Monday, 30 May 2016

Prime office markets' rentals soar as vacancy rates drop

In terms of rental growth, Connaught Place with 10% year-on-year rise is second only to Hong Kong, followed by Tokyo and Shanghai at 9.1% and 7.5%, respectively

MUMBAI: Robust demand from occupiers and limited supply of grade A offices have continued to push rentals in prime Indian office space markets including Mumbai's Bandra-Kurla Complex, Connaught Place in New Delhi and Bengaluru's MG Road. 

In terms of rental growth, Connaught Place with 10% year-on-year rise is second only to Hong Kong, followed by Tokyo and Shanghai at 9.1% and 7.5%, respectively. Prime rentals in Bengaluru and Mumbai have also seen annual rental growth rates rise steadily over the past eight quarters and rose 4.9% and 2.9%, respectively, during the first quarter of 2016, showed Knight Frank Asia Pacific Prime Office Rental Index. 

"As vacancy rates in these markets are now in single digits with very little office space coming up in the next 12 months, we expect this strong rental growth trend to continue in the next 12 months for Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru prime offices," said Samantak Das, chief economist, Knight Frank India. 

According to Das, the rising rentals are effective result of falling vacancy rates indicating good demand and constrained supply of grade A office spaces as most developers did not launch any major commercial projects since 2009. 

Prime office property markets of Delhi and Mumbai rank 5th and 6th costliest in the Asia Pacific region. 

The index showed 12 out of the 19 markets tracked have registered positive rental growth in the first quarter of 2016, as against 8 markets that showed upward rental move in the previous quarter. 

Due to the rising demand, developers with ready commercial projects are seeing change in business scenario since the past few quarters. "Enquiries have certainly gone up from occupiers segment. 

We have been able to conclude the transactions faster than expected and that too with an uptick in lease rentals," said Vipul Shah, MD, Parinee Group.

Credit :

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Maha govt to build mega Rs 2,000-crore complex on Wadala plot

The 41-acre plot (16.5 hectares) is currently used as a customs godown -known as the Suleman Shah compound-and part of it is marked as a green belt

MUMBAI: In the first major construction on salt pan land in the city since the 1991 coastal regulations, a Rs 2,000-crore office-cum-residential complex of the Government of India will come up over the next five years on the salt pan tracts at Wadala.

The 41-acre plot (16.5 hectares) is currently used as a customs godown -known as the Suleman Shah compound-and part of it is marked as a green belt. On May 7, the state urban development department notified a change in the use of the land from godown to office, residence and a sports complex. Land is a state subject. The Central Board of Excise and Customs plans to build two twin towers to house 28 offices, 1,700 residential flats for officials of excise, customs and service tax, and a sports complex for the residents' use.

D Stalin, director of NGO Vanashakti, said Garodia Nagar at Ghatkopar was built on salt pan land more than 40 years ago. "This will certainly be one of the biggest constructions in recent years and will open the floodgates for construction on salt pans," he said.

The BMC has identified 265 hectares of salt pan land for affordable housing in its revised draft Development Plan which will be publicized later in the week.

Two parcels of the customs land-14 acres and three acres-are on one side of the Eastern Freeway and will be used for the offices. Another 24 acres on the other side of the elevated road will be used for the residences and the sports complex.

A senior customs officer said three parcels of salt pan land (14 acres, 24 acres and three acres) at Wadala were handed over to the board in 2003. Another 13 acres given to customs was given for the development of the Anik-Wadala bus depot.

The property became attractive for real estate development after construction of the Eastern Freeway. The official said the Freeway has provided easy access to the area. A subway is proposed to connect the residential quarters to the offices and the department plans to introduce the 'walk to work' concept. The construction will be done either by the central public works department or a public sector construction company. In case of the latter, e-tenders will be invited, said the official.

"In 2004, the Centre set up an advisory board to construct an office complex here. In 2005 and again in 2008, there was part deletion of the plot from godown to office complex. In 2011, the finance ministry gave an in-principle approval for the project. Last week, the state urban development department issued the notification for the final deletion," said the official.

The need for the complex was felt as there is a growing number of officials and shortage of residential quarters in the city. Another residential complex for customs employees is coming up in Kharghar.

