Friday, February 27, 2009

Real Estate Prices Dip Again

Just when you thought real estate prices were beginning to stabilise, prices have dropped again.

After DLF’s price correction in its Bannerghatta Road property, real estate major Sobha Developers dropped prices by a whopping 22%. Sobha was the first to effect a price drop of 8% to 10% three months ago. Now, some of its properties like Sobha Sunscape are selling at 22% lower than the price quoted three months ago.

According to a senior ICICI Home Search official, “The first round of price drops by developers didn’t create any market stir. Many are now looking at a second round that’s sure to create excitement among buyers.”

According to developers’ association CREDAI, Bangalore property prices have fallen by 15% to 20% as compared to the same period last year and a further drop is unlikely. A 2-bedroom, 1,200 sqft apartment at Sobha Sunscape is available for Rs 38 lakh, which includes car park, registration and stamp duty charges, VAT charges, as well as maintenance deposit and BWSSB and Bescom charges.

Except in two high-end villa projects, the company has dropped prices in all properties by 15%, though some rates may be available only during its ongoing property mela.

J C Sharma, MD, Sobha Developers, said though the real estate situation still remains challenging, “the current market situation allows us to pass on benefits to the consumer”. Interest rates have dropped to 8%, service tax is out, and stamp duty rate has fallen.

“After DLF dropped prices, there’s been tremendous excitement. Today, many project site visits are happening, something consumers had stopped for the past 4-5 months,” said a leading real estate agent who requested anonymity.

Source: Times of India

Thursday, February 26, 2009

NRI realty investments drop by over 50%

The NRI season is now at its fag end. Despite undertaking tours to the US, the UK and Middle East and doling out freebies and discounts, realtors have been unable to catch the attention of this cash-rich community.

The result: NRI investments in India-based properties dropped by over 50% this season, with the four metro cities and “NRI-heavy” mirco markets in states like Gujarat and Kerala being among the worst hit.

“Compared to last year, the drop in NRI interest in India-based properties has been almost 50% in all sectors. The metros showed a sharp drop in demand, largely owing to the steep prices”, says Sanjay Dutt, CEO - business, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj (JLLM), a global real estate consultancy firm. “Very few luxury homes have been sold as compared to last year”, he adds.
At a time when the domestic demand in micro-markets in Tier-I, II and III cities began to slump in the third quarter of this financial year, the developers were hopeful that the demand from the NRIs will pep up the sentiments in the realty markets.

However, the global slowdown and the resulting slump froze the bullish sentiments among NRIs. “Though a far-from-spectacular number of transactions have indeed taken place this season, generalised job insecurity and a desire to conserve available cash among IT employees abroad has curbed investment demand for high-end properties, Mr Dutt said adding that the response was “significantly muted” from the NRI community this season.

The sharp corrections seen in some larger cities has also led to an “acute wait-and-watch attitude among NRIs who - just like everyone else - are now very price sensitive”, he explained.

Source:Economics Times

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Good News On Its Way For Realty Sector

Rakesh Pathak is an MBA and works in Tata Forum. He is planning to buy a house in the range of Rs 30 lakh to 40 lakh. When he calculated the EMI on a loan for the prospective property, he cancelled the plan.

A house that suits his requirements is way beyond his budget - he is waiting for the home loans interest rates to come down. Like Rakesh, many middle class salaried people would like to buy a property through home loan - while others put money in shares, rather than invest in property.

Dr Mamta Chaubey, reader in Delhi University, wishes to buy a house through home loan. Though she is of the opinion that for middle class people a home loan is affordable, she is nevertheless reluctant to take the plunge as high interest rates have put a dampener on everything.

Sakshi Malhotra, working in an MNC, has been planning to buy a house for a long time She used to wait for prices to come down every year and would keep deferring her plans each year. This year, she was determined to buy property but the thought of paying a hefty EMI dampened her spirit.

One wants property price or interest rates to go down because real estate market is uncertain. With the worldwide financial crisis showing no signs of ending, India too, is keeping its fingers crossed.

Tremors are being felt everywhere - from the volatile stock market to the unpredictable rupee, and from the spiralling inflation to rising home loan interest rates.

