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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Reliance Jio internet plans to cost Rs 300-500 a month

PTI | Jun 12, 2015, 07.07 PM IST

MUMBAI: Reliance Industries (RIL) will start commercial operations of its much-awaited telecom services in December, offering a 4G smartphone for as low as Rs 4,000 and a monthly bill of Rs 300-500, its chairman Mukesh Ambani said. 
Reliance Jio Infocomm, the firm's telecom arm, is testing network with a 'beta launch' due over the next few months and commercial operations around December.
"Our plan is to provide the same power of computing, communication and information to every individual, whether in towns or rural areas, that the US president had 10-15 years ago. All this at about Rs 300-500 per month," he said during his over-an-hour long speech, a third of which was devoted to Jio.

Looking to tap the surging voice and data demand, Ambani said the 4G-enabled smartphone in India will be priced below Rs 4,000 by December.
Ambani's re-entry into the telecom business nearly a decade after Dhirubhai Ambani's Reliance empire was split and the communication business went to younger sibling Anil, will include offering voice and high-speed data services such as viewing HD television.
The company also plans to launch many software applications for providing news and entertainment services to its telecom services users, he added.
Targeting 100% national coverage within the next three years, Ambani said Reliance Jio has applied for a pan-India cable television multi-system operator (MSO) licence and plans to enter into broadcast TV distribution. 

Besides, it has partnered with the State Bank of India to apply for a payments bank licence.

How to buy Slum Rehabilitation Authority flat

How to buy Slum Rehabilitation Authority flat

Umar Qureshi plans to buy a Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) Jodi flat of 450 sq ft in South Mumbai-Worli area. He says, “The flat is completing 10 years this year and is currently in the name of two people. I want to know details about the property documents as I intend to buy this flat off the second owner.”
Qureshi is not alone in this quest for information. There are many who are willing to know not only the documentation procedure but also how one can avail a home loan on such properties.
Let’s begin with the definition of SRA and what it takes you to buy a SRA flat. 
Defining SRA
Slums constitute an integral part of Mumbai's cityscape. Its employment opportunities attract a large number of people belonging to various income groups. Out of these, those who fall in the lower income bracket are thrown out of the formal housing sector of Mumbai. 
Harshil Mehta, chief executive officer, DHFL says, “As far as the SRA projects are concerned, there are two aspects to them. The very basis of these projects is slum rehabilitation. The dwellers have come together with the majority consent to apply for a redevelopment. The builder with the successful bid is finalised for the redevelopment project.”
He further explains, that usually two buildings come up in a SRA project - one for the existing beneficiaries, as they get a place on an ownership basis in lieu of surrendering their homes. The balance portion goes to the builder for ‘free-sale’. Free-sale means that the developer can sell these housing units to people looking for a house. The free-sale flat is like any other flat in the realty market.
However, there is a catch! Although the beneficiaries get the property as soon as the construction is finished, they cannot sell as there is a lock-in period of 10 years. The same rule applies to the builders.

Home loan on SRA flats 
Experts say that one can definitely avail a home loan for purchasing an apartment in a SRA project provided all relevant approvals with respect to construction are in place.
The beneficiary will have to provide an affidavit that he has no outstanding loan from any other bank or financial institution, and if he does, then he will repay the loan on time and will abide by all regulatory norms.
“For an individual buying a flat – from a loan perspective – it is treated as any other home loan. All the necessary documents will be required, we will do the technical & lawful due – diligence as necessary for any other home loan. We ensure that they have all the necessary documents in place and make sure that SRA authorities have given all the necessary approvals. Post this, we will appraise the project with all the required documents, the customer can apply for a home loan,” says Mehta. 
It is important to note that, since SRA flats have a lock in period, any financial institution or bank will be ready to help you with the housing finance only when the lock in period is over.
Checklist while buying a SRA flat
The first and foremost thing is to check is the title deed of that property. The property title deed is the legal document which proves the ownership of property. You should make sure that the title deed is solely in the name of a seller and only he has the all rights to sell it.
It is best to get the deed reviewed by a lawyer just to make sure that there are no loop holes,” says Asha Nayar Basu, managing partner, S Jalan & Company.  
“Many property owners take bank loan by pledging their property. So, if you are buying a flat, check whether they have paid the entire due amount. If they have paid the entire amount then the bank should have issued them a Release Certificate,” she adds.  
To pass the ownership of the property validly, a duly stamped registered sale deed is needed. In the absence of that, you will not get a valid title to the property.

