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PropTiger, Housing.com to merge in all-stock deal worth $70-75 million

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Prop Tiger

New Delhi: News Corp.-backed real estate portal PropTiger said on Tuesday that Mumbai-based Housing.com will merge with it in an all stock deal, and that it will receive $50 million in fresh funds from News Corp.’s REA Group Ltd and $5 million from SoftBank Group.

The deal values the SoftBank-backed Housing, which has raised north of $120 million since 2012, at about $70-$75 million, according to two people familiar with the development. PropTiger Reality Pvt. Ltd was valued at $200-$210 million taking the stock swap ratio to about 3:1, the people said. This takes the valuation of PropTiger after the merger to close to $270-$285 million. Existing investors in Housing will be given stake in PropTiger’s Singapore entity. Horizon Ventures, an existing investor in PropTiger is likely to exit.

Both companies declined comment on the specifics of the deal.

Housing.com’s chief executive Jason Kothari has quit with immediate effect and PropTiger will continue to be run by co-founder and chief executive Dhruv Agarwala. Kothari will join as an advisor to the new entity through the end of February 2017, the companies said.

The deal finally puts an end to the six month-long exercise by the Mumbai-based Locon Solutions Pvt. Ltd (the company behind Housing) and its lead investor SoftBank to find a suitable investor or buyer. According to Agarwala, PropTiger will retain the Housing.com brand. “We intend to retain all the employees at Housing and PropTiger, and there will be minimal impact on headcount during organizational integration,” he said in a call. “The joint entity will be the only player in India offering the full range of online and offline services in the real estate space, such as personalized search, virtual viewing, site visits, legal and financial diligence, negotiations, property registration, home loans and post- sales service,” the two companies said in a joint statement.

Housing.com is primarily an online leads generator while PropTiger has on-ground staff who help the potential customer see the property, aid in paper work and ultimately close the deal.

According to Agarwala, PropTiger and Housing will now target the real estate advertising and transaction services market, which is currently worth $5 billion and expected to grow to $7 billion by 2020. Housing.com is also backed by Helion Venture Partners, Nexus Venture Partners and Qualcomm Ventures.

REA Group is one of the largest digital real estate firms globally with businesses across Australia, Asia, the US and Europe. It is the largest player in Australia with over 60% marketshare. The company owns a significant stake in Realtor.com, the second largest firm in the US.

Housing.com was started in 2012 by Rahul Yadav along with nine other co-founders as rental portal. It raised $38 million over two tranches in 2014, before raising a bumper $100 million round from SoftBank in November that year.

Soon after, things started to go sour as the real estate market slumped even as the company spent exuberant amounts in salaries and in general operations. Around this time, there was also disagreement over the focus of the company at the top management level, which was followed by a public spat between the investors and Rahul Yadav that ultimately led to his ouster. The company also down-sized its workforce in three rounds, which brought the total employee count from 2,500 at its peak in June 2015 to about 1,000 currently. In late 2015, SoftBank brought in Kothari to lead the company. Kothari moved the company’s focus to buying and selling and closed down the rental business. The rental business was however restarted late last year.

Source: livemint.

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NTR Housing Scheme In Full Swing: Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu

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NTR Housing Scheme In Full Swing: Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu

On Thursday, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu said with the estimated expense of Rs. 5,556.74 crore, the construction of more than 2,44,164 houses, out of the proposed 3,03,044, has been commenced under the NTR Housing Scheme 2017.

While addressing the second day of the Collectors’ Conference he also said the construction of the remaining houses will begin soon. He mentioned that Prakasam and the Kurnool districts are ahead of the schedule in the urban housing scheme. Also, the works are in full swing in the Nellore and the Guntur districts under the rural housing scheme.

According to Naidu, the government will complete 2.5 lakh houses by January next year and another lot of two lakh houses by June.

By October 2, 2018, the state government intends to finish the construction of all the houses and plans to celebrate with massive house warming ceremony with local public representatives. This will help them set an example for housing schemes in other states.

Also Read: Raunak Group Presents Apna Pehla Ghar Campaign

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A Mumbai Suburbs’ Swift Transformation From Industrial To A Residential Zone: Wadala

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A Mumbai Suburbs’ swift transformation from industrial to a residential zone: Wadala

An industrial zone primarily, Wadala has undergone a drastic transformation in the past decade. Now an upcoming residential area, this Mumbai suburb is one of the seven islands to form the modern Mumbai. It is located on the Harbour line of Mumbai’s railway network.

Due to its proximity to BKC, large scale land development was inevitable, thus fueling the real estate market. Wadala is bordered by Dadar on the West, Matunga on the Northwest and Sewri on the South. Nestled between south Mumbai and the suburbs, Wadala enjoys strong connectivity by road and rail to most parts of Mumbai.

