Noida: Buyers protest non-delivery of Amrapali flats

Amrapali buyers protest

Hundreds of buyers of Amrapali housing on Sunday took to the streets in Noida to protest against the non-delivery of flats by the builder.

Amrapali buyers have been waiting for their flats, having invested their lifelong savings, for almost 10 years.

The buyers now want the prime minister to interfere in the matter and have also written a letter to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. They have requested Jaitley to create stress fund under some mechanism relevant to housing finance institutions like the Last-in First-Out Model so that construction by the NBCC can be started immediately.

India Today TV accessed the copy of the letter in which Amrapali home buyers urged the finance minister to direct RBI to issue specific guidelines for the real estate and construction sector so that the RBI circular related to ‘Revised framework for resolution of stressed assets’ dated February 12, 2018, does not create a challenge to additional funding to projects under implementation.

The buyers demanded that the government should provide funds to the NBCC to complete unfinished projects and should also provide reliefs from their bank loan, which they took to buy flats. The demand to send the directors of Amrapali group to jail was also put forward and they suggested that the authorities should take over charge on incomplete buildings.

Kaushal, a buyer said, “We have been hoping that the government would take over the project or provide funds to the NBCC to complete it but as we are left with no option other than protests, we will intensify our fight for right and will stage a protest outside the Parliament after 15 days.”

The Supreme Court has already ordered the Debts Recovery Tribunal to auction the unencumbered properties of the Amrapali group to arrange funds to start the construction.


Real Estate Math: How To Tell If An Investment Property Is A Good Buy

Photocredit: GettyGetty

The question on every new investor’s mind is simple: how do you know if an investment property will be profitable? Lucily, there are two easy formulas you can use to determine if an investment property is a good buy, financially. We’ve laid them out below. Read them over and take them to heart so that you have them at your disposal when you’re ready to make a move.

The One-Percent Rule

When you start looking at investment properties, you’ll likely have plenty of options to choose from. Rather than being a complicated equation, the one-percent rule is simply a rule of thumb that investors use to help them narrow down their options quickly and efficiently. It’s a tool that you can use to determine if a property deserves a closer look.

All the one-percent rule says is that a property should rent for one-percent or more of its total upfront cost.

For example:

  • A property that costs $100,000 should rent for at least $1,000 per month
  • A property that costs $200,000 should rent for at least $2,000 per month
  • A property that costs $300,000 should rent for at least $3,000 per month

Keep in mind that this rule looks at a property’s total upfront cost, meaning that you’ll have to add together the purchase price, plus closing costs, and an estimate of the total repair costs necessary to make it rentable.


Samsung Notebook 9 Pen (2019) With Improved S Pen, Bigger Battery Launched: Price, Specifications, Features

Samsung Notebook 9 Pen (2019) With Improved S Pen, Bigger Battery Launched: Price, Specifications, Features

Samsung on Thursday announced the launch of its latest Notebook 9 Pen range of convertible laptops. The 13-inch Samsung Notebook 9 Pen (2019) model has been refreshed with an improved S Pen and slightly tweaked specifications including a significantly bigger battery cell. The range gets a new, larger 15-inch model for users who prefer more real estate. Let’s check out the specifications, features, and availability details of the new Samsung Notebook 9 Pen (2019). Both variants in the range run Windows 10 out-of-the-box.

Samsung Notebook 9 Pen (2019) price, availability

Samsung Notebook 9 Pen (2019) pricing has not been revealed by the South Korean manufacturer yet. Both models will be available in South Korea from December 14. Availability will expand to Brazil, China, Hong Kong, and the US starting in “early 2019”.

Samsung Notebook 9 Pen (2019) features

The new Notebook 9 Pen sports an all-metal aluminium frame, and has been launched in Ocean Blue and Platinum White colour variants. The improved S Pen is claimed to offer reduced latency up to 2x that of the older model, launched about a year ago. Users can download the Myscript Nebo app for a free three-month trial when purchasing the Samsung Notebook 9 Pen (2019).

Samsung Notebook 9 Pen (2019) specifications

The Notebook 9 Pen (2019) has been launched in 13.3-inch and 15-inch display variants, both with a full-HD resolution. The new 2-in-1 notebook is powered by Intel’s 8th-generation Core i7 processor, coupled with Intel UHD graphics/ Nvidia GeForce MX150 (2GB), 16GB LPDDR3 RAM, and 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD.

