Tag Archives: Indian property market news

Sumitomo Corp, Krishna Group announce first Indo-Japan real estate JV

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News Point: The Joint Venture with Krishna Group to be called Krisumi Corporation Pvt Ltd will develop mega real estate projects across India.

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The joint venture, Krisumi Corporation Pvt Ltd, will develop large scale real estate projects across India beginning with ‘Krisumi City’, an 18-million sq ft development which will be developed with a cost in excess of US$2 billion. Both partners will hold 50:50 stake in this JV company.

Announcing the foray, Masahiro Narikiyo, CMD, Sumitomo Corporation India said, “India’s real estate sector is going through an interesting phase. While consumer’s expectations have evolved manifold, most of the traditional developers are finding it extremely difficult to effectively cater to all their requirements. In this backdrop, we believe that there is a huge vacuum for quality housing backed by a name that the buyers can trust. Which is why, we are extremely excited about this new venture with our partner, Krishna Group, which we believe embodies all the qualities that are required to succeed in today’s environment.” 

Located in Sector 36 A, Gurugram, abutting the Delhi – Mumbai Industrial Corridor’s Global City and right at the confluence of southern peripheral road, NH-8, Central peripheral road and the Dwarka expressway, Krisumi City will be designed with the highest standards of Japanese quality and aesthetics.

The master plan and architectural design of Krisumi City has been developed by world renowned Japanese design firm NIKKEN SEKKEI, the name behind the famed Tokyo Sky Tree. The project has been designed based on the lifestyle aspirations of the potential buyers and would offer quality high-rise residential options across various sizes and budget segments, along with synergetic support from a high-end retail mall, a super premium hotel (5 star+ rating), education institutions, and premium office spaces.

Elaborating on the development, Ashok Kapur, Chairman – Krishna Group, said, “The biggest challenge facing the Indian real estate industry today is with regard to Quality, Efficiency and Commitment to Timelines, all of which is exactly what Japan is known for – Japan is already beyond RERA. We are certain that our partner, Sumitomo Corporation, part of the 400 year old Sumitomo Group, with their extensive Global experience in real estate development shall contribute tremendously in creating projects with endearing value for our clients as well as the local communities around it.”

Both the partners stressed that the partnership is another successful milestone in the Indo-Japanese collaboration story, which has gained impetus with the confidence and support shown by the political leadership in both the countries.

Further, it is a testament of the Indian economic growth potential backed by the fundamental strength of the growing middle-class income population which makes this sector very attractive for Foreign Investment. The basic premise is that there will always be good demand for quality spaces produced by credible developers.

What makes Bangalore attractive business destination?

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Bottom Line: Bangalore has the highest office space consumption per household that indicates its high demand as attractive business destination. 

Bangalore City, Bangalore real estate market, India real estate news, Indian property market, NRI investment in Bangalore, Housing demand in silicon valley, Track2RealtyOne of the fundamental reasons why Bangalore has been the prime demand driver of residential real estate is that the city has a thriving economic activity. It is, as a matter of fact, the leading city in terms of the absorption of office space and that is fuelling the demand for the housing. However, it would be necessary to understand the dynamics of business & economy of the city to understand what makes Bangalore such an attractive business destination.

An analysis by Track2Realty vis-à-vis the volume of office space consumption per household – not only in India but also internationally in London, Singapore, New York, Tokyo etc concludes that there is equilibrium when the office space consumption is around 60-65 sq feet per household. In India it is rather surprising that the ratio per household even in a city like Mumbai is 25 sq feet. Kolkata has a dismal only 14-15 sq feet office space per household. In Delhi-NCR it is again 20-25 sq feet per household.

Bangalore is the only face-saver in India where the absorption is 50 sq feet office space per household which means the volume of office space and houses being supplied have been in equilibrium. That is the reason why Bangalore is a realistic market.

In London despite of so much population pressure it still has 50-55 sq feet per household. Singapore has 60-65 sq feet per household; New York has 160 sq feet per household. Now since Bangalore maintains that equilibrium it is so attractive to the end users. Investors won’t be attracted unless they are very long-term player. 

A JLLI report also points to the fact that Bangalore has helped India debut on the ‘City Momentum Index’ (CMI) Top 20 list this year– an annual survey carried out by Jones Lang LaSalle globally. Reinforcing the city’s status of being one of India’s premier technology centres, Bangalore figures at No. 12 in the Top 20 technology-rich cities globally. The economic as well as real estate momentum has gained pace as tech-industry majors line up to enter the market, or expand, here.

