Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Trends and Future of Indian Real Estate



2018 has been year of real estate’s revival story. It was a year in which we reaped the fruits of the seeds sown in 2017. RERA and GST, aimed at bringing in more transparency in real estate transactions and giving the homebuyer their rightful due were introduced in 2017 and implemented across the country. While the going was tough and cumbersome initially, real estate companies eventually tweaked their processes to accommodate the mandated changes and the entire sector is now better for it. 2018 also saw various trends become more mainstream and we see them becoming a positive real estate mainstay.

Let’s look at some of these real estate trends of 2018:

More Transparency
RERA has put a big thrust on transparency in the real estate sector and has ensured that buyers are more aware of their rights. Many developers have responded well and have been timely in terms of completing projects and handing over possession which is great news for homebuyers everywhere. Overall developers have become more compliant and transparent. The industry has also seen major consolidation - the more robust and better capitalised companies have survived and charted growth stories.

Rising Inflow of Global Capital
With the first REIT portfolio flagged off in 2018, the Indian real estate sector has witnessed a rise in investment inflows from global institutional investors. A transparent, better-regulated market thanks to RERA, has also been a major stimulant for attracting the domestic as well as foreign investors. The foreign investments are also flowing in with better governance and management systems, and business models. This is good news for the industry as a whole as more quality capital will be available.

Increase of Hybrid Spaces
Commercial real estate has seen a remarkable year in which the demand for large open-plan offices has outstripped that of regular cubicle-type offices. The Indian startup economy has had an exciting 2018 and more startups are being registered than any other year before. This means rising demand for co-working spaces which are economical, make optimum use of limited resources, and provide a fertile platform for collaboration, exchange of ideas and higher networking opportunities. Millions of square feet across major Indian cities were purchased or leased by big names in the co-working development space with a view to developing quality office space.

Rise of Smaller Cities
The sustainable growth of mega-cities like Delhi and Mumbai can be best managed by the emergence and growth of smaller cities which meet the aspirations of people wanting to live in or near cities. There has been an increased focus on improving infrastructure and connectivity in tier II cities. Furthermore, a number of businesses are also moving away from big cities to Tier II cities. This has resulted in demand for quality housing in these cities and thus more vibrant and sustainable realty markets.

Emergence of New Sectors
The real estate industry in India is rapidly expanding to accommodate new assets such as student housing, senior living and co-working spaces. More senior citizens are choosing to spend their retirement in specially designed retirement communities which cater to their specific requirements. Similarly, as more young Indians opt for higher education degrees the emergent sector of student housing is growing. India’s booming startup economy is also fuelling demand for co-working spaces with commercial buildings now being designed as open plan spaces which can be leased or sold as co-working offices.

The growth of newer cities bodes well for those looking to move closer to big cities and access quality infrastructure. Similarly, the growth of new sectors enables developers to expand their portfolios and create more robust business models. The latter could be a result of partnering with global entities who can introduce better and sustainable practices. Overall, 2018 has been a harbinger of hope and created a template for a cleaner, transparent and well-regulated real estate market which can be further built upon.

Monday, 24 December 2018

Outlook for real estate sector in India in 2019


The year 2019 will be both challenging and opportunistic and the ones likely to succeed are those who embrace the changing market dynamics. Apart from elections, credit growth and improvements in infrastructure will set the tone for economic growth in the future. Historically real estate prices have traditionally remained soft ahead of the elections, but have regained momentum afterwards. While the polls might not substantially impact property prices, they could slow down policy clearances and infrastructure projects critical to real estate. A stable government at the centre in 2019 will further boost the growth in the sector. 

 The lack of credit off take compounded by the current NBFC crisis has been a cause of worry for stakeholders in the sector. Despite the concerns, the economic indicators have remained positive with India's GDP growth rate pegged at 7.3% and inflation been reined in at 4.8% in 2018. However, more efforts will have to be put in 2019 to maintain the existing momentum.

In 2018 developers largely focused on clearing existing inventory and adjusting to the new policy requirements. The increased transparency and accountability has created a more efficient environment which has found favor with both domestic and institutional investors. The stringent measures enforced by Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) has erased out non serious players and only credible developers with proven track record are driving the market, both organically and via consolidation. This is expected to continue in 2019 as well and we will see established names further capitalize on their brand to strike joint development deals with smaller players.

The implementation of title insurance that will lead to renewed confidence among buyers and will definitely impact the real estate market favourably. Digitisation of land records will further aid in improving transparency in the land records maintenance, updating settlement records and reducing the scope of land disputes, thereby enhancing the real estate market.

