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Salaried real estate investors in mess as loan cost pinches

The deepening economic slowdown, rising cost of living and low wage revisions, coupled with higher interest rares , are forcing salaried professionals who had earlier invested in properties to put them up for sale, say industry experts .People who had invested in properties some 10-15 years ago are now finding it difficult to service their home loans which have become too expensive now due to the rising interest rates and falling rental yields.

 According to a survey, resale inventory has increased nearly 30 per cent over the last six months.

“Economic slowdown has hit the real estate industry. Salaried professionals who had invested in properties five-six years ago to cash in on the boom, are now looking to sell them as they are finding it difficult to cope with the high cost of living,” property portal co-founder and marketing head Advitiya  Sharma told PTI.

 He said the resale market is currently dominated by young professionals and the high cash inflows that the sector gets, has made it a lucrative field.“In the current economic conditions, finding a tenant with higher rents has become more challenging as people have become cautious due to uncertain economic conditions and are thus opting for properties with similar or lower rents,” DTZ India CEO Anshul Jain said. Primary buyers are willing to deal in the resale sector than new homes due to the risks involved in new projects, said Shashank Jain, Executive Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers.

 “Such resale inventory is mainly concentrated in large metro cities. Buyers are looking at such opportunities as they get closer to possession prices and do not have to worry about risks involved in new projects. On the other hand, sellers benefit as they can get higher returns on their investment, than settling for low rental yields,” he said.

Jain further mentioned that this situation will, however, not attract investors.

“Such deals will attract primary buyers. But people who are looking at investing in properties at this moment, may not consider this option,”

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Studio-cum-Service Apartments in The NCR

The shift to studio-cum-service apartments in urban localities has become a global phenomenon—top Indian realty firms are now emulating the major cosmopolitan centres of the world in catering to this niche market.

Top realty players like DLF, JP Group, Wave Infratech, Paras Buildtech, Eldeco, Assotech Realty, Supertech, Amrapali, etc, are following in the footsteps of New York and London where fashion designers, musicians, and artists use such space for their studios.

Professionals like lawyers, CAs, architects, doctors, etc, are now using them as smart offices, while corporate houses find these very convenient as guesthouses.

Why studio-cum-service Apartments:
Studio-cum-service apartments have emerged as smart economical investment options in India, as several top developers have started offering them across the country. The anticipated demand for studio apartments is far outstripping its existing supply, generating high rental income, property appreciation, and offering opportunities to high-value business tenants.

Arjun Puri, director of Puri Constructions, says: “Studio apartments have a great future in Gurgaon, as a lot of single professionals working there prefer them over the traditional 2- and 3 BHK format. We are in the process of planning a couple of studio apartment projects to cater to this market and will be launching them there in the near future.”

Realty experts say there is a higher demand for studios apartments in and around Noida as the city has exceptional infrastructural facilities in the NCR, some in place while others under construction, like an adventure park, IT park (which would hostnine IT companies), the F1 international racing circuit, Yamuna Expressway, FNG Corridor, the proposed cricket stadium, and the proposed 102 hectare night safari.

The concept of fully-furnished serviced studio apartments is here to stay and is arguably the best economical alternative to 5-star hotel accommodations, experts say.

In this line, JP Group has the Buddh Circuit Studios apartments at Jaypee Greens Sports City along the Yamuna Expressway. Over 3,500 units were launched in two phases at two separate locations in the Sports City. These beautiful and spacious apartments come in two options-1 BHK (560 sq ft) and 1 BHK and study (725 sq ft), with the price starting from Rs 18.42 lakh. The project is likely to be completed in three years, a spokesman of the firm said. The Buddh Circuit Studios are part of Jaypee Greens Sports City on 1,012 hectares. This urban integrated township is a holistic complex merging sports, entertainment, and culture within an environment-friendly ambience. The integrated township will also comprise world-class educational facilities, medical centres, and recreational facilities. The Sports City provides a variety of residential and commercial offerings along with breathtaking view of perennial lakes and canals.

Vidya Basarkod, president (sales and marketing) of Jaypee Greens, says: “The tremendous response to the emerging trend of studio apartments is a validation of Jaypee Greens’ continuous endeavor to create right products at the right prices. We consciously created the product for the first time buyers keeping the price, specifications, and amenities in mind.” These developing studio apartments are close to India’s first Grand Prix Circuit, which has successfully hosted two editions of Formula One events. Buddh Circuit Studios are located close to the world-class motorsports arena.