This also raises a question as to whether Bangalore is slowly shaping up as the next financial nerve centre. Ashish Puravankara, Managing Director, Puravankara Projects believes the companies are also realising the cost of doing business in Bangalore. The average rental cost of office space per sq feet in Bangalore is about 45 rupees and that works well for the companies. Then from the customers’ point of view, the average cost of housing in Bangalore is 5,500 rupees and that works well for their workforce. So, it is all supporting each other and it is not that one factor alone is driving the market.

“If the prices have become unaffordable due to high demand in the city, people would have started looking at Chennai. I am not sure about the question of whether Bangalore will be the next financial capital but this city has tremendous economic activity. The reason why companies are setting up offices here is cosmopolitan culture, great weather and access to educated workforce. So, all this is adding on to the employment and that employment is creating the housing demand. I know very many people who have moved from Delhi or Mumbai for work; they have no connection or roots here,” says Purvankara. 

With the share of per household office space consumption being highest in Bangalore, the question is whether the developers in the city have been beneficiary of this by default or they have been part of making the eco system conducive. 

Joe Verghese, Managing Director, Colliers International thinks it all came together and the developers have been lucky also and have also played very valuable role.

“I don’t want to undermine the value of their trust quotient. It is a fact that investor today trusts these guys more than any other developer in any other part of the country. The reason why they trust is that these guys have been more professional to keep their word. I don’t see too many disputes between the developer and investor or between the fellow developers in Bangalore market,” says Verghese.

It can be conveniently vouchsafed that even beyond the issue of cost of doing business and the ease of doing business, Bangalore has the potential to attract the business houses better than many other cities. One reason is weather and the other is safety.

For example, four large companies in Gurgaon are today planning to shift to Bangalore post the earthquake tremors in Delhi-NCR. They are large MNCs with 3-4 million sq foot facility in Gurgaon. The kind of list of compliances that they have, including safety, they have started working on moving to Bangalore.

Thus, while office market is a true indicator of the resilience of Bangalore real estate, there are several underlying factors supporting that. Collectively, they make Bangalore shape up as arguably the best business destination in the country.

Mahindra Lifespaces–HDFC Capital affordable housing launches its first project

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News Point: Homes below INR 10 lakhs in Maharashtra’s newest district – Palghar.

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Happinest – Palghar comprises around 850 thoughtfully designed apartments and community spaces on over 8 acres, with prices ranging from INR 8 lakhs to INR 24 lakhs.

Anita Arjundas, Managing Director, Mahindra Lifespace Developers Ltd said, “The Affordable Housing segment is a key focus area for Mahindra Lifespaces, and will play an important role in our development journey.  We are delighted to kickstart 2018 with the launch of Happinest – Palghar, the first of multiple affordable housing projects envisioned under our joint venture with HDFC Capital.  Strategic locations, good connectivity and value for money products will be important determinants for our affordable housing projects.” 

Vipul Roongta, CEO, HDFC Capital Advisors Ltd, said, “HDFC Capital is committed to partnerships with trusted real estate brands, with good track record of development and delivery, and a long-term view of affordable housing.  Right-location, customer-focused projects such as Happinest – Palghar are the need of the hour, and will create sustainable value for home owners in India. This is one small step towards “Housing For All by 2022”, which HDFC ltd has been working on as a mission and business objective to take the government’s flagship scheme, ‘Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY)’, to the real beneficiaries.”

Happinest – Palghar offers comfortable and well-ventilated 1 RK, 1 BHK and 2 BHK homes amidst lush, green surroundings.  Residents of Happinest – Palghar will be able to derive all the benefits of owning a well-designed home with easy access to established social amenities, multiple connectivity options, and abundant employment opportunities.  Already a popular tourist destination and a thriving industrial hub in Maharashtra, Palghar has recently been identified by the state government for fast-tracked infrastructure development.  Construction work on a brand-new district headquarters is already underway. Furthermore, India’s first bullet train, the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) project, is expected to include a halt near Palghar, thereby improving connectivity to Mumbai and opening avenues for further infrastructure creation and business growth.

Happinest – Palghar is a short drive from Palghar station, and is located minutes away from the MIDC in Boisar, which is home to over 1300 active industrial units.

Residents will have access to best-in-class features and amenities that will offer maximum value per square foot, together with ample socialisation opportunities; these include a common facility center, joggers track, cricket pitch, community hall, senior residents’ area, children’s play area and badminton court.  Multiple schools, colleges, hospitals, shopping centers, movie theatres, restaurants and retail outlets are also in close proximity to the project.

Eligible customers of Happinest – Palghar can avail the benefits of the Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (URBAN)-Housing for All, resulting in savings of upto Rs 2.67 lakhs.

