We highlight this week’s top real estate news
* Corporates finalise new office spaces through virtual tours: Corporates are finalising new office spaces through virtual tours as companies look to expand or relocate before calling back all employees, say developers and property consultants. Developers have prepared virtual tours to enable clients to navigate the entire office complex at their own pace. Giving one such example, Ozone Group COO Vamsi Sai said a US-based company wanted to lease a portion of their under construction office space in Bengaluru but the decision makers of that company were not allowed to travel as per the company policy and also due to the ban on international travel.
“Our team facilitated a ‘walk-through’ for the decision makers and that, in turn, has enabled us to engage in advance discussion in relation to lease finalisation,” he said. Developers said clients are not keen on travelling to India fearing exposure to the virus and also due to the 14-day quarantine condition. Similarly, Max Estates has relied heavily on virtual tours in the last few months.
“At Max Towers, we did more leasing during Covid-19 than pre-Covid-19, and virtual tours were critical in decision making and closures invariably across all our transactions,” said Rishi Raj, chief operating officer at Max Estates. “Covid-19 has presented an opportunity to embrace and speed up digital adoption that would enhance the experience of end users and enable them to truly WorkWell.” (Source)
* JM View: Currently, net leasing traction across top 7 Indian cities remains slow but is picking up (4msf in 1QFY22; 8.6msf in 4QFY20; 3.3msf in 1QFY21; Source JLL). Going forward, we expect office leasing transactions to pick up in 3QFY22/4QFY22 and gain momentum from thereon. Leasing transactions being executed currently have rent free periods of 3-6 months, implying that rents would start from 4QFY22/1QFY23.
* Lodha Group pre-launches joint development pact for 1.5msf residential project in Pune: Lodha Group had entered into an agreement with Pune based developer Goel Ganga Developments to jointly develop a 1.5msf residential project on a 12- acre land parcel on NIBM Road in southern Pune. Lodha Group, listed on stock exchanges as Macrotech Developers, is planning to invest about INR 7bn to develop this project adjacent to Pune’s cantonment area.
The premium residential project, with some elements of retail and work near home offices, is estimated to generate revenue of INR 11bn. This is Lodha Group’s second project in Pune and marks its return to this property market nearly a decade after its luxury development Lodha Belmondo in Gahunje locality. The new project will be one of the tallest buildings in the NIBM area with unobstructed views of the city.
The premium residential project will offer configurations of two, three bedrooms, three bedrooms with study and fourbedroom penthouses across the 25-storey tower. The project will be developed in two phases, with the first phase of about 400 residential apartments, and will be completed in nearly three years. Construction is expected to start in the next six weeks.” (Source)
* JM View: Macrotech Developers with its strong positioning and execution track record in MMR region remains on the forefront to capture joint development opportunities in the region. Unlike the past, Macrotech has been growing its project pipeline through JDA projects. Simultaneously, it continues to reduce debt levels and is also looking at launching new projects.
* Brigade, DLF and Macrotech Developers get rating upgrades: Crisil upgraded long term rating of Brigade from Crisil A Stable to Crisil A+ for proposed long term bank loan of INR 3.5bn. Crisil upgraded its ratings on the Bank facilities of DLF Limited of INR 31.83bn (Long Term Rating: Upgraded to Crisil AA-/Stable from CRISIL A+/Stable while Short Term Rating: Upgraded to Crisil A+ from earlier A1. Further, Brickworks has upgraded rating of Macrotech Developers for fund based loans to BWR A- /Stable from BBB+/Stable and for proposed NCDs from BWR A- /Stable from BBB+/Stable as well as BWR BBB+ /Stable from BBB/Stable (Brigade, DLF, Macrotech)
* Centre aims to garner INR 150bn from monetisation of realty, hotel assets: The Centre plans to monetise real estate assets worth an estimated INR 150bn, including several housing colonies in the national capital and eight ITDC hotels, under the National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP). In the 'urban real estate assets' category under the NMP, the government has identified monetisation of seven colonies under redevelopment as well as development of housing/commercial units on 240 acre land in Ghitorni in the national capital. Eight hotels of ITDC will also be monetised through different routes.