Realty giant DLF has followed this emerging trend by launching My Pad, a studio project located in DLF City Centre in Vibhuti Khand, Gomti Nagar, in Lucknow. Here, My Shop, a retail project, offers a ready catchment to various brands, cafes and many other funfilled places.

My Pad offers nearly 600 contemporary studio suites spread over 4.9 acres. While the upper floors of the complex provide studio suites, the ground and first floors are earmarked for high street shopping area, My Shop. The project is designed to cater to a potential population of 25,000 people residing in and around My Pad.

Lucknow is a major market and trading place in northern India and an emerging hub for producers of goods and services. My Shop, being in the heart of the state capital, offers many opportunities in the business and service sector with self-employed professionals also burgeoning in the city.

Ananta Singh Raghuvanshi, director (marketing and sales) of DLF Universal Ltd, says: “Subsequent to the launch of My Pad, we look forward to a similar response for My Shop. After Lucknow, we plan to introduce this international concept of living to various other cities like Ludhiana, Goa, etc.”

Supertech Group is offering studio apartments in its township projects like Upcountry and Golf Country along the 165 km-long Yamuna Expressway. The group is also offering studio-cum-service apartments in some of its highrise projects like North Eye in Sector 74 and Supernova in Sector 94, on Noida Expressway, Eco City in Noida and ECO Loft project in Greater Noida West (Noida Extension). These studio apartments are priced between Rs 4,000 per sq ft and Rs 10,000 per sq ft, based on location, specifications, services provided, and payment plans on offer.

R K Arora, CMD of Supertech Group, says: “Studio apartments are proving to be good investment opportunity for small investors wanting immediate return, as studio apartments are considered better than costly hotel accommodation by those seeking continuous outstation stay for weeks and months on business tours.”

Wave Infratech, a leading realty player, has recently launched a world-class multi use studio project, Edenia, at Wave City Center in Sector 32, Noida. Edenia offers air-conditioned studios with a commercial licence. This is a place where young and ambitious entrepreneurs can work and live at the same place without any legal or regulatory hassles. Edenia also offers services with superior social infrastructure and ample options for entertainment and retail options in the neighbourhood. The project is expected to be completed by 2016.

Edenia offers units in sizes ranging from 422 sq ft to 678 sq ft, priced between Rs 35 lakh and Rs 66 lakh. The services offered include concierge service, travel desk, housekeeping, laundromat, etc, on demand. There will be a total of 558 units, a few of which will be fully furnished and managed by a hospitality service provider.

R K Panpalia, MD of Wave Infratech, says: “Taking into consideration the market fundamentals in the real estate sector, we are looking to slightly revise our strategy for Wave City Center in Noida. We will be offering products in the range of 1,000-1,250 square feet, which will suit more pockets than only a few. Our new launches like Vasilia and the multiuse Edenia have received tremendous response from the market.”

Eldeco Infrastructure has three projects with studio apartments – Eldeco Hillside and Eldeco Eden Park at Neemrana and Eldeco, The Studio in Sector 93A in Noida. These projects offer 192, 60 and 52 studio apartment units, respectively, in the size of 550 sq ft, 565 sq ft and 800-895 sq ft, which are priced in the range of Rs 15-77 lakh.

Paras Buildtech has two studio apartment projects, Paras Tierea and Paras Square. Paras Tierea is on Noida Expressway in Sector 137 and offers 672 furnished units; the current offer price is Rs 5,800 per sq ft onwards. Paras Square on Golf Course Extension Road in Gurgaon offers 147 units, priced at Rs 11,000 per sq ft onwards.

Pankaj Bajaj, MD of Eldeco Infrastructure, says: “Studio apartment products are very attractive for out-of-city buyers, NRIs, corporates, etc. Some investors like to buy them and give them on rent to students or corporate executives. But these are not really serviced apartments in that there is no housekeeping, or pre-furnishing of the apartment. Unlike abroad, they are not available for short leases like a week or a month. The reason is that as soon as the developer starts running them as a hospitality product, the authorities deem it to be a commercial use of land, which is not allowed in residential projects.”