In line with Mahindra Lifespaces’ focus on sustainable urban development, Happinest – Palghar offers environment friendly living via energy-efficient wall and roof structures; grey water treatment facilities; LED lights for landscapes and street lighting; organic waste treatment and rainwater harvesting amenities.

Furthermore, Happinest – Palghar has been designed to be convenient for the differently-abled and senior citizens, with common areas that enable hindrance-free movement for both.  The project is pre-certified ‘Platinum’ under IGBC’s Green Affordable Housing Rating System.

Mahindra Lifespaces has been present in the affordable housing segment since 2014, through its category brand ‘Happinest’.  Around 1,500 units have been sold across the Company’s ongoing affordable housing projects in Chennai (Happinest, Avadi) and MMR (Happinest, Boisar); and over 1,100 homes have already been handed over.

Each Happinest project is certified by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), and utilises environment-friendly and energy-efficient materials and technologies to enable balanced and healthy living.  Happinest, Avadi has been conferred India’s first IGBC ‘Platinum’ certification for Green Affordable Housing. 

Happinest leverages innovative technologies and value engineering approaches to ensure quality and timely construction in a cost-effective manner.  MLDL has also focused on creating an ecosystem for access to home finance for its customers in the segment; this includes partnerships with NBFCs that survey the financial capability of prospective customers, and accordingly approve home loans.

Sobha HRC Pristine a tryst with nature

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Bottom Line: Sobha HRC Pristine could be described in one expression as ‘Nature’s Basket’. It is a classy low-density housing project that offers freedom from Bangalore’s pollution and traffic bottlenecks in city’s cleanest and least populated location.

Sobha HRC Pristine, Sobha property in Jakkur, Sobha property in North Bengaluru, North Bengaluru property market, Poject launches in North Bengaluru, Investment in North Bengaluru, India's top rated builder, Infrastructure of North Bengaluru, New property launches in Bengaluru, India real estate news, Indian realty news, Indian property market news, Track2RealtyIf there is any question mark over the residential investment of Bangalore, it is due to the increasing pollution and traffic bottlenecks. That is one of the reasons that the new growth corridors are coming up in North Bangalore where the pollution and traffic are relatively less. The desire to have greenery around the project could nevertheless make a hole in the pockets of the homebuyers.

It is here that the project SOBHA HRC Pristine in Jakkur, Located off-Bellary Road comes as a welcome break. It is a low-density project but the price point is lesser than many other villa projects in and around North Bangalore. What is all the more interesting is the fact that as per a study, the air quality of Jakkur is the best in the city.

The locality anyway has not one or two but very many USPs for the project to take off. The noise level is also lowest in the locality. The biggest concern of Bangalore, the scarcity of water and the receding ground water, is something that is exceptionally good in this region.

The locality is today dotted with very many projects at the two extreme ends of property market. One is the high rises to exploit the given FSI norms of 2.25 and the density norms of 55% ground coverage, and at the other end is the low density but high value villas to exploit the land value.

SOBHA HRC Pristine positions itself in between these two extreme ends of market pyramid. On a piece of 8.5 acre of land, the developer has also resisted the temptation to optimize the density norms and create a concrete urban jungle. 

On the contrary, the planning has been so aesthetically done that there are only 395 high and low rise apartments.  The project has 2 and 3 BHK apartments, row houses and penthouses and the unit size ranges from 1440 sq. ft. to 2463 sq. ft.

It seems the developer has compromised the salability to stand ahead of the curve in this micro market. May be the competitive market analysis have made them conscious of the fact that in today’s slow market the sales and brand goodwill rests upon project differentiation. They have hence conceptualized a project so tempting that the potential buyers can’t refuse. And hence, the density and ground coverage with the project is just 16.51%. 

And what impresses me the most is the price point which is more or less at par with other high-density apartments selling in the locality. The land parcel that has been a farmhouse is so beautifully landscaped amidst the nature that anyone would fall in love with the place. The clay cladding on the exposed walls will give these homes a stunning terracotta finish and a beautiful façade.

I was curious to know whether the real estate project with its heavy brick & mortar would change the very identity of the place. But my apprehensions are put to rest when I am told that the developer has hired an ecological agency to make sure the nature is preserved in a way that the place does not lose its original identity.

As a matter of fact, most of the trees, as old as 20 years and even earlier would be untouched and would continue to be part of natural landscaping of the housing project. 

There is also an old functional well and the developer has planned to convert it in to a bio pond with an integrated rainwater harvesting system. Similarly, a 145m long cascading water feature with tropical planting scheme and natural boulders with other amenities are incorporated in the natural topography.

Another unique feature of the project would be bird’s nest cove where these caverns, sheltered in the dense green foliage of matured trees, come with undulating platforms and built-in seating arrangements.

