Tag Archives: JC Sharma

Focus on end users driving Bangalore: JC Sharma, Sobha Ltd

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Track2Realty Exclusive

News Point: JC Sharma, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Sobha Ltd, in an exclusive interview with Ravi Sinha.

JC Sharma, MD & VC, Sobha Limited, Bangalore real estate news, Bangalore property market, Track2Media Research, Track2Realty, Best builders of India, Most reputed buildersJC Sharma has been witness to the emergence of Bangalore as the ‘Destination Indian Realty’. He feels it is not just the business potential of the city that makes it an investment magnet. Rather, there are real estate related catalytic factors, like the developers’ focus on end-users, innovation with the product and adoption of advanced technology that makes Bangalore numero uno of Indian real estate.

Often referred as the best CEO in the business, his assessment of the sector is that sentiments may be affecting the grwoth of the business, Indian property market is not heading to correction. Excerpts of the interview:

Ravi Sinha: What makes Bangalore the best performing property market in India?

JC Sharma: Bangalore has remained the most happening city as far as the real estate sentiment is concerned for the last few years. The positive growth of IT/ITeS sector, resulting in large workforce requirement has created a big demand for housing needs in the city.

According to NASSCOM, the revenues from IT/ITeS sector is expected to reach US$ 300 billion by 2020, while the number of employees in the sector is expected to increase by 2.4 million to reach 5.1 million by 2022. A major part of this growth will emanate from Bangalore as in the past, which will further boost the real estate requirement in Bangalore. Keeping this in mind, many big players are entering the city with their large projects. Also, despite the slowdown, the demand for real estate in Bangalore has witnessed a steady pace.

Additionally, given its climatic attraction, high capital appreciation, decent infrastructure and connectivity, the market attracts more NRIs who are opting to settle in the city.

Ravi Sinha: Have developers in the city done something differently or the financial activities and liveability index are organically driving the city property market?

JC Sharma: The developers in Bangalore are focussed on end users. Emphasis is on providing ample useable space with regard to the built up area vis-a-vis the total saleable area. Moreover, the developers in Bangalore are experimenting with newer trends and  are bringing in innovations and advanced techniques in making their projects more compact, affordably priced with lots of amenities and yet trendy and comfortable. The development in the city is complementary with closer access to schools and hospitals and is more synergetic in nature. SOBHA has a good delivery track record and has thus built immense credibility amongst homebuyers through its international quality products, high precision work and eye for detail.

Ravi Sinha: But stress is quite visible in Bangalore market as well. Do you think the city property market will sustain the slowdown blues?

JC Sharma: The Indian realty market is connected with the overall market sentiment. For example, look at the impact of Chinese economy on the global markets.  Likewise, sentiments do play an important role in the minds of the homebuyers. When they see negative sentiments in other cities, they also start taking more time in decision making. However, we believe that the sentiments will start improving and Bangalore is expected to do well.

Ravi Sinha: Would you agree with the price correction expectations across the housing market?

JC Sharma: No, I do not agree to this. There may be some stray examples of some developers adjusting their prices at lower levels. However, the developers do not have the required margins/cushion to go for price correction across the housing markets.

Ravi Sinha:  A lot of developers have liquidity concerns and operating cash flows have taken a hit. Don’t you feel that lack of funding options will force the developers to cut prices?

JC Sharma: You may be right. Developers today are definitely having liquidity concerns.  But I am of the firm opinion that the real estate prices generally reflect the true value of different cities. The selling of products by reducing the prices cannot be a long term solution as it will be difficult for such developers to generate required liquidity to replace their existing inventory.

Ravi Sinha: Bangalore for the first time has more than one lakh unsold inventory. Will it force the developers to reduce prices, especially when the secondary market transactions are indicating some correction?

JC Sharma: The inventory is not a big concern for most developers. Recently, SOBHA has launched the largest residential project of approximately 7000 units in Bangalore. This is a fast moving product and at the same time such projects theoretically carry a larger inventory. We, therefore, need to look at inventory from the perspective of those projects which are completed but still remain unsold. In my view, most developers do not carry large inventory in completed projects.

Ravi Sinha: When and how do you think the sector will come out of present crisis of confidence in the housing market?

JC Sharma: The macro environment has been improving. Interest rates are coming down. India will be a big beneficiary of the falling commodity prices especially in case of crude and steel. I am of strong belief that markets will start improving from next year onwards.