It has a number of flyovers like the Anik Panjrapol Link Road, Elevated road and Santacruz flyover. Thane, CST and Chembur are connected via the Eastern Highway while the Western Highway connects the locality to Bandra and Borivali. Wadala has the biggest bus depot in Mumbai. Furthermore, the multiple infrastructure initiatives like the monorail, Truck Terminal and the expansion of Highway are in various stages of development.

All this has given rise to residential demand and pushed the property value over the last few years. One of the most populated areas in Mumbai, Wadala has a large number of old temples, churches and dargahs, university campuses, schools, reputed hospitals and is also home to a former world’s largest IMAX dome theater. There are many stores, showrooms and malls around Wadala like the R Mall, High Street Phoenix and Palladium Mall.

Ramesh Nair, COO – business and international director, JLL India says, “A decade ago, property prices at Wadala were as low as Rs 2,800 per sq. ft. and it rose to Rs 14,000 a few years ago.”  As the infrastructure plans are on their way, so are the renowned developers like Ajmera, Dosti Group and Lodha Group among others.

Wadala at present offers one of the highest returns on real estate investments in the region. All the above-mentioned developers have their luxury projects in the area.

Ajmera I-Land introduces Aeon, Zeon and Treon towers with 2, 3 and 4 BHK plush homes. Conceptualized by renowned Singapore based Architects Space Matrix, these spaces with top-of-the-line lifestyle amenities exude exemplary class and finesse. The first residential floor begins at 110 feet from the ground level and offers several modern lifestyle amenities like kid’s pool, swimming pool, gymnasium, club house, open space and landscaped gardens, yoga room, kid’s play area and senior citizen corner.

Dosti Ambrosia is a 36-storey tower nestled in the 18 Acre Township of Dosti Acres. The architecture of the project was undertaken by renowned Hafeez Contractor in the 2 and 3 BHK apartments. It offers an exclusive rooftop swimming pool with 40,000 sq. ft. of landscaped gardens. You will find all modern conveniences like Gymnasium, Tennis Court, Indoor Badminton Court, Yoga and Meditation Room, Elderly Corner, Banquet Hall, Indoor Games, Indoor Badminton Court, Guest Rooms, Restaurant, Grand Entrance Lobby, Kids Play Area, 2 Club Houses and an Amphitheatre.

New Cuffe Parade by Lodha Group offers its residents all the comforts of a world-class lifestyle. The 2 and 3 BHK homes are spread in over 23 acres of land with 15 acres of stunning landscape and 75,000 sq. ft. of the club house. It includes 11 swimming pools, an organic farm, cricket pitch and multiple themed gardens. The buildings are designed by the world renowned WOHA in Singapore and the landscape was planned by Sitetectonix in Singapore.

Also Read: Mumbai to get Building Taller than Burj Khalifa, Road Bigger than Marine Drive

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Rajasthan Government May Hike The Affordable Housing Prices

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Rajasthan Government May Hike The Affordable Housing Prices

The prices of homes under the ambitious Mukhyamantri Jan Awas Yojana are expected to be increased by the state government.

According to the sources in the empowered committee meeting to be held on Monday, a proposal to increase the cost of a low-income group (LIG) and economic weaker section (EWS) houses will be proposed. Urban development and housing (UDH) minister Srichand Kriplani will chair the meeting. The LIG and EWS houses, presently are being constructed on government lands by private builders. These homes are sold at a fixed rate of Rs 1,250 per sq feet; out of which 1000 rupees per sq ft is given by Urban Improvement Trust (UIT), development authorities and local bodies to the builders.

According to provision 4(A) and 4(B), the developers are supposed to build EWS and LIG houses on government land. Seventy-five percent of such government land can be used in building EWS and LIG houses, while the remaining 25% can be sold by the developers. However, since the rates provided by the government are less the developers are not showing interest to construct houses under these categories. Sources said, “In Jaipur, not a single developer has shown interest in constructing houses under this model. The JDA has invited expression of interest (EOI) several times.”

The UDH is leaving no stone unturned to attract the builders in order to achieve the target of constructing 10 lakh houses by 2019. The sources mentioned, “As per the new proposal, the department has proposed to provide Rs 1,600 per sq feet rate to the developers. The land rates have increased subsequently over the period of time; this is why increasing rates has become a need of the hour.”

Sources further added, “The developers are constructing G+3 buildings at present. However, it is not cost-effective. It has been proposed to construct G+2 buildings for LIG and EWS category.”

Also Read: The Impact Of Regulations On The Real Estate Market

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