Lets talk about Property

Subsidies can't be essence of survival: FM to realty sector

He also asked the sector to submit their taxation related suggestions to the recently appointed panel on tax issues and said the government would seriously look into the final recommendations of the committee 

MUMBAI: Hopeful that the age of slowdown will end soon for the real estate business, finance minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said the sector must survive on market economy and subsidies should not be the "essence of survival".

He also asked the sector to submit their taxation related suggestions to the recently appointed panel on tax issues and said the government would seriously look into the final recommendations of the committee.

Speaking at a housing market conference here attended by real estate players and housing finance firms, Jaitley said the sector will be the next big mover as far as the Indian economy was concerned.

He said that easier availability of land for housing was very important while interest rates have already come down to bring down the cost of funding.

"The real estate should survive on market economy (and) subsidies should not be essence of survival for the industry," Jaitley said.

He said that inflation has been brought under control and Reserve Bank has already cut rates four times this year, which was a positive move for the sector and "hopefully those moves are here to stay".

"Age of slowdown for realty sector should now come to an end," he said.

On macro issues, the finance minster said the global environment has not been helpful and the impact was visible in exports slowing down in India.

"The biggest strength of India and the silver lining is its resilience... Our systematic firewalls have to be such that the ability to resist the global volatility are strengthened," he said.

"We are unquestionably one of the fastest, if not the fastest growing major economies... On revenue collection, the indications look more on the optimistic side," Jaitley said.

The minister further said that the savings from low global commodity prices were being used in irrigation and infrastructure while improving the health of power sector was also one of the most important tasks.

"After roads and highways, very soon we will be looking into the issues of the power sector," Jaitley said.

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Realty Trends

Home prices near most-affordable levels in over 30 years: HDFC

Home prices may have been on an upward spiral for many years, but the cost of owning a house in India remains near the most affordable level in over three decades, shows data compiled by mortgage giant HDFC Ltd.

The average price of a home, purchased with a housing loan, rose to over Rs. 45 lakh in the 2012-13 fiscal year -- marking the fourth consecutive year of uptrend from about Rs. 25 lakh in the year 2008-09, HDFC has said in a presentation.

However, factors like an even greater surge in the personal income levels, tax incentives and lower interest rates, have resulted into houses becoming more affordable to purchase, it said.



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India Property Investment Gyan

Major schemes for affordable housing to be modified: Girija Vyas

NEW DELHI: Major schemes meant for providing affordable housing to urban poor will soon be modified to make them more people-friendly, the government said today and invited the private sector to contribute more actively in this area. 

Speaking to reporters here, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) ministerGirija Vyas today said her ministry is modifying all the major schemes including the Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY), Rajiv Rinn Yojana and the, Affordable Housing in Partnership scheme and added enormous budgetary support has been earmarked during the current plan period. 

Secretary HUPA Arun Kumar Misra told reporters that a fund of Rs 35,000 crore had been allocated to the ministry for the implementation of three major schemes, including RAY, which was being run in as a pilot project earlier under 12th five- year plan. 

He said the ministry would require approval from the cabinet for the implementation of these schemes and efforts would be made that through these funds 2 million affordable houses are encouraged. 

He said that in addition to the central government funds, banks and credit institutions would be providing funds for construction of affordable houses. 

Vyas said that with urbanisation, the number of urban homeless and area under slums had grown. 

Vyas said there was a need for private developers to develop economic models to foster affordable housing for economically weaker sections and lower income group households in urban areas as government efforts in this direction needed to be supplemented. 

Vyas also said a technical group, set up by her ministry, had shown that out of 18.78 million housing shortage in the country, 96 percent shortage is in EWS and LIG category and for this huge investments and private sector participation were required. 

Misra said the group set up by the ministry has suggested incentives for the affordable housing sector included concessions to development-related charges and service taxexemptions. 

It also sought direct tax rebates for affordable housing projects and inclusion of the sector in the 'infrastructure facility' he said and added the task force had felt that governments need to still provide direct capital grant support to affordable housing projects. 

Misra said that in the symposium held today where states, experts and private sector representatives were present, there was unanimity on many of the suggestions.

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Green Property- Eco Homes

Reclaim your city space: Projects in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata aim to transform lives

Three projects in three cities aim to transform the lives of people who live close by. The one in Mumbai hopes to transform a congested area into a green precinct; the one in Delhi converted an open drain into a walkway, while Kolkata hopes to bring the crowds back...