Populist budget & challenges of affordable homes

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Bottom Line: Contrary to the hype of affordable housing around the Union Budget 2017-18, many Indians across the cities are questioning how the budget has addressed the core issue of affordability.

Union Budget, 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, Ravi Sinha, Track2Media, Track2Realty“Siddharth Chopra, a Mumbai resident has been glued to the television news channels during the live telecast of the Union Budget 2017-18. Like the rest of the Indians expecting the budget bonanza for the middle class affordable homebuyers, he is now rather confused as most of the analysts are debating how the Union Budget has addressed the pertinent issue of affordable housing.

“It is no doubt a populist budget that may earn goodwill to the government in terms of getting media headlines and garnering votes in the rural areas. But for people like us living in the metro cities, I wonder how the budget has addressed the concerns of affordable housing. The government might have redefined the affordable housing by increasing the size of the carpet area and giving it the infrastructure status, but that will address the concerns of the developers. What about the homebuyers?” questions Siddharth.

Like this confused homebuyers, many Indians across the cities are today asking this questions as to how the budget has addressed the core issue of affordability. Affordability for a common affordable homebuyer is more about the pricing than the size of the apartment. As per the standard definition of affordable housing, any house that costs more than 5 years of gross income of the buyer with the second simultaneous condition that the EMI should not cost more than 50% of the take home salary is not affordable.

Another definition often floated in the Indian context is that any house that costs approximately 20 years of rental value is affordable. The budget, if seen with the right context of affordable housing in the major cities of India, fails to answer these much-needed affordable requirements of the Indians.

Beyond symbolic relief for affordable housing

  • Increasing the size of affordable housing without reducing the price does not address the concerns of affordable housing
  • No relief in Service Tax, VAT is a dampener for affordable housing
  • No incentive for developers to reduce the pricing and make houses affordable
  • Budget fails to redefine affordable housing and low cost housing in terms of price point

The developers are nevertheless happy as the budget has addressed their concerns to a large extent. JC Sharma, MD & VC of Sobha Limited points out that the focus on affordable housing is laudable, as it has been accorded the infrastructure status which will have many ripple effects.

“Government’s proposal to take into consideration the carpet area of 30 and 60 sq. metres instead of built-up area of 30 and 60 sq. metres (as was the case earlier) of the houses is a welcome step, whereby 30 sq. metres limit will apply only in case of municipal limits of 4 metropolitan cities, while for the rest of country, including the peripheral areas of metros, limit of 60 sq. metres will apply. This will allow developers to plan their future projects within the 60 sq. metre carpet area, which will boost the housing sector immensely,” says Sharma.

Ashish Puravankara, Managing Director, Puravankara Limited believes the budget has spelt out roadmaps and allocations across various initiatives of the Central Government and the Finance Minister has done an excellent job of managing the expectations. According to him, revision of Built-up area to Carpet area is a great move to push for apartments in affordable housing category.

“The according of Infrastructure Status to the Affordable Housing will boost investment in this category. Extension of period for carrying forward the MAT Tax from the existing 10 years to now 15 years is a welcome move,” says Puravankara.

Kishore Bhatija, MD – Real Estate Development, K Raheja Corp says the government has been working towards boosting the affordable housing segment and the announcements made today are in line with their objectives. The infrastructure status to affordable housing sector is a quantum step for the development of housing.

“In addition to this, the tax relief for developers on unsold inventory is a positive step resulting in lowering the burden on their shoulders. The changes in income tax slabs are a welcome move which will leave more liquidity in the hands of consumers boosting consumption,” says Bhatija.

However, beyond the euphoria of the budget sentiment within the built environment of the Indian real estate, the fact lies that the budget has not addressed the key concern of affordability of the average homebuyers in the major cities of India. Moreover, there is hardly any substantial focus on job creation which has a direct linkage with the housing consumption in the cities, especially the affordable housing.   

By: Ravi Sinha

Sobha launches luxurious Sobha City in Delhi-NCR

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News Point: will launch its first luxury apartment project, Sobha City in Delhi-NCR tomorrow, Wednesday, June 29th, 2016.

