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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

It was a business as usual at Paranjape Schemes but Pune Real Estate Market is still in a frenzy

Can you get me a flat in the Blue Ridge?

Day started with the call from US requesting me to help him out in booking one 2 bhk flat in the Paranjape Schemes' Blue Ridge township at Hinjewadi, Pune.

But all 2 and 3 bhk flats are booked, i told him. He said he had already read my blog. That's why he was calling me to help him out. I gave him Paranjape Schemes' office phone number and made it very clear that i do not have any kind of business or personal association with them. When i started to tell him about myself, he disconnected the phone!

Launch of the iPhone!

With the first cup of the tea, i habitually fired my lap top and opened my HitTails. I was shocked to see the number of people visited my blog. 1,000 readers per day started looking like a possibility to me.

But how come 99% people use the exact search term "Paranjape Schemes Blue Ridge"? Oh! i should never forget that you can read the hoarding put at Hinjewadi chowk from the Mountain View, CA, US. OK, fine. But what about La Spain?

Originally uploaded by zkyo

Booking of the Blue Ridge was a weekend frenzy and Monday would be a normal day, i told myself. I tried to stop comparing "launch of the Blue Ridge" with launching of the iPhone as a silly thought and shut off my lap top.

No news, no Ad:

I was curious to read the news about the Blue Ridge's booking phenomenon in Sakal and Times of India. But i did not find the news on the front page. Or there was no Paranjape Schemes' thank you ad and with a typical boasting about the bookings. Shashank Paranjape, you are such a dull fellow!

Blue Ridge, Magarpatta and Amanora City:

But before i opened the news paper, my old client called me after a long time. He had been to the Blue Ridge yesterday evening with his friends. He was still very much overwhelmed with Blue Ridge experience and started comparing Blue Ridge with Magarpatta and Amanora Park townships. I told him i do not see any point in this type of comparison. You can not compare Shah Rukh Khan's Devdas with Dilip Kumar's. Magarpatta is almost over!

Originally uploaded by sanjeev.batra

But what about Amanora City? he asked. Amanora is a Honda City without engine. I asked him did he read Shrikant Paranjape's article or what! He told me his group has taken a well researched decision to book a flat at Blue Ridge.

I thought, we will say 'Jai Hinjewadi' and end the conversation. But he said he needs my help. I asked him what can i do for him. He said he did not booked along with his friends. Now, i should help him to book at least one flat. 2 bhk or 3 bhk any will do, he whispered. Can you speak little loudly? i asked him. He said no, his wife will hear!

Guinness World Record in Limca Book!

Around lunch time my journalist friend called.

He wanted to know how many flats were booked when 'DSK Vishwa' was launched. On the 7th day 1,000 flats were booked, i told him. But why he is interested in 'Vishwa', see what happens at DSK's Fursungi SEZ, i told him.

But he wanted to know how many flats were Booked at 'Darode - Jog's Crossover County'. 85 flats were booked by the Sunday evening, i told him.

But why was he interested in numbers? This is not a one day cricket. Now do not ask me about the speed of the booking, i told him. But he did not respond and suddenly he shouted 'Booking of the Blue Ridge can be a Guinness World Record! It should go into the Limca Book(!)

No special offer. No Brand Ambassador. No Digital Home.

True, bookings at Blue Ridge proves how strong brand equity Paranjape Schemes' has. It also proves that todays knowledge worker home buyer is not only an analytical and critical, he also appreciates and recommends with the open heart. Which some times, wrongly, interpreted as the real estate boom or even slow down! Shashank and Shrikant Paranjape knew this very well.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Only 4 and 5 bhk flats are available for booking! In Pranjape Schemes' Blue Ridge township at Hinjewadi, Pune, all 2 and 3 bhk flats are booked!

It can happen only at Paranjape Schemes!

This is unbelievable! All 2 and 3 bhk flats in Blue Ridge, at Hinjewadi, Pune; are sold out in 2 days. I called Paranjape Schemes office (+91(20) 2544 0986 and 2546 2128) twice to confirm but i got the same answer. Only 4 and 5 bhk flats are available for booking.

Rate is the same! Rs. 3,200 per sq.ft.

