Tag Archives: Investment in property

Property the real asset class

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Bottom Line: Real estate has stood the test of times and has emerged as the ideal investment asset class when compared to gold, equities, MFs, etc.

Track2Realty, Track2Media, India Real Estate, Valuations of Real Estate, Realty News, Property News,Capital Appreciation

“Even in times of an economic slowdown, the real estate sector has emerged as the only safe investment instrument when compared to other asset classes. Those who invest early on in their career, earn more in terms of appreciation of property than what they otherwise earn in their lifetime. During one’s old-age, property appreciation ensures better pension and security than even government schemes,” a panelist in a financial planning seminar recently said.

Dilkhush Shah, an interior decorator had only Rs 25 lakh to invest and she was advised to opt for mutual funds and gold rather than real estate. However, her research made her realise that real estate stands as the best asset class beyond the emotional urge to just own a home. The statistics, over a long period of time, clearly indicated how no other asset class had given the CAGR (Compounded Annual Growth Rate) as high as property, despite the short-term drop in sentiments.

Leverage

“Many of my friends suggested that this is a small amount for a piece of real estate that I will end up calling my own. I was even told that this is not the time to invest, as the real estate market is going through turbulent times. However, I preferred going in for this asset class which has been a time tested investment haven across the world. Yes, with such a small amount, I could only afford a property in a far-off location of Palghar but the way the development has been happening in and around and beyond Thane, I feel this is the best investment bet,” feels Shah.

Returns

The back of the envelope calculation suggests that in terms of returns in equity, gold, residential flat, commercial shop and finally currency, property scores over the other asset classes over a long period of almost a decade. If gold has given returns of 12 per cent, then residential apartments have given returns of 16 per cent and commercial shops have given even higher returns.

Inflation hedging

Real estate is the best bet against an inflation hedge as it is the only asset that loses little value in periods of rising prices. Thus, it holds its value and purchasing power even during inflation. Normally inflation has a co-relation with the booming economy and an investor also buys this asset to hedge against inflation. 

Tax savings 

A house is the only asset class that is majorly covered for the tax benefits. In other investments like the mutual funds or insurance only a limited amount of investment is covered for the tax saving purposes. In some other investment instruments like the gold there is no tax saving benefits.

Lower  risk

The fact remains that gold has seen unexpected fluctuations, the stock market has historically been on a roller-coaster ride and mutual funds, etc, have given nightmares to investors. As against this, there has been absolutely no reason why a home buyer would have anxiety pangs with respect to investment in this asset class of real estate.

High control 

In recent times, the high degree of volatility across asset classes, has definitely raised the debate over which is the best asset class to invest in for a layman. However, the statistics over the ROI, over a long period of investment, have always been tilted in favour of real estate. In the cyclic ups and downs, other asset classes like gold or equity may look more attractive for a given time frame, yet none can match property, which has stood across generations as the first preference of investment.

“I had invested in some of stocks that fell down from Rs 300 and are currently at Rs 45. Since the company is constantly on a downslide, there is absolutely no hope of recovering my losses. I don’t think it has ever happened with any property like this. Yes, there can be cyclical ups and downs but if you are determined to stay invested and are a short-term trader, you will not only recover but make gains as well in the process,” says Anupam Agarwal, a homebuyer who has also invested in a commercial shop.  

Financial freedom 

An investment in property also ensures financial freedom for average Indians. While this is true in the sense that one can earn regular rental yields, it is all the more true for the commercial real estate. Now with REITs becoming a reality, real estate definitely scores over other asset class for providing an investor financial freedom.

Portfolio Diversification

On a comparative scale of the last couple of years, fluctuation in gold prices added with the fact that depreciating rupee adds to the gold stress, does not evoke confidence in the yellow metal any more. Similarly, despite markets being at a two year high, only a few stocks are at similar highs, while most of them are still languishing well below their historical highs and are down anywhere between 80-90 per cent. In contrast, the momentum in real estate may have slowed down, yet there has been a constant appreciation in the range of 5-20 per cent, depending upon the location and the property.

Stability & peace of mind

Analysts advise that beyond the data points what is even more relevant is to back the statistics with ground intelligence and base the assessment on multiple parameters. For instance, in the ROI calculation, dividend yield on stocks and rentals on property is often not factored in. Moreover historically, during a low inflation period (say 2004-2008), equity returns are higher, vis-a-vis hard assets whereas, during a high inflation period (2009 – onward) returns from hard assets are higher.

