Connect with us


Affordable housing emerging as new focus of housing finance firms: Industry



New Delhi, May 29:  With a slew of reforms and push from the government, affordable housing — so far the poor second-cousin of real estate — is emerging as the preferred segment for housing finance institutions and developers alike, say industry stakeholders and experts.

“Affordable housing is now attracting the interest of more developers who had previously shunned it because of its down-market image. Today, it has become a respectable segment and with the government’s determined push… it now plays a very important role in the housing finance sector,” Anuj Puri, Residential Chairman of property consulting firm Jones Lang LaSalle, told IANS.

LIC Housing Finance said it has identified affordable housing as the focus area for the current year and has devised strategies and action plans for greater emphasis on the sector.

Shankara Vaddadi, CEO and Founder of online peer-to-peer lending platform I-lend, told IANS, “With quick turnaround times, this sector is ripe for a new breed of housing finance companies to enter with much lower thresholds and quicker movement on disbursal. This will lead to competition.. we can see a new breed of non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) getting into the sector and making quick inroads.”

According to a report by domestic ratings agency Crisil, affordable homes are altering mortgage market dynamics. It estimates that the segment was worth around Rs 1.6 lakh crore as on March 31, 2017 — accounting for over 25 per cent of all housing loans.

Affordable housing has the potential to be clean and quick, leading to lower operational and marketing costs and helping in creating a new category within the realty space.

Amol Shimpi, Associate Dean and Director, School of Real Estate, RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University, told IANS, “However, it must be noted that the business of affordable housing can prove tricky for the players if enough caution is not exercised. For example, bringing down the construction cost without compromising on quality may be easier said than done.”

While the segment is on a growth curve, the goal of providing affordable housing to all will be achieved by bridging the gap that currently exists between access to capital and execution capability.

The other aspect of affordable housing will be the increasing use of newer material for building houses and construction techniques which might revolutionise the sector.

Brotin Banerjee, MD and CEO, Tata Housing Development Company, said, “The growth and sustenance of this segment is as dependent on a dedicated public-private partnership (PPP) model as it is on the successful creation of infrastructure in the earmarked regions.

“The government’s focus on affordable housing is likely to spur private participation further. The segment can serve as a revenue stream in the wake of slower sales in other categories,” Banerjee told IANS.

Traditionally, the onus of supplying affordable housing has been with public sector entities. However, the entire ecosystem of regulators, developers or banks are coming together to push the government’s objective of “Housing for All”.

Not only the public sector but also private sector banks have reduced the home loan rates to boost the sector. State Bank of India, LIC Housing Finance and Housing Development Finance Corporation, among others, recently reduced home loan interest rates by up to 30 basis points.

Sudhir Pai, CEO, Magicbricks said that the company was already witnessing a spike of 40 per cent in searches and 30 per cent in owner listings since February.

“In addition to the lower rates for home loans, the Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) released by the National Housing Bank (NHB) has also helped. This reduces the effective home loan rate for the borrower,” Pai said.

Under the CLSS, those in a salary bracket of up to Rs 6 lakh a year can avail a credit subsidy of 6.5 per cent on housing loans. In the Union Budget, a 4 per cent and 3 per cent interest subsidy was announced for those annually earning up to Rs 12 lakh and Rs 18 lakh, respectively, on home loans of up to Rs 12 lakh.

Additionally, the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is not expected to lead to an increase in the cost to the buyers.

Many construction materials are in the 18 and 28 per cent GST slabs. For example, steel and steel products are at 18 per cent and cement is at 28 per cent. Currently, the total tax burden is calculated at 30 to 31 per cent, which is 2-3 percent more than the proposed GST rate for cement. Also, as an input tax credit is available, the overall tax incidence should be neutralised.

“Thus, the basic construction cost may come down a little, but as the input tax credit is limited to 12 per cent, there may not be much saving in the high-end specification construction,” Surabhi Arora, Senior Associate Director, Research, Colliers International India, said.

“The question for the buyer will remain whether the developer will pass the saving in the form of price correction or not, despite the anti-profiteering clause because it may be difficult to monitor in real time,” Arora said.

Moreover, infrastructure status to the affordable housing segment and Real Estate Regulation and Development Act, 2016 (RERA) are considered crucial moves for its growth.


By Meghna Mittal

(Meghna Mittal can be reached at [email protected])


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