Saleable area of 4 bhk flat is 2,500 sq.ft. As per rate structure, i got yesterday, including everything (infrastructure charges + one covered parking + stamp duty + registration fees) at the basic rate (Rs. 3,200), basic budget (without considering floor rise) is Rs. 84,41,000.

The budget of 3,112 sq.ft. 5 bhk is Rs. 1,04,38,580.

Personally, I find the planning of 4 and 5 flats is much better than 2 and 3 bhk flats. I do not think these 4 and 5 bhk flats will be available tomorrow.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

About Paranjape Schemes' reputation, booking rate at Blue Ridge and investing in the township at Hinjewadi, Pune

Rate? Rs. 3,200 per sq.ft. only!

Today when i went to Paranjape Schemes' Blue Ridge site, i did not see anybody shocked to see the booking rate of Rs. 3,200. Since, the rate was not mentioned in the four page special advertorial, obviously everybody had read my blog before coming here, i assumed.

Of course, there was a printed rate structure along with the brochure but i did not see anybody reading it. Most of the people must have forgotten their glasses at home, i thought.

When salesman said basic rate is Rs. 3,200, everybody was happy. When he pointed out that there is 20 rupees rise per floor from 8th floor, everybody looked more happy. It was the happiest moment of the day when salesman said from 21st to 25th floor rate is Rs. 3,800 per sq.ft.

When somebody asked about the possibilities of rate increase , salesman said 'anytime'. If he had increased the rate at that moment, i am sure, everybody would have started dancing with joy.

Reputation of the Paranjape Schemes:

Of course, people were asking questions and trying to get the information but nobody looked serious about the answers. Everybody was interested in only one thing, availability. Whether particular flat is available or not. I think, everybody was in a hurry to write the cheque, get a booking receipt and go home. But, there was no day and night one day cricket match, between India and Pakistan, on the TV!

As i told you yesterday, sample flat was not completely ready. Site office was not operational. Model of the project was huge but not complete. Development of the site was only for the occasion. But, nobody was bothered about it. Why? Because, everybody knows Paranjape Schemes will do it, for sure.

Not only that, Paranjape Schemes (Flagship Infrastructure (P) Ltd.) will provide them better infrastructure than the Pune Municipal Corporation and Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation or even better than the Government of India.

So, to me, it is not about playing a golf or walking to the office. It's all about the reputation of the Paranjape Schemes.

Investing in Hinjewadi:

"Today about 65000 people work in Hinjewadi and its estimated that this number will grow up to 3 lakhs employees in another 3 years," Kishor Patil, CEO and MD, KPIT Cummins Info Systems Ltd. says in todays advertorial. Unfortunately there are only 2000+ flats in the Blue Ridge and half of them are already booked.


By the way, till today, i have not found a single alien. Other wise, yesterday i had made up my mind to name this township as "ETshri". On the lines of "Athashri", Paranjape Schemes' retirement complex!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Wait is over! Now you can become a world citizen! Paranjape Schemes', out of this world, Blue Ridge will be launched tomorrow!

But, Who was waiting?

Yes! It was very foolish of me to believe that the Paranjape Schemes' ad campaign was for the citizens of this mortal world. I do not know who but some did not wait for the launching on Oct.27. They have already booked their flats! Somebody told me, almost 90% flats in the first phase of the Blue Ridge are already booked! But then why was there an ad campaign telling what can i do after certain number of days? For example: "After 6 days, anytime you feel like teeing off, take a 5 minute walk."

Was the ad campaign for Shashank Paranjape, Ramesh Jogani, Ajay Piramal, Mark Thornton, Chris Rowlands, Jamshed S Dabboo and Deepak Parekh?

When i went to the site of Blue Ridge at Hinjewadi, this afternoon, i got the answer i was searching for since i came to know that almost 90% of the first phase is booked.

More than 400 people were working in more than 5 acres of the reception area. Work of the site office was going on. People were putting lawns, stitching green on the green house, assembling sample flat, it looked like that nobody was going to sleep tonight.

Then i realized that this ad campaign was basically for these people. Telling them to finish it fast and launch the Blue Ridge officially so that Shashank Paranjape, Ramesh Jogani and company can go and play a round of golf! Let them relax and enjoy a couple of moments. Finish it fast!

Where will the 'space ship' land?

