housing

With the affordable housing sector gaining importance in the realty industry today, private equity (PE) and non-banking financial companies are looking at this segment in a new and fresh perspective. They see this segment as a lucrative option to invest in. “Affordable housing segment has certainly become a hot favourite for PE and nonbanking financial companies. This change can be attributed to good governance, transparency, organized working and trust that has evolved the way funding happened in the real estate segment. With the weeding out of unorganised developers and reputed developers avoiding expensive debt fund ing, PE and non-banking financial companies are the preferred choice,“ says Srinivasan Gopalan, Group CEO of a leading realty firm.

According to industry reports, PE accounts for 75 per cent in the Indian real estate segment, with overseas investors accounting for 70 per cent of the funding. Also, the government's big push on “Housing for All by 2022“ has been taken very seriously with more and more organised developers entering the segment. Furthermore, with the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Real Estate Regulation Act (RERA), the demand for affordable hous ing is expected to remain high among middle-income level buyers, thus attracting more PE investors to this segment.

Source: Mumbai Mirror, Saturday 16 September 2017

Govt extends interest subsidy deadline for home loans

Home-buyers with annual income of up to Rs 18 lakh will be able to get the benefit of Rs 2.6 lakh one time interest subsidy, if they apply for housing loan till March 2019. The housing and urban affairs ministry on Friday extended the deadline for this benefit, which was originally till December, 2017. This will benefit thousands of future home-buyers across the country, who will opt for new homes under the PM Awas Yojana in urban areas. It was cleared by PM’s office last week.

The benefit of the scheme can be availed only by first time buyers. Over 48,000 people have received the benefit under different interest subsidy schemes, including more than a thousand from the middle income group. Sources said many applications under MIG are being processed. Announcing the extended deadline for the interest subsidy benefit at a real estate summit in Mumbai, housing and urban affairs secretary Durga Shanker Mishra said the government had decided to give more time for middle income group beneficiaries.

Source: The Times of India, Saturday 23 September 2017

The RERA Report Card

Known as the one of the most reformative acts to date, Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, (RERA) is gradually getting implemented across the country. July 31, 2017 was the last date to register ongoing projects with the respective state regulators. As of now, around 26 states have notified the rules. Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka were the first ones to implement the rules on May 1 as per the centre’s notification. Telegana, Himachal Pradesh and Goa have recently notified while Kerala, Tripura and West Bengal are yet to notify.

An official from the union ministry of housing and urban affairs, says, “With land being a state subject, the centre has prepared guidelines. The states are expected to follow them while preparing their draft rules. Some states followed the deadline while a few asked for extension.“ Gautam Chatterjee, chairman, Maha RERA said, “Maharashtra was the first state that was equipped online for RERA registrations. Efforts were taken to educate developers and masses about the Act. The extension of deadline was ruled out since the administration was completely RERA-ready.” With around 13,000 applications, Maharashtra leads the country in RERA implementation. Maximum registrations are in Mumbai and Pune.

Source: Times Property, Saturday 23 September 2017

Indian realty likely to attract $7 billion investment in 2017

Thanks to a host of institutional changes streamlining the sector, investments into the real estate sector is likely to go up to $7 billion in 2017 from $6 billion in 2016, showed a report. According to the report, a slew of measures – RERA, GST, REITs are aimed at improving transparency in the sector, increasing the share of organized segment and enhancing the overall investor sentiment. This will help in catalyzing ease of doing business in the country while supporting corporate entities entering or expanding their footprint in India.

With RERA, GST and I-REITs becoming a reality in 2017, the government has taken a lead in challenging the operating fabric with regulatory disruptors and making affordable housing the growth catalyst in the residential segment. The report further talks about that favourable regulatory environment coupled with attractive asset valuations, enhancing the investor confidence significantly by changing the perception of Indian realty in the global arena.

Source: The Times of India, Sunday 24 September 2017

Festival Bonanza: Realty Firms may offer Freebies to push Home Sales

Realty developers are betting big on the upcoming festive season to boost housing sales, and are going all out to regain some lost ground, especially at a time when interest rates on home loans are at a more than six-year low and demand for affordable housing is picking up. What’s also encouraging is that enquiry levels have increased after the implementation of RERA, as consumers are more confident to venture into the market, secure with the belief that their rights will be protected.

Given the requirement of complete down payment, not all homebuyers are looking at ready-to-move-in apartments, but search for such flats is also close to its peak level. While a broad market discount remains elusive, freebies and various incentives being offered amount to net discount of around 10-15%.

Source: The Economic Times, Thursday 28 September 2017

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