Connectivity ports on the Notebook 9 Pen (2019) include 2x Thunderbolt 3 ports, 1x USB Type-C port, a headphone/mic combo jack, and a UFS/microSD card combo jack. Other connectivity options include gigabit 2X2 Wi-Fi 802.11ac, facial recognition, fingerprint recognition, and an HD IR front-facing camera. The AKG stereo speakers are tuned with ThunderAmp audio technology. Other features include a backlit keyboard and built-in S Pen.

Dimensions of the Notebook 9 Pen (2019) 13.3-inch variant are 307.9×206.2×14.9-15.9mm and those of the 15-inch model are 347.9×229.x16.9 mm. The former weighs 1.12kg and the latter weighs in at 1.56kg. Both get a aluminium shell, with a 54Wh battery cell under the hood (fast charging support).


3 directors of real estate firm arrested for cheating

Representative image

Three directors of a real estate firm were arrested for allegedly diverting Rs 191 crore invested by homes buyers into its other projects and not delivering houses, an official said on December 1.  They were arrested by the by the Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW).

Hacienda Projects Pvt Ltd directors Surpreet Singh Suri, Vidur Bhardwaj and Nirmal Singh have been booked for cheating, criminal conspiracy and criminal breach of trust. They have been arrested, police said.

Based on a complaint, a case has been registered against the accused persons for not delivering the flats in a housing project named Lotus 300 in Noida 107, a senior police officer said.

Complainants in the case had alleged that the project that was to be developed by Hacienda Projects, the official said.

The project was supposed to be delivered within 39 months from the date of allotment letter. However, the houses were not delivered, the senior officer said.

Police said the firm had allegedly represented and warranted that the project will only have 300 apartments, but on a later date got plan changes from the Noida authority with mala fide intentions.

The number of apartment was increased from 300 to 336 in this project which is a violation of the terms of the Uttar Pradesh Apartment (Promotion of Construction, Ownership and Maintenance Act 2010), the senior police officer said.

Police said the project has six towers and all of it have been erected but the project has not been completed yet.

There are more than 50 victims mentioned in the FIR and the alleged company had received an amount of Rs 100 crore from the complainants, police said.
There are 328 investors and the company had received the amount to a tune of Rs 636 crore, out of which, Rs 191 crore have been diverted by the company into its subsidiary companies, police said.


Aditya Birla Real Estate Fund’s fund blues

g_111057_real_estate_fund_280x210.jpgIllustration: Sameer Pawar

The year was 2009. Indian real estate was in a shambles, as were real estate private equity funds, especially foreign ones, which provided an opportunity for homegrown firms to launch their funds. One of them was the Aditya Birla Group-backed Aditya Birla Real Estate Fund (ABREF).

In 2010, ABREF raised ₹1,056 crore; but in August 2018, when the fund’s lifecycle came to a close, it was yet to exit most of its investments or return even the principal amount.

ABREF was raised by Aditya Birla Sun Life AMC Ltd, previously known as Birla Sun Life Asset Management Co Ltd. The fund’s documents show that it was primarily raised on the assumption that demand for residential realty would reach 7.5 million units by 2013, led by Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.

By 2015, the fund had invested 44 percent of its capital in Mumbai and 28 percent each in the National Capital Region (NCR) and Chennai. It had a mandate to invest in equity, equity-related and debt instruments of companies engaged in construction and development of real estate assets, including residential, commercial, retail and other projects. It, however, invested only in residential projects.

Ironically, though, even as the fund’s private placement document says “residential realty—the juicy bit”, there is no juice for the investors of this fund.

According to documents accessed by Forbes India, ABREF’s life tenure was six years, with two one-year extensions, which ended this August. It was a close-ended fund, meaning the capital had to be returned by the end of its life. In August, ABREF notified its investors that due to the global financial crisis and subdued real estate markets, coupled with a liquidity crunch, the fund had been unable to liquidate its position and return capital to investors. And that they were seeking an extension.


After MSME, Govt will flag real-estate sector stress to RBI

After MSME, Govt will flag real-estate sector stress to RBI

After red-flagging shrinking credit to Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises (MSME), the government is likely to underline — at the RBI’s Central Board meeting on December 14 — the stress in the real estate sector that threatens job losses. And make a strong pitch for providing liquidity to non-banking financial companies (NBFCs).

Over the last 3-4 years, as banks exercised extreme caution in lending, it was NBFCs that stepped in to provide loans not just to retail home buyers but also housing firms. Several real estate companies have knocked on the government’s door with the RBI refusing to entertain any special dispensation for a particular sector.  “The real estate sector is in a mess with developers finding it tough to raise funds and being forced to stall development and cut their workforce. RBI can always find ways beyond opening a special window, which it feels creates a moral hazard,” said a government official.