Credit : 

Saturday, 21 May 2016

IKEA gets 23 acre land in Navi Mumbai, to open 400,000 sq ft store

The IKEA store in Mumbai is expected to have more than 5 million visitors per year. IKEA said, this step is yet another confirmation of IKEA's large expansion plans in India

BENGALURU | MUMBAI: IKEA, the Swedish home furnishings company is setting up a 4 lakh sft store close to Mumbai, the company said. The proposed store will come up on a 23 acres land parcel located in Navi Mumbai on Thane Belapur Road, second in India after Hyderabad. 

Juvencio Maeztu, Chief Executive Officer, IKEA India, said, "Maharashtra is one of the most important market for IKEA. Along with setting up retail stores, we will expand our supplier landscape and grow local sourcing as much as possible. Each IKEA store will employ 500-700 coworkers directly and another 1500 indirectly, engaged in providing services." 

The IKEA store in Mumbai is expected to have more than 5 million visitors per year. IKEA said, this step is yet another confirmation of IKEA's large expansion plans in India. 

In March, ET reported that the Tata Group company Rallis India has signed an agreement with IKEA India for assignment of its leasehold rights for 26-acre land at MIDC Industrial Area in Navi Mumbai's Turbhe-Belapur Road locality for Rs 214 crore. 

Principle Secretary Industry Maharashtra, Apurva Chandra, said " We believe that IKEA will work as a catalyst in our development plans. The government is committed to provide the necessary support to IKEA forits future expansion plans in the state." 

"We are committed to having 50% women in our organization at all levels and giving equal opportunities to all. We will bring a unique shopping experience through our inspiring stores offering affordable home furnishing products for the many people in Mumbai," said Maeztu 

IKEA has been sourcing from India for the 30 years for its global stores. In India, it currently has 50 suppliers with 45,000 direct employees and 400,000 people in the extended supply chain. 

The IKEA Group is the first major single brand retailer to get FDI approval and plans to open several stores in Delhi/NCR, Hyderabad, Karnataka and Maharashtra. The company is planning to invest Rs 10,500 crore to open 25 stores in the country, with focus on Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. 

Friday, 20 May 2016

How to Prevent 'Moving-In' Damage to Your Most Precious Possessions!

Moving isn't cheap. And really, it shouldn't be. If it is, you might find out how expensive it can get when all of your valuable possessions have been destroyed in the move! Whether you’re hiring a company to help you relocate, or you’re planning a DIY (Do It Yourself) adventure, keep these handy tips in your pocket to protect your goods.

1. Use the right-sized boxes. Small boxes are ideal for heavy, dense objects ( books), while larger ones are preferable for lighter items such as pillows and comforters. A large, heavy box is more likely to split or crush other items, so keep an eye on each boxes’ size-to-weight ratio.

2. Fill until it’s still. If a box is rattling around, you’re risking damage. Fill in the empty space with towels, padding, or other cushioning items to isolate the valuable contents from stop/start or shaking motions.

3. Pad and side-load dishes. Place bubble wrap or packing paper between dishes and wrap bundles of four or more with extra padding. Be sure to pack dishes on their sides, not flat. This will mitigate the hazard of shattering from accidental side impact! Padding in the bottom and top of the box will provide an additional layer of insurance, too.

4. Don’t flatten out your flat-screen. Spend the money on a special packing box for your flat-screen LCD and/or plasma TV. Having the original shipping box is best, but an aftermarket die-cut, foam-supported kit will save you the hundreds in replacement costs. (Also: Don’t lay the TV flat or stack any boxes on top.)

5. Tape in the reinforcements. Taping all the way around the top and bottom edges will provide additional support to the areas where most of the load is distributed.

6. Keep tiny things with big value to yourself. Anything that’s small and irreplaceable should be set aside and kept with you during the move. This might be your grandmother’s heirloom necklace, vital financial/legal documents, or special family photo collections.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

BMC jumps gun, plans roads in no-devpt zones

Do Not Touch Sensitive Areas, Say Activists

Even as a controversy has been hotting up over BMC's proposal to use No-Development Zones (NDZ) for affordable housing, city planners said the civic body has already marked roads and other amenities for these zones.

The BMC, which is in the final stage of drafting the Development Control Regulations (DCR) 2034 for the Development Plan (DP), has said that the area which it has proposed to open up for affordable housing has been well planned. An FSI of 4 has been proposed for affordable housing in the DP -a provision which had not been made in the earlier DP . The planners say that they have been very careful, especially as they do not want those living in the affordable homes to be deprived of municipal services or any other amenities.

