Connect with us


2017 In Retrospect: Realty faces slowdown, up for recovery post RERA



Real Estate Sector
Under-construction skyscrapers. (File Photo: IANS)

By Bappaditya Chatterjee

Kolkata : The real estate sector, which witnessed a slew of policy measures through the year, experienced a market slowdown but the affordable segment emerged as its growth driver, say property consultants and developers.

The policy reforms, however, promise to make residential real estate dealings more transparent than ever before and the market is expected to see at least a partial recovery in 2018 on the back of revived confidence of home buyers, fewer new launches, improving sales and declining unsold units.

The Centre’s surprise demonetisation announcement late last year was a “real shocker” for the sector. But, simultaneously, it helped the sector to resist unaccounted funds from finding their way into the secondary and even primary sales segments as well as the luxury housing section.

Meanwhile, the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA) was rolled out to improve financial discipline, boost market transparency and give consumers confidence and a clear legal choice for dealing with errant developers and brokers. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) was introduced to improve taxation transparency and the Benami Properties Act got further amended to make it more effective in curbing anonymous real estate transactions and ownership.

“There were reforms galore which literally altered the DNA of the Indian real estate business, focusing on eliminating black money and improving market transparency so as to make the country’s residential real estate a better place for consumers and investors,” Anarock Property Consultants’ Chairman Anuj Puri told IANS.

Real Estate Sector

Greater Noida: Under-construction skyscrapers in Greater Noida. (Photo: IANS)

National Real Estate Development Council Vice Chairman Parveen Jain said all stakeholders adopted a wait and watch policy following the note ban and introduction of RERA and GST.

“This resulted in a somewhat slowdown in the sector as everyone was trying to understand the after-effects of demonetisation and the effects of RERA and GST. No one is willing to venture into new deals until and unless things settle down,” Jain told IANS.

GST, applicable to the purchase of homes in under-construction projects, prompted home buyers to either buy completed projects or hold back their purchase decisions. Also, developers halted sales in projects not registered under RERA across major cities, JLL India CEO and Country Head Ramesh Nair said.

“These factors led to a quarterly sales decline in five of the top seven cities to an all-time low of 4.8 per cent in the third quarter of 2017,” Nair told IANS.

Residential launches up to the third quarter of 2017 saw a decline of 33 per cent compared to the same period in 2016. Simultaneously, affordable housing saw a rise of 27 per cent in the first three quarters, mostly by taking advantage of the new government regulations and incentives for homes in that category.

“Affordable housing is an attractive proposition both for developers and consumers as the demand is huge and largely unmet. The high focus of the central government has resulted in the availability of more funding options for the developers such as ECB, FDI and debt-financing from national financial institutions at highly competitive rates,” Cushman & Wakefield’s Senior Director, Research Services, Siddhart Goel told IANS.

However, the flip side is the implementation RERA by the states. As per the central government schedule, by the end of July 2017, all states should have implemented the RERA with full functionality.

“Many states are still either in the process or don’t have requisite infrastructure. Dilutions in a few RERA rules by a some states, has also hurt buyer confidence,” Knight Frank Chief Economist Samantak Das told IANS.

According to an ICRA study, by the close of third quarter of 2017, most of the major states had notified their real estate rules and set up real estate regulatory authorities as required under the RERA Act. While new project launches have remained subdued even after RERA implementation, the developers continue to push sales in ongoing projects, with expectations of improved customer confidence in those projects which are approved by the state RERA.

However, the inclusion of land and real estate (completed properties) under the ambit of GST has been a topic that has been debated significantly and will ultimately require a political solution since land is a state subject and any such move will require the concurrence of state governments.

“Any such move could bolster the transparency and compliance of real estate transactions (especially in the secondary market) since there would be an incentive to report transactions at market price to claim full tax benefit,” said Shubham Jain, Vice President and Sector Head-Corporate Ratings, ICRA Limited.

The industry is expected to somewhat stabilise in 2018 as both real estate developers and customers become attuned to the changed regulatory scenario.

Developers are likely to take a cautious approach as far as new project launches are concerned, given the over-supply situation in various markets, along with their own stressed balance sheet positions.

The focus is likely to remain on liquidation of existing stock and reduction of the debt overhang before new projects are launched. This is already visible from the trend of decreasing quantum of absolute stock of unsold inventory available with the developers.