There was a big blowup of the layout of 138 acre land of the Blue Ridge. Someone came ahead and helped to identify the residential area, sez, half a kilometer Marina, Taj Gateway Hotel and all.

But, i was not interested in knowing that. I told him to show me where the space ship will land. What space ship, he asked. I explained to him about the aliens and how they travel in the space ship. But he asked me why aliens will come here? I told him aliens will come here to become the citizens of this world and showed him the slogan "be world citizen".

He asked me why i think Blue Ridge is not for the citizens of Pune? I told him the history of Pune Real Estate Market. First, we constructed for NRIs, then for Mumbai Investors, after that for IT people. But now all are over.

Now, at this location, at this special rate of Rs. 3200 per sq.ft. who else but aliens can book a flat! It looks like, he was convinced but he asked me about tomorrow's full day function and live coverage on the radio Mirchi. It is a welcome party and introduction of our culture, Khokhopatil will be here, i told him. Welcome to ....? i asked. "Aliens! Wait is over!!" he said. What i admire most about Paranjape Schemes is, its bunch of smart people!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A V Bhat and Company launches an exclusive project of 2 and 2 1/2 bhk flats in the price range of 26 to 28 lakhs (all inclusive) at Hadapsar, Pune

Big News:

Launching of the Etasha is the big news of this festive season in Pune Real Estate Market. There are 4 reasons: 1. Etasha is an A. V. Bhat and Company's project. 2. Location is Handewadi Road, Hadapsar. 3. All inclusive price is in the range of 26 to 28 lakhs. 4. Fully developed top terrace Amenities. For the first time, since i started this blog, i was really excited when i saw their launching ad in Sakal. Let us see what is so great about this project.

A. V. Bhat:

Late Mr. A.V. Bhat was a legend in his time. Even after his accidental death couple of decades ago, he is remembered and respected. In his case "A. V. Bhat - A name which stands for Quality & Trust" was a fact not a popular tag line. After the revival of his company, couple of years ago, launching of a new project by his company is always a good news for the middle class Punekars.


Life in Hadapsar (41)
Originally uploaded by die-kleene

On Solapur Highway, even after the grand success of Magarpatta City, Hadapsar remained sort of poor rural type of area of Pune Municipal Corporation. On the Nagar Road, Kharadi, which was not even in Pune Municipal Corporation, also started developing but Hadpsar remained backward.

Thanks to Shapoorji Pallonji's "SP INFOCITY" IT Park and upcoming D.S. Kulkarni Developers Ltd.'s 450 acre multi-services special economic zone (SEZ) in Fursungi, Hadapsar is going to become 'investment destination'(!) in no time. (Other day, a group of farmers who own adjoining land to DSK's SEZ, told me they are asking 1 corer per acre!)

IBM hadapsar Ozone, originally uploaded by sanyam.

Naturally, for Hadapsar, launching of A.V. Bhat and Company's project in this 'old corporation ward' is the first step towards becoming the prime residential area.

2 bhk flat bellow 30 Lakhs!

Now a days, no where in Pune you can get a 2 bhk flat bellow 30 lakhs. Here at A. V. Bhat and Co.'s Etasha, according to the quotation i got on Oct. 22, including everything price range is between 26,11,350 to 28,15,400! Of course, this is a special introductory offer and will not last long but even after a some rise it is a best buy.

1) Planning: this is an ideal, simple, cozy 2 bhk 'Puneri' flat.

2) Layout of the project, elevation, 2 lifts, common spaces, specifications, amenities and facilities every thing is planned very well.

Particularly, what i liked most is, the parking and the bus-stop for school-bus inside the project.
Frankly, i am fed up with the filmy, impractical and so called hi tech luxuries, like bum washer!

3) I feel safe and secure when i see the names of Avinash Nawathe (Architect) and Y.S. Sane Associates (RCC consultant).

Top Terrace Amenities:

I couldn't talk to him but i am sure this must be Arc. Avinash Nawathe's idea. He is one of the creative architects in Pune who knows the pulse of the home byers. Fortunately, i happened to work with him on one project. I have seen how home buyers fell in love of his concepts. Here at Etasha, you are going to get an extra amenity space and facilities on the top the terrace. Very good idea!

At Etasha construction has not started and there is no sample flat but multimedia presentation and Prafulla Dharmadhikari (+919823046455) explains the scheme very well.