Affordable and mid-income housing took centre stage in 2018 will continue to drive residential housing both in metro and Tier 2 cities. There been an uptick of almost 15-20% with preference for ready to move in units owing to RERA and GST benefits. The massive push for improvement in infrastructure by the Government of India (GOI), including significant capital expenditure for roads, railways, development of smaller airports and expansion of schools and hospitals at the outskirts will benefit this segment further. This will provide better connectivity and have a multiplier effect thereby allowing developers to explore new projects in the peripheral areas of the cities.

The Logistics & Warehousing sector gained significant traction this year after the centre granted infrastructure status to logistics. It is showing a massive growth owing to large infusion of foreign capital.

The commercial space in real estate is expected to remain the most buoyant force in the sector. Growing demand for Grade A office spaces across major cities, including new sectors like co-working spaces that is further expected to push the demand for commercial properties. The government’s push towards promoting start-ups and developing smart cities will create a lucrative environment for businesses to work and expand. Major markets in South India such as Bangalore and Chennai can gain further traction owing to fair pricing, increasing growth of IT companies.

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT) listings in 2019 will infuse liquidity in commercial real estate. It will fuel demand for office space from major sectors like logistics, manufacturing and consumer goods, besides IT and ITeS and the banking and financial services sectors. Rentals in metros and Tier-1 and Tier-II cities will continue to remain in demand.

Developer’s focus will further shift to customer centricity through the use of technology and digital platforms in the coming year. The ability to predict human behaviour through qualitative data analysis of social media such as ‘likes’ on Facebook, YouTube videos, twitter feeds and similar trends have become a game changer for the real estate sector. This will help them customize as per the ever evolving needs of the buyer.

To sum it up, 2019 will start on a cautious note due to the upcoming elections, but will pick up significant momentum thereafter, in all real estate segments. 

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Top Real Estate developments in 2018




This year has been a trail-blazing year for Indian real estate after a landmark 2017 which saw major legislation like RERA implemented. In post-RERA 2018, the realty sector has moved forward with more reforms and complementary market changes which have boosted performance for the better. Let’s take a look at some of these developments during 2018:

Unchanged Repo Rate
By leaving the repo rate unchanged just before the festive season in October this year, the RBI provided a much needed boost to the real estate sector. An unchanged repo rate means banks’ lending rates continue to remain attractive and thus boost buyer sentiments. The festive season is a time when many Indians plan to invest in homes by also taking advantage of numerous festive home buying offers.

Depreciating Rupee
The continued rise of the American dollar this year has meant that most other currencies have depreciated in value against it. For an emerging country like India this has meant a steep depreciation of the Rupee to it’s all time low of 74 against the dollar. However, this also makes investment in the country’s real estate sector more attractive to NRIs, thus boosting buying sentiments among this section of investors.

Title Insurance
RERA has made it mandatory for developers to take title insurance which protects investment in real estate and provides coverage against financial loss arising in case of title disputes. This is a common form of indemnity available in Britain, Canada, Australia and Europe which promotes transparency.

Increased Carpet area of PMAY- U Homes
This year the government increased the carpet area of residential units eligible for interest subsidy under the government’s Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) for the middle-income group (MIG) under PMAY (Urban). This brings more homes under the scheme and increases the choice available to homebuyers who would previously decide against buying a home under the scheme due to the limitation in sizes. This is a boost to residential sales and investment in affordable housing.

Mumbai DP 2034
The Mumbai Development Plan 2034 envisages a revamped Mumbai with a big boost to real estate. It proposes increased FSI which will provide more commercial and residential units in the city. The plan also proposes to unlock 3,734 hectares of no development zones (NDZ) which will be used for development of affordable housing and increased social amenities such as parks, playgrounds and gardens. The city is expected to benefit from more green zones, homes and jobs.

Plotted Developments
2018 emerged as the year where more buyers preferred to purchase plots due to their lower prices and relative affordability. It offers them the freedom to buy a plot and build a home as per their needs. This trend has prompted a number of organized developers to also launch various plotted developments across Bangalore and Chennai realty markets. A number of plotted developments come with numerous amenities such as clubhouses, paved roads, water and electricity connections, and drainage systems making them more attractive.

Ready-to-move-in homes
Another trend this year has been the sale of ready-to-move-in homes. Ready or completed projects come with the benefits of having all the amenities and supporting infrastructure in place as opposed to investing in an under-construction property and waiting for completion. As a result more homebuyers preferred to purchase ready-to-move-in homes across cities and markets.

