Category: Real Estate News

Is your apartment earthquake resistant?

earthquake2With the earthquake once again hitting the Northern belt of India and creating mass destruction in Nepal, a very big question that comes in everyone’s mind is how earthquake resistant are apartments or individual houses? Is one safe in the current house or apartment one is staying currently?

Based on the frequency of earthquake occurrence and its intensity, India has been divided into various zones. These zones point at the seismic coefficient that are adopted for building design across the country.

The earthquake zones have been divided based on the subjective estimates available from tectonics and geologists in India.

The Northern belt and specifically Delhi/NCR lies in zone IV that has high seismicity wherein the earthquake that occurs is generally of 5-6 magnitude. The one that came yesterday, May 12, Tuesday was very high of about 7.3 magnitude in Nepal, which damaged the buildings up to a great extent. Delhi/NCR also got some major jolts from the earthquake. Moreover, it lies among the high-risk areas prone to earthquakes. The buildings in Delhi/NCR must be designed in such a way that they can at least resist earthquake of about 4.5 magnitudes on a Richter scale. However, are the buildings earthquake resistant? How do you check before buying an apartment or an individual house?

Before buying how to check whether a multi-storey flat will be earthquake resistant or not? 

When you are buying a flat in a multi-storey building, it’s almost impossible for you to check whether you are buying a flat in an earthquake resistant building or not. So, mostly you have to just trust the builder’s take on this. As per experts, every flat cannot be tested whether it is earthquake resistant or not. However, the entire building can be tested for earthquake resistance. Get the building structural design from the builder and ask the experts to check the same. In case, approved you can go ahead with your buying process. However, ensure the builder uses quality construction material.

Before buying a plot how to check whether the house built on a plot will be earthquake resistant or not?

If you are planning to buy a plot to build a house on the same, you have a golden chance to make your house earthquake resistant. The most important in this case, would be soil testing as it will typically, indicate how much weight the soil would be able to bear, clearly pointing to the number of floors that can be built on the land. Essentially, it would help you measure the “weight bearing capacity” of the soil.

These days frame structure is used as an alternative to the load-bearing structure for building houses resistant to earth quakes. As a result, the entire building is grounded on a column, which is placed 2 ½ meters under the ground. Moreover, it is essential to insert beam in floor and lintel level, top level and windows in side level. The bars in the column should be minimum 12 mm thick with about 900/900 foundation.

Who can help you do the soil testing?

 There are quite a few private and semi-government agencies that do soil testing. This task is also performed by autonomous insurance surveyors. Some of the answers you would get from soil testing –

  • How much per-square centimeter load can the soil afford?
  • Is the house construction possible on the soil type?
  • Accurate ratio of weight bearing capacity and water level?

After testing and investigation, the Surveyor and Building Design Structural Department issue a clearance certificate. In case, any major damage is caused to the building the concerned department is bound to be held responsible for the same.

Ensure you make your house earthquake-resistant and full-proof yourself from the unexpected costs that may arise due to a major earthquake.


Is the real estate bill really needed in India?

Real Estate BillThe Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill had become the need of the hour. The government realized the fact that buyer expectations were not being met by the developer community. Issues such as not getting refund after cancellations, project specifications change, and delay in apartment delivery were being faced by consumers on a day-to-day basis.

The real estate industry is one industry that has been operated in a biased manner towards the developer community. With the bill coming in place, developers will cooperate and start working within a framework conducive to both developers and buyers. The bill is supposed to make the entire transaction more transparent and fair.

What all does the real estate bill cover for increased transparency?

  • Every state needs to set up a Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA).
  • Property developers will be required to upload project details such as site as well as layout plan to authority’s website.
  • Without registering with the RERA, a builder cannot sell apartments in a project.
  • No structural changes can be made to the project plan without the consent of two-thirds of the buyer, which bring design-discipline in builders.
  • About 50% of buyer’s money is expected to be kept in an escrow account to be used only for project construction, ensuring developers don’t divert fund from one project to another.
  • A clause of “right to claim refund with an interest” has been introduced in the bill in case of failure of project delivery. This clause is expected to act as a deterrent for to cancellations and delay in projects.

A very positive point about the real estate bill is that even buyers are expected to perform their obligations as enumerated in the buyer agreement.