ALERT suggests changes in the building norms and Development Control rules for environment-friendly housing in Pune

City-based NGO Association for Leadership Education, Research and Training (ALERT) on Wednesday has suggested changes in the building norms and Development Control rules that will help mitigate and adopt measures for climate change.

“The suggestions will help in promoting environment-friendly housing in the city,” ALERT representatives Vandana Chavan, Sandeep Khardekar and Ravi Choudhari said in a letter to municipal commissioner Praveensinh Pardeshi.

Suggestions for Eco-friendly Housing:

Survey of underground water sources and aquifers be made.

Underground digging to provide services and parking to be stopped immediately.

The glass façade of buildings should be regulated as it leads to increase in power consumption in the buildings.

PMC should not allow underground digging of the plot used for construction as it affects trees in the adjoining area.

The feasibility of allowing tall buildings in the light of climate change be studied before implementation.

A consultancy cell be put up for promoting energy efficient buildings.

The PMC should monitor building designs to ensure that green cover is preserved.

Put restriction on the capping of a plot as it covers the entire area affecting water absorption capacity of the soil.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Buying a house? Beware of builders' tricks

The developers play lord and master to middle-income individuals who often live like monks to fulfil their dream of owning a house. Most sale agreements are heavily loaded in favour of builders in the currently unregulated market. This disillusionment is reflected in the rise in the number of complaints that has accompanied the growth of the sector. In the first 25 days of August 2007, the Delhi-based National Consumer Helpline, a consumers' body, received 33 housing-related complaints. The Consumer Guidance Society of India (CGSI), Mumbai, says it gets two-three cases a day. In this scenario, what chance do you have of safeguarding your interests as a buyer?

read more | digg story

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Pai Solebille, driven by a bouyant Asian economic growth surge, is to move into Indian real estate and property consulting

Cambridge, originally uploaded by cl_yumin.

Pai Solebille was founded in 2006 at Cambridge (United Kingdom) and wishes to take a leading position in the IT contracting/outsourcing and the real estate market. With an active growth in the Asian economies including China and India, of over 9% per annum, Pai Solebille has always been actively seeking to move its interests into these economies.

Real estate is one area that is seeing a huge growth in these economies, with returns averaging over 25% per annum. Places in India like Bangalore and Pune, which form the Information Technology hubs, have seen higher than average growth, due to the booming services industry. Infrastructure is one area that closely mirrors economic growth.

Pai Solebille is actively engaging the major property developers in India
, ensuring that investing in the real estate market remains stress free for our customers. The key areas of growth established are around Bangalore and Pune, in the south of India. Pai Solebille will be setting up offices at these two locations by the end of November 2007.

Mr Roshan Pai Ramesh
Pai Solebille Global Service Ltd
1st floor offices, Austin House, 43 Poole Road, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH4 9DN
United Kingdom

Phone: 01223364095

URL: www.paisolebille.com

Email: pai@paisolebille.com

Pai Solebille specialise in IT consultancy, especially in JAVA/J2EE platforms and act as consultants for clients investing in real estate in India

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Nitesh Estate wins a church property in the heart of Chennai city

jesusganesh, originally uploaded by ngandhi.

At Rs 642 crore excluding registration, the transaction is the costliest land deal in south India and jostles for a place among the biggest deals nationally. The Chennai archdiocese had put the land parcel on Chamiers Road on a 66-year lease and called bid for the same, with some 30 expressions of interest coming in the initial round itself.

Fifth-largest land deal in India :

The just-concluded transaction could well be the fifth-largest land deal in India after Adani’s Rs 2,250-crore pact with HDIL, DLF’s Rs 1,675-crore acquisition of DCM Shriram property in Delhi, Unitech’s Rs 1,586-crore purchase in Noida and DLF’s Rs 702-crore acquisition of National Textile Mills’ land in Mumbai. Earlier this year, hospitality major Leela Group purchased a three-acre plot at Chanakyapuri in Delhi for Rs 635 crore.
: Nitesh Estate wins Chennai realty deal- The Economic Times

To cash in on the realty boom ICICI Venture is floating $2 bn real estate fund

A Classic Cash Register, originally uploaded by heath_bar.