Property is of two kinds - movable and immovable property. While movable property, also called chattels , such as money, securities and goods, which can be moved from one place to the other, immovable property such as land and the objects permanently attached to it such as buildings, constitute immovable property.

There also exists another property called intellectual property, which refers to the right over artistic creations or inventions.

Immovable properties have the essential characteristic that only the title to the property changes by virtue of the transfer, whereas, the physical location of it does not change. Property investment is usually referred to as real estate investment or investment in immovable properties or assets.

The investment in property essentially depends on the risks associated with it, that is to say, even if the venture succeeds when the future stream of income will accrue to the investor and the alternative investment opportunities.

Real estate investment can be attractive if viewed as a business opportunity ; it can generate rental income, using it as collateral to secure a loan for a business venture, to offset otherwise taxable income through cash savings on tax-deductible interest rate losses, or simply from the profits garnered from its resale.

Investment in property is treated as a long-term gain and investment professionals argue that 5%-20 % of investment portfolio should be directed towards property or real estate . So, everyone in this sector is waiting for some good news, to pick up the threads from where they left, at the beginning of the year.

Source:Economics Times

Monday, February 23, 2009

Tatas, Birlas to Invest in Real Estate

Two of India’s large business houses, the Birlas and the Tatas, are looking at real estate as a major investment area, albeit in different ways.

While the Birlas, through a financial services arm, are offering real estate as an alternative investment option to clients, the Tatas are planning to develop surplus land held by group companies. The Tatas may also invest in the sector part of funds raised through recent public offerings.

These moves come at a time when real estate prices are correcting and low demand for projects has prompted large developers to default on financial commitments and project deadlines.

Aditya Birla Management director Ajay Srinivasan, who also heads the financial services business, said the conglomerate is merely gearing up for the future. “We are now putting a team in place and want to be ready when the time is right,” he told ET.

The financial services arm of the group is setting up a real estate and private equity arm for its wealth management units. To be headed by Sashi Kumar, the real estate business would be managed through Birla Sun Life Asset Management. The Birlas plan to subsequently launch two real estate funds, one offshore and the other local, for the sector.

Although funds will be raised overseas as well, the investment destinations will be in India and can include distressed real estate assets. Tata Housing Development, a real estate player, has already said that it plans to leverage its tie-ups with banks by developing properties on surplus land owned by other Tata group companies.

Tata Housing is now identifying excess landbanks owned by companies such as TCS, Voltas, Rallis India, Tata Motors, Tata Coffee and Tata Tea. Tata Capital, the financial services arm of the Tatas, is scheduled to close a largely successful non-convertible debenture issue on Tuesday; it has so far raised Rs 2,300 crore against a targeted Rs 1,500 crore. Although Tata Capital has said that it won’t lend to group companies, it has proposed to invest in most asset classes.

Anticipating a large value erosion in the realty space, Indian corporates are planning to float new funds to acquire assets in the domestic property market. Real estate funds such as Saffron Advisors have either floated or are in the process of floating funds with corpus ranging between Rs 500 crore and Rs 1,000 crore.

“As far as Indian realty is concerned, for the right projects, funds are still available,” said Saffron Advisors MD Ajoy Kapoor. “Conservative European investors, after conducting extensive due diligence and research, are more comfortable with investing in Indian real estate, provided they are able to align with right partners,” he added.

A few months ago, Munich-based retail aggregator Deutsche Capital Management underwrote $20 million for Saffron India Real Estate Fund I, an India-focussed real estate fund. DCM is raising a specific fund for investing in Indian real estate through Saffron Advisors.

Tough lending norms, unfavourable primary market and global financial worries have affected fund flow into the Indian property market. Real estate deals have fallen and fancy valuations by developers are being corrected to a large extent.