In terms of the locational vantage point, with the Kempegowda International Airport North Bengaluru has witnessed a rapid infrastructure development over the past years. Several malls, multiplexes, retail outlets, hospitals, schools and banks have made it a hotspot for real estate investment.

Besides this, close proximity to Manyata Tech Park, Aerospace SEZ and other IT parks gives the neighbourhood the right momentum for further social and commercial growth. Additionally, the completion of the elevated Expressway connecting Hebbal Junction to Kempegowda International Airport has made the connectivity to North Bengaluru from across the city seamless.

The upcoming infrastructure projects like expansion of Yelahanka Railway Station, Peripheral Ring Road, High speed Rail Link, Connecting Central Bangalore to BIA, Bangalore Metro Rail Phase 2 – BIA to Nagawara to Gottigere and Bellary Road, Hebbal – Devanahalli – Elevated Expressway promise to make the region even more attractive in future.

But more than these infrastructure projects, the desirability of the location is its lakes and lung spaces. Rachenahalli Lake is just 1 km from the property; Jakkur Lake is 2 kms from the property; and Lumbini Gardens is in the neighbourhood. 

With Manyata Embassy business Park, Karle Town Centre, Kirloskar Tech Park and Brigade Magnum already being job magnets in the vicinity, the region promises to emerge as a job magnet in future since many Multi-National Corporations (MNCs) have invested along this stretch due to availability of large land parcels and improved connectivity to the city centre and major tech clusters.

Companies like Shell, Airbus, Bombardier, Boeing, Tyco Electricals, Thyssen Krupp, AMADA, Starrag are expanding their presence in this micro-market.

In terms of social infrastructure in and around SOBHA HRC Pristine, there are shopping malls, like Elements Mall, Esteem Mall and RMZ Galleria Mall. Nearby hospitals are Aster CMI, Columbia Asia and Baptist Hospital. There are a number of schools & colleges in the vicinity.

The only negative point of this new launched project as of now is the fact that the internal road beyond the Main Jakkur Road to the project is a bit narrow. But then the kind of infrastructure projects that are at various level of planning one can hope that it would be addressed sooner than later.

Track2Realty assigns this project with ‘A’ category. A project that has been given this high ranking at the time of launch could easily upgrade into A+, if only the execution is at par with the standards set by SOBHA through its backward integrated model. 

Of course, the infrastructure of the region would also add to or take sheen out of the attraction of the project in the next couple of years. This is something that is beyond the control of the developer as well.

By: Ravi Sinha

Relationship management lacking in Indian realty

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Bottom Line: Relationship management on the lines of service industry can give much-needed facelift to Indian real estate.

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Investing in relationship management to earn the trust & goodwill of the homebuyers is something that the Indian real estate has not adopted as an industry practice. CRM or Customer Relationship Management is something that every developer today boasts of, but this relationship hardly goes beyond attending phone calls of aggrieved buyers and online registration of grievances.

Whereas the kind of relationship experience that Vakil is sharing is more on the lines of KYC (Know Your Customers) where the relationship managers have all the info about the homebuyers, his grievances, if any, and they are constantly met to update them on the developments with the housing project. This builds a level of trust and good will.

Divya Gehlot, a homebuyer agrees that relationship management of the developer not only breaks the ice but also goes a long way to understand each others’ point of view, thereby less acrimony. She had a similar experience where after booking the apartment the relationship manager did not forget even wishing her on the birthdays and anniversaries in addition to keep updating on the developments of the project. The dedicated manager was always there when she wished to visit the site.

“I was even invited by the relationship manager to show me many options for the tiles of the floor that they are going to use. I had the liberty of choice and since everything was done in a transparent manner I am not complaining now even though the delivery of the project is some eight months delayed. They have explained me the reasons of delay and I feel the reasons are beyond their control,” says Divya.

The question is how many developers are maintaining that kind of relationship management with the homebuyers. Are they even bothered to talk to the customers once the booking is done? As an industry practice today, the only interaction from the developers’ side is when they send the demand note for further payment. In some cases they keep updating over emails but one-on-one relationship management is a critical missing link in Indian real estate.

This raises a fundamental question as to unlike other matured industries why Indian real estate has failed to focus on relationship management with buyers and prospective buyers.

Rattan Hawelia, Chairman of Hawelia Group tries to explain method in the madness when he says that other matured industries which are focusing on relationship management are usually more service oriented whereas real estate has always been addressed as a product based industry. As per the traditional mindset, most of the developers consider that a homebuyer is a one-time consumer because of which they have always failed to explore the benefit of relationship management. Consumer connect is by and large a missing link with direct interface with homebuyers.