The reason why real estate bill was really needed was that some builders have brought disrepute to the entire real estate industry. As a result, the honest developers also get categorized in the segment of developers who don’t abide by laws and still continue to sell property to customers. The bill is expected to eliminate the black sheep of real estate industry.

The central regulation will attract the right set of real estate players. The developers will be expected to abide by laws and the ones who don’t abide by the same will not survive.

Don’t just be a complex, be a smart apartment complex. Get your Society on ApnaComplex.com – Today for free!

Source: ForbesIndia


Investments in Indian real estate sector slumps by 6 percent in the last four years, Assocham survey reveals

DeclineInvestments from various private and public sources in the Indian real estate sector have slumped by 6 percent in the last four years, a survey by Assocham revealed. Investments in the real estate fell from Rs Rs 15.2 lakh crore in 2011-12 to Rs Rs 14.3 lakh crore in 2014- 2015.

As per a poll conducted by Assocham, the real estate projects that grabbed about 76% of the investments remained non-starter during the 2011-12 to 2014-2015 period.

The top 5 states that grabbed the maximum share in total real estate investments are:

  • Maharashtra – 21%
  • UP – 14%
  • Gujarat – 13%
  • Karnataka – 12%
  • Haryana – 8%

Clocking a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 82 per cent, Assam has recorded maximum growth in attracting investments in the real estate sector during 2011-12 and 2014-15 followed by Bihar (19 per cent), Odisha (17 per cent), Uttar Pradesh (16 per cent) and Uttarakhand (12 per cent) amid top five states in this regard.

The states that registered maximum fall in real estate investments are:

  • Jharkhand – 40%
  • Himachal Pradesh – 37%
  • MP – 29%
  • Haryana – 16%
  • Gujarat – 7%

The survey was based on the feedback taken from 100 big and small realty companies based in top cities such as Pune, Mumbai, Lucknow, Jaipur, Indore, Hyderabad, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Ahemdabad to ascertain the budget implications.

About 75% of the real estate developers were unhappy with the government’s lack of focus on improving demand and supply situation in the real estate sector. The survey also indicated that the realty sector was disappointed with exclusion of 100 Smart Cities plan from the Union Budget.

In addition, the increase in service tax rate to 14% will make the real estate more expensive and impact the sales as well since it would decrease the purchasing power of an average consumer.

Real estate developers are also concerned about increase in service tax on construction and excise duty on input goods, as also increased on petrol and diesel coupled with increase in freight rates on cement will lead to rise in construction costs.

Referring to urgent need for speeding up procedural requirements for real estate sector, the real estate industry has pressed for a single window clearance system for various approvals leading to operational efficiencies and cost saving, along with need for a predictable and stable policy framework. Ownership-wise, private sector accounted for 85 per cent of the total investments attracted by the real estate sector across India while government/public sources accounted for remaining share of merely 15 per cent.

Source: Economic Times 


Habit #7: Effective management committees always cooperate

CooperateIn this blog post, we are going to emphasize on the seventh and last habit of highly effective management committees to always cooperate with each other. Effective management committees understands change is natural and no one can hold a position forever and hence, move on and give a smooth handover to the next person taking over. In our earlier blog post, we talked about Habit 6: How effective management committees create an inclusive culture. Read more…

Pointers for committee members to always cooperate with each other:

Do not cling on to the committee post – Management committee members when get elected need to understand and prepare themselves that no one can hold a particular position in the committee forever. Elections will be held every year and one has to step down for the new members. Don’t cling to your committee posts. Honestly, it never helps!

Understand change is natural – Change is a natural process. As Socrates said – “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” While stepping down from the committee or moving to a new role, always cooperate with other committee members. Do not try to take revenge from a resident or a committee member who opposed you in your earlier term. Understand all the discussions happen for well-being of the apartment residents.

Give a smooth handover – A smooth and systematic handover or transition is very important for the apartment operations to go on smoothly. Old committee members should ensure that new committee members are given a proper handover so that they can operate smoothly after the transition. It is your duty and responsibility to give a smooth handover to the new committee members.

Extensively support as an ordinary resident – After you step down from the committee, do not part your ways from the new committee members. You can still extend support, give suggestion/advice to the new committee members. Become a part of the sub-committee or the task force and help out the new members. Do not sabotage against them with other residents. It will really bring their morale down!