In the DP 2034, the BMC has proposed to create 1 million affordable homes over the next 20 years on NDZ, Tourism Development Area (TDA), salt pan, Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) and Mhada plots.

According to the DP 1991, there were 13,706.32 hectares of NDZ land, of which 10,351.59 hectares are transferred to `natural areas' which planners said is ecologically sensitive land and will not be touched.

Of the remaining 3,354.73 hecatres NDZ land, 658.35 hectares includes existing gaothans, slums, industries and ro ads. Of the balance 2,696.38 hectares of NDZ land, 2,100 hectares are proposed for affordable housing on which the civic body has marked amenities and roads.

Chembur resident Rajkumar Sharma said it suits BMC well to propose NDZ land for affordable housing. “BMC knew well that proposing such land parcels for anything other than affordable housing would mean a lot more resistance.BMC needs to know it is play ing with nature by doing this and there is no coming back once we use these areas for construction. Sad that while we're reviewing an open space policy and taking back plots from private parties, we're using no development zones and salt plans for construction.“

Activist Shyama Kulkarni from Bandra questioned the need to mark municipal roads.“Why are they using NDZ and salt pan land? It will only burden the existing infrastructure.“

Credit : Richa Pinto

Monday, 16 May 2016

Realtors Mixed on Realty Authority

One set of developers are happy that the RERA would boost Indian real estate business by around 25-30 percent while other set is of the opinion that the bill has plenty of loopholes

With an aim to boost Indian real estate sector by around 25-30 percent, control black money being stashed into the business, increase FDI flow into the national realty and stop fraudulent activities being done by hordes of middle men involved into the sector, the Real Estate Regulatory Authority got implemented on May 1 in India. The new development was hailed by majority of the Indian realtors but there were some developers who had their fingers crossed as the authority fails to address some major issues like dual regulation in districts where there already exists an authority looking after the sector, leaving the lease issue untouched etc.

Naveen Raheja, Chairman, NAREDCO said, “The real estate sector contributes around six percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In the wake of this long awaited Regulatory Bill (RERA), I expect further boost in the sector to the tune of around 25-30 percent annually.” Means our contribution to the Indian GDP would grow from 6 percent to around 7.5 percent.

Asked about black money loops getting choked into the sector due to this legislation Raheja said, “Black money is in sync with the white money. Since, there have been various majors being announced by the union government to bring black money into the main stream, I expect the black money coming into the real estate through white gates and giving an additional boost to the realty sector that would be in sync with the growth we are expecting due to the legislation.” If we go by Raheja’s expectations, then the contribution of the Indian Real Estate sector into the Indian GDP in next two to three years can be easily found into the double digit numbers.

On Real Estate sector attracting Foreign Direct investment (FDI) Raheja of NAREDCO said, “Real Estate is currently the fourth-largest sector in the country in terms of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows. Total FDI in the construction development sector during April 2000–May 2015 stood at around $24.07 billion.” He said that in the wake of slowdown in Euro Zone and other developed economies global investors have been looking for ideal destination for investment.

Standing in sync with Raheja; Kushagr Ansal, Director, Ansal Housing said, “Indian economy has already witnessed a massive FDI inflow over the last one year specially, riding with the reforms and amendments made. Real Estate Act will promote transparency and fair dealings in the sector; something that every entity looks into while entering into a new country. Real Estate sector is a big contributor towards FDI inflow and we are anticipating an annual growth in FDI inflow by 7-10 percent.”

Getamber Anand, President, CREDAI — Realtor’s apex body in India said, “The bill would bring credibility to real estate business and endorse our demand of giving infra status to housing.” He, however, said the bringing ongoing projects under this bill would lead to stoppage of work on the site in order to ensure compliances.

“Real estate sector is entirely sentiment driven in India and this is very much visible looking at how the market is behaving today. Real Estate Act holds high importance for a country like India, where opportunities are in abundance and starting such a business is easy. Real Estate Act will now ensure fair play and protect interest of the buyers, something that was missing earlier. The lost demand will pick up very soon and we’ll have a much improved market few years down the line”, avers Deepak Kapoor, President CREDAI-Western UP & Director, Gulshan Homz.

“It has been always observed that good things are hard to digest initially and this will be a case here as well. With each transaction to be monitored and a regulator sitting to supervise, fraudulent activities will be completely eradicated which will also see a lot many businesses making exits. This might reduce the supply for some time and demand will now come roaring, riding with security and credibility in the sector”, explains Rupesh Gupta, Director, JM Housing.