Housing.com announces acquisition of Realty Business Intelligence for Rs 10 crore

Housing.com announces acquisition of Realty Business Intelligence for Rs 10 crore

The company said that with this acquisition, Housing.com customers will be empowered with credible real estate market intelligence and risk assessment to aid informed decision making for investments in new projectsRavi Teja Sharma  |  11 June 2015, 5:27 PM IST
NEW DELHI: Online real estate platform Housing.com has said that it has acquired 100% equity in Realty Business Intelligence, a risk assessment firm, for Rs 10 crore in cash.

The company said that with this acquisition, Housing.com customers will be empowered with credible real estate market intelligence and risk assessment to aid informed decision making for investments in new projects. "This in line with Housing.com's vision to bring transparency into the opaque world of real estate that is fraught with risks when it comes to retail investments in new projects," it said.

Backed by this acquisition, Housing.com said it will further augment its due diligence efforts to ensure verified listings, risk free transactions and secure investments while giving Realty BI access to a vast database of realty developers and end consumers.

Realty BI was founded by ex-bankers and provides a wide array of solutions encompassing due diligence, back-end research, project monitoring and business intelligence catering to lenders, investors and buyers. The company has been working with banks, HFCs & NBFCs across the country to provide a unified collateral risk assessment platform assuring a minimum 50% reduction in overall costs and back-end work related to due diligence.

"Housing.com has always endeavored to build a transparent realty ecosystem wherein consumers can make sound and informed decisions when investing in new projects. I have often heard of disturbing instances where a developer having permission to construct a building upto 16th floor selling inventory on 17th or 18th floor to consumers. Through our acquisition of Realty BI, Housing.com strengthens its technology platform and consumer promise to deliver a powerful collateral risk management platform addressing the entire due diligence lifecycle to validate new projects. With our combined strength, we aim to remove ambiguities in the realty industry and bring about faster growth for the industry," said Rahul Yadav, CEO of Housing.com.

Rajeev Nohwar, founder and CEO of Realty BI said: "Given Housing.com's commitment to removing information asymmetry from real estate, we believe there are huge synergies between the companies striving to bring transparency in the realty industry." The company, he said, now aims to scale its business across key metros as well as expand its customer base to empower retail investors to assess risks associated with investments.

"Start-ups that want to disrupt their industries will need to create real value proposition for the ecosystem. Housing.com is leading on this front following a clear strategy of make or buy to quickly scale its offerings for all its stakeholders," says Sumir Verma, Mersis Advisors, the investment banking firm that is advising Housing.com on all M&A transactions.

Earlier this year, Housing.com had acquired Indian Real Estate Forum (IREF), to provide trustworthy information and end-to-end services to all stakeholders. 