“I must admit here that the real estate sector has gone overboard on brand campaigns and publicity rather than identifying the gains by connecting with the customer. Exploring this medium by gaining trust and satisfaction of one customer for lifetime will surely open threshold for many satisfied referred clientele and direct boost in sales can be accounted. So far marketing communication has been majorly based on the perception and exposure at the basic level of the first generation business families in Indian realty sector despite the fact that relationship management is a key and effective component to connect with the customers,” says Hawelia.

How far is the perception that the nature of business does not support to have dedicated relationship managers a deterrent? Analysts maintain that due to the demand and supply gap the developers did not took a conscious call to defeat this perception and make efforts for word of mouth publicity through dedicated relationship management with the customers.

Of late, with the advent of second generation and overall changes in the ecosystem there has been sharp contrast in the nature of business. Now some of the developers have started understanding the benefits of relationship managers, and since the first visit of a prospective buyer a single point contact is being appointed who is responsible for all the needs of the buyer from readily sharing the required information & timely responding to their queries to arranging technical support from sales/administration/loan/construction/other department(s).

Such services helps in boosting the confidence of the customer manifolds and also supplements the mindset of Indian consumer who is investing his lifetime savings and hence wants to be treated as a preferred client.

In terms of the cost & benefit analysis of having a dedicated relationship manger for a group of customers, the operating methodology of most of the developers suggest there would not be major cost implications because the business model will remain more or less the same; though certain functional differences would be there in terms of promotion, lead generation and connection with the prospective customers. Such move will create a better understanding between the developer and the prospective customers which will surely help in building goodwill of the company.

The real deterrent is probably the developers’ inability to change with the changing market dynamics where the homebuyers are increasingly getting aware and demanding with their rights.

A dedicated relationship manger for the homebuyers can close doors to the market perception but what makes the developers uncomfortable is the fact that it also closes doors for deliberate delays and cutting corners in construction, as the homebuyers will more or less ask questions on a regular basis. Are the developers open to this customers’ scrutiny? The answer in today’s context is a clear No.

By: Ravi Sinha

SOBHA welcomes 17,000 crore for Bengaluru’s suburban rail

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Bottom Line: The Union Budget announcement to invest INR 17,000 crore towards developing the suburban rail network in Bengaluru is most significant and timely, says SOBHA in a statement.

Union Budget, Money, Rupees, Budget for home, track2Realty, India real estate news, Indian property market, Union Budget for real estate sector, Track2RealtySOBHA Limited has welcomed the announcement as it will address the issue of traffic congestion and help improve the infrastructure and productivity of the city.

As per the recent Bangalore Development Authority’s (BDA) Revised Master Plan 2031 report, Bengaluru’s 1.18 crore citizens waste 60 crore man hours annually. This translates to INR 3,700 crore, including INR 1350 crore on fuel alone, and the rest on productivity (man hour) loss.

To offset this kind of traffic congestion and productivity loss, the outlay planned and announced for the suburban rail in Bengaluru can prove most beneficial. This report has also recommended commuter rail system for certain strategic routes.

Bengaluru, the primary IT hub of India, has grown manifolds over the past decade, which has led to unprecedented influx of professionals from across the country. As a result, the suburbs such as Whitefield, Marathahalli, Varthur, Bellandur, Panathur, Balagere and Sarjapur along the Outer Ring Road (ORR),   have developed considerably, escalating the traffic woes. The proposed suburban line, which will connect Yeshwanthpur/Yelahanka to Anekal/Hosur, will help address the traffic concerns considerably.

J.C. Sharma, Vice Chairman & Managing Director, SOBHA Limited said, “The announcement made by the Hon’ble Finance Minister is a culmination of the concerted efforts made by the Hon’ble Union Railway Minister, Mr. Piyush Goyal; the Karnataka State Government; Mr. Arvind Limbavali, MLA, Bengaluru and Mr. P.C. Mohan, Member of the Parliament.”

Sharma stressed that the Outer Ring Road (ORR) is one of the fastest growing corridors in Asia and has witnessed a spurt of software companies, BPO’s, SEZ’s, malls and multiplexes, residential apartments, educational institutions and hospitals. This has also increased concerns of heavy traffic in these pockets, making it imperative for suburban railway line to ease the traffic in this belt.

He said, “The current infrastructure covers stations such as Yelahanaka, Yeshwanthpur, Byappanahalli, Marathahalli, Bellandur Road, Carmelaram, Heelallige Chandapura, Anekal & Hosur.  There is a large segment of office goers for the offices located in East Bangalore viz., K R Puram, Marathahalli, Bellandur, Sarjapur, Electronic city etc., The Suburban Railway System can also be synchronized with the Bangalore Metro at Byappanahalli Railway Station.”