Source: Economics Times

Information That NRIs Need For Buying Real Estate Property in India

In the case of NRIs there is a general permission to acquire any immovable property (other than agricultural land, plantation or farm-house property) by way of purchase, provided the payment is made out of foreign exchange inward remittance or any Non Resident bank account in India, i.e. Non Resident External Account - NR (E), Foreign Currency Non Resident Account - FCNR or Non Resident Ordinary Account - NRO account. Although immovable property is not defined, the same will include:

* Residential property being house property, bungalow, apartment, villas and all other kinds of residential properties
* Commercial property being shops, offices and show rooms
* Industrial property being factory premises and godowns
* Land for construction of any of the above properties

Acquisition can be made by way of

* purchase
* receiving the property as a gift
* inheritance, and
* share of joint property received upon partition of family or property.

Transfer: Although transfer is not defined under the Regulations, but the definition of FEMA, 99 [Sec. 2(ze) of F.E.M.A. 1999] will apply & include:

* sale for consideration
* exchange of property
* gift of property
* relinquishment of right in a joint property.

Repatriation of Sale proceeds: An NRI being an Indian citizen or a foreign citizen of Indian origin is allowed to repatriate the sale proceeds of an immovable property subject to the following conditions:

* the acquisition should be in accordance with the existing Foreign Exchange Laws (i.e. FERA, '73 or FEMA '99).
* the purchase price was met out of Foreign Exchange Inward Remittance or NRE / FCNR (B) account, and
* in case of residential properties, repatriation is restricted to a maximum of two properties.

The NRIs who are staying abroad may enter into an agreement through their relatives by executing the Power of Attorney in their favour if it is not possible for them to be present for completing the formalities of purchase (negotiating with the builder or developer, drafting and signing of agreements and taking possession). Rental income cannot be remitted abroad and will have to be credited to the ordinary non-resident rupee account of the owner of the property.

George Gonigal provides you the best and latest info on India Property and Real Estate India. He would also let you know about Real Estate in Gurgaon for NRIs.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Real Estate Trends For 2009 and Beyond

Real Estate Trends For 2009 and Beyond
By []Ryan Tollefsen

The year 2009 will likely be a year where trends in real estate will change greatly from what we have seen over the last ten years. Bank failures, stock market crashes, and government bailouts are bombarding the American public every day. It is no wonder that people who need to buy or sell a house are discouraged. Many would like to wait to sell their home but can't afford to wait due to job relocations, change in family size, or divorce among other things. The show must go on, but it will be done differently than it has in the last few years.

The prospective home buyer of this year will likely settle for less house than they would have five years ago but they will still want a quality home that they will be happy with for many years. Some buyers will still hesitate to purchase a home even with the real estate deals that are available today because they are waiting for an even bigger bargain. Many home buyers will have to continue renting to save up significant down payments to qualify for mortgage financing since the banks have tightened their lending standards.

It is likely that FHA loans will have a revival in popularity since a smaller down payment is required to qualify for these loans. These loans are expected to be a key instrument for homebuyers throughout 2009, especially first time home buyers. Some officials feel that these loans will have a great impact on jump starting the real estate market.

It is a fact that real estate agents will have to work harder to sell homes; homes will not sell themselves in the near future. Real estate agents will have to work as consultants with buyers and help them get qualified to buy a home; by researching what the buyer can afford and by helping the buyer find ways to obtain financing. Some real estate agents will have to relearn their job, it will require more to sell a home than sticking a for sale sign up in the yard and putting a few pictures in the local paper.

Research has shown that many buyers use the internet when searching for a home to purchase. Realtors will have to adjust to this surge in internet house shopping by providing more thorough websites with more virtual tours set up for homes they are trying to sell to attract out of state buyers. User friendly web tools to help prospective home buyers search for homes on the internet will be a plus for those realtors that want to attract buyers that can qualify for home financing.

Realtors are going to have to put one hundred percent into their work to locate buyers for their real estate listings and to help them find the help they need to get qualified to purchase a home. There won't be as many quick sales so the smart real estate agent will help those prospective buyers to ready themselves to purchase a home and hope that loyalty will bring them back when they are ready and able to purchase a home.

These trying times may bring us all back to reality and force us to adjust our ways to survive and possibly even benefit from the economic downturn that we are in. Home buyers will have to take a realistic look at what they can afford and what they have to do to get ready to purchase a home. Hopefully, when we look back at this period in history we will see that some good has resulted from this period of time.

