Tag Archives: Editor’s note

Why Track2Realty?

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Track2Realty, Track2Media, Real Estate News, India realty, India Real EstateIsn’t it ironical that a sector worth $140 billion that has weathered the market crash twice in the last around a decade and still emerged as the fastest growing contributor to the GDP has not been granted even industry status in India? Even at the rock bottom in terms of the market sentiments today, the Indian real estate is poised to grow at a remarkable pace in view of the larger number of private investments and IPOs in the pipeline.

After all, the market capitalization of the real estate sector in India is just about 4.2 per cent of the total market capitalization, which is below the global norm of approximately 15 per cent, thus reflecting the scope available for growth of the sector. Sadly, the image makeover and fair trade practices within the sector have been ignored by all the parties’ concerned-government, realtors and media. The media focus seems to be as disorganized and haphazard as the real estate sector.

When a team of journalists with thorough knowledge & background of real estate sector got together to come out with a professional e newspaper, we first asked ourselves-why track2realty? We strongly believe that we can provide an alternative and viable media vehicle to the sector only when we are self-analytical and self-critical. Most of the real estate supplements of the mainline newspapers and realty magazines are actually marketing brochures of the sector and there has been absolutely no attempt to track the real issues and concerns of the sector.

It is here that track2realty is determined to make a difference. We may not act as a consumer rights’ activist group, but this e newspaper will not be an extension of marketing brochure either. We are a professionally managed media outlet for tracking the real concerns of the industry, investors and the end users. We will also come out with the research paper on the sector, and our periodical survey will reflect the true concerns of the sector.

While we are providing news, views, reports and advisory to the readers, we are also providing a networking platform for the realty professionals. And last, but not the least, our grievance section will be an open forum for everybody including the end users. In our sincere attempt to track the sector and raise voice for a better & organized market, we may at times rub a section or two the wrong way in the short term perspective. But we are very much committed to emerge as the genuine & reliable voice of the real estate sector in the long term perspective.

The era of too fast capital appreciation is over

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Ravi Sinha, Editor Track2Realty, India Real Estate, Track2MediaBy: Ravi Sinha

With the economy giving indications of recovery and real estate companies putting up a brave face, the question as to whether this is the right time to buy property has yet again been raking up. If the industry figure is to be believed, it seems many of the prospective home buyers who had put their plans on shelf due to the threat of job loss & inability to pay the EMIS borne out of recession are back in the property hunt. Booking of all the 1400 flats within hours of opening of booking by a leading realty company is also seen by a section of realty analysts as the rediscovery of confidence in the market. Crisis of confidence is said to be over in a market where one of the developers sold its entire 3,500 apartments in less than two days while selecting buyers through draw of lots.

Industry reports suggest that as prices have fallen, end users are coming back to the market. Even the demand for office space is on the upswing. However, these industry figure also conceal more than they reveal on the pulse of the property barometer. The answer as to whether this is the right time to buy is not a simple yes or no, but it depends on a number of factors like whether a buyer is looking for first or second house, for living or investment, if investment then it is for the long run or short run etc. If we take Delhi-NCR as a Case Study here, it has seen two booms and two slumps in the last over a decade. The ups and downs may continue regardless of prevailing market sentiments, depending on the project, geographical locations and various other factors.
These booms and slumps predominantly affect active investors and traders in property who want to make money on every deal they make.  Not for those who’re looking for a home to move into.  Even when the market was worst hit with the recessionary impact there were good deals in market for those looking to invest in property.  If the fundamentals are strong like clear titles, area where growth is expected etc and the price correction has already happened, then one may opt for buying.

This doesn’t at all suggest that the road to recovery for the realty companies is smooth. Many of the front line realty players are deep into debt, and their stock valuation has also nosedived. The boom period of real estate in India from 2005 to 2008 actually led to unrealistic valuation for the property and its stocks. However, it has fallen flat in the wake of economic uncertainty and property prices came down between 10 to 35% from the peak level depending upon the location.