* SC orders status quo on NGT's demolition order of Godrej Properties' project in Bengaluru: The Supreme Court has ordered status quo on a National Green Tribunal order quashing the environmental clearance (EC) granted to a high-rise luxury project by Godrej Properties Limited and Wonder Projects Development Private Limited in Bengaluru and directing its immediate demolition. A bench of Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justice Surya Kant issued notices to the Centre, Karnataka, Bangalore Development Authority, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike and others and sought their response in four weeks.
* Inspire Co-spaces sets up 50,000 sq ft co-working center in Pune's Kalyani Nagar: Flexible office space provider Inspire Co-spaces has set up its new co-working space spread over 50,000 sq ft in Pune. The center in Kalyani Nagar locality of Pune houses 1,000 seats, each priced between INR 6,000-10,000.
* Existing home sales in U.S. climb for second straight month in July: U.S. existing home sales increased for the second consecutive month in July as inventories improved moderately, while prices eased from the prior month's record level. Existing home sales increased 2.0% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.99 million units last month from June's upwardly revised pace of 5.87 million units, the National Association of Realtors said on Monday. Sales were unchanged in the Northeast, but increased in the Midwest, South and the West.
* Delhi: NDMC offers property tax waiver to residential plots, houses up to 50 sq meter: The BJP-led North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) House on Friday approved a proposal to waive property tax for owners of houses and residential plots spanning up to 50 sqm, subject to certain conditions, officials said. The proposal, which will now go to the municipal commissioner, got the nod amid ruckus during the proceedings of the House.
* WeWork to provide hybrid work solutions to U.S. government employees: Officesharing startup WeWork said on Thursday it had won a U.S. federal contract to provide flexible working options to government employees, as a spike in COVID-19 cases prompts employers to reconsider a complete return to offices. A spokesperson for the SoftBank Group Corp-backed company said the contract, awarded by the U.S. General Services Administration to WeWork and four other contractors, is for up to $10 million annually and a period of five years. The pandemic has marked a shift away from a traditional stand-alone workplace and towards a more hybrid model, where employees have the flexibility to work from offices, co-working spaces, public areas and home.
* Delhi government collects only INR 22bn stamp duty in FY21: With the Covid-19 pandemic impacting the real estate sector, Delhi government has seen a considerable dip in the stamp duty collection. The revenue collected through the property registration fees has also declined since April 2020, with the government earning INR 9.56bn less in 2020-21 on both counts as compared to 2019-20. According to the data obtained from the revenue department, INR 30.72bn was collected from stamp duty between April 2019 and March 2020 while only INR 22bn was collected between April 2020 and March 2021. Stamp duty is collected by a state government on the sale of property during its registration.
* Jaiprakash Associates partners with Gulshan Homz, CRC to complete over 600 flats in Noida: Crisis-hit infrastructure firm Jaiprakash Associates on Monday said it has tied up with Gulshan Homz and CRC for completing 619 luxury apartments in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. To fulfill its commitment to customers, Jaiprakash Associates Ltd said it has "entered into multiple joint working arrangement" with real estate developers Gulshan Homz group of companies and CRC to complete and hand over 619 high-end Golf apartments in Jaypee Greens Wish Town Noida.
* Hyderabad seeing robust real estate demand: Credai Telangana: Ramchandra Reddy, chairman, Credai Telangana said, “The proactive policies adopted by the State government such as TS-iPASS for single-window approval for industries, TPRIDE to encourage SC / ST entrepreneurs, T-IDEA for industrial and entrepreneurship development are facilitating the overall growth. The policy to extend the industrial corridors to the districts has further dispersed the growth and enhanced the development of districts in the State. Credai initiated the process of district-level property shows, which we hope will extend to other centres, further benefiting the State.”
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