Advantage real estate

Only asset class after gold that has been risk free

Back of the envelope calculation of the last three decades suggest that real estate has outperformed all other asset classes

Real estate has the additional advantage of impressive rental returns
The only asset class that can be either consumed for self-use or earned for recurring returns

 

Single tenants face discrimination in the city

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News Point: Metro cities might project to be cosmopolitan and liberal but are conservative with single tenants who face discrimination.

Single tenant, Single & the city, Bachelor tenants, Discrimination in housing, India real estate news, Indian property market, Track2Realty, Track2Media“Being single is a lifestyle statement. It is not a crime by any stretch of imagination. But then my liberal thought was constantly challenged when I left Kolkata and came to Gurgaon for the job. It suddenly seemed to me that my choice of living a single life was a crime that debarred me to get an apartment on rent,” says Ramneit Mukherjee, a copywriter.

Ramneit is not alone in having faced this kind of apartheid in rental housing market for being single. Across the major cities of India, the singles face the challenge to explain to the landlords as to why have they preferred to be single. Many suspect them to lead an indecent life and lifestyle choice and hence not eligible to rent out the house.

As per a Track2Realty pan-India survey, no les than 82 per cent single professionals have found it challenging in one way or the other to get a house on rent. This is not a reality of small towns but in the top 10 cities of India known to have metropolitan culture & lifestyle, singles are finding it hard to get n apartment on rent.

Challenges galore for single tenant 

Singles are the most ineligible set of tenants for the landlord and the society

Uncomfortable questions about personal choice, life, lifestyle & personal life confronts single tenants

No BF/GF allowed to getting registered entry of only one BF/GF is how metro cities react to single tenants

Legal safeguards are few for single tenants because no landlord/society denies them in writing for single status

In the housing societies where ‘No Single’ policy is spelt out, Society by-laws defends it as restriction to convert apartment into hostels 

In many of the housing societies, with the North India having the worst track record, there is a by-law that the landlord can not rent it out to singles. When the mandate is challenged, the society on record only says that the policy is meant to curb apartments being converted into hostels.

“We have framed this by-law for restricting the apartment owners to run hostels. These students often create ruckus for other apartment owners. Moreover, even the payment of apartment owners is at risk because these students with a bag or two at possession can leave the society anytime without even paying the rent,” says the RWA President of a housing society in Noida.

The situation is even worse for the single women. They are more often than not turned off with a suspicion in the eyes of the landlord. Many landlords bluntly ask them that for what kind of privacy do they even need an apartment instead of working women’s hostel.

“I had to struggle a lot and finally I gave in to stay with a family friend as the paying guest. The problem with me has been manifold – a single, a woman and a journalist. All these three tags are a big ‘No No’ for the landlords. But I am still looking for an independent apartment so that I can have the privacy to write my novel and lead life in my own way,” says Priya Varshney in Gurgaon.

Legal opinion on the subject is quite clear but hardly being followed because the denial to singles is never on the record. Madhurendra Sharma, a consumer right advocate clearly says that the law of the land does not allow any landlord to discriminate the tenant on the basis of his/her being single. But then there is a grey zone that makes them stigmatise the singles while renting out the property.

“The problem is that no law can force a landlord to rent out the property to singles, unless one has in writing denied the tenant on the said basis. A landlord always has the first right of refusal; and one can avail it without clearly mentioning that the single status of the tenant is the reason of refusal. A single can not challenge and prove it in the court of law. The mindset of the society is at fault,” says Sharma.

‘Single in the City’ might be very fascinating in the movies but in the context of urban Indians looking for a rented apartment it is a horror story. The Indian cities despite of their cosmopolitan outlook are still not inclusive with the singles living on rent the next door.  Frivolous excuses to stringent regulations, and no BF/GF to restricting the entry of only one BF/GF registered with the society, the life of a single tenant only indicates that the Indian cities are yet to grow up.

By: Ravi Sinha

 

Dubai and London properties to attract Indians in 2017

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Bottom Line: Track2Realty estimates that wealthy Indians would be attracted to London and Dubai properties in 2017. We explain the market dynamics behind it.

Indians Buying Abroad, NRIs, HNIs, Dubai property investment, London property investmentA survey by Track2Realty in 2014 among the NRIs, HNIs and other wealthy & influential investors found that their aspiration for a home outside India has always been Singapore, Malaysia, New York, Sydney, UK (London) and Middle East (Dubai).

On the eve of 2017, it seems nothing has changed yet, but the market realities are tilted towards wealthy Indians investing into London and Dubai properties in particular this year.

Though the ceiling on how much an Indian can invest abroad in a financial year remains same at $200,000, many of the other sought-after global cities are beyond the reach of aspiring Indians. This makes the case of Dubai and London not just preferred destinations to invest but also realistic.