ICICI Venture joins other majors such as Morgan Stanely, Citigroup, HDFC, J P Morgan, and Kishore Biyani that hope to cash in on the realty boom by floating real estate funds.

Land and Properties :

The private equity fund is planning to operate in the entire value chain of the real estate business and will now use part of the cash from the fund to build a land bank. It has also decided to buy and manage completed properties, commercial and residential and sell them later.

Partners :

Confirming the development, Renuka Ramnath, managing director and CEO of ICICI Venture Funds, said: "We will be able to raise large sums of money leveraging the ICICI brand name, coupled with over five years of experience in realty investment and, of course, a great international real estate developer as partner."

The fund, which will be launched next month, will have a tenure of ten years and the money will be invested in projects within three years.

Monday, October 15, 2007

QVC Realty, Bangalore, India’s first venture capital funded real estate company is looking to raise around $100-$200 million from private equity firms

brand & shuffle, originally uploaded by montgesin.

QVC raised $100 million of venture capital funding in April this year from IL&FS Investment Managers (IIML), the private equity arm of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd. IIML raised $525 million in 2006 to invest in the Indian realty sector, and holds a majority stake in QVC(!)

Marketing Genius :

“We will look at raising capital in a second round of funding sometime towards the end of next year to fund our projects,” Prakash Gurbaxani, founder and CEO of QVC Realty said.

Yes, "the end of next year"! Do not get disappointed. Admire how he has branded himself and has became a star of the Indian Real Estate! I am going to blog Mr. Prakash Gurbaxani on my new Real Estate Marketing Blog!

Welcome to Pune :

QVC plans to develop around 6-10 million sq. ft of property over the next five years in markets such as Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune and tier 2 or smaller cities such as Kolkata, Chandigarh, Nagpur and Kochi.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

American real estate investment company, Westport Capital Partners are developing 330 villas in Hyderabad, India

Hyderabad-Charminar, originally uploaded by skinnylatte.

According to Ad-Hoc-News, Germany, Westport today announced that it is developing a residential real estate complex in Hyderabad, India. Westport is working with a local development partner to build the project. Total development costs will be approximately $100 million.

Villas :

The project, which sits on 60 acres of land, will consist of 330 villas of approximately 3,500 square feet each. Construction, to be done in phases, has begun and final completion will be in approximately four years. The villas are for sale to private owners and several of the units have already been reserved.

Investment Opportunities :

"We are excited about the prospects for residential real estate growth in India, and in Hyderabad in particular. The demographics show a clear need for new housing and the rising income of the population will support developments such as this one. We will continue to look for opportunities in India." Mr. Greg Geiger, Westport Principal, said.

Westport Capital Partners LLC

Westport provides domestic and international investment opportunities to institutional and private clients. Headquartered in Westport, CT, the firm also has offices in Los Angeles and Mumbai, India. Westport applies a fundamental, value-oriented approach to investing in real estate and maintains the flexibility to purchase real properties, mortgages, equity and debt in both private and public market opportunities.

Russel S. Bernard :

According to Business Wire, on Dec 1, 2005, Mr. Bernard announced the formation of "Westport Capital Partners LLC", a real estate investment firm that will specialize in the opportunistic real estate arena.

Mr. Bernard has served as the real estate group portfolio manager at Oaktree Capital Management, LLC, where he was responsible for the formation and management of over $2 billion in real estate investment funds.

Prior to joining Oaktree after its formation in 1995, Mr. Bernard, was a Managing Director and portfolio manager of The Distressed Mortgage Fund at Trust Company of the West (TCW).

Earlier, Mr. Bernard was a partner in Win Properties, Inc., a national real estate investment company. During his eight years with that firm, he was responsible for the acquisition, financing and operation of a national real estate portfolio.

Before joining Win Properties, he was with Time Equities, Inc., a New York real estate company, for three years.

Prior to that, he was a Staff Accountant at Price Waterhouse in New York. Mr. Bernard holds a B.S. degree in Business Management and Marketing from Cornell University.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Ansal Housing sets up a sales office in New York to tap the Indian Americans wanting to invest in India's booming $15 billion real estate market

NYC Night Panorama, originally uploaded by Кoлдун.

(The photo above is 8 individual HDRs stiched together. Must be seen large.)

With India's real estate market returning record profits, Karun Ansal, Vice President, Ansal Housing, said the timing is opportune for the company to focus on the sizeable Indian American market.

