MUMBAI: Indian real estate is now becoming way more attractive to investors — both foreign and domestic — than ever before, thanks to changes in the regulatory framework. The global capital flow into Indian real estate in 2016 stood at about $5.7 billion. Though the historic high of 2007, in terms of total PE inflows, was not breached, last year proved to be the second best year so far.
This year has also started with a bang as real estate companies and projects attracted 19 investments totaling an announced value of $3.41 billion in the first quarter ended March. The value of investments in the March quarter was up 2.7 times from the year-ago period, which had seen investments worth $1.25 billion across 18 transactions, showed data from Venture Intelligence.
“Indian real estate has attracted around $32 billion in private equity so far since 2005…Despite Brexit and uncertainty around the new US president’s outsourcing and visa-related policies, private equity activity looks healthy in 2017 too, thanks to a strengthening and modernizing the economy and the growing reputation of India as an attractive investment destination,” said Ramesh Nair, CEO and Country Head, JLL India.
The commercial segment, led by GIC’s $2.14 million investment in DLF’s rental arm, attracted an all-time high investment worth $2.6 billion across five transactions during the March quarter. Venture Intelligence data assumes the proposed transaction between DLF and GIC, which has been disclosed to the stock exchanges, goes through.
“While the mega deal between GIC and DLF’s promoters does skew the numbers in a big way during the first quarter of 2017, the spike in investor interest in the commercial segment is for real, given the enhanced activity of other investors like Blackstone and others as well,” said Arun Natarajan, founder of Venture Intelligence.
Global capital flows into Indian real estate are set to increase further. Rise in consolidation activity apart from transparency and possible listings of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) in 2017 are some of the important developments expected to boost foreign and domestic investor participation.
While the commercial segment, with 76%, dominated the investments value pie, the residential projects continued to attract the most number of investments attracting 12 investments in the first quarter. Residential projects attracted 63% of the volume pie worth $690 million, Venture Intelligence said.
The western region, dominated by Mumbai, attracted eight investments during the quarter, while projects in North India accounted for six deals, followed by South India with five deals.
The largest investment reported during the quarter was the GIC pact to acquire 40% stake in DLF’s rental arm DLF Cyber City Developers. The next largest deal was Blackstone Group’s $250 million investment to buy 15% stake in the office holding company of K Raheja Corp.
During the quarter, private equity real estate (PERE) investors obtained exits from five real estate investments fetching $119 million. The exit volume was down 62% compared to the same period last year that had witnessed 13 exit transactions worth $390 million.
India’s tier-I cities have moved up to the 36th rank in JLL’s 2016 Global Real Estate Transparency Index — a bi-annual index — on the back of improvements in structural reforms and a more liberal foreign direct investment (FDI) regime. Increase in transparency results in higher investment in such real estate markets.
Source: Economic Times
Under Construction Flat Booking Finds Tax Deduction Under Time Constraints
If a buyer makes a transaction to book an under-construction flat and if he acquires it within the three-year period of the sale of his old house, then he is entitled to a tax deduction, says a ruling from the Mumbai bench of the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT). If an apartment is booked in an under construction project than it must be viewed as a method of constructing residential tenements, says the December 18 judgment.
That means if the buyer uses the entire gain from the transaction to buy another house within two years or construct another house within three years. The two- and three-year period applies even if the buyer bought another house a year before selling the first one. But the property should have been bought in the name of the seller.
It is mandatory that within a period of two years after or one year before the date of transfer of old house, the taxpayer should construct a residential house or acquire another residential house within a period of three years from the date of transfer of the old house. The date of receipt of compensation will determine the period of acquisition or construction in a case of compulsory acquisition.
This exemption is effective and can only be claimed in respect of one residential house property purchased/constructed in India. In the case of multiple house purchases or constructions, the exemption under section 54 will be available in respect of one house only. Any purchases made outside the country does not fall under any kind of exemption. Section 54 gives relaxation in such cases by providing relief to the taxpayer who sells his residential house and acquires another residential house from the gained capital.
After the sale of an asset, the difference between the buying price and the selling price is a capital gain or a capital loss. These are further classified as long-term or short-term. If a property is held for 24 months or less, with effective from 2017-18, then that asset is treated as Short Term Capital Asset. Then an investor can make
treated as Long Term Capital Asset. Then only a Long Term Capital Gain (LTCG) or Long Term Capital Loss (LTCL) can be made on that investment.