Sobha City Delhi-NCR, Sobha Limited, JC Sharma, PNC Menon, Ravi Menon, Luxury real estate in Delhi-NCR, India real estate news, Indian property market news, NRI investment in India, Track2Realty, Home search  Sobha City is one of the largest group housing projects in Gurgaon which will offer best-in-class living experience to the customers. Located in sector 108 of Gurgaon, the project is much sought-after due to its close proximity to Delhi and Indira Gandhi International Airport.

Sprawled over 39 acres, Sobha City comprises of 1700 apartments across 22 towers with four units on each floor. The project offers 2BHK and 3BHK apartments that range from 1380 sq. ft. to 2342 sq. ft. Each unit is functionally planned with well-designed layouts and optimally-sized living spaces. With 85 percent open spaces, it offers an abundance of amenities along with magnificent view of the surroundings.

Speaking on the eve of the occasion, , VC & MD, Sobha Limited, said: “Over the years, Gurgaon has developed and transformed into a leading financial and industrial hub in India. It not only boasts a presence of over 250 Fortune 500 companies, but also caters to a population having third highest per capita income in the country. This has augmented the demand for luxury homes that meets the aspirations of people in the Delhi-NCR region. Additionally, Gurgaon being one of the fastest growing realty markets, offers high capital appreciation, making it a lucrative investment option. Sobha City, aims to fulfil the desires of quality conscious and value discerning customers. More importantly, the project underscores promise of international quality luxury, style and comfortable living.”

Jagadish Nangineni, Regional Head – NCR, Sobha Limited said, “Sobha City, Gurgaon is the first luxury apartment project from the house of Sobha. With this launch, we will have a product mix that will offer homes of all sizes in NCR region – 2 & 3 BHK apartments in Sobha City and villas at International City. Sobha City has been meticulously planned keeping customer’s core requirements in mind for a luxurious community living – both in terms of the apartment and amenities. These apartments are designed with a good balance of functionality, aesthetics and luxury. The amenities are the best in class – open grounds, parks, large water bodies and two clubhouses. Sobha City is going to be a landmark community development owing to its scale of development, shape of the land and location which is on the edge of Delhi.”

The common amenities at Sobha City include a large cricket ground having 45m radius, a lakelet, two oval club houses measuring 40,000 sq.ft with multipurpose halls, cafe, entertainment room, children’s play area, library and cards room.

In addition, it also offers multiple lawns and parks, specially designed camping grounds, paved pathways, swimming pool, cricket stadium, green landscaped outfield with more than a kilometre long walking and biking trail, designer landscaped greens and other amenities that match the pace and standard of living of today’s smart customers.

Sobha City gets A+ in Track2Realty Investment Magnet Report 2015

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Location: Thanisandra Main Road, Hebbal Ring Road

Project type: Apartment & Villas in Township

Price: Rs. 85 Lakh-3.8 Crore

Project execution lifecycle: June 2011-May 2018 

Sobha City Bangalore, PNC Menon, JC Sharma, Bangalore real estate market, Indian property market, Neighbour home, NRI real estate investment, Indian property market report, Real estate newsmagazine, Track2Realty Investment Magnet Report 2015, Track2Media Research This is one of those projects that can elevate the attraction quotient of the location. Based on the Mediterranean theme, this 36 acres township has the kind of amenities that could make any developers’ marketing brochure a temptation to buy.

This is the kind of luxury living offering that has made Sobha standout as India’s leading real estate brand today with luxury being their calling card. All the residential apartments here are based on the Mediterranean themes, like Casa Serenita, Casa Paradiso, Santorini and Aristos.

The traction point and aspiration level with this project has been so high that despite of some bad press to the project in early days (due to cremation in the neighbourhood) the launch2sales ratio of the apartments in Sobha City has been higher than the competing projects in and around the location.

After all, the area is surrounded by the magnet called employment where IT SEZ located on the Outer Ring Road and close to Hebbal is home to companies like IBM, Target and Cognizant. This micro market has many attraction quotients today and Sobha City is on top of the aspiration level of high-end homebuyers.

Track2Realty Rating: A+

  • Location & Aspiration: 8/10
  • Physical Infrastructure: 6/10
  • Social Infrastructure: 5/10
  • Appreciation Potential: 7/10
  • Competitive Advantage: 8/10
  • Rental Potential:6/10
  • Launch2Sales Ratio: 8/10
  • Construction Quality/Timelines: 8/10
  • Livability Index: 7/10
  • ROI Cycle: 7/10

For full report grab a copy of Track2Realty Investment Magnet Report 2015