He added, “We are hopeful that the Suburban Railway System at Bengaluru connects Yeshwanthpur/Yelahanka to Anekal/Hosur. This will help decongest the Bangalore City by shorter duration of travel time and less emissions due to vehicular traffic on the roads.  The prominent bottle necks for the traffic congestions like Silk Board junction and Tin factory junctions will have a sigh of relief due to air emissions which are increasing to alarming levels.”

The proposed suburban rail project will extend up to 160 kms and will be implemented by the Central and State Governments in a 50:50 ratio. Needless to add that the suburban rail will give the necessary fillip to the real estate in Bengaluru.

Freedom of traffic at Eastern Freeway in Mumbai

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Bottom Line: Eastern Freeway has changed the travelling experiences and life for many in Mumbai.

Mumbai Eastern Freeway, Mumbai traffic, Mumbai infrastructure, housing projects near Eastern Freeway Mumbai, India real estate news, Indian realty news, Real estate news India, Indian property market news, Mumbai property news, Eastern Freeway accidents Rakesh Sharma, Vice President of a NBFC company knows the pains of living in Mumbai and commuting daily to work. He lives in Chembur and works at Nariman Point. For a long period he used to leave home at 7 in the morning to reach at 9. He recalls this as a safety valve to not get late when he was just working as a General manager and waiting to be promoted.

“It used to be a daily ordeal with snarl driving from Chembur to Sion to Byculla, Fountain and then Nariman Point. Though it was one and half hours drive but due to traffic bottlenecks I used to leave early and then reach 45 minutes before the office opened. It followed up with same kind of late return everyday,” points out Sharma.

Life changed for him in the last 3-4 years with the Eastern Freeway. Now he travels to same office in 40-45 minutes. The new route via Eastern Freeway to Carnac Bridge and then Nariman Point is what he never visualized as a reality earlier.

He recalls most of the people coming from South Mumbai used to take the service road that went through the Bhakti Park residential pocket to exit for Wadala and the Eastern Express Highway. Commuting experience can change the mood of the travellers as well.

“I can give some quality time to family. It is not that beyond the Eastern Freeway there are no traffic challenges. As a matter of fact, immediately after the Eastern Freeway there is traffic bottleneck as the traffic diversion towards the West and South cause some delays. But then it is normally a moving traffic,” says Sharma.

Eastern Freeway is not just a 17km road stretch that considerably cuts down travel time between South Mumbai and Chembur, it is a lifeline for working class in this part of the world.

The best part, as Sharma, feels is that you come across happy faces while going to office. It is not like the earlier traffic stuck hassled and tensed look of the commuters.

The best part that this finance professional feels is that along with the ease of travel time and experience, the property value of his Chembur house has appreciated to a considerable extent.

“I do not feel like not being a part of South Mumbai as well where I can hangout after office hours without much stress about how and when to return home,” shares Sharma.

Social media adoption in Indian real estate

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Bottom Line: Social media is the key in real estate but over-reliance on social media alone without strategy won’t work.

Social Media Sites, India real estate news, Indian realty news, Property new, Home, Policy Advocacy, Activism, Mall, Retail, Office space, SEZ, IT/ITeS, Residential, Commercial, Hospitality, Project, Location, Regulation, FDI, Taxation, Investment, Banking, Property Management, Track2Media, Track2RealtyRecently in the wake of a sting of bad press, a leading real estate developer handed over its crisis management to the PR agency which suggested the exclusive social media solutions, since in their understanding the target audience has been net savvy.

The developer was so harassed that he never bothered to introspect as to whether the social media is fast taking over the prime time or there is a strategic PR dilemma which is leading to over reliance on this new age medium.

No practitioner of brand management would today refuse to be a proponent of social media, but the role of social media is effective only when one makes use of a prudent media mix, including the traditional media, television and social media.

PR continues to be the weakest link in the value chain of communication in real estate

Over reliance on social mediareflects strategic PR dilemma in the sector that is more concerned with ‘how to do it’ than ‘why to do it’

Misleading the audience with advertising and other forms of communication, including planted news, is a global phenomenon

Unfortunately, what is happening is that like in the early days of Web design, SEO, PPC, email, and banners before it, there is too much swooning and not enough thinking about social media right now. PR professionals are so engrossed in ‘how to use it’ that they often do not even think ‘why to use it’.

The philosophy of relying on the exclusive use of social media under the pretext of the target audience being net savvy is actually an anti-thesis of communication for branding. This is because the very ethos of branding suggests that the brand is built by audience far greater than those who actually use the product. But at times such quick-fix solutions seem to be a win-win situation for both the agency and the client, since this agency also quotes the least price in the competitive pitch.