Lower Circle rates
Budget 2018 offered relief to buyers and sellers of property by proposing a tax relief up to 5% of the Circle rate. By allowing the 5% variation between transaction value and circle rates for computation of capital gains the secondary real estate market has received a boost.

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Why Real Estate is a Highly Flexible and Profitable Investment?



When it comes to investing with an eye on earning a sizeable return in the future - Gold, Equities and Real Estate are generally considered more profitable than others. However, each comes with their own unique set of characteristics, risk factors and advantages. Gold is a stable investment but yields lower returns compared to equities and real estate. Equities, on the other hand, provide higher returns in intermittent periods but are sometimes highly volatile and involve a high amount of risk.

As the old adage goes, “The best investment on earth is earth”. Real estate investment is comparatively safe, and comes with assured returns as long as investors plan their investment astutely. This means carefully considering locational trends, upcoming developments, and establishment of hubs that generate employment and then make an appropriate investment. Real estate as an investment takes time to mature. Real estate can generate a regular rental income and can also generate long term returns, as their value matures with time.

In the year 2011, when the stock market tanked by almost 25%, real estate grew at a steady rate, and prices rose in 9 out of 15 metropolitan cities in India showing how it’s a better investment than equities and even gold. As long as the Indian economy continues to grow, real estate would continue to be valued; therefore property prices are likely to rise. We look at the various ways investors can benefit from investing in the real estate market -

  • Attractive Tax Benefits

Tax benefits are available for investments made in real estate. Section 80EE covers tax rebate on the interest of home loan for ‘first time buyers’. It also provides an additional deduction of Rs. 50,000 over and above the tax deduction of Rs. 2 lakh under Section 24 and Rs. 1.5 lakh under Section 80C

  • Better Sense of Control

Owning real estate property equips one with a greater sense of control over the performance of the real estate asset, to an extent. Investors can decide on furnishing or renovating the property in order to make it an attractive offering if the investor wishes to sell, lease or rent out the property.

  • Convenience of Rental Income

This is one of the safest investments which can generate regular income that gives lifelong returns while simultaneously enhancing the value of the property over time. However, it is important to have a property with the right attributes to be able to avail the desired benefits.

  • Diversified Portfolio

An astute investor is aware of the need for maintaining a diverse portfolio in order to minimise the risks. Real estate, being a palpable asset, works as a trust-establishing factor in the portfolio thus allowing an investor to attract risk-averse investors

  • Economic Growth Enhances Value

Development of any kind of infrastructure, setting up of office or commercial hubs, upgrades in social infrastructure like hospitals, malls, colleges, or public infrastructures like highway, airport, railway or bus stations pushes the value of properties. If an investment is located in a suburb, better connectivity and accessibility will result in profitable returns.

  • Flexibility

Investments in real estate can be made according to one’s need or budget. Options like building a retirement home for long-term capital growth, buying a home in a sought-after location for continuous flow of income are solutions investors could look at. Also, one can always invest in buying an old home and refurbishing the property as per one's requirements which would greatly boost the value of the property.

  • Get Attractive Finance Options

Investment in real estate is often acquired through attractive financial schemes. As interest charged on housing loans in India is much lesser than other loans, developers offer investors a host of interesting and feasible financial schemes such as 80:20, 25:75, 10:90, etc. which reduce the financial burden.

  • Highly Valued Real Estate Fund

There are some managed funds which invest in multiple real estate projects across geographies. Therefore, risk can be diversified, instead of investing in a single project. However, an investor will have to evaluate and select funds as the ticket size is large and includes a larger holding period.


In Conclusion

India's real estate market has been on the rise since the last couple of years. The real estate reforms have greatly increased customer’s trust in developers and have driven sales. There has been a significant rise in the sale of inventories across major metropolises in the country. This is going to increase considerably with time, as more people are in need of housing in the country. We, at House of Hiranandani have built a robust and a diverse portfolio spread across residential, commercial, retail, townships, SEZs and offer a wide variety of options for investors looking to invest in high growth corridors of Bangalore and Chennai. 


For a quick comparison between Real Estate, Gold & Equity as an investment options, head on to our latest newsletter – Long-Standing Realty


Tuesday, 13 November 2018

A Checklist for Investing in the Real Estate Sector



The real estate sector has recently seen better performances in recent times, not only in terms of sales but also in terms of regaining customers’ trust. Just as with any other investment, investing in real estate also requires the investor to do their homework, exhaustive research and background check. This pertains to the location of the property, its surrounding, the general history of the location and its future prospects as well as the background of the company developing the property and documentation relating to the project.