Key challenges, political will top agenda as Crans Montana Forum begins



Crans Montana Forum 2018

Dakhla (Morocco), March 16 : With focus on key international challenges like urban global management, ocean economy, food and public health issues and the growing potential of Africa-Asia cooperation, the Crans Montana Forum began on Friday in this western town of Morocco.

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Reverend Jesse Jackson, President and Founder of Rainbow Push Coalition, and leaders from several countries joined Jean-Paul Carteron, Honorary Chairman and Founder of the Crans Montana Forum, at the opening ceremony here.

The major focus of the Forum this year is on the Africa and South-South Cooperation.

In his address, Jesse Jackson, one of America’s foremost civil rights figures, stressed on the need to develop and mobilize political will to “end poverty, hunger, illiteracy and killer diseases in the world”.

“Humans have limited but genuine freedom through our individual decisions and our collective politics to make a positive difference in the world. If we can develop and mobilize political will, we will find constructive ways for South-South Cooperation and end the divisions of North and South, rich and poor, powerful and disenfranchised,” Jackson said.

Organized under the patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, a royal message from the King was read at the Forum’s opening ceremony by Yanja El Khattat, President of the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab Region, of which Dakhla is a part.

Various speakers at the opening ceremony highlighted the crucial role being played by Morocco to be a platform of gateway to Africa and to highlight the kep challenges being faced by African and other countries.

The conference is being attended by over 3,500 delegates and leaders from various countries and 43 international organizations.

The Forum will discuss the crucial issue of urban global management in view of the increasing rural exodus and the urban planning challenges.

The Forum will also discuss extending the Silk Road to Africa and fostering Asia-Africa partnerships. It will also have sessions on women empowerment and youth empowerment and integration.

Continue Reading


Israel PM recreates ‘Oscar’ Moment, poses with Bollywood Celebs



benjamin Netanyahu bollywood stars

Mumbai, Jan 19: Recreating the viral ‘Oscar selfie’, which featured several Hollywood stars in one picture, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on Thursday night, posed with Bollywood actors as a sign of the “great friendship” between India and Israel.

Netanyahu was at the ‘Shalom Bollywood’ event in Mumbai, where top stars from the industry were present, including Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Abhishek Bachchan, and filmmaker Karan Johar.

Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu met 26/11 survivor Moshe Holtzberg at Nariman House. He also laid wreath at the memorial to 26/11 terror attack victims at Taj Hotel in Mumbai on Thursday morning.


Baby Moshe is currently in India, for his first visit back since the 26/11 attacks.

Netanyahu Addressed the India-Israel Business Summit and spoke about how two nations that are as focused on innovation as India and Israel , should come together to “define the future” at the India-Israel Summit he was addressing in Mumbai on Thursday, reports ANI.

Israeli Prime Minister had a packed schedule for the last leg of his India visit. Israel PM met with several Indian CEOs in Mumbai on Thursday morning, where he said that the “future belongs to those who innovate”.

Later in the day he will pay tributes to the 2008 Mumbai terror attack victims. There will be a wreath-laying ceremony at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai, following which he will visit Nariman House and the Chabad Centre.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and his wife Sara, reached Mumbai on Wednesday evening as per schedule, after being received by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Ahmedabad in the morning.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Netanyahu along with wife Sara on Wednesday inaugurated ‘iCreate’, an autonomous centre for budding entrepreneurs and start-ups, in Deo Dholera Village, Ahmedabad .

The visit assumes significance given Israel’s reputation as being the global hub for start-ups. The Israeli prime minister also presented Modi a special gift — the Gal-Mobile water desalinisation and purification jeep the two leaders rode at Israel’s Olga beach last year.

The two leaders to a traditional reception at Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad after an 8-km roadshow from the airport. Netanyahu, known as Bibi in Israel, and his wife Sara also tried their hand at the iconic Charkha as Modi looked on.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and wife Sara visited the Taj Mahal on Tuesday afternoon after a brief meeting with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. They stayed at the Taj Complex for a few hours, posed for photos and learnt about the 17th century monument.

The Israeli Prime Minister first dropped in at a five-star hotel in Agra from where he directly went to see the Taj. The couple are expected to return to Delhi to take part in the Raisina Dialogue, in which Netanyahu is scheduled to deliver an inaugural speech at 4:30 pm.

Tight security arrangements have been made for the VVIP visit and the Taj, the ivory white marble mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna, will be closed for common visitors till the Israeli Prime Minister leaves.