“Developers and channel partners, who have been working ethically, will continue to put their best efforts, as they don’t have to worry about anything. But those who have been in the shady business will become invisible very soon. These phases will dent the demand in the realty sector for some time, but when it will revive, there will be a much bright future”, elucidates Vikas Bhasin, MD, Saya Group.

“Real Estate Act has been drafted and executed keeping the general public in mind. This Act will safeguard the interests of every buyer which will allow a transparent and secured route to transact in future. Once the Act becomes fully functional in each state, grievances will not remain unanswered, and will come with a definite solution. This will help the buyers to rebuild the lost demand in the market and allow realty sector to be an even more ethical contributor towards Indian economy”, enlightens Rakesh Yadav, Chairman, Antriksh India.
“The work to sanitise the realty sector has begun with still a lot of scope to further promote this sector. Pricing and timely possession factors are ones that hurt the most which can be answered properly when developers are able to build on time and build at decent cost. Thus, Industry Status and Single Window Clearance are yet to be looked upon and we are hopeful of their passage soon. Overall, the fraternity has warmly welcomed and accepted the Real Estate Act and is looking forward for its effect to get visible soon”, concludes Rahul Chamola, MD, One Leaf Group.

However, there are some loopholes that have not been taken care of while drafting the RERA Bill, said some of the developers.

Ankit Aggarwal, CMD, Devika Group said, “There are still several loopholes in the existing Real Estate Act. In districts where there are already authorities existing, presence of a regulator might create conflict of interests. There needs to be a clear demarcation for the roles of authority and the regulator, as otherwise, buyers will be in a haywire situation.”

Zeroing upon the lease holding issue; Rahul Chamola, MD, One Leaf Group said, “One of the major cause of concerns that will arise in regions with leasehold land will be the expiry of lease, where the ownership will be lost after a specified timeline. Every buyer buys a property and registers it to become the owner, but in cases where the authority has sold the land to builders on lease, will make the owners loose its ownership someday. Real Estate Act should have taken this issue into account, as homebuyers are the ones who will be the ones to bear the brunt.”

Saturday, 14 May 2016

REITs in retail would bail out locked investments

Real Estate Investment Trust Funds (REIT) in the retail sector would be saviour for all the investments locked in those high costs assets, according to experts.

“There is around 70-75 million sq feet of retail real estate space that is REITable including 16 million in Mumbai and 25 million in Delhi-NCR,” KPMG in India partner and head of building, construction and real estate sector Neeraj Bansal said, while speaking at the India Shopping Centre Forum 2016.

Globally, retail asset is almost a quarter of global REITs value with 26% in retail, 12% in office, 27% in diversified and 3% in hospitality while in the Asian region, retail accounts for 19%, office for 12%, diversified 56% and hospitality being 1%, Bansal added.

According to another expert, some countries have certainly seen higher percentage of success due to introduction of REITs earlier. “Unlike in India, where REITs are just about getting introduced, the countries with several decades of REIT exposure has seen higher percentage of success in US, Australia and Singapore and limited success in other countries like Hong Kong,” the expert said.

REIT accounts for 53%, 50% and 78% of the real estate market in US, UK and Australia, respectively while it was a miniscule 6% in Hong Kong, the expert added.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Banks get a go ahead to take over Kingfisher Villa

The Villa, valued at Rs 90 crore, used to be Mallya's base in Goa and also the venue of many of the famous parties hosted by him during the 'good times'

MUMBAI/PANJIM: In a major setback to liquor baron Vijay Mallya, revenue officials in Goa allowed the lenders to Kingfisher Airlines to take physical possession of 'Kingfisher Villa' in Candolim.

"The North Goa collector has given an order in favour of banks to take physical possession of the
 Kingfisher Villa," banking sources said late this evening.

The Villa, valued at Rs 90 crore, used to be Mallya's base in Goa and also the venue of many of the famous parties hosted by him during the 'good times'.

Advocate Parag Rao, who appeared on behalf of United Spirits, told PTI that the company had withdrawn its claim before the collector yesterday. "We told the collector that we will not press for the objection," he said.

Representing the bankers' consortium, SBICAPS had sought physical possession of the property under Section 14 of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act in late 2014.