ITAT agreed that booking of a new flat in an under-construction apartment should be considered as a case of “construction” and not “purchase”, hence following the earlier decisions of the Bombay high court and the tribunal itself. Further ITAT allowed the fact that the construction can began prior to the date of sale of the old asset. Same was stated in the earlier judicial decisions of the Karnataka high court and Ahmedabad ITAT, that the date of commencement is not relevant but it is the completion of construction that comes in relevance to section 54.
HDFC and Quikr Make A Deal
According to a deal between HDFC and Quikr, a stake of more than 3 percent will be given to the mortgage giant in return to its transfer of offline and online real estate brokerage business to the classified ads platform.
After acquiring Commonfloor in 2016 Quikr already has a major presence in online real estate broking.
“Most of the searches for real estate are moving online. Quikr has a much bigger presence online. Through this deal, we are partnering Quikr in the broking business,” said HDFC MD Renu Sud Karnad. According to her, this deal will strengthen Quirks position with offline support.
The deal suggests that HDFC will transfer to Quikr its entire shareholding in HDFC Realty, a real estate brokerage platform, and HDFC Developers, which runs the HDFC RED online platform.
Karnad added that the deal expects Quikr to generate home loan leads for HDFC. The transaction consists of a co-branded alliance between both parties and the HDFC brand will continue to be used online for a year.
The e-real estate classifieds platform HDFC RED has around 7,000 project listings and generates traffic of over 80,000 unique visitors per month. HDFC Realty has a 300-member, in-house sales team, and 7,000-strong nationwide broker network. Avendus Capital was the exclusive financial adviser to Quikr while Kotak Investment Banking acted as the exclusive financial adviser to HDFC on this.
30 million monthly users make Quikr India’s largest classifieds platform. It runs multiple vertical businesses across real estate, automobiles, jobs, services, and goods. The Quikr Home, its real estate vertical generates 3.5 million monthly unique visitors.
Both companies intend to work closely and conduct analytics and identify potential homebuyers, and therefore home loan customers, early in their home-buying journey. Quikr founder and CEO Pranay Chulet said, “We see great synergies between Quikr and HDFC as we start working together to bring a seamless online-to-offline platform to developers and consumers.”
Retaining The Sustainability: GRIHA Launches Star Rating For Urban Homes
Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA), is the National Rating System of India, a Sanskrit word meaning – ‘Abode’. Human architecture has always consumed resources in the form of energy, water and material from the environment. From their construction to operation, these habitats absorb the resources throughout their life cycles, emitting wastes in the end. This emission could be direct in the form of municipal wastes or indirect emission into the atmosphere, such as from electricity generation. Hence GRIHA was formed to reduce an architecture’s resource consumption, waste production and overall environment impact up to certain national acceptable limits.
In attempt to quantify all these aspects, like energy consumption, waste generation etc. GRIHA tries to manage, control and bring down the respective to the best possible limit. Being a rating tool, it helps people to assess the performance of their respective projects against the national benchmarks.
Hence it becomes an evaluation of the environmental performance of an architecture on a holistic level. Covering its entire life cycle, this evaluation provides a specific standard for a ‘green building’. This rating system aims to strike a balance between established institutions and emerging concepts, on a national as well as the international level.
The process starts with an online submission of documents according to the criteria. Then a team of professionals and experts from GRIHA Secretariat takes a site visit for the evaluation of the building. There are four different sections categorized by 34 criteria in GRIHA rating system. Some of them are site selection and site planning, conservation and efficient utilization of resources, building operation and maintenance, and innovation.
Sanjay Seth, CEO, Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) Council says, “A rating between one and five stars is being provided, helping the costumers to know about the sustainability of the houses”.
According to the Union Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri, the climate resilient and sustainable buildings are the need of the hour. As the government is aiming to construct around 1.2 crore houses for the urban poor under the affordable housing scheme.
In one of his keynote addresses, Andreas Baum, Ambassador of Switzerland to India and Bhutan said that the Indo Swiss collaboration is operating with the Indian Bureau of Energy Efficiency in the development of guidelines for energy efficient housing.
“At present India is witnessing a rapid urbanisation, if each building becomes greener than the last one, then we have a huge opportunity and hope for our country. We need to look beyond the conventional methods of building, in order to provide our citizens with a good quality of life. Hence, GRIHA gains important in meeting our national goals with respect to a sustainable society”, says Dr Ajay Mathur, director general, TERI & president, GRIHA Council.
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