Try to help out and cooperate with the new committee members as much as you can and create a healthy environment for both the committee and the residents in an apartment. 

Do the management committee members in your apartment complex always cooperate with each other? Do let us know by commenting on our blog. You can find blogs on all the seven habits of highly effective management committees on www.apnacomplex.com


What are the factors that influence property valuation in India?

Property Valuation Over time, property investments offer handsome returns but the initial investment is always heavy on the pocket. Before buying the property, one should try to evaluate a property in every possible way. Always try to look at the appreciation rate of the property after given number of years. Let’s have a look what are the factors that affect the appreciation rate or the property valuation in India:

Location – Location is the prime factor that affects the property valuation rate in India. Properties based in commercial areas seem to have a higher appreciation rate in comparison to properties located in residential areas. If your property is close to a major IT hub, it is obvious that the rentals, demand and price for your property goes up since people working close by will have the desperate need to always rent or buy the property.

Properties located in the heart of the city surrounded with good infrastructure, schools, hospitals, markets, malls are more expensive than the properties in upcoming and under developed areas. Where would you like to invest and what seems to give you double returns is something you need to ponder upon. Talk to local property dealers, developers from a very developed part of the city and an upcoming area. Compare the property appreciation rate trend in both areas and then make a decision.

Connectivity – Connectivity is another major reason that affect the property valuation in India. Good infrastructure such as airport, metro, flyovers and roads, if are in near proximity to your property, you can expect your property rate to appreciate. When planning to buy properties in under developed areas of the city, always research about the nearby infrastructure that is yet to be built. If you invest in an under developed area, which has some great infrastructure plans in next five years, you may be looking at a whopping rate of appreciation for your property.

Construction Quality – The quality of construction to build a particular property is very important in valuation of a property. The material, design, layout, architecture and the longevity of a building all add to the valuation of a property. Buying a property from a known and reputed builder like Sobha, Lodha, Prestige, DLF who are known for their construction quality will always lead to a higher appreciation rate for your property. In case, you are buying property from one of the local builders, be very sure about it since you don’t want to spend on repairing etc. due to low quality of construction leading to a depreciation in your property rate. Look at some of their prior projects, talk to buyers, take feedback and then take a decision.

Amenities – Presently, common amenities such as pool, gym, parking, garden area and community centre all add value to your property. The urban buyers don’t just look at square feet area of the house anymore, they also want amenities, which makes their life convenient and comfortable. A property coupled with amenities will obviously appreciate more than a just a regular property with no amenities. If you are looking at a property to live in yourself, obviously amenities become an essential but in case you are just looking for a second investment in property, you may want to forego the amenities if the infrastructure next to your property is superb.

Interiors and customization – Good interiors like high quality wood work, top quality bathroom fittings, superior quality paint and top–end flooring etc. add value to your property. Some customers modify their regular kitchens into modular kitchens, a closed living room is customized into an open living room cum dining space, which obviously appreciates the value of the property. The properties with customized rooms or modern fittings obviously appreciate at a higher rate than the regular properties.

Evaluate all the above mentioned factors and then take your property investment decision; after all it’s your hard earned money and you don’t want to just give it away like that.

Best of luck!


India grabs a position in the list of top 20 global property investment destinations

Property InvestmentAs per Cushman & Wakefield Report, there has been more than two-fold jump in property investments in the Indian real estate sector amounting to more than $5 billion. This has resulted in India grabbing a position in the list of top 20 global property investment destinations.

India currently holds 20th position in the global list and has exhibited third highest investment growth across the world. The total investments in India have increased by more than 140 percent at about $5050 million in 2014 in comparison to $2100 in the previous year.

Of the total investment volume, the domestic investments were recorded at $ 3,120 million (62 per cent) and foreign at $ 1,930 million (38 per cent).

As per the Report, corporate investments increased sharply at $ 2,550 million in 2014 against $ 900 million in 2013 in India. Corporate investments transactions include real estate purchases by companies including office or development site assets for end-use, development or investment.

Private Equity investments too increased to $ 2,500 million from $ 1,200 million. Residential emerged as the sector to receive the highest amount of investment totalling up to $ 2,600 million while office sector followed closely at approximately $ 2,000 million.