Here’s a ready reckoner or checklist to follow while considering your next investment in property:

Background of Developer
It is imperative to check the track record of the developer - the number of properties developed, locations, execution, and timeliness of delivery of the project. One can also talk to other customers who have invested in the respective developer’s projects and get to know their experience.

Project Location
Location is everything in real estate. A good, thriving location ensures a steady growth in value of the property as well as rental and resale values. A number of sources provide ready data and trends about various locations vis-a-vis their price graphs, rental and resale values, and demand. Studying such data is useful in making a real estate investment decision.

Location’s Growth Prospects
Some areas are in the early stages of their growth with increasing infrastructure and commercial development, while others have seen better days. Where are you investing? Is your location of choice witnessing a phase of growth or decline? Are there plans for upcoming infrastructure or new business districts? For example, the Bangalore International Airport in Devanahalli has boosted the growth prospects of this suburb; more commercial and residential projects have been planned here making it a prospective location.

Location’s Social and Civic Amenities
Proximity of schools, hospitals, markets, business centres and multi-modal transport determine a location’s attractiveness. Check your prospective location for all these basic and necessary amenities which will ascertain how comfortable your life in this place will be. It will also determine the overall value of your investment.

Cost Benefit of Financial Schemes
Many developers enhance the attractiveness of a property by offering potential customers numerous financial schemes which aim to reduce the financial burden of purchase. Evaluate each one to understand its suitability to your individual financial needs. Some may seem more attractive but may be less suitable for you. Understand these differences so you can choose the best scheme suited to you and ensure the most value-based investment.

Read the Fine Print
All project offerings have many details encapsulated in legal language which many of us are not familiar or comfortable with. Some of these include the declaration by the promoters of the project, the stated completion time of the project and the legality of the land holding. Check the documents for these factors and ensure correctness and validity of all declarations.

RERA Registration
RERA has been a game changer in real estate ever since its implementation was enforced on developers. It has empowered customers and ensured their rights. Check the RERA registration of any project you are considering investing in and note the registration number. Projects with RERA certification are considered more attractive to customers as the developer is required to file numerous documents with the respective state RERA authority before receiving the RERA number.

Confirm Little Details
Recently there has been a spate of cases where homebuyers and investors were still waiting to receive possession from the developer. In light of such cases, an investor must be prudent about checking that the affidavit they receive from the developer carries a possession date and the rate of interest you will receive in case of a default by the developer.

The more prudent and astute one is while investing in real estate the better the results. Make the right choices, be patient, invest for long term, and watch as your real estate investment creates value and wealth for you. Read more about long-term investment avenues, their past trends, potential gains and the promising future of realty investment in our latest newsletter - Long-Standing Realty.

Monday, 22 October 2018

Devanahalli - Welcome to the modern, connected and luxurious living



An ‘Aerotropolis’ also known as ‘Airport City’ is defined as a metropolitan sub region where the infrastructure and economy are centered around the airport. The city of Dubai, The Changi Airports International in Singapore, The California Aerotropolis in San Diego, The African Aerotropolis in South Africa and most recently The Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia are some examples of metropolises that have transcended into airport cities. Devanahalli in Bangalore is not exactly what you would call an Aerotropolis by definition. But, in terms of the function it performs, the economic and infrastructural developments brought about by the inauguration of the Kempegowda International airport, Devanahalli can be considered as an ‘airport town’. Take Devanahalli’s serene and green environment into consideration and you have a potent blend of tranquil living spaces supported by seamless connectivity.

Devanahalli is a town, located 40 km north of Bangalore. The city of Bangalore has gone through a huge boom in the last 2 decades. This economic upturn has resulted in a lot of people travelling to the city for work, business and better opportunities. The old airport was ill-equipped to handle the masses, leading to the development of the new airport. Devanahalli’s awakening from its slumber coincides with the development of the Bangalore International Airport (BIA), also referred to as Kempegowda International Airport (KIA).

Devanahalli’s push towards being an Aerotropolis:

Devanahalli, in the last couple of years, has seen a lot of infrastructural activity. In fact, it has been the focus of real estate projects in the city. Some of the most awaited developments in this region are - the multi-billion dollar Devanahalli business park which is spread across 400-acres and would also include an IT Park. An aerospace park, a science park and a 10 billion dollar financial city, which would rival Gujarat's and Maharashtra’s financial cities, would attract a lot of opportunities and people to this region. Further, the 22 billion dollar, 12000-acre BIAL IT Investment region is also being developed in Devanahalli. These projects once complete would totally transform the landscape of this region. Lastly, a new satellite ring road is being planned in order to connect Devanahalli to the rest of Bangalore and nearby areas like Doddaballapur.