Investment in India :

Pointing out that the Indian Government is encouraging non-resident Indians (NRIs) to invest in properties, Ansal said, NRIs can invest in both residential and commercial properties in India.

"There is also no restriction on the maximum number of properties that can be bought. NRIs get full support for the finance required for the purchase of the properties,'' he added.

Office :

The North America associate office will serve as a conduit for attracting investments into Ansal's residential as well as commercial real estate projects across India, he said.

Agents :

It will also liaison with Ansal appointed brokers and agents in North America, targeting all geographical regions with a substantial Indian American presence.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Congratulations R Balaji, CEO, Propmart and best wishes for your Chennai foray 'Star Enclave', development of 500 plots at Uragadam

Propmart, promoted by real estate major Puravankara, Bangalore, has announced development of about 500 plots with area ranging from 1,200 sq ft to 2,600 sq ft on 50 acres of land at Uragadam near Chennai.

Propmart has operations in major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Kochi, Mysore and Coimbatore. They are launching projects in tier-II cities like Madurai and Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu.

As per the news in Hindustan Times, Propmart decided to enter Chennai market as various surveys revealed that it had been growing leaps and bounds in the last three to four years. Mr. Balaji, same is here in Pune, you know it very well. Hope to see your Pune project soon!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Good news Pune! Four Fountains is opening 2 spas in the next few weeks which will offer the luxuries of any five-star spa at less than half a price

The Four Fountains, originally uploaded by kaytee17.

"Usually, a spa offers its services at around 2,000-4,000, which is the mold we want to break," said Anurag Kedia. Four Fountains spas will offer both world and Indian therapies at a price band of Rs 399-799.


Anurag Kedia, Saurabh Garg (IIM Ahmedabad), Sunil Rao (SP Jain) and Arnab Mitra (IIM Calcutta) passed out of their respective institutions in 2004, but in two years, they were fed up of their corporate jobs. They're now rolling out Four Fountains, a chain of spas that will offer the luxuries of any five-star spa at less than half the cost.

KPMG and Unilever :

I read about these guys on Sify Business in an article "Entrepreneurs are getting younger,..by Sanat Vallikappen. "All of us had great exposure, there was a lot of learning happening, but we also realized that much more could be achieved if stepped out of our corporate world comfort," says Anurag Kedia, who worked with KPMG before he decided to move out 10 months ago. The other three worked with Hindustan Unilever.

Spiritual and Romantic

Sure! Anurag, with this brand name, concept and price, i am sure, you will go places. I liked your brand name Four Fountains. Besides the obvious reason behind it, according to Swami Rama, it's Indian spiritual reference :
If you analyze your mental attitudes, you will learn that those attitudes have roots deeper than mere thought. All the roots of your attitudes lie in the primitive fountains: food, sex, sleep, and self-preservation. If you really want to do sadhana and understand life and all the motivations that drive your life force, you must understand these four primitive fountains. Any problem that you have can be seen as related to these four sources.
and romantic Roman relevance will be very well received in Pune. I won't be surprised, even if i saw Mr. Vinay Phadnis, Chairman and Managing Director of Sahil Group in your Four Fountain spa. His Mandara Spa may be Asia's biggest five star spa but it is in Alibaug and yours in Pune!

Monday, October 8, 2007

This is the first phase of reduction in (real estate) prices, says HDFC chairman, Deepak Parekh

"There has been a slowdown across the country (India) and there has also been softening in a few cities.

The speculators — those who buy when the building is coming up and leave when the building is ready — run out of the market.

I feel that in the commercial side, and even shopping side, India is building excessively and this supply will hit the market next year. This is happening in cities like Hyderabad, Pune and Chennai.

As a result of the investors getting out, sales have slowed down but developers have not reduced prices in any region except a few areas such as Pune, Gurgaon and in Whitefield in Bangalore.

In most places, builders are holding on, they are sacrificing sales rather than reducing prices. This is the first phase of reduction in prices. If sales do not happen, builders are not going to stick with completed stock and they will have to sell it." this is Mr. Parekh's answer to the question "Where do you see real estate prices?" in an interview in The Economic Times.