As per Cushman & Wakefield Report, the real estate investment sector in India saw a peak point in 2014, reaching the highest investment level in the last 5 years. However, in 2014, for the first time the global real estate investment fell down to $ 1.21 trillion, dropping by about 6.3%.

Currently, USA has grabbed the first position in the list with 16.2% increase in real estate investments amounting to $390.6 billion and is presently ahead of China by 16%. China and USA are currently dominating the global real estate investment market activity with a combined share of 60%.

For India to grab a position in the global property investment destinations list is a proof of how both domestic and foreign investors are now becoming increasingly comfortable to invest in India. The voluminous growth in the Indian realty investments has resulted from the ease of investing and doing business in India.

However, for India to grab a higher position in the global property investment destination list, government has to address the supply side bottlenecks. Bottlenecks such as poor infrastructure should be taken care of by the government so that position of India is enhanced as an outsourcing and global IT hub leading to a substantial increase in private investments including the foreign funds.

Source: Deccan Herald 


What does the Indian real estate sector expect from Budget 2015-2016?

Budget 2015-2016

Budget 2015-2016

In the budget for 9-months last year, the new government had stressed on the vision for making housing more affordable. What is the real estate sector in India expecting from the Budget 2015-2016. Let’s have a look:

Provisions to boost affordable housing:

In the budget last year, the new government had stressed on its vision to boost affordable housing. In the 2015-2016 budget, the real estate sector is expecting provisions to be provided by the government to the developers for making housing more affordable.

Offer incentives to develop green real estate:

The upcoming budget is expected to let the consumers clearly know the benefits of green real estate in the country. The residential real estate developers need much more encouragement for going green. Since the buyers of homes in India are not quite ready to pay extra premium and don’t fully understand the concept of a sustainable residential project, even the developers are averse to enter this segment. The Union Budget this time is expected to offer incentives to boost the development and consumption of sustainable real estate development in India.

Tax incentives for renting out residential properties:

For improving the supply of rental properties in metros and boosting the rental pan-India housing segment the Union Budget is expected to offer tax incentives on rental income. Presently, rental income is treated just like any other taxable income.  Tax incentives is required for more residential properties to be rented out.

Speeding up project approvals:

The developers in India have been demanding for speeding up the project approval process. Quicker approvals are expected to widen the supply pipeline, which would in turn help in reducing the prices and ensuring real estate sector’s rise from the slump it has been in lately. The budget is expected to take measures for speeding up the approval process along with measures to ensure quality norms of construction are not compromised resulting in infrastructure failure for new projects.

 REIT Fast Tracking:

Political instability, red – tapism and lack of apt regulations had kept the Indian real estate market away from foreign investment funds. The new budget has a great chance to make India friendlier towards foreign investment by introducing a revised tax code. Overcoming the tax counter-productive hurdles is very important for REIT, which can become an absolute booster for the overall economy and the Indian real estate sector.

Real Estate Regulatory Bill Implementation (RERA):

The RERA bill is expected to be implemented this time since the approval for the Real Estate Regulatory Bill has been delayed for quite some time now. With the implementation of the bill the Indian real estate sector is expected to be more open to the investors from foreign countries. This policy is an absolute must for the growth of the Indian realty sector.

LARR counter-productive clauses to be relaxed:

Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LARR) Act has been formulated and has been changed again and again for quite some time now. However, it has failed to deal with land bureaucracy. Currently, the LARR Act deters the developers and institutional investors’ big time. The realty sector in India wants to desperately cross this hurdle as a lot of land is required for infrastructure and real estate development. With the Union Government’s vision of affordable housing and development of 100 smart cities across India, the Budget should make suitable changes to the LARR Act.

The real estate sector is looking forward to some major reforms and reliefs from the Union Budget 2015-2016. Let’s see how much expectations this budget can meet for the Indian realty sector.

Source: NDTV Profit, Economic Times   


Haryana Government sanctions affordable homes, sets bar on pricing

Affordable Homes

Affordable Homes

Haryana Government is now focusing on the lower and middle segments of the society and trying to make homes affordable for them by fixing the home prices.

As per the government, no builder is now allowed to sell affordable homes at a rate of more than Rs. 4,000 per square foot in Faridabad, Panchkula and Gurgaon, which are the high potential zones. In the medium potential zone such as Jhajjar, Mahendargarh and Rewari, the rates have been set at Rs. 3,600 per square foot.