However, three of Mallya's companies - United Spirits Limited (USL), Kingfisher Airlines and United Breweries - had objected to the move.

Last week, media reports had said that Mallya put up a "villa manager" as a caretaker to thwart the bank's attempt to take it over.

The villa was mortgaged to the lenders while obtaining loans for the now defunct airliner, but the caretaker, who claimed to be an employee of United Breweries, and the subsequent establishment of tenancy rights would have made it difficult for the banks to take over the property.

According to reports, bankers' attempts to take possession of the villa were repeatedly stalled by USL, which claims the first right to buy the property as it is a tenant. USL had also approached a local court, citing provisions in the Portuguese Civil Code to block auction of the property in the past.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Mhada wants to tag Bharat Ngr near BKC a slum, raises brows

BAI: In a controversial move, state housing authority Mhada wants to declare its prime 44-acre Bharat Nagar sprawl, comprising chawls, tenements and transit camps adjoining Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC), a slum.

This will effectively deprive Mhada of all benefits during redevelopment, including receiving a few thousand new flats that it could have sold at affordable rates. The authority took this stance after Omkar Realtors, one of Mumbai's biggest slum redevelopers, wrote to Mhada last year stating that 50,000 sq m land covering 12 proposed societies be redeveloped under the slum rehab scheme.

Sources said if redevelopment is allowed under the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA), private builders will walk away with the entire development rights worth thousands of crores instead of Mhada.

Under development control rule 33 (5), which governs redevelopment of Mhada properties, a builder has to hand over to the housing authority a portion of apartments free of cost for public housing. These flats are then sold by Mhada at affordable rates mainly to economically weaker sections and low and middle-income families. Insiders said redevelopment of the entire Bharat Nagar layout under 33 (5) could have fetched Mhada at least 5,000 tenements for sale.

Recently, eyebrows were raised when Mhada revoked permission granted to its tenants occupying plot 11 in Bharat Nagar to undertake self-redevelopment on their one acre plot. In 2014, the housing authority had even issued a draft lease agreement to the Bharat Nagar Paradise Co-operative Housing Society. "Suddenly, last week we received a letter, stating that the draft lease issued to our society is cancelled," said local corporator Ilyas Shaikh.

Mhada informed residents they have been declared as "slum dwellers" and their redevelopment would be under the slum scheme. The housing authority justified cancelling the draft lease, referring to a Bombay High Court order.

In the late 1990s, four of the 26 Bharat Nagar plots were redeveloped under the SRA. The court had allowed these four plots (numbers 7, 8, 9 and 12) to be redeveloped under SRA because they were declared as a "censused slum", while dismissing a petition filed by some residents. The 2010 order said only four of the 1,000-odd people had moved court.

However, Ebrahim Gani, chairman of Bharat Nagar Paradise Society (plot 11) said Mhada was using a high court judgment which does not apply to them and the remaining plots in the entire layout. "We wanted to redevelop our tenements along with Mhada and do not want a builder to enter here," he said.

"The high court order referred in the matter pertains to different pieces of land with different backgrounds of development. This is not applicable to lands on which we have been staying. Mhada's decision to enter into a lease agreement with us was taken three years after the high court order," he added.

Last June, Omkar Realtors wrote to Mhada CEO S S Zende, stating its intention to take up an integrated slum redevelopment scheme here. The developer said all open spaces, pathways, building spaces and amenity plots have been encroached upon over the years. "The area has virtually become a slum with unsafe structures, narrow lanes, poor sanitation, overcrowding, leading to conditions unsuitable for human habitation. Occupants also possess photo passes of slum dwellers," it said.

But corporator Shaikh said under the slum scheme, each family will receive only a 269 sq ft tenement. "If the redevelopment is done under the Mhada 33 (5) scheme, a family will get 437.5 sq ft house," he said.

Shaikh, a resident of plot 11, said a majority of the 160 tenants here voted for self-redevelopment. "Now, how do we tell them that a builder will take over the project," he added.

Of the 44 acres in Bharat Nagar, nine acres comprise Mhada chawls, six acres contain Mhada transit camps and a 4.5-acre plot called Tata Colony has been vacated by a builder to redevelop it under section 33 (5).