Devanahalli - Blending serenity & modernity to create luxurious spaces of living

Devanahalli’s location gives it the strategic advantage of being able to relish Bangalore’s pleasant weather, its greenery and at the same time avoid the city’s pollution and traffic congestion. It has itself been blessed with an abundance of green spaces like forests, rivers and hills that protect the sanctity of this town. The pristine Nandi Hills is located a short drive-away from here. The biodiversity of these Hills greatly influence Devanahalli’s environment. The forest surrounding the hills acts as a platform for cloud condensation, as a result of which every morning, the trees are covered in water. Therefore, it’s not surprising to see that these hills are rich in birdlife and attracts a lot of birdwatchers and tourists.

Devanahalli is surrounded by some of the most eco-friendly settlements further enhancing the beauty of this sleepy town. Wake up in your abode here to misty mornings and breathe in the fresh morning air. The promise of a surreal view, a breathtaking landscape and breezy afternoons in a burgeoning metropolis is rare but that sums up everything that is true of Devanahalli.

We, at House of Hiranandani, are in a constant search of places that give people a fulfilling sense of living. Our projects are strategically located in growth corridors that offer seamless connectivity, convenience and retain its connection with nature. We therefore believe in the idea that modern living spaces should be adequately balanced with nature, and it has inspired us to create a beautiful community in Devanahalli, Bangalore. A beautiful abode nestling in the serene lap of nature. Take a glimpse of our project in the below video.



Friday, 5 October 2018

Chatbots, AI and Real Estate


Chatbot: “Good Morning! How may I help you?”

Buyer: “Hi! What apartments are available in your new project in Hebbal?”

Chatbot: “We have 2 BHK and 3 BHK apartments.”

Buyer: “What is the price for both?”

Chatbot: “2 BHK starts at Rs. 75 lakhs and 3 BHK at Rs. 90 lakhs. Would you like to see a sample apartment?”

Buyer: “Yes. Can that be arranged?”

Chatbot: “Sure. When would you like to visit?”

Buyer: “Next saturday would be good.”

Chatbot: “Sure. Please type your mobile number and email address and we will follow up with details for the site visit.”

This hypothetical conversation between a prospective homebuyer and a chatbot provides insight into the ease with which customers can explore home buying options without human intervention. Chatbots or intelligent virtual assistants present an opportunity for customers to gather important information and even set up initial project site visits. All this can be done without calling a contact centre, standing in long queues, being put on hold while retrieving important information or call drops. In essence chatbots offer a seamless interaction to the customer at any and all hours of the day, week or year.

Technology’s unbridled advances continue to offer previously unexplored avenues for better customer interactions, data gathering and analysis, improved customer services and much more. Most of us are already familiar with intelligent virtual assistants such as Siri and Alexa on our mobile devices. Chatbots powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms have the capacity to engage with customers and learn with every interaction, thus enhancing the customer experience.

For customers, chatting with an AI-powered entity may initially seem underwhelming as opposed to speaking with a live customer service executive. However, some of the advantages include:

1)    24x7 access to information via chatbots
2)    Quick and polite responses to questions
3)    Responses to routine queries can be efficiently received
4)    Relevant responses can be expected since the chatbots are powered by algorithms which are based on specific built-in keywords
5)    Chatbots are unaffected by fatigue or irritation from having to provide responses to repeated queries. As a result one receives unwavering quality of responses.

As we make advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence the experience of interacting with chatbots or virtual assistants will improve further.

There are advantages for real estate companies too in adopting such technologies. Data collected from the interactions of customer with chatbots can be processed, analysed and summarised for future use in understanding customer needs better.

Many companies and large businesses are already leaps ahead in implementing this technology in some form or the other. With Indian real estate sector in the post-RERA era it is perhaps the best time for realty companies to also adopt technologies such as chatbots, artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms. At the end of the home buying spectrum we already have smart homes with IoT powered household devices which residents can manage from their smartphones. Thus, it makes sense to power the first step of home buying - information gathering - through intelligent virtual assistants or chatbots.

At House of Hiranandani, we are already in the process of using technology in a big way so as to improve customer’s experience. Technology is an empowering force and we are empowering our customers.