It seems a few positive stories about big-ticket real estate deals happening over social media has made the developers across the country vouch for the use of new age technology to spread the awareness campaign. The PR profesionals are also not just obsessed but also suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder as far as the use of social media is concerned. Of course, it makes their job easier when they do not have to deal with the traditiona journalists who demand a news copy and not all that crap in the name of news.

The role of social media in the Indian real estate becomes all the more critical in India since there have not been very many scientific studies to understand the audience’s concern which is always critical to the success of any PR campaign.

Public Relations strategy is all about the process of identifying what is top of mind in a community and relating your brand, product, organisation or campaign to what is most relevant to your community. That process is really all about listening to your audience and making what you have today relevant to their concerns.

Many of the PR practitioners today are trying to convince the developers that social media is ready for prime time and that they should forsake all other forms of publicity. That is probably a wishful thinking which is too ahead of its time. While consumers clearly want to engage with brands in social media, the number of social media users, though growing fast, is not yet overwhelmingly large.

Moreover, the fallacy of ‘we’ll engage with our customers and let them do our publicity for us by telling their friends’ reads well in a marketing plan, but is exceptionally difficult to execute unless the brand value of the developer is compelling in a way that most simply are not.

What has become fancy but unavoidable today is that more for the proactioners’ own convenience than any strategic reasons they often try to convince the clients for the use of social media. This saves the agency from the dirty job of dealing with the journalists who belong to the traditional media. Social media channels can be highly effective public relations tools, but they can not replace traditional media entirely. Successful public relations programs meld social media and traditional media with other communications tools and techniques.

ZiffyHomes raises INR 2 crore as seed funding

Posted on by Track2Realty

News Point: Home rental start-up company plans to utilize the newly-raised capital in infrastructure expansion, including exclusive studio apartments which would further cater to niche segment of executive class accommodation. 

Rental House, Rental housing in India, Rental housing policy, Failure of rental housing, Tenancy rights, Rental laws in India, India real estate news, Indian property market, Track2RealtyZiffyHomes, a Gurgaon-based home rental marketplace has raised seed funding of INR 2 crore from Individual investors. The round was led by Bikky Khosla, Angel Investor and CEO at TradeIndia.com and Anirudh Agarwal, Managing Director at Shree Sharda Group.  The duo will also join ZiffyHomes as Board Members to mentor the team for fast growth.

With rising incomes, increased exposure to global housing standards and features and frequent movement across cities for employment, the Indian rental consumer is becoming more demanding in terms of good amenities, quality interiors and in well-connected and respectable localities.

ZiffyHomes, is an online discovery platform for rental accommodation –addressing the unimaginable Indian housing problems.

Market Scenario:

Massive section of India’s population depends on rental homes to cater to its housing needs

This $11 billion residential rental market consists of 40% migrants in top 10 urban cities, and additional $3 billion in vacant properties which requires enables for occupancy.  

Established in May 2015, the company relies on technology to hand hold both landlords and tenants from the point of searching for the right properties all the way to closing the tenancy contracts.

The company offers a suite of services beyond contract closure. For example, dedicated relationship managers, App based Service requests and real-time online transactions for booking house on rent.

The enterprise uses analytics-based algorithm to generate area heat maps providing demand forecast and rentals of prevailing areas.

Key Highlights:

Bikky Khosla and Anirudh Agarwal are the lead investors, they will be joining Ziffy as Board Members

Other Investors who participated in the round are – Ajay Kaul – Jubilant FoodWorks CEO, BDG Global Pvt. Ltd., Karan Kumar – Ameltha Capital (Dubai) and Mini Monesh (MD, VirgoWellness)

The company offers Hassle-free scouting, variety of houses to choose from, transparent invoice management and speedy complaint redressal 

Commenting on the announcement, Sanchal Ranjan, CEO & Co-Founder, ZiffyHomes said, “The execution remains the key. Combining technology with on the ground operations is our USP. We bring trust to the table. ZiffyHomes is a brand which provides a lifestyle helping your achieve more rather than spending time in daily chores. With these funds, we plan to foray into studio apartments segment which would further cater to niche section of executive class accommodation.”

Commenting on the investment, Anirudh Agarwal, Lead Investor commented, “India has recently developed a growing appetite for rental housing. However, there’s a big gap between supply and demand largely due to a “trust discrepancy” that many landlords face. ZiffyHomes disrupts the current model and offers the following strategic advantages: One is ready to move-in individual rooms to tenants for long stays, second is convenience of online rent payment and third is freedom to move across homes. In this strategic play the company intends to exceed the expectations of both landlords and tenants by plugging the efficiency, trust and knowledge loophole.”