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Mumbai may see more high-rise buildings as BMC proposes new norms

The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai has suggested that the minimum height for a building to fall under the high-rise category be increased to 32 metres from 24 metres earlier

MUMBAI: The skyline of India's commercial capital may change if two proposed amendments are approved, leading to the addition of more high-rise buildings. The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai has suggested that the minimum height for a building to fall under the high-rise category be increased to 32 metres from 24 metres earlier.

Apart from this, an expert committee appointed by the state government has recommended that the civic chief be made the sanctioning authority for buildings up to a height of 120 metres, or about 40 floors.

Urban planning experts said these moves will help simplify and expedite approvals for real estate developments across the city.

"The decision will improve the redevelopment potential of several dilapidated buildings across Mumbai. This will also help in making much-needed open spaces available and reduce corruption as it will reduce one layer of approvals," said Shirish Sukhatme, former president of the Practising Engineers, Architects & Town Planners Association.

Currently, permissions for buildings up to 70 metres or 21 floors are sanctioned by the municipal commissioner, while developers are expected to seek app rovals from the high-rise committee for any structure above this height. According to architects, approvals used to be delayed because the committee meets every three months and sometimes even after a gap of several months.

"The proposed changes are good for overall development, including redevelopment and improving infrastructure in already highly dense Mumbai city," said Gaurav Gupta, director, Omkar Realtors & Developers. "Earlier norms set in 1990s are not in sync with the advancement in technologies in the last two decades." According to Gupta, the developer delivered the 247-metre Omkar Alta Monte tower in Mumbai's Malad suburb in less than the scheduled three years due to the deployment of advanced technologies.

Vertical growth is also expected to get a boost with the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai's proposal to increase the base floor space index (FSI) of 2 for the entire city and allow the transfer of development rights to be used anywhere.

Several high-rises are coming up in the northern part of Mumbai along the Western Express Highway due to the wider availability of land compared with the southern part of the city. The shifting of the Central Business District from Nariman Point to Bandra-Kurla Complex and the emergence of prospective office centres in Andheri, Goregaon and Malad belts are leading to increasing demand for residential and commercial properties around these areas.

According to property consultants, more than 25 tall towers will be developed along the Western Express Highway in north Mumbai from Andheri to Borivali and Dahisar over the threefour next years.

As per the current norms, any building over 24 metres high is expected to provide six metres of open space from the road.This stipulation is holding back the redevelopment of several old and dilapidated buildings across the city. The revised height definition for high-rise buildings will pave the way for the redevelopment of these buildings in high-density localities, experts added.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Bombay HC asks Vijaypat Singhania to vacate Juhu bungalow, hand it over to Kolkata group

The court directed the Kolkata group to pay Rs 46 crore to the Kanpur and Bombay group of the Singhania family in six weeks after which Dr Singhania has eight weeks to vacate the bungalow

MUMBAI: Over eight years after an arbitrator divided their considerable family properties three-ways, the Bombay high court has directed Dr Vijaypat Singhania, Raymond Group chairman emeritus, to honour the arbitral award and hand over vacant possession of Kamla Cottage, a bungalow in Juhu to Kolkata branch of the family. The bungalow, a prime property is a veritable museum and is full of highly valuable art, artefacts and furniture worth crores. The order to vacate the bungalow comes as a set back to Dr Singhania.

The court directed the Kolkata group to pay Rs 46 crore to the Kanpur and Bombay group of the Singhania family in six weeks after which Dr Singhania has eight weeks to vacate the bungalow. The court thus rejected a plea by Dr Singhania's lawyer for a stay of the order.

The family divided into three groups--Calcutta Group, the Bombay Group and the Kanpur Group were all members of the Singhania family that was carrying on business under the name of "M/s. J.K. Bankers" (Juggilal Kamlapat Bankers), a partnership firm. In 1987, by way of a family settlement, the partnership firm was dissolved. The groups agreed to distribute the immovable properties. But disputes arose over the manner of distribution.

In 2006 the Supreme Court appointed an arbitrator. In 2008 the arbitrator while splitting the property passed an award directing that the Kolkata Group receive the Juhu property, vacant and free from encumbrance. It also laid down which group would get other properties in other parts of India.

The Singhania family has thus been mired in a family dispute for decades. The order by the HC passed on Friday was in response to a plea by the family of Vijaypat's late brother from the Kolkata group for execution of the Arbitral award and to ensure that Singhnia vacates the Juhu bungalow. The high court had earlier upheld the award in 2009 and then again, in appeal, in 2013. The challenge to the award was by both the Kanpur and Bombay group led by Vijaypat Singhania. Vijaypath Singhania resides at Bhulabhai Desai road.