As a part of the integrated business park, Assotech Business Cresterra in Sector 135 on Noida Expressway, Assotech Realty launched Sandal Suites. These are a set of luxurious studio-cum-serviced apartments on 1.75 lakh sq ft, with nearly 142 units in sizes ranging from 775 sq ft to 975 sqft.

Neeraj Gulati, MD of Assotech Realty, says: “Entrepreneurs, professionals, and corporate travellers are turning to serviced studio apartments as these are affordable; besides, for investors, the returns earned on serviced residences are far higher compared to those in commercial office spaces. Keeping in view the recent five-year trend, the returns are estimated to be between 17-18% with occupancy rate of 80% , while for the commercial sector, it is likely to be around 7-9%, almost half in comparison. Once the economy is back on rails, the service sector will open up, especially in the ITITeS sector, which translates into a good demand for these products.”

Ajnara India Ltd has launched studio apartments, Vice Royal, in Ajnara Panorama, located along Yamuna Expressway. Ajnara Panorama F1 is a mini township, which will have high-end luxurious villas called London Square, studio apartments called Vice Royal, and highrise apartments called Panorama; the project also has a modern clubhouse.

Cosmic Group has launched corporate studio apartments in their Cosmic Corporate Park in Sector 154 and Sector 140, Noida. Cosmic Corporate Park in Sector 140 offers studio apartments of 300 sq ft while at Cosmic Corporate Park in Sector 154, the studio apartments are 360 sq ft. The company also plans to build modern studio apartments in Cosmic Cruise, a project in Greater Noida West.

Sushant Muttreja, MD of Cosmic Group, says: “Today’s high-flying executives are accustomed to good lifestyle and they demand the same kind of facilities at work place. Looking at such things we designed the corporate studios where one can work and also stay, enjoying all the modern facilities.”

KRASA Group has also plans to launch studio apartments in its project in Sector 129. The project will have office spaces and studio apartments, which will complement each other.

Earth Group has launched fully-furnished studio apartment in Techzone, Greater Noida; the project will have 375 studio apartments of 465 sq ft.

Quick Bites:
For investors, the returns on serviced studio apartments are far higher compared to those in commercial office spaces.

Source: Times of India (Property), September 2013
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Realty companies may offer discounts to clear inventory

The upward revision in repo rate by the Reserve Bank of India is likely to increase pressure on real estate developers to offer discounts in the upcoming festive season as they struggle to clear their inventory at a time when demand is tepid and interest rates are rising.

HDFCBSE -1.24 %, ICICI Bank BSE -2.36 % and Axis Bank BSE -0.44 % raised interest rates on home loans last month while State Bank of India BSE -1.24 % did so on Thursday and the RBI on Friday raised the rate at which the central bank lends money to commercial banks by 25 basis points.

“Discounts are now inevitable,” said Sanjay Dutt, executive managing director of South Asia at real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield. This festive season is likely to see just a tenth of last year’s new project launches, according to an estimate by the Confederation of Real Estate Developers‘ Associations of India (Credai).

“Developers will want to sell their unsold inventory instead by using innovative schemes and discounts. Rising interest rates, though, will lower sentiments and could impact sales,” said Credai chairman Lalit Kumar Jain.

The festival season usually generates about 20% of the annual home sales. But demand has been severely hit this year due to the economic slowdown, higher inflation and job cuts in several sectors. The spike in interest rates can only add to the industry’s woes, developers said.

“If interest rates go up, demand will be impacted slightly,” said National Housing Bank chairman RV Verma. Home prices fell in 22 of the 26 cities in the quarter to June, according to the National Housing Bank’s residential housing index, Residex,

“If developers really reduce prices, some sales should happen this festive season. This is an opportunity for them to clear their inventory pile-up,” said a senior SBI BSE -1.24 % official, who did not wish to be named.

DLF’s group executive director Rajeev Talwar termed the increase in repo rate a missed opportunity. “There was a need to lower rates to stimulate demand,” said Talwar.

According to property research firm Liases Foras, close to 670 million sq ft of stock is lying unsold with developers as home sales have fallen over the past few quarters.

“We will not be launching new projects this festive season. Instead we will focus on delivering old projects and will offer schemes and discounts to get rid of our inventory,” said RK Arora, managing director of Noida-based developer Supertech.