With Dubai property prices quite attractive for the last few years, the drop in London property prices post the BREXIT makes London market equally attractive and realistic for the high-end investors.

Why Indians to invest in London & Dubai?

  • Attractive property prices at this point of time
  • Transparent market and friendly policies with India
  • Property prices and RBI’s remittance limit of $200,000 in a fiscal year makes other aspiring cities unaffordable for Indians
  • Demonetisation makes Dubai an ideal investment choice as Indians would like to recover loss with a tax-free property market
  • London property prices post BREXIT seen as ‘Now or Never’ opportunity  

PNC Menon, Chairman-Emeritus of Sobha Ltd, that has foothold in both these markets believe the Indians will be attracted to Dubai in particular due to impact of demonetization on real estate market. He expects a surge in Indian investments in Dubai property as a result of the recent shift. Now that the money is legal and cleansed, people are looking at various new avenues to recover some of their losses and ROI that is tax free is very attractive for obvious reasons.

“Dubai is now a very sought after destination to invest in tax-free property with solid returns for Investors and also for end users who are looking at a second home. For example, our flagship project, Sobha Hartland, is expected to provide the profit that end users and investor seek. In fact, a two bedroom apartment is estimated to yield more than 2.3 lakhs of tax-free rental income every month plus the annual advantage of 20-30% capital appreciation,” says Menon. 

Parth Mehta, Managing Director, Paradigm Realty believes global investment sales will surely be seen skyrocketing in the year 2017 due to the interest of Indian investors and robust values in Dubai and London.

“A slower growth in real estate also is indirectly proportional to the economy however with a steady growth, real estate market will pervade every sphere of economic activity. With bilateral friendly policies, an influx of investments via FDI  will eventually lead to increased positive business sentiments,” says Mehta. 

Harjith. D. Bubber, M.D & CEO, Rivali Park maintains that investment in properties abroad offers a good investment and also good returns in rentals.

“These investments are made by HNIs who will continue to invest wherever they see a good opportunity as the markets abroad are transparent. These investments are normally made via the official amounts that the Indian Government allows individuals to  remit USD 200,000 per annum or through the offshore companies that are set up for business and investment purposes,” says Bubber. 

Hiral Sheth, Director – Marketing, Sheth Creators believes the real estate market has always attracted Indian investors, whether it be India, Dubai or London. The steadiness of Indian rupee in the economy and relaxed RBI norms by the government has further created a favourable climate for Indian residents to invest in international realty market, especially in Dubai & London. Also, in order to liberalize the foreign exchange facilities, the RBI has started a Liberalized Remittance Scheme, that allows Indian to hold properties in foreign countries.

“Countries like London and Dubai offer lucrative investment prospects along with multiple offers and options. Dubai tops the list due to its geographic proximity to India and the large Indian population residing in Dubai further drives the demand of Dubai’s real estate segment,” Sheth. 

Vivek Mohanani, Jt. Managing Director, Ekta World says the commencement of globalisation, upsurge in foreign expenditure limit and equivalent valuations have surfaced the path for real estate investments in the foreign markets of UAE, USA and UK to name a few. Amongst these, Dubai and London are considered to be the red-hot destinations preferred for direct cross-border realty acquisitions by the global Indian real estate investor community.

“These locations top the list, thanks to their proximity to the Indian shores, a gamut of lifestyle benefactions, prosperous economy and non-taxable investments. Moreover, a safe investment modification, economic and political steadiness, potential for appreciation of assets are more reasons for investors in India to drift towards foreign markets. Depicting a positive performance and long-term growth, Dubai’s sweeping infrastructure growth, project developments and transparent processes and measures have attracted investors to explore these markets,” says Mohanani.

Contrary to the general feeling, Kaizad Hateria, Brand Custodian and Chief Customer Delight Officer, Rustomjee Group adds that property purchase is a major decision making process for Indians and factors like proximity, convenience, affordability, price appreciation and benefit for future generation are taken into consideration before the purchase.

“Total purchase of residential and commercial property in 2016 in the Indian real estate industry accounts to $160 billion; as against $22 billion in Dubai. Indians by nature like to invest in property that is closer to their routes and look at India as a safe haven for long term & stable appreciation. Also, since Dubai and London have been going through a rough weather, lot of investors are not happy with the returns they expected. This has brought their focus back into the Indian real estate market,” adds Hateria.

In a nutshell, global cities like Dubai and London are a popular destination for wealthy and HNI Indians, who opt to invest in residential properties abroad as their second homes. Having a property in these cities also fulfill the role of holiday homes. Education and business related interests are also key drivers behind buying property in foreign land. Market realities indicate more Indians investing in these two cities in 2017. 

By: Ravi Sinha