Bikky Khosla, lead investor also commented, “ZiffyHomes has established itself as one of the most innovative companies today in the home rental sector. We are extremely excited to support ZiffyHomes which is well poised with its reliable, hassle-free, convenient, and cost-effective platform. The team is determined, driven and customer oriented and aptly supported by great execution skills to build a profitable venture around a scalable ecosystem of home rental solution providers.”

With presence in Delhi/NCR, ZiffyHomes plans to provide services across all smart cities of India where there are more migrants who expect quality rentals. Their current fundraise will help them expand its operations to become largest service provider for rentals in Delhi NCR.

Can budget offer bonanza for real estate?

Posted on by Track2Realty
Track2Realty Budget Exclusive

Bottom Line: The state of economy leaves little room for the Finance Minister to grant any budget wish to the real estate sector.

Union Budget, Union Budget 2016-17, Finance Minister, Housing demand in Budget, Fiscal Deficit, Monetary Policy, Repo Rate, NRI investment, India real estate news, Indian property market, Track2Realty, Budget disappoints real estateA budget bonanza is a wish that businesses across the sectors dream about and real estate is no exception. Real estate, as a matter of fact, has to its claim being the key contributor of GDP and job market, besides accelerating a number of allied industries through backward and forward linkages.

However, today on the eve of Union Budget 2018-19 the critical issue is whether the state of economy allows the government to grant a bonanza.  Forget any bonanza, the economists are even pondering whether the economy would allow the Finance Minister to address the legitimate concerns of real estate.

Beyond the routine optimistic overtones on part of the stakeholders of Indian real estate this is one question that is on the top of the mind of everyone. After all, the growth forecast has been corrected and subdued and the key indicators along with industries not picking up as expected.

The underline fact is that the Union Government has very little to offer substantive for real estate as far as the budget is concerned. The former Reserve Bank of India Bimal Jalan has stressed the need to have a balance between fiscal and economic growth.

Contradicting budget compulsions & expectations 

State of economy demands prudent fiscal policy with little populist incentives

Banks are flush with funds but NPAs also rising

Slow job market indicates liberal lending for home buying could be counter-productive

With General Elections 2019 in mind, Finance Minister would be tempted to incentivise middle class 

There is no denying that the focus of the Finance Minister would be to revive demand in the market. However, any largesse or grant to long-standing demands of the sector is highly unlikely. This also includes demands on behalf of the middle class salaried homebuyers.

The developers nevertheless have their own reasons to be optimistic. JC Sharma, VC & MD of Sobha Ltd feels that if the government offers calibrated incentives to the homebuyers, in addition to schemes such as Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) under PMAY, the customers who are fence sitters will be enthused to buy homes.

“If there are schemes or incentives for homebuyers who are single mothers, retirees, physically disabled and other vulnerable sections of the society, it will bring a larger section of people to invest in a property, augmenting the demand for housing. Idea is to address genuine demands of large section of the population by enabling a reasonable set of incentives. This will give fillip to the entire sector, which has been facing challenges for the past few years,” says Sharma.

Ashish R Puravankara, MD of Puravankara asserts that real estate is the second largest employer in India after agriculture. The sector is hopeful for the incentives as these incentives promoting growth will create employment opportunities across the sector and eventually be a catalyst to better the economy. A longer-term view must be maintained in terms of the ROI on the sops provided to the industry, he says.

Nikhil Hawelia, Managing Director of Hawelia Group believes it is not the state of economy but the state of banks that would encourage the Finance Minister to incentivize the home buying. According to him, though there are certain roadblocks in terms of the less than expected economic growth but on a macro level the fundamentals are loaded in favour of the homebuyers, if not the developers.

“Today, the banks are flush with funds and they need one or the other lending driven sectors to grow. Now real estate is the only sector that is appreciating asset class, unlike the automobile that is depreciating asset. The finance Minister has no choice but to incentivize the home buying where the risks are less since the product keeps appreciating constantly. My personal view is that if the homebuyers are incentivized with the Union Budget the business of real estate is resilient enough to bounce back,” says Hawelia.

The state of the economy, on a realistic level, leaves little room for the budget bonanza. Though there might be some relief for the homebuyers but that also is expected for the buyers at the bottom of the pyramid. With the government already looking forward to 2019 General Elections, some symbolic relief could also be expected for the middle class but the financial compulsions of the Finance Minister does not give hope of a budget bonanza. Balance between farm growth and infrastructure growth would be the key a year before the elections.

By: Ravi Sinha

 

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