Mr. Deepak Parekh also talks about a connection between a surge in stock market and a rise in property prices, reduction in prime lending rate, issues created by appreciating rupee (or by relentlessly falling US dollar), and of course, HDFC'S experience with reverse mortgage product!

Since property price or real estate rates and HDFC are the most popular search terms on my blog, i am sure, you will be more than happy to read Mr. Deepak Parekh's interview.

Promoters and Builders Association of Pune's novel way to create awareness about alcoholism, family planning, HIV and other health related issues

On October 7, PBAP felicitated healthy construction workers and put up a lavani show that through folk music and dance, talked about addictions, HIV and family planning.

In the past 12 months, the Promoters and Builders Association of Pune has conducted the health checks for over 17,000 construction workers on various sites.

Is falling US Dollar going to slowdown the growth of Pune Real Estate?

Dollar's fall raises costs of outsourcing to India :

Around the globe, the falling dollar is touching everyone in the business world, from Saudi oil princes to U.S. computer makers, making American goods and services cheaper while raising the cost of foreign products, writes Sam Zuckerman of San Francisco Chronicle.

Impact :

Not only major IT companies, Infosys, Wipro and Tata Consultancy, but even small IT companies in Pune are also affected by the falling US dollars. The way these companies are facing this issue, i feel, is going make a huge impact on the over priced, over budgeted Pune real estate market.

On the individual level impact is instant. Uncertainty about pay scale, unstable job and place of work will turn EMI into a big financial risk and this is going to discourage a buyer from booking. I think we have to take a closer look at this issue.

Save Money :

The reason U.S. companies went to India for technology in the first place was to save money. Workers there in the outsourcing sector earn roughly one-eighth as much as their American counterparts, according to experts on India business. And software development services that might cost $200 to $275 per person per hour in the United States can be bought from an Indian company for $25 an hour or less, those experts note.

Cost Advantage :

The past year, the dollar has fallen from about 45 rupees to about 39. That 13 percent drop, on top of significant pay increases there, has shaved part of the Indian cost advantage, forcing buyers and sellers of technology services to adapt. Economists expect the rupee to strengthen over the long term as India's economy matures.

Solutions :

Wipro Technologies :
Hire American tech workers, who have suddenly become a lot cheaper!
Bangalore technology giant Wipro Technologies recently unveiled a plan for a software development center in the Atlanta area that ultimately could hire 500 programmers.

Tata Consultancy, Wipro and Infosys :
Expand in other countries!
The giant Indian technology conglomerates such as Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro and Infosys Technologies are hedging their bets by expanding in countries such as China, where costs are lower than in India. They're also building business with European countries whose currencies have stayed relatively stable compared with the rupee.

Globalisation :

While enjoying the benefits of the Foreign Direct Investment, we have to be ready to face the challenges of the globalisation. Mr. Chandrasekaran Balakrishnan has written a great article "Impact of Globalisation on Developing Countries and India". He says,

"Globalisation has intensified interdependence and competition between economies in the world market. This is reflected in Interdependence in regard to trading in goods and services and in movement of capital. As a result domestic economic developments are not determined entirely by domestic policies and market conditions. Rather, they are influenced by both domestic and international policies and economic conditions."

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Going by the success of the computerization of the building proposal department of Pune, now, Mumbai will be implementing the same SoftTech software

According to Municipal Commissioner, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, Jairaj Phatak the software will aim at improving the efficiency, cutting corruption and bringing in standardization in the entire process.

Processing Time :

“The system has been fed with an approval process which is considering the Development Control rules and Development Plan of the city with all the aspects of FSI, TDR and other details. After reading the plan, AUTOCAD drawings, submitted by architects, the system takes the officers through the basic approval process with few exceptions,” said Vijay Gupta, CEO, SoftTech Engineers Pvt. Ltd. Pune. According to Gupta the system will minimize human interference and enhance the processing speed by at least 50 per cent.

Online Solutions :

On 4th November 2005, Mr. Sharad Pawar, Hon. Agriculture Minister of India, inaugurated the automated building plan approval management system (AutoDCR) developed by SoftTech under the guidance of Dr. Nitin Kareer, Commissioner, PMC and Mr. Prashant Waghmare, City Engineer, PMC.

The Union Ministry of Urban Development has hailed Pune Municipal Corporation as the first urban local body in India to come up with single window online solution to the usual set of delays that plague building permission plans.