The RBI data on sectoral deployment of funds shows that while the commercial real estate (CRE) witnessed significant slowdown in bank credit availability post-demonetisation, the credit outstanding for CRE witnessed a contraction for the first time in 13 months. In September, it contracted 0.8 per cent over the same period last year. CRE comprises loans extended to builders for construction of housing buildings, hotels, shopping malls, industrial parks, office blocks and hospitals — classified as commercial real estate by RBI.
Getamber Anand, chairman, Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI) and CMD ATS Infrastructure, said that the key issue facing developers is of last-mile funding and if it is not solved it will have a domino effect on the economy and on home buyers. He said that RBI needs to push banks to start lending to the real estate sector.

The September figure holds relevance as it coincides with the IL&FS default that created a liquidity crisis in the financial market. In July and August, however, bank credit outstanding to CRE grew by 2.4 per cent and 6.3 per cent respectively. It is important to note that the bank credit outstanding to CRE in the calendar years 2013 and 2014 grew in excess of 15 per cent every month. Since demonetisation, the credit outstanding to CRE has not witnessed a double-digit growth in any month


Technology Will Provide The Edge To Make Urban Real Estate Scalable

The fast-paced advancement of computing technologies and concurrent boom of data have combined to increase the capabilities and efficiency of the analytics industry. In the real estate sector, sharpened analytics translates to an increase in volume, accuracy and relevance of insights. And as big data continues to gain a foothold in urban settlements (leading to the creation of so-called smart city movements), it is expected that these insights will gain more depth and relevance.

AI- and analytics-derived insights are critical to the long-term survival of urban centers. Predictive analytics can delineate viable real estate investment opportunities while serving as a mechanism to detect and assess future market trends. Tech-based statistical analyses of this sort are currently at the forefront of the world’s sustained drive to cut costs and increase productivity with scarce resources.

Better Construction For Fewer Resources

In line with deriving the most value from the currently available pool of scarce resources, technology is also pioneering the development of novel construction procedures that utilize half the resources and time needed by conventional means to produce even better construction results. Modular, offsite and prefabricated construction, for instance, leverage economies of scale, projectwide standardization of design elements and off-site prefabrication to shunt conventional construction bottlenecks.

The result is a dynamic construction process that is operational with the tightest of resources and deliverable to virtually every construction need of the 21st century. A significant number of startups have already adopted this ingenious style of construction and with their ongoing pilot projects are already demonstrating — to critical acclaim — the nascent benefits of modular construction to the real estate industry in general.

Smarter Cities For An Efficient Real Estate System

As the internet of things, increased connectivity, cloud computing and intelligent offices/residences all converge in the 21st century smart city, they usher in a new angle to operational efficiency in the real estate market. This synergy of innovative technologies and real estate — or proptech, as it is better known — exploits the inherent capabilities of next-gen technologies to provide a richer, fuller and more fulfilling real estate experience to all stakeholders in the real estate market.

In Hong Kong, for instance, Microsoft just recently teamed up with Ricacorp to launch an AI-powered platform that allows users to locate what would be ideal homes for them. Elsewhere in the city, VR and AR are providing buyers with a redefined viewing perspective. When there’s a need to inspect homes and other properties, distance is no longer a barrier. For cities like Hong Kong, where foreign direct investment in real estate is a major source of government revenue, providing buyers with an immersive buying experience is a welcome development.

More consequentially, however, the paradigm shift from conventional city frameworks to an interconnected smart city backed up by proptech is cutting operational costs for both real estate developers and consumers themselves. It is estimated that on full implementation, intelligent cities will prosper a cost saving of almost $5 trillion in the next four years. Driving these cost savings is the pivotal redefinition of how utilities are managed both on the micro scale by the consumer and on a macro scale by government agencies.

Reimagining Urban Centers

With global population peaking to all-time highs and given the fact that more than half of the world’s population dwells in urban centers, there’s a need for a more robust urban framework to accommodate the growing needs of urban centers. Technology presents an outlet to achieve this. Smart building systems maximize available urban resources to deliver an urban fit model of housing and living that adequately caters to the needs of urban dwellers while minimizing the environmental impacts of real estate. Environmental impact in this sense connotes both the physical impression of housing/office facilities and the effects these facilities have on the immediate environment.

Today, urban centers feature highly optimized real estate setups that defy traditional housing models. When paired with improved energy efficiency, smart grids and other components of smart cities (all derivatives of technology), they provide for a suitable model to foster sustainable urban settlement.