Learn more about the []Alaska Real Estate market or search []Anchorage Real Estate on Ryan Tollefsen's Alaska Real Estate web site.

Article Source:

Seven Interview Questions to Ask a Buyer Agent

Seven Interview Questions to Ask a Buyer Agent
By []Joshua Ferris

Not all that long ago the concept of buyer agency (a real estate agent representing the buyer only in a transaction) was relatively uncommon to the real estate industry because, at the time, most agents represented the sellers of property or both parties.

Buyers of real property were in need of a real estate professional to represent their needs exclusively and buyer agency was born. Fast forward to today, there are tens of thousands of agents who represent buyers in real estate transactions so here are seven questions to help you find the right buyer agent for you.

How many homes have you sold in the past year? - The real estate industry is home to over one million practicing professionals and each agent can choose whether to work part-time or full time.

Sometimes you have an agent who may be licensed to help friends and family sell real estate and other times you have the full time professional who assists in the buying and selling of dozens of properties each year. Find out how many properties your buyer agent has participated in the sale of over the past 12 months to get a better idea of how much experience they have in today’s real estate market.

How many times have you represented the buyer only in a home sale over the past year? - The representation ratio is as important to the agent’s ability to help you as their overall sales experience. Ask your buyer agent how many times they have represented the buyer only in a real estate transaction because buyer representation and seller representation are two very different concepts.

What area do you sell the most homes? - When you begin looking for a home you will need to narrow down where your ideal living areas will be. Using an agent with extensive knowledge of the area you’re most interested in will aid you in finding the right home much faster. There are many real estate agents who specialize in one county, city or even one town!

What’s the most you have negotiated off a home’s price in the past 12 months? - Part of being a buyer agent is negotiating the best price possible for your buyer client. When interviewing your buyer agent you should know what their most recent successes have been for other buyers because there’s a very real chance you will see similar results.

There are agents who constantly push for the maximum possible price reduction before you purchase a home and there are also agents who will be happy if you buy a home at asking price without negotiating at all. It’s your money and future so knowing their negotiating success is crucial to your investment.

What type of incentives are being offered by builders and homeowners right now? - During down markets you will find a lot of home builders and sometimes even homeowners who offer incentives to entice you to purchase their home. Incentives can range from the seller paying closing costs and HOA fees to car leases and free appliances.

Do you have a network of contacts that I can use to make my buying process easier? - Who your buyer agent knows really does matter. What happens if you need a new home inspector at the last minute? Having a solid network of contacts will help streamline your home buying process making it much less stressful for you.

How quickly can I expect a response from you? - A big concern for home buyers is what is going to happen once you do start the home buying process. Will your agent be available by phone, text or email? Will you have to wait three days for a response? These are important questions to ask before you choose your buyer agent.

Knowing more about your buyer agent will make you much more comfortable about working with the agent and give you a better relationship to candidly discuss aspects of home buying like sale price, contingencies and what to expect throughout the transaction.

Joshua Ferris is an associate real estate broker in Orange County NY and specializes in both []Monroe New York and []Newburgh New York real estate.

Article Source:

Bangalore - Discovering New Growth Corridors

Bangalore real estate market is the targeted hub by all the leading international companies. The high property value in the city could not able to stop the realty majors to enter the city.

Bangalore properties are always in demand for some or the other reason. The Central Business District of the city is already on the verge of saturation but still the demand is high.

The city is expanding to the peripheral areas in order to accommodate the real estate development activities happening at fast pace. Bangalore real estate builders are playing a crucial role in planning their projects. They are discovering new and untouched areas in the city and are building their projects there to save the city from decongestion.

Bangalore Real Estate Developers are constructing their projects in the new areas such as Whitefield, Old Madras road, Devanhalli, Nandi Hills and other small districts which are few kilometers away from CBD but have some open spaces.

The government is working on the strategic development across the city to solve the growing traffic problems. Residential, commercial and rental sectors in the city are facing huge demand of quality space which is better located and easy to travel.

Bangalore new airport is the perfect example which is located on the outer ring road and it takes 2 hrs to travel from CBD but has relieved Bangalore from long traffic queues which are used to happen at old airport at Indira Nagar. To buy an apartment in Bangalore most of the people prefer peripheral and outer ring road areas so that they can enjoy their life. Also the prices across the peripheral areas are somehow less as compared to the central region and Bangaloreans can find premium apartments their only.