The need of training for real estate brokers

The need of training for real estate brokers

10 Jun 2015
A A
With real estate being the second largest contributor to the country’s’ GDP and also the second largest employment generator in the country, there is an acute need to organize this unorganized industry which has and always will have enormous potential. This sector has always had a negative image due to its unorganized nature of work and real estate brokerage firms are now trying to bridge the gap between the brokers andthis unorganizedindustry by introducing multiple training programmesto ensure a real estate broker becomes a real estate consultant who can also be referred to as the “New Age Broker. Many would not understand the difference between these two but there is certainly a huge difference between trained real estate professional and local mom n pop property dealers. Training brokers does not only add ethics and professionalism to this sector but also benefits to the customer in terms of better service standard with a more professional approach. The day that training & skill development in real estate is done at a larger scale and becomes a mandatory part of our industry, that day the real estate brokerage profession will gain the status of a sought after professional career which will be seen in the same light as other careers.
Even if we take a look at other industries, even when an employee joins a new organization, he needs to undergo training in his new role before he actually starts his job, a doctor needs to undergo an extensive training for a period of 5 years, even a lawyer needs to undergo extensive training and then pass a BAR exam in order to start practicing, the same applies to even the Insurance Agents wherein they have to comply with the IRDA rules. Then why is it so different for people in Real Estate? Why don’t customers in real estate get an opportunity to get service from professionally trained real estate professionals? Moving into an organized mode will also add a certain amount of confidence in the customer which is otherwise is certainly missing because of the level of fraud cases that he faces on a regular basis.
Moving into an organized mode will make the real estate sector more lucrative. Progression in this sector totally depends on the broker’s skills and catering according to the needs of the customer. The brokerage profession with sufficient training is heading towards more organized zone.Earlier, customer have gone through variousethical breaches and mismanaged transactions. There was a general lack of understanding but now the training programs are helping this profession become more trustworthy on the aspect of customers and also open enormous networking opportunities.
In the current market state, real estate profession is not considered as a very respectable profession. Without any rules and regulations, anybody can enter and exit this profession in blink of an eye which is why this profession is considered as one of the most unorganized. People need no degree or training certificate to enter this business. The real estate industry is trying to become a customer-centric industry as they are providing better services with high professional approach.Transparency, understanding, comprehension and organised work methods are the factors which have benefitted the customers at a larger level.
The real estate industry has been turned on its head over the past decade and majorly for the better. Transparency has taken the front seat and the customers have realized that they do have choices. With transparency comes some accountability and it is harder for “agent tricks” to go unnoticed. The brokers have become more cautious and alert and have adapted new working style and techniques to satisfy customer according to their needs, they are coming up with innovative ideas to break the deal.
They have made the real estate brokerage business more systematic and documentation oriented which allows hassle- free, convenient and more transparent real estate investment experience for the end customers. This does not only build confidence in customers to invest but also add to the growth of the overall sector professionally. Today brokerage companies are more exposed to the culture of west and they are trying to imbibe the same in Indian real estate industry to enhance the quality of delivery. They try and provide end to end brokerage services to its customers from searching the apt property as per their requirement, preparing documents, charging minimum brokerage fee and most importantly giving them a dispute free experience.
It is important that, as a broker we understand the need of our customers than to simply minting money by misguiding them. It is important that we understand the importance of being organized and professional which will add the required respect to this profession.


DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and ETRealty.com do not necessarily subscribe to it. ETRealty.com shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly.

Nariman Point unlikely to re-emerge as Mumbai’s power location, says JLL

Nariman Point unlikely to re-emerge as Mumbai’s power location, says JLL

The ongoing exodus of occupiers from Nariman Point has resulted in drop in lease rentals in this once most sought after office address.Kailash Babar  |  10 June 2015, 8:39 PM IST
MUMBAI: Nariman Point, Mumbai's central business district, may never regain its past glory as the city's premier business location. While this erstwhile power centre is unlikely to again attract big multinational companies, many of whom have already moved out to other secondary business districts, it will remain an important hub for certain industry-specific occupiers such as chartered accountancy and legal firms, according to property consultancy firm JLL India.

The ongoing exodus of occupiers from Nariman Point has resulted in drop in lease rentals in this once most sought after office address.

"Currently, office rentals at Nariman Point are equivalent to, or 10% lower than rentals at Lower Parel, and 35% lower than rentals are BKC," said Ramesh Nair, COO - Business & International Director, JLL India.

Currently, Grade A buildings in Nariman Point command monthly rentals of Rs 275-300 per sq ft on a carpet area basis. In comparison, rentals for prime buildings in Lower Parel and Worli range between Rs 300 and 350 sq ft. For some further perspective, some buildings in BKC fetch a rental of over Rs 450 sq ft on a carpet area basis.

Among the last few deals that took place in Nariman Point are for a 26,000 sq ft lease by law firm led by Shardul Shroff and Indian Hotels leasing 30,000 sq ft. According to property brokers, both these deals were concluded at around 30-40% lower rate than Nariman Point's once peak of around Rs 380-400 per sq ft a month.

It's likely that companies which are currently based in Nariman Point will expand within their current buildings, or into other buildings nearby. Companies currently occupying leased office premises at Cuffe Parade and Churchgate may, in fact, aspire to move to Nariman Point since it is more upmarket and the rental differential it offers will be at its lowest in the next few years.

Interestingly, startup firms looking for smaller offices, may also prefer Nariman Point to other locations, since they are unlikely to get affordable 500 sq ft offices anywhere in the city.