Several developers are poised to launch new schemes for existing projects and also offer innovative payment structures, said Ankur Srivastava, chairman of GenReal Property Advisers. “They are also repositioning parts of existing projects to stir sales,” Srivastava said.

Freebies are now Inevitable.

DEMAND has been severely hit this year due to the economic slowdown, higher inflation and job cuts in several sectors.

BUILDERS will want to sell their unsold inventory instead by using innovative schemes and discounts.

MANY DEVELOPERS are poised to launch new schemes for existing projects and also offer innovative payment structures.

Source: The Economic Times, September 2013
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Four things to consider before buying distressed property

Buying a distressed property in the resale market could be a profitable deal for you. However, there are certain aspects which you must consider before entering into the transaction. A slight negligence on the matters related with the transfer could turn a profitable-looking property deal into a nightmare.

Distressed properties are ones for which a buyer defaults on the payments as per the schedule and agrees to sell the asset in order to facilitate recovery. A number of times, short-term investors book properties during the early stages, in expectation of quick profits. However, when the market goes slow and the asset does not get sold, they default on payment if they do not have sufficient funds to sustain the transaction.

On the other end, there are several genuine buyers who due to some reason or the other are not able to make payment and have no choice but to exit from the transaction through resale.

There is no harm in buying a distressed property, as a buyer is in a much better position to negotiate and gain. Here are some aspects to consider before buying such property:

Record of Payments:
A buyer must take a complete record of all the payments made by the defaulting party. The statement of payments may come from the seller but it should be verified by the developer’s office in black and white.

“A buyer must also check details of the service tax payment,” says Suneet Pratap Singh, sales head, Finlace Consulting.

Penalty Charges:
Generally, there is a clause of penalty charges in the contract in case of default in payment. These charges must be paid by the seller or if you tend to pay them as part of the total cost, then the amount should be finalised, keeping both reseller and developer in the loop.

Transfer Charges:
The developer may have put a condition of transfer charges as well. Factor-in this cost before you arrive at the total price of the property. “These charges may or may not be there, but it is always good to confirm from the developer to avoid surprises later,” states Manish Agarwal, secretary, Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI), National Capital Region (NCR) and managing director, Satya Group.

No Objection Certificate:
After all the negotiations, you must obtain the No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the developer as well as from the bank which may have provided home loan to the reseller.

Source:, September 2013
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Real estate investors go slow, home buyers in NCR to benefit

A lack of activity from the investor and underwriter segments is increasingly leading to a situation where real estate developers have no choice but to cater to the requirements of an end-user – as a result, a home buyer is in a better position to negotiate and take benefit of the softening prices.

It is due to the upcoming general elections and volatility in the national and global financial order, investors have adopted a cautious approach.

“Underwriters enter the market for short-term gains. Their presence may provide developers a sense of comfort, but at the same time, it results in escalated prices, of which an end-user has to bear the brunt,” says Abhay Kumar, chairman and managing director, Griha Pravesh Buildteck.

This is why, developers in the NCR cities such as New Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Faridabad and Ghaziabad, are seen fine-tuning prices to keep the ball rolling.

For instance, in sectors 76, 77, 119 and 120 in Noida, 1,000-sq ft multi-storey apartments that had touched the levels of Rs 50-52 lakh in the beginning of 2013, are now available in Rs 45-48 lakh.

“The recent price correction is a result of withdrawal of investors from various projects,” said Aman Agarwal, director, KV Developers.

Property prices in many parts of Gurgaon such as sectors 84 and 92 are down by 10-15 per cent as compared to the prices that prevailed until March 2013. A similar trend has been observed in Kaushambi and Vaishali areas of Ghaziabad as well.

The prime South Delhi areas such as Vasant Vihar and Defence Colony are reportedly witnessing a correction of 20-35 per cent, mainly because of cash-strapped investors who are now losing their patience and want to liquidate their holdings. Thus, a 1,000-sq ft apartment which was earlier priced at Rs 4.5-5 crore in these areas could now be purchased in Rs 3.5-4 crore.