While the concept of smart cities and smarter home designs represents the advanced applications of technology to foster sustainability, other less complex but nonetheless effective tech derivatives are also being implemented to critical acclaim. Sharing and maximizing the use of available real estate is now possible thanks to the workings of startups. Transportation is taking a new dimension with the introduction of ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber. Sustainability is the key to the future of real estate, especially in densely populated metropolitan cities of the world. These ideas are being successfully implemented in the real estate industry and will continue to flourish under the tech-driven culture that is the current paradigm.


The sharp decline in housing stocks on higher rates is way overdone, top analyst says

Top-ranked analyst on his homebuilder upgrade

The sharp decline in housing stocks has been driven by investor fear that higher interest rates would “put the kibosh” on the real estate market, top housing analyst from Evercore ISI Stephen Kim told CNBC on Thursday.

The strong economy was “an enemy within” because although it benefited housing companies, it also drove rates up, Kim said on “Power Lunch.”

“Over the summer, you actually began to see a slowdown brought on by the rates and so people said, ‘Uh oh, here we go, it’s basically over,'” Kim explained.

Reflecting that concern, the Philadelphia Stock Exchange Housing Sector Index, which tracks several housing-related stocks, has dropped nearly 30 percent this year.

However, Kim thinks the housing sell-off at this point is way overdone.

While the higher end of the market “has actually started to show some signs of weakening,” the lower end remains strong, he said, arguing stock valuations in the sector “look very attractive.”

Meanwhile, Wharton School real estate professor Susan Wachter told CNBC she is not as optimistic.

“On the luxury end, there is some easing off on prices but not at the entry level. There, the demand exceeds supply,” she said. “So it’s simply hard to get that product out at the price points which it would be affordable.”

Wachter believes the housing market has peaked, saying buyers are going to dry up due to those higher home prices and climbing mortgage rates.


Nobel Prize winner Robert Shiller: I don’t expect a sharp turn in the housing market

Robert Shiller

The housing market may be slowing down, but Nobel Prize winner Robert Shiller told CNBC he isn’t fearful that a big downturn is ahead.

During the financial crisis, the fluctuation of home prices was the sharpest anyone had ever seen — and the word “housing bubble” entered the vocabulary, the Yale economist said.

Now, “you can call it a bubble” because home prices have been rising since 2012, “but it’s not the same. It’s more placid,” he said on “Power Lunch.”

“I don’t expect a sharp turn in the housing market at this point,” added Shiller, the co-founder of the Case-Shiller Index, which tracks home prices around the nation.

The impact of rising mortgage rates is already being felt on the housing market.

Rates started climbing in September and are now approximately a full percentage point higher than they were a year ago. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate is now around 5 percent.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Census reported that sales of newly built homes dropped 5.5 percent in September compared with August and were 13 percent lower compared with a year ago. The slowdown is worse than had been predicted, even with higher rates factored in.

The reading prompted Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group, to write in a note to clients: “Anyone watching home builder stocks or watching the data all year should not be surprised but it’s clear this important area of the US economy, highly sensitive to price and rates, has obviously slowed sharply.”

The latest S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, released last month, showed a slowing of the rate of price increases for July.


Real Estate Dealer Shot In Kolkata, Locals Suspect “Syndicate Raj”

Real Estate Dealer Shot In Kolkata, Locals Suspect 'Syndicate Raj'

A real estate dealer was shot in Kolkata on Saturday morning while he was showing potential clients some apartments for sale in an under-construction building.

The incident took place in the South Dum Dum civic area, not far from Nagerbazar where a bomb blast on October 2 killed an eight year old boy on the spot and two others died in hospital.

Panchu Roy, chairman of South Dum Dum Municipality, said, “It’s nothing new. There is a lot of construction going on here, lot of investment coming in. If you think such things won’t happen, then you are living in a utopia.”

Real estate dealer Shekhar Poddar was showing the group of clients a four-storey under construction building around 11 am when two motorcycle-borne men shot at him.

“They sounded like firecrackers,” said a local resident, “but when we stepped out of our house to see, I saw two men drive away in a motorcycle and they had guns in their hands.”

Mr Poddar was hit in his right hand and rushed to hospital.

The police say they are investigating who the attackers were but locals suspect it is the fallout of “syndicate raj”.

“Maybe Mr Poddar did not buy sand and cement and stone chips from the local people when he built the building. Now they are taking revenge,” said a local resident, requesting not to be named.

The chairman of the South Dum Dum Municipality however did not beat about the bush, calling it “utopian” to expect such incidents will not take place.

On October 2, when a bomb explosion at the Nagerbazar area killed a child on the spot, the same chairman, Panchu Roy, claimed he was the target of the bomb attack. He had an office in the building in front of which the blast had taken place.