However, all's not lost for Nariman Point: the proximity to Reserve Bank of India, state and central government offices, Mantralaya and Bombay High Court will continue to provide reasons for many to operate out of this address.

The proposed Coastal Road connecting south Mumbai with the north of the city's suburbs will certainly lead to increased traction for this location when implemented, and the deployment of a metro line that ends at Cuffe Parade.

"While the above factors do not exactly translate into a possible return to former glory, it does mean that Nariman Point will not sink into obscurity anytime soon," said Nair. Ends 

Guard against making your highrise a firetrap

Guard against making your highrise a firetrap

The fire in Powai's Lake Lucerne building, which took seven lives, was the latest in a series of blazes where the simplest of safety measures were ignored. TOI gives the lowdown on safe living in Mumbai's tall buildings.TNN  |  12 June 2015, 2:12 PM IST
The fire in Powai's Lake Lucerne building, which took seven lives, was the latest in a series of blazes where the simplest of safety measures were ignored. TOI gives the lowdown on safe living in Mumbai's tall buildings.

BUY FIREPROOF FURNISHINGS

A beautiful home may not be a safe home. A smart home is. People spend lakhs on furniture, curtains, carpets and items of decoration, without thinking once if they are safe to use. The Lake Lucerne fire was aided by a sofa made of polyurethane foam, a highly inflammable material which, if on fire, also releases copious quantities of deadly carbon monoxide. Former chief fire officer Pratap Karguppikar says people who can afford expensive flats should spend a little bit more to buy fire-retardant furnishings. Some tips:

Don't buy furniture like sofa or bed with inflammable cushioning or curtains made of materials like silk. Similarly, avoid upholstery made of inflammable material Find dealers of fire-retardant carpets, curtains and furniture. Many have an online presence Home furnishing is an unregulated area. Don't buy anything without proper labelling on make and materials In some countries, it is mandatory for furnishings to meet fire-proof standards. For example, upholstery is required to be cigarette-resistant and furniture covers match-resistant. It is a good idea to practise such norms on one's own Leave reasonable gaps between furniture, drapes and carpets

KEEP COMMON AREAS FREE OF CLUTTER

Maintaining beautiful surroundings is an inborn urge. But sometimes it is better to let things look plain and simple. Common areas like corridors, landings and refuge floors are meant to be free of objects, including decorative ones, to facilitate easy escape during emergencies

Stairs, corridors | Don't decorate walls and ceilings of stair landings, lift areas and corridors with anything, and certainly not with combustible material like wood panels and paintings Don't clutter them with bicycles, shoe racks, etc Refuge floors | Are meant to be used during crises. Keep them free of encroachments and clutter. Never lock entrances to refuge areas under any excuse whatsoever. Many lives have been lost in the past just because escape doors were locked Ducts, chutes | Ducts, especially for wiring, often run from flat to flat. These should ideally be sealed at floor level. During a fire, they become conduits for heat and smoke For the same reason, in duplexes, AC ducting should not pass from one floor to the other Leave areas around service ducts and ledges free of goods and litter. Also, do not modify such areas. These can be crucial escape points during emergencies Ventilators | These are found along the length of buildings, particularly stairwells. Never block them for excuses like warding off pigeons. Ventilators will be crucial in letting smoke, fumes and heat escape if fire breaks out

KEEP SPACE AROUND BUILDING VACANT

Reasonable amount of space around a building must be kept free of parking and constructions like fountains so that fire tenders may operate without hindrance or loss of time

FIRE DRILLS ARE NO JOKE

Landmark highrises in the city are safe dwellings only if occupants are aware of their various features. These buildings have firefighting equipment like early warning system, sprinklers, et al, topped with advanced systems like escape chutes in some. But most residents aren't even aware of their existence. This is true of almost all tall buildings: residents not only don't know how to operate in-built firefighting

FIREFIGHTING BEHEMOTH 

Cost Rs 15 cr Length 16.2 metres Width 2.5 metres Height 4 metres Escape chute at Planet Godrej systems, but also aren't aware of the location of refuge floors. This is why fire drills are of utmost importance. Attending them is compulsory for occupants of highrises. But unlike in the West, this rule is seldom enforced or followed in India. In Mumbai, most people just don't care Fire drills teach a building's residents about fire safety, operating firefighting equipment, and quick evacuation They equip one with quick thinking for emergencies in general