No car or person was allowed to be in a periphery of 500 metres around the Taj since morning.

On Monday, India and Israel signed nine MoUs, including key bilateral agreements in cyber cooperation, film cooperation, science and technology. Speaking on Monday at the joint press conference, featuring the two leaders, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said: “My good friend, Bibi welcome to India, your visit marks a special beginning to our New Year calendar.”

Reciprocating the gesture, Netanyahu called PM Narendra Modi a revolutionary leader and said:” With Modi, I feel like I am in a rock concert. The Israeli premier said the Jews of India never experienced anti-semitism in 2,000 years.

India-Israel MOUs

India and Israel sign MOU on – cooperation in oil and gas sector, a protocol on amendments to air transport agreement, agreement on film co-production, field research in homoeopathic medicine, cooperation in the field of space, letter of intent to invest in India, cooperation in metal battery and cooperation in solar thermal energy.

The Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu met President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday Evening around 6 pm.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu  holded bilateral talks at Delhi’s Hyderabad House on Monday.

Earlier on Monday, Benjamin Netanyahu has been given a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, after which Israel PM and wife Sara Paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat.

Netanyahu will be accompanied by his wife Sara as they will leave for Agra to see Taj Mahal on Tuesday. On the same day, he will visit Delhi and participate in the Raisina Dialogue, where he is scheduled to deliver an inaugural speech.

Netanyahu will leave for Ahmedabad on the fourth day of his tour and visit the Sabarmati Ashram. The minister will also attend an event at the International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Technology. He will later visit the Centre of Excellence, Vadrad. After which, the minister will leave for Mumbai.

On Thursday, Netanyahu will have a power breakfast with Indian CEOs and attend a business seminar. He will also lay a wreath at Taj Hotel Mumbai and pay a visit to Nariman House – Chabad Centre.

He will also reach out to Bollywood personalities in an exclusive ‘Shalom Bollywood’ event, that aims at exploring business opportunities for Indian filmmakers in Israel.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi set aside protocol to receive his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu, who arrived in New Delhi for a historic six-day visit. Modi welcomed Netanyahu with a hug upon his arrival. According to Israeli officials, Netanyahu was pleasantly surprised by Modi welcoming him at the airport. “I very much appreciate the gesture,” Netanyahu was quoted as saying by officials.

A smiling Modi embraced Netanyahu and then shook hands both with him and his wife as they stepped on the red carpet at the airport here.

They both then arrived at Teen Murti Chowk, received by Army Chief General Bipin Rawat and Foreign Secy S Jaishankar on Sunday.


Delhi’s Teen Murti Chowk has been renamed Teen Murti Haifa Chowk by PM Modi and his Israeli counterpart Netanyahu. The renaming was done in memory of the supreme sacrifice by Indian soldiers to liberate Haifa in Israel in 1918.

Netanyahu who is accompanied by his wife had a brief conversation with Swaraj after renaming the Teen Murti Haifa Chowk in the capital.

This is the first visit to India by an Israeli Prime Minister since Ariel Sharon came in 2003


Continue Reading


India shouldn’t replicate China’s urbanisation models: NITI Aayog VC

Given India’s diversity, it cannot afford “inequitable and unbalanced urbanisation, said Niti Aayog VC Rajiv Kumar



Rajiv Kumar

Instead of replicating foreign models that may lead to inequitable and unbalanced urbanisation, India needs to create growth hubs across the country, NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar said on Thursday.

Given India’s diversity, it cannot afford “inequitable and unbalanced urbanisation”, he said.

“It’s unfortunate that we continuously look for foreign models…

We cannot let India replicate what China has done,” Rajiv Kumar said during the national workshop on “Municipal Finance and Effective & Accelerated Implementation of Smart Cities” here.

He said that development in China had happened only along the coastline whereas other areas had remained backward, forcing millions of people to move inward to their homelands during the Chinese New Year and India cannot have millions of people moving from one part of the nation to the other on festivals like Diwali or Holi.

“To minimise the presence of dualistic structure and to connect villages with all the urban facilities, we need to introduce the concept of ‘rurban’,” he said.

“In order to empower our cities, we need economic-political legitimacy, technologically smart solutions and intellectual legitimacy,” he added.

“Unless we make our cities generators of India, we won’t get intellectual legitimacy.”

Continue Reading

Most Popular