The debate as to whether this is the right time to buy a property is endless since market sentiments is something that no analyst can gauge perfectly. However, the era of too fast capital appreciation in real estate, in some cases by 300 per cent, signaling a lot of liquidity and speculation in the sector seems to be over. While that may not be a good news for the builders, for the common man on a house hunt the slowdown in economy and real estate bubble burst may prove to be a blessing in disguise.

The author is the Managing Editor of Track2Realty

Scaling up the liberty of choice

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Ravi Sinha, Editor Track2Realty, India Real Estate, Track2MediaBy: Ravi Sinha

With the reasonable expectation of a roof over the head not very long ago, the real estate boom in the last decade has scaled up the liberty of choice for the average home buyers. While the aspirations of even the middle and lower middle income with moderate budgets have gone up, there are very many residential projects launched in recent times that seem to fill the gap with the promise of faster deliveries, hi-tech amenities, luxurious lifestyle, lush green surroundings within the affordable range of 20-40 lakhs.

However, amidst this problem of plenty one also goes through all those anxiety pangs that normally come while mulling over the decision of buying a home. In the euphoria of buying a house most of the first-time buyers overlook their wants and needs and make mistakes. This is where a house hunting checklist comes into the picture. If you create a checklist of the things you need in a home as well as other things worth looking at along the way, you’ll have a much easier time with the house hunting process. The first step, however, is to keep in mind the budget and then look for what best is available in the given budget.

Experts believe that the legal and practical checklist remains the same whether one is opting for a house worth Rs. 20 lakhs, 30 lakhs or 40 lakhs. However, the value addition that is on offer goes up with more budget in hand. Location, size, construction, amenities and outdoors are some of the parameters to consider when the buyer shells out 30 lakhs or 40 lakhs for the house. “License in hand and approved building plan are the most vital document a buyer must check. Fire, pollution and environmental clearances are the other factors to check”, says Brijesh Bhanote, Senior VP, the 3C Company.

However, Pankaj Jain, Executive Director of Real Estate Consultancy Realistic Realtors has a word of caution for the home buyers. He says, “Customer perspective needs to be changed and they should have realistic expectations if you have a budget of Rs. 20 lakhs. Instead of focusing on fancy apartment of modern living, check the basic necessities like the size of the bedroom and drawing room.” He even suggests that a prospective customer must speak to the RWAs of the developers previous projects to get the first hand reaction.

Amar Kapoor, Director of Urban Heights, however, advocates living life king-size even with a budget of Rs. 20 lakhs. He believes since the demand drivers of today’s residential properties are the young population who want bigger house with quality of life, the developers today focus on all the recreational facilities, vitrified tiles, electrical appliances, bathroom fittings etc. “Today’s young population does not mind travelling two and half hours to work if he is getting A1 quality living in exchange. Moreover, one normally buys a house with a time horizon of 5-10 years when the connectivity will be much better. With the kind of fast paced development that is happening today, even a place like Manesar which is further down Gurgaon is selling like a hot cake in the given budget of Rs. 20 lakhs,” he says.

The final choice rests with the home buyers if they have a budget limit while purchasing the house. Whether they want to go for a modern living on the periphery of the city or would prefer to live close to the city with less fancy offerings. Whatever be the choice, they must get their checklist in place before house hunt begins. The catchword here is not to get lured by fancy international picture and remain realistic with the expectations. Expecting luxuries like the golf course is fraught with danger keeping in mind the ground realities where affordable housing project is always a challenge for the developer too.

If the budget is Rs 20 lakhs and one is moving from a rented flat to his own, one should look at the location and distance from the work place. Since most of such projects are on the periphery of the city, one must also look for the infrastructure within the project. A buyer can be a bit fancy if he has a budget of Rs. 30lakhs expecting the size of the bedroom & drawing room to be a bit bigger and facilities like car parking being provided. A difference of 10-15 per cent can be expected if the buyer is looking for a project nearer to the city. With the budget of Rs. 40 lakhs, however, one can expect to elevate the level of living with far better architecture and amenities, like garden & play area, swimming pools, club, modular kitchen and full power back-up.

The author is the Managing Editor of Track2Realty