EQUIPMENT AND AUDITS

Your flat must have smoke detectors, fire pumps, sprinklers, riser system (vertical pipeline connected to water tank), and fireresistant exit doors that are separate from main areas Never paint or coat fire detector and sprinkler heads. Doing so will make them ineffective Demand escape chutes from builder. Think of them as a basic necessity Ensure maintenance of equipment Timely audits of fire-safety mechanisms and electrical equipment is of utmost importance. Ideally, an audit should be carried out every six months

CHECK POWER LOAD CAPACITY

Five-ton ACs, double-door refrigerators, 60-litre ovens... There's an entire array of appliances to choose from to suit one's lifestyle. But does one ever call an electrician to check the power load capacity of one's home? There's a limit to consumption, at least where electricity supply is concerned. If it's exceeded, the result will be overheating of wires, leading to short-circuit and eventually fire Get an electrician to check load factor before buying a bigger fridge or another air-conditioner Power consumption of all appliances and gadgets put together should be well within your flat's load factor Don't plug multiple appliances in sockets Don't leave appliances like irons and ovens unattended. Switch them off after use Pull out plug from socket after switching off an appliance

BEWARE OF THREATS FROM COOKING GAS, AC UNITS

Several fires are caused each year because of leaking gas connections/cylinders and faulty air-conditioners. Some preventive tips: If you use piped gas, keep helpline numbers of Mahanagar Gas Ltd (MGL) handy. Call MGL if you suspect leakage. MGL says it conducts regular checks, and its patrolling team looks out for unsafe digging activities near pipelines During a fire, cut main gas supply of flat. Inform society to switch off main supply of building. Do not put on/off electric switches If you use LPG, replace tube periodically. If it leaks, close cylinder valve, and open doors and windows Routinely get ACs serviced MGL helplines | 1800-22-9944 (toll-free, 24x7). 24012400

Weak demand still a problem for realty firms

Weak demand still a problem for realty firms
Malini Bhupta | Mumbai Jun 12, 2015 10:26 PM IST

Real estate as an asset class has lost its appeal, going by the financial performance of developers in 2014-15. New launches have been few and far between as demand continued to be sluggish, putting pressure on profitability.
The National Capital Region was worst in launches and elsewhere, too, only a select number announced any — Oberoi, HDIL (in Mumbai), Sobha and Prestige. The broader market continued to show a sequential decline in these.
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Demand conditions remained weak, Mumbai being an exception. According to analysts, the Bengaluru market showed a 10 per cent decline in absorption in FY15, though it had shown healthy growth till a year ago. Real estate demand in Gurgaon contracted 40 per cent, marginally slower than the previous year’s 57 per cent fall. Demand in Noida declined 17 per cent. Mumbai was the only large market that grew, by three per cent.

Though commercial operations are improving, analysts do not see a meaningful revival soon. The cash flow situation of most is affected due to poor offtake, which has led to higher gearing. However, while bank funding has dried for the sector, liquidity has not. Private equity firms and non-banking financial institutions are showing a lot of interest in funding at multiple stages.
ALSO READ: Chinese realty major looks to invest $5 bn in India
While some of the older PE funds that debuted in 2007-08 have exited, a clutch of new real estate-focused ones are doing both equity and structured deals with developers, with some even buying out apartments in bulk from developers. These financiers are helping the developers hold on to prices and preventing a sharp fall in real estate prices in many pockets.
The recent interest cuts are unlikely to spur demand, as affordability continues to be an issue in some markets, while demand has saturated in others.
Analysts are selectively optimistic on developers. Kotak forecasts a 20 per cent growth rate for Prestige in FY16 and believes the company’s plans to enter new markets would bode well for growth. Kotak is positively inclined towards DLF, as it thinks the company will show some recovery in the coming year, though debt continues to inch up. DLF is planning to file for listing of a real estate investment trust in FY16.
ALSO READ: Rate cut to spur housing demand: Realty firms
HSBC believes inventory overhang, rising risk of litigation and insufficient Reserve Bank rate cuts continue to be pain points for developers. The brokerage feels Godrej Properties and Prestige Estate could benefit from a commercial uptick. Oberoi Realty has planned several new launches, which would support cash flows.