A source from the Town and Country Planning department revealed that 34 licenses have been granted by the Haryana state government till now for affordable homes specifically in the Gurgaon circle, with 2 in Rewari, 9 in Sohna and 23 in the Gurgaon city.

Nearly, 20,000 homes are expected to be built under the affordable housing projects as 23 licenses have been granted in the Gurgaon city.

About 46 affordable projects have been approved all across Haryana, with 2 in Panchkula, 2 projects in Rohtak circle and 2 in Panchkula.

Since the house aspirants are exponentially higher than the affordable homes planned and sanctioned by the government, the flats will be allotted under the lucky draw system.

Typically, a 2–BHK flat in Sector -69, Gurgaon should cost somewhere between Rs. 18.66 lakh – Rs. 19.50 lakh and a 1-BHK flat would cost somewhere around Rs. 15.69 lakh p.a.

With the properties now becoming affordable, the middle class and lower middle class strata of the society can also plan to buy a house in a location like Gurgaon. The stand taken by the government is truly beneficial for the economically weaker section of the society.

Source: NDTV Profit 


New airport at Jewar to boost Noida real estate sector

18india-airport7The corporates in Delhi/NCR region are generally in a fix to choose between Gurgaon and Noida to set up their offices. Most of them choose Gurgaon due to its airport proximity. However, with the new airport coming up at Jewar, Yamuna Expressway near Noida, the tables might turn drastically.

Sources from a property research firm revealed that the new airport might help in boosting up the sales of the region, which have been showing a downward trend in the past few years. Noida has been losing out quite a bit since it was not in close proximity to an airport. The new airport is expected to increase the demand for offices in Noida, which in turn will increase the demand for homes.

An architect and town planner, Hafeez Contractor revealed to Economic Times – “A new airport transforms an area. Noida and its surroundings could get transformed from a poorer suburb of Delhi to an affluent one. A new airport near Noida will change the face of the area. Roads will change and get lit up, law and order will improve, hotels will come up and the area will get cleaned.”

Bengaluru seemed to experience a similar activity in the past. People were apprehensive about the launch of the new airport 20 kms away from the main city. However, today the main city seems to be moving towards the airport with immense development taking place in the areas nearby to the Bengaluru airport. The new airport at Jewar is expected to improve connectivity and encourage tourism in Mathura and Agra due to its strategic location.

Quite a few developers such as Jaypee, Gaursons, ATS and SuperTech have commenced real estate projects on the Yamuna Expressway in the last few years. Currently, there would be around 30,000 apartment units under construction. The sales were showing an upward trend in the initial years, after which there has been a major slowdown. The announcement of the new airport has now stirred up some movement in the new Yamuna expressway area.

Source: Economic Times   


Bengaluru to grab maximum office space in 2015

Office Space

Office Space

With the growing population in India and a significant number of youth now engaged in the IT/ITes sector, BFSI, pharma sectors, the number of offices in India is increasing rapidly. Not only the prospective employees are looking for jobs but the prospective employers are looking frantically for a space for them to employ people and provide them with a decent work space.

As per a recent report published by Cushman & Wakefield (C&W), a globally renowned real estate consultancy firm; Bengaluru, the IT capital of India is expected to absorb the maximum office space in comparison to other major cities in India.

Overall, India is expected to absorb approximately 36.8 million square feet (msf) office space in 2015. The  demand for office space in India will be mainly driven by growth in the corporate activities undertaken by both domestic and global companies.

Bengaluru is expected to grab the maximum office space of nearly 11.1 msf with NCR following the same with grabbing about 6.8 msf office space.

The report reveals that the figures above show considerable improvement in comparison to 2013 and 2014, implying remarked improvement in overall macro-economic scenario, political stability and business sentiment.

This trend of absorbing more office space is expected to pick up in second half of 2015 and continue in 2016. Major cities in India are expected to have a robust supply pipeline of office space in 2015 except Hyderabad wherein the demand is expected to be more than supply.

The demand for office space is mainly driven by sectors such as BFSI, manufacturing and pharmaceutical sector, banking and majorly by IT-ITeS. The overall increase in supply of office space is expected offer options to tenants to choose and negotiate till they firm up on the best option for themselves both in space and the rent they pay.

Source: Economic Times