The HC held that Singhania cannot refuse to hand over the Juhu bungalow on the ground that he hasn't received properties due to him from the Kanpur group.

The HC held both Kanpur and Bombay groups' conduct of dragging the litigation for 30 years despite entering into a family settlement in 1987 ''smacks of utter dishonesty and of being self--centred. "Using their money power, the Kanpur Group and Bombay Group (all are leading industrialists) have for their selfish motives and greed only dragged on the litigation and consumed precious judicial time of this court and also of the Apex Court,'' said Justice K R Shriram in his order.

The HC said submissions by the Kanpur group that the "six month period has not commenced for the handing over the possession as per the Arbitral Award'' was "preposterous''.

"The dispute between the parties has now been going on for almost thirty years. To raise an issue that the 6 month period has not begun is a desperate attempt to clutch at straws...The 6 months period is long over. The Kanpur group has not even complied with the written confirmation as required under Paragraph 29 of the Award. In absence of such a written confirmation that they are willing to vacate the properties, they are in breach and have made themselves liable to execution proceedings.''

Justice Shriram in the order passed on Friday said, "it is true that family disputes have a different concept and equity'' and added, "The parties are members of a family descending from a common ancestor and they must sink their

disputes and differences, settle and resolve their conflicting claims once and for all in order to buy peace of mind and bring about complete harmony and goodwill in the family. The Bombay Group and Kanpur Group should strive to enforce a family arrangement and the award (decree) honestly.''

The HC deferred a plea made by Vijaypat Singhania's estranged son Madhupati who sought protection of his share of about Rs 3 crore from the money due to the Bombay group. The court deferred it until the share out of the Rs.23.40 crores payable to

Bombay Group is determined independently.

Madhupati meanwhile is also embroiled with his father in a separate legal battle, initiated by his four children over rights claimed by them to ancestral and family property.

The HC ordered that "The Calcutta Group within six weeks to deposit the amounts payable to the Bombay Group and the Kanpur Group with the Prothonotary and Senior Master, High Court, Bombay. The Prothonotary to invest these amounts in fixed deposit with a nationalised bank for a minimum period of one year at a time. Within eight weeks of the Calcutta Group depositing these amounts, the Bombay Group to vacate the Juhu property. If the Bombay Group fails to vacate, on the expiry of eight weeks period, the Court Receiver to take actual physical possession of the Juhu property and hand over the same to the Calcutta Group. He may, should the need arise, even take police assistance to comply with these directions.''

Monday, 9 May 2016

Big cheer for home buyers as Real Estate Bill becomes an Act now

The act seeks to protect the rights of home buyers, mandates registration of projects, including those that have not got completion or occupancy certificates.

NEW DELHI: The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2016, became an Act on May 1, kick-starting the process of making rules as well as putting in place institutional infrastructure to protect the interests of home buyers in India.

While acknowledging that the act is a positive development, property experts said the new rules should address problems faced by builders in getting sanctions and approvals in a timely manner. "Government authorities should also be made accountable for timebound approvals through the rules that will be made," said Anshuman Magazine, managing director of property advisory firm CBRE South Asia.

He said that if this happens, it will be one of the major steps towards the recovery of the Indian real estate market and will improve the confidence of both consumers and institutional investors - domestic or foreign. "Of course, it should not become another hurdle for development, which will then raise property prices in the long term," said Magazine.

The Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation notified 69 of the act's 92 sections that come into force from May 1. Rules for implementing the provisions of the act have to be formulated by the central and state governments within six months - by October 31 - the maximum period stipulated in Section 84 of the act.

The housing ministry will make the rules for Union Territories while the Ministry of Urban Development will do so for Delhi.

The key to providing succour to home buyers will be the setting up of Real Estate Regulatory Authorities, which will require all projects to be registered, and the formation of Appellate Tribunals to adjudicate disputes.

According to Section 20 of the act, state governments have to establish the regulatory authorities within one year of the law coming into force. These authorities will decide on the complaints of buyers and developers in 60 days.

The act seeks to protect the rights of home buyers, mandates registration of projects, including those that have not got completion or occupancy certificates.

Registration will require builders to set aside 70% of the funds collected from buyers and pay interest in case of delays. Any officer, preferably the secretary of the department dealing with housing, can be appointed as the interim regulatory authority.