Till now the Pune Municipal Corporation has processed around 10,000 BP cases using this technology. In the next 6 months it will be functional in Mumbai.

Awards :

SoftTech is an eminent software development enterprise leading in development of practical high quality web/client-server/desktop based award winning applications in AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) space for Structural Analysis, Design, Drafting, quantity estimation and construction project management.

License, Installation, Users :

Founded in 1996, SoftTech is an ISO 9001:2000 accredited company directed by a group of engineers from Indian Institute of Technology.

The Company currently licenses its software products to more than 4000 businesses, with over 6,000 installations and 17,000 users all over India and abroad.

In addition, SoftTech has successfully completed numerous software development projects for Indian as well as offshore customers.

Software Services :

1. Development of a customized civil and structural engineering software for in-house or commercial use.
2. Providing software solutions for labor intensive and repetitive tasks in the design office thereby integrating design and CAD software.
3. Providing software solutions in the AEC domain to automate business processes in Construction industry
4. Enhancement of the capabilities of the existing software, in the office, to perform specific tasks faster and with less effort.
5. Civil engineering consulting services to Structural designers
6. Quantity Estimation and Project Management Services
7. Converting the DOS programs to Windows programs.

Funding :

SoftTech is venture funded by SVCIL (SIDBI Venture Capitals Limited) under the NFSIT (National Fund for Software and Information Technology) constituted by Ministry of Information Technology, Govt. of India, SIDBI and IDBI.

eGovernance :

On regional and national platform, SoftTech has supported major organizations in India to achieve 'e-Governance' and is becoming a 'global player'.

Nagpur, known as the city of Oranges has emerged as the next most preferred location for IT/IteS companies in Maharashtra after Mumbai and Pune

Increasing interest of investors has led to an upsurge in real estate activity in Nagpur. Areas close to MIHAN project have a strong investor interest and prices have gone up by 250-300 per cent in the area over the last 18 to 24 months. The demand for residential properties has led to a rise in property prices, says the latest Ernst & Young survey "Indian Real Estate: Growth and New Destinations"

With property prices overheating in the top eight 'A' grade realty markets (Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Pune and Ahmedabad), 11 tier two cities, categorised as 'B' cities, have caught the attention of investors as future growth areas.

These emerging cities are: Surat, Chandigarh, Nagpur, Vishakhapatnam, Vadodara and Jaipur. Close on the heels are Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Nashik, Indore and Ludhiana.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Real Estate in India: A Survival Guide by Peter R. Russell, Jr., Senior Manager, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj, Hyderabad

A relatively young democracy – celebrating its 60th year of independence this year – India is still maturing economically and politically, and a thorough due diligence is required when considering India from an occupier or investor perspective.

Local developers are still responsible for the majority of new supply in most markets and their reliability on timelines and construction quality varies.

State governments play a key role in the viability of any particular market and a shift in power can cause major changes in the growth patterns of a city.

Furthermore, the economic vehicles created for IT companies are a source of much debate.

STPI, or Software Technology Parks of India, is a longstanding government agency, which provides tax benefits until 2009, and the extension of these benefits is unclear.

The result of this is that the majority of new requirements are looking at Special Economic Zones, or SEZs, which allow for up to 15 years of tax holidays for both occupiers and developers.

However, frequent changes in SEZ policy require companies to create a customized strategic plan with their tax consultant before commitment and occupancy.

Likewise, there is no clearly defined exit strategy for SEZs and developers are currently required to adopt a long-term hold strategy on these assets.

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Heritage village resort, Chokhi Dhani is planning to set up 15 locations including New Delhi, Kolkata, Agra, Nasik, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Hyderabad

We are also looking to expand in some locations in Middle East and South Pacific Asia said Subhash Vaswani, managing director, "We are in the process of acquiring land in four strategic locations and signing up for franchise in four more locations in the next three months."

Chokhi Dhani Resorts started in Jaipur in 1989 and is spread over an area of 10 acres. Today these resorts have expanded to various parts of India including Indore, Pune, Mumbai, Panchkula, Surat, Haridwar and Jaisalmer.

The resorts not only provide luxury accommodation, but also have entertainment areas complete with local rides and cultural art forms as well as food outlets serving authentic regional food.