Source:, September 2013
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Of stamping and registration

An agreement to sell (ATS) requires compulsory registration and payment of substantial stamp duty.

an ATS with possession is equivalent to 90% of the total stamp duty applicable on sale/ conveyance of the property. The amount of stamp duty paid on such an ATS will get credited in the stamp duty payable on the sale deed. To cite an example, if the total stamp duty payable on the sale deed for a flat is calculated to be ` 10 lakh, the buyer is required to pay ` 9 lakh at the time of execution of ATS with possession and the remaining ` 1 lakh at the time of execution of the sale deed.

As per the Registration Act, 1908, an ATS, under which the buyer receives possession of the immovable property, requires compulsory registration.

If a buyer wants to protect the possession of the property that he wants to purchase, he will be able to do so only if the ATS has been duly registered. In the absence of a registered document, the buyer will not be able to protect his interests where the property is concerned. The other consequence of not registering a document that requires compulsory registration is that the document would be rendered inadmissible as evidence in courts. Hence, the court may refuse to grant relief to the buyer, making it difficult for him to defend his right of possession.

To summarise, the parties must make sure that an ATS with possession is duly stamped and registered as per applicable state laws.

Source: Hindustan Times (Estates), September 2013
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Saviour Builders Pvt Ltd – Nav Bharat Times, September 20, 2013

Saviour Builders Pvt Ltd - Nav Bharat Times, September 20, 2013Source: Navbharat Times, September 20, 2013

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Land buying can be a tricky affair

Housing plots are rare to come by in cities. In towns and on the peripheries of metropolises land is available, but one has to make sure they are not mired in disputes.

From convoluted loan clauses to unclear title deeds, the path to your own land is filled with potholes.

Buying a piece of land and building their first home is the biggest dream harboured by many Indians. So, when Prabhat told his mother that he was buying a plot of land, she was proud of him, something she did not feel when he had invested in a flat.

But buying a plot of land is a tricky affair, what with all the blatant corruption surrounding such deals including creating fake documents, demand for payment in cash and also issues of disputed land sales. If you are ready to buy land to build your first home, it is advisable to be very cautious and thorough.

Also, the steps and procedures are quite different from purchasing a flat and hence require a careful analysis before setting out on the path.

Plots are scarce in big cities, but you can still get a good piece of land in smaller towns or even the peripheries of the cities. If you are planning a loan, then a land loan offered by banks is an option. Some bank loans entail a clause that requires the buyer to start construction within six months of land purchase. So, it would be advisable to plan your course beforehand. You may procure a personal loan, but that might be a little more expensive.

Watch Out:

  1. It is advisable for land buyers to check for the following factors thoroughly and get them examined by a legal expert before making the purchase:
  2. The Deed Title: Check if the deed title is in the name of the seller and he has the full right to sell it. Insist upon seeing the original and not just a photocopy.
  3. Encumbrance Certificate: This document can be procured from the sub-registrar’s office where the deed is registered. It declares that the land is free of legal hassles and unpaid dues.
  4. Property Tax Receipts and Bills: Ask for the originals again and ensure all the payments have been made; non-payment could lead to legal complications and more expenditure in the future.
  5. Apart from these, you must also make sure loans on the land have been repaid, and a release certificate has been issued by the bank. Get the property valued for the exact land measure.


  1. To purchase land, the following documents are required from the seller’s end: Original Land Deed of the current owner, known as the 7/12 document and also the previous owners with the proper names on the title. Secondly, an Encumbrance Certificate from the Sub-registrar’s office for the at least the last 30 years. Thirdly, Release Certificate from the bank, stating that the loan on the land has been completely repaid. And finally, the original property tax receipt and other bills relating to the plot.
  2. For the buyer, the requisite documents include the title deed after it has been transferred to the buyer’s name, written by a Government licensed Document writer, the receipt from payment of stamp duty charges.
  3. Now, you can get your land registered in the sub-registrar’s office or have your name added in the village office records.
  4. The state municipality act requires that a prior sanction be obtained by a person who wants to undertake construction activity for building a new house or modifying an existing one. The process has been made automated in most states and is not time consuming. Your contractor, engineer or architect needs to take care of this. The architect needs to submit the building plan along with a prescribed fee for getting the building plan approval done.
  5. The construction costs involved in the project includes the fee to the architect/contractor, building material costs, and labor costs. Interior fittings such as light fixtures, bathroom fittings and tiles will add to the expenditure list.