Once the regulators are set up, they will get three months to formulate regulations concerning their functioning. Real Estate Appellate Tribunals need to be formed within a year - by April 30, 2017. These fast-track tribunals will decide on disputes over orders of the regulators within 60 days.

A committee chaired by the secretary of the housing ministry has started work on formulation of model rules so that states and UTs can frame their rules quickly, besides ensuring uniformity across the country. The ministry will also will come out with model regulations for the regulatory authorities.

The remaining sections of the act that have to be notified relate to aspects such as the functions and duties of promoters, rights and duties of allottees, prior registration of real estate projects with the regulatory authorities, recovery of interest on penalties, enforcement of orders, offences, penalties and adjudication.

Considering that there 12 months left for the regulatory authorities to be set up by the states, builders are expected to speed up work to avoid the stringent provisions of the new real estate regulatory act.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Builders back out of Dharavi revamp again, date extended to May 20

The Dharavi redevelopment project once again drew a blank as developers did not submit any bids. The date for submission has now been extended to May 20

MUMBAI: The Dharavi redevelopment project once again drew a blank as developers did not submit any bids. The date for submission has now been extended to May 20.

Builders have contested the Dharavi Redevelopment Authority's (DRA) claim that the entire floor space index (FSI) of 4 can be consumed on the slum land itself. They have pointed out that it is not so and have sought transfer of development rights (TDR) to enable them to use the unutilized FSI elsewhere.

However, the government cannot allow TDR as there is a Bombay high court order against it for Dharavi redevelopment. "We have clearly mentioned in the Development Control Regulations for Dharavi that there will be no TDR. And this is on account of the high court order," said Nirmal Kumar Deshmukh, CEO of DRA. Some of the prospective developers have also been asking for more FSI. In return for a 25 sq m tenement, the DRA is offering an additional 17 sq m, which the developer can utilize for the sale component. However, the demand is for an additional 28 sq m, said sources.

DRA is offering 25 sq m carpet for the tenement on which it has added an additional 5 sq m (30 sq m built-up area) and another 10 sq m for amenities such as society office, health centre and aanganwadi for every 100 tenements.

"This adds up to 40 sq m but we are giving an extra 2 sq m, which takes the total FSI per tenement to 42 sq m. But developers want 53 sq m. It would be difficult even to consume 40 sq m given the space constraint and height restrictions," said sources.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Think your house is too small to be sold in the market immediately? Here's how you can make your house more appealing to prospective buyers.

Do you think your house is too small for it to appeal to buyers? It happens to the best of us. The things we own gradually end up colonizing a lot of our free space, and the house which felt “just right” a few years ago can suddenly feel as tiny as a shoe closet.

Fortunately, there are some simple tricks you can try to supersize your small space. Most of these tricks are a matter of changing perspective rather than opening up more square footage. Before you try them, consider a real effort to declutter first. If your declutter campaign falls short, though, these tactics may come to your rescue:

Lighten up the walls. Color can make the difference between breezy, cozy, and claustrophobic. Dark colors on walls make them seem smaller and denser, while lighter ones broaden your view and reflect more light. While white can be a bit harsh, there are other cheerful tones such as lemon, mint, and cornflower which can transform a space.

Aim high. Many times, our gaze tends to lock onto the things in the way of our feet. If you have zones of heavy storage occupying square footage, look for ways to get those items off the ground. Corner shelves, hidden cabinets, and even hanging racks can do wonders for widening up narrow spaces. Hanging pictures higher up on walls can make rooms feel taller, too.

Widen up the windows. Big curtain rods which extend beyond the border of the window can make a window seem larger, and making the move to keep them open (perhaps with sheer drapes for privacy) can let in crucial light. If you have a little renovation money, consider adding windows to rooms where less-than-ideal lighting conditions exist.

Cast mirror magic. Amplifying light is a big theme here, so position large mirrors across from windows to create “windows” where no window can exist. Even if you don’t have a window handy, a large mirror can double up the tiniest room.

Demand double duty furniture. Hidden storage in large furniture can be a boon for making the most diminutive room more manageable. Take, for example, raised bed platforms with drawers built in the frame. Look for any opportunity to hide storage in existing objects.

Hopefully these five tips will make your small house more spacious. I’m happy to help you assess you with hunting down the most suitable happy buyers for your house. Drop me a line if you’re ready for the big time!