The city is opening new growth corridors for Bangalore real estate development to happen.

George Gonigal provides you the best and latest information on Bangalore Real Estate.

If you want to Buy Apartments in Bangalore, he suggests you log on to

Hyderabad - The Next Commercial Hub

The boom in the Hyderabad real estate sector has still not been able to satisfy the growing demand from corporate looking for ready-to-occupy properties. IT and ITes are continuing to drive the market. IT professionals are vying to buy an apartment in Hyderabad.

Moreover, it’s the commercial market which is driving the residential property segment in the city. Hyderabad real estate developers feel that, in next few years BPOs and call centers, software offices and back offices of financial institutions will occupy the maximum space. Property consultants expect the upward trend in prices to continue, even as the State Government frees up land in different parts of the city and the outskirts. Land availability will facilitate the creation of corporate office space.

In Jubilli Hills, central business district of Hyderabad, capital prices of plot range from Rs 80,000 to 2 lakh per sq ft. Retail property in CBDs is around Rs 3,500- Rs 10,000 per sq ft. Multiplex are the trendy and upcoming way of commercial activities ranges from Rs 10,000 per sq ft and goes above. The rental value in this area is Rs 30,000-60,000 per month which is high in comparison to other commercial localities.

Many new commercial projects are on the cards by big national developers. Raheja group has acquired 100 acres in Gundla, Pochampalli, Delhi based DLF has acquired 3 million sq ft land for commercial activities, Godrej Properties will be setting up an IT Park on 34 acres of land at Pattancheru, Parsvanath has a mall-cum- multiplex, and a hotel project coming up in the city, Ramkey group is venturing into commercial development in the city.

Hyderabad properties are fast becoming the preferred choice for investors. The city not only provides quality infrastructure for property investments but also has more than 40 SEZs, approximately 1100 Software IT Parks and campuses, an international airport. Mall culture, new airport and subsidy in stamp duty and registration charges of property are other key factors of high rise in the value of Real Estate in Hyderabad

George Gonigal provides you the best and latest information on Bangalore Real Estate Developers, If you want to Buy Apartments in Hyderabad, he suggests you log on to

Investment in Gold and Real Estate

Investment in gold and in real estate both has their fair share of pros and cons. Following are some of the advantages and disadvantages of investing in gold and real estate.

Gold: Gold is best suited for a long time investment. The demand for gold has always been robust. The process of buying and selling with gold is quite quick. It offers near zero risk of value depreciation.

One can even invest in gold online, nowadays. Investors can now buy, sell and virtually trade in gold commodity just like any other stock or equities. This has been a driving factor for many to invest in gold because investing online reduces the risk of actually owning the metal.

Gold prices are generally not affected by the fluctuation in the currency. The gold price does not rely on potency of the currency. Also, the price of gold is not influenced by any kind of political instabilities or crisis.

However, gold doesn't provide any immediate appreciable income. The value of the income has to be seen over the long term.

Real Estate: There are multiple ways of earnings in real estate. Investment in real estate can be long term and short term. It also ensures regular inflows by way of rentals. It can be used as collateral to secure a loan and to counterbalance taxable incomes. The profits earned from property resale are apparent.

But like any other investment option this too comes with a tag of risk. The real estate market is unpredictable and comes with no guarantee. Although a large number of investors have been successful and earned huge profits with real estate investing, there is no guarantee that it is going to be same for everyone. However, one can be and should be careful and aware. Take time to familiarize yourself with the real estate market, the market terminology and investment options and processes.

Investing is a crucial decision, it has money on stake. The risk factor is common. But knowledge, awareness and clarity of your own requirements are the keys to decide upon which investment to opt for. Both of the stated investments can offer lucrative returns. Choosing one of them as an investment option requires assessment of the money one can outlay and the objective of the investment. Understanding of the market is very important.

For buying, selling or renting Property and Real Estate in India, visit Magicbricks. Also find Real Estate Agents in India at Magicbricks.