Smart Ideas for Saving:
The cost escalators will be the choices you make such as the construction plan itself, the material be required for building your house will vary according to your plan, the material quality and so on. Sometimes, it is better to pay extra at the time of building and save maintenance and repair expenses later.

Outstripping your budget plan is inevitable while constructing your own home. But you can cut corners though:

Keep your construction plan simple and don’t make too many changes once the construction work commences. Get materials and fittings with long-term savings in sight. Pick the materials when prices are low even if you require them at a later stage. Finally, get what you need and not what you want. Cost cutting is very important from your end as there will be many unforeseeable expenses that will crop up.

Sticking to the original construction plan as much as possible is the best way to finish the project early or on time.

Source: The Hindu Business Line, September 2013
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Gurgaon: Condominiums or floors – take your pick!

Gurgaon has undergone fast urbanization during the past few years with an influx of people from all corners of India as well as overseas. The wide gamut of industries in Gurgaon attracts a huge workforce with heavy pay packets. Consequently, there is a continuous demand for housing. In a bid to cater to this demand, developers are building both condominiums and independent floors. But what to buy is always a concern for a real estate buyer. To find out, organised a Brokers Meet who unfolded facts to help you make your choice.

Ashok Narang of Insight Re-location and Realty consultant says, “Due to high plot prices, the cost of a condominium and a builder floor is at par today. However, the rate of growth is always higher in case of condominiums as compared to builder floors in Gurgaon”.

Many experts feel that condominiums score over independent floors in terms of security and power backs-up. Pankaj Bansal of Oxford Realtors and Arbitrators says, “Gurgaon houses a number of migrants who have shifted due to job opportunities. These young professionals have nuclear families. For them, security in Delhi-NCR is a major concern. Therefore, they prefer condominiums over independent floors as it offers 24-hours security with latest technologies such as CCTV cameras, in comparison to gated communities or societies.” However, there is an extra cost involved in condominiums. One has to pay for security, maintenance charges, facilities and recreational activities, which can be avoided in independent floors.

Talking about security with respect to independent floors, Ajay Bajpai of Home2office says, “Developers today, are also offering integrated townships which include plots, villas, floors and apartments with tight security measures.”

In addition to this, independent floors win over condominiums in terms of space. Adesh Munjal of Home2office says, “Independent floors offer more carpet area, whereas in the case of multi-storeys, a builder has to draw space for common areas such as lift, staircase and recreational activities.”

So, if you are looking for space, independent floors in Gurgaon can be your choice but at the same time condominiums offer an array of benefits that you may not want to overlook.

Source:, September 2013
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Delhi-NCR builders have no choice but to slash rates

The tumbling rupee and drying liquidity may bring in a productive spell in NCR’s realty market, experts say. The biggest gainer from this crisis will be the mid-range property segment.

Consultants say while the rupee crash led to a rise in construction costs and the liquidity crunch has forced developers to slash prices.

With property costs falling across NCR, realty experts say for those with spare capital, now’s the time to buy.

Prices have dropped by 5% to 10% in south Delhi and by a smaller percentage in parts of Gurgaon. Experts say this could be the beginning of a trend that’ll last till the rupee rebounds. Till then, builders will have no bear the brunt of cash crunch.

“NCR is now, what can be called a buyer’s market. Cost is escalating, sale price isn’t. There’s been a price correction in the past few months. The mid-range segment has seen the severest impact. It’ll continue for some time,” says Lalit Kumar Jain, chairman CREDAI, India’s apex body of builders.

Jain adds the weakening rupee is drawing NRIs. They now have greater purchasing power, and inquiries should start turning into deals in a few weeks time. Real estate consultancy Cushman and Wakefield corroborates this. “If the rupee maintains current levels, developers will see more interest from NRI buyers,” says Shveta Jain, executive director (residential) Cushman & Wakefield India.

Property developers say they haven’t seen such a slump since 2008. Developers say with every five-rupee rise in diesel cost, they shell out Rs 115 extra per square foot. Profits will further be shaved off with cost of steel expected to go up by about Rs 1500 per tonne.

“The falling rupee impacts cost directly. Many materials are imported, in high-end projects particularly,” says Arjun Puri, director, Puri Constructions.

Source:, September 2013
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