Few Easy Tips To improve Rental Value Of Your Property

Few Easy Tips To improve Rental Value Of Your Property

With a large inflow of foreign remittance and higher level of disposable income, Indians have long started investing in multiple properties for rental income and value appreciation.

Though property value appreciates well over a period of time, rental income is still not quite lucrative. An apartment bought for 30-40 lakhs fetch only about Rs. 10-15k as monthly rent, which translates to just 4-5% return annually.

However, if you opt for some out of the box ideas instead of relying on just regular rentals, you can rent out your property to get much better returns. Here are some such actionable, yet easy tips that can help.

  • Location

If you haven’t already bought the apartment, then ensure that the one you buy is in a prime location with easy access to shopping malls, offices, IT complex, hospitals, schools and other amenities. Not only will the price in such areas appreciate dramatically, but also, rental demand will be much higher.

  • Focus On Amenities

Amenities like gym, club house, swimming pool, house-keeping are no longer a luxury. With most apartment complexes having these facilities, the ones that don’t have them are finding it hard to retain its value in the market. No matter how ideally located your property is, if it doesn’t have such features and facilities, families and health conscious individuals wouldn’t prefer to call such a place home.

  • Furnish and Ensure Ample Storage Space

Furnished apartments always demand a premium rent over unfurnished ones, especially if your property is located near a commercial hub or IT park. You can also demand higher security deposit on furnished apartments.

Beautifully furnished places are quite alluring and much in demand from  professionals change location frequently.

While furnishing, ensure ample storage space and proper natural lighting inside every room as these are qualities that most tenants would love to have.

  • Home Appliances

Just like furnishings, being equipped with home appliances is also a value addition that you can monetize upon.

You could also offer to get dryer, dishwasher and such smart energy efficient appliances if the tenant agrees to enter in to a long-term tenancy contract.

  • Care About the First impression

Always keep your apartment clean and presentable before a potential tenant visits. Nothing turns off a tenant more than unkempt apartment that require plenty of repair work.

Ensure that the plumbing works are done and that there are no leaks. Also, apply a fresh coat of paint and take care of all maintenance works. You could opt for deep cleaning by professional cleaners, followed by weekly maintenance by the building house-keeping staffs to ensure that the place looks spic-and-span all the time.

  • Tie Up With Corporates

Most corporates enter into long-term lease/ rental agreements with landlords for their guesthouses. You can contact reputed local real estate agents to find such deals. Not only will you be able to fetch premium rent for your luxurious well-furnished apartment, but the property will also be well-maintained by the in-house corporate house-keeping staffs.

  • Proper Maintenance

Your apartment may look perfect on a superficial level. But seasoned tenants know that they need to check for leaks, bathroom fixtures, cracks and kitchen cabinets to really know if the property is well-maintained and trouble-free. So, keep an eye on your property even after you have rented it out. Check out the place every 3-6 months and ensure regular repair and maintenance are done so that your place retains its freshness and appeal in the long term.

  • Be proactive in listing your property

Keep 2 month notice period in your tenancy contract so that you have ample time to find a new tenant when the old ones leave. A month of vacancy means 8 – 9% loss in annual rental income. So, be proactive and when market turns grim, be prepared to take in 3-5% cut on rent as in the long run, it is much better than keeping the property vacant for extended duration.

Few Things To Check Before Buying A Distressed Property

Few Things To Check Before Buying A Distressed Property

The aftershocks of multiple disruptive policy reforms and structural changes continue to ripple through the Indian real estate sector. While its visible transformation from unorganized to organized and opacity to transparency are indubitably positive, we cannot help but count the fatalities of this process.

Many real estate developers are finding it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to realign their businesses to the new norms. It’s not just a question of compliance, but also the fact that the new real estate development norms call for massive capital infusions.

The practice of raising interest-free monies via pre-launches now more or less a thing of the past, interest rates are hardening and the banking sector is not especially well-disposed towards lending to developers.

Simultaneously, investors who had depended on heavy cash components for their resale properties have been left in dire straits by demonetization and the concerted drive towards financial transparency.

Many developers need to sell their hung-over inventory in a hurry – either to raise funds for new projects or so that they can cash out and leave the business. Likewise, many investors or other property owners are also desperate to exit their holdings.

And as is usually the case, one man’s loss is inevitably another’s potential gain. The current state of the market certainly presents a window of opportunity for smart property buyers who can make the most of it.

Today, there are plenty of distressed properties available on the Indian real estate market. The available opportunities include retail assets, hotels, individual residential units and even entire housing projects. With proper due diligence and the appropriate capitalization, one can actually strike a gold mine.

However, one still needs to know what one is doing, and also follow some very necessary precautions before entering into a distressed property deal.

Is this the right time to buy distressed properties? 

With rising population in urban areas (more than 10 million people migrate to Indian cities and towns every year, and India’s urban population likely to surpass 800 million by 2050), there is a significant inherent demand for homes, offices, malls and other real estate asset classes.

In the current market conditions, many distressed assets are available at attractive valuations and it may not be a bad idea to seal a deal. However, one should not do this without a clear plan of action on how to utilize or monetize the acquired asset.

Aspects to investigate before acquiring a distressed property:

  • Reasons for the distress sale 

It is extremely important to identify the reason for why a property has become distressed, to assess if they involve policy changes (which may affect the new owner as well), financial troubles or wrong intent. The latter is the most difficult to identify and tackle, and so must be investigated with utmost care.

  • Existing debt

A distressed property buyer must do a thorough check on the existing debt which the new buyer will assume. In addition to the overall quantum, one must segregate such debt into short-term and long-term, and also understand if the debt is backed by any security or otherwise.

  • Physical condition

However attractive the valuation may appear, the physical condition of the asset to be purchased plays a key role in its inherent value to the new owner. Regardless of whether the buyer plans to refurbish and release/sell and/or demolish and rebuild the property, this check is important to assess the cost implications.

  • Law adherence

A prospective buyer of a distressed property must ensure that the asset is developed as per the stipulated regulations, including FSI permissions, statutory approvals, fire safety norms, and many more. If there is even a faint hint of a violation, the buyer must understand the risks and have a plan towards mitigating them.

  • Litigation check

The buyer should check for litigations that embrace the distressed asset. It should be commercially viable to own the property despite the existing litigations, and the buyer should have the knowledge, means and a plan to overcome such issues.

  • Title clarity

A clean title is a must for the hassle-free future transactions or development of the purchased asset.

  • Lease contracts

If a buyer is acquiring a pre-leased asset, it is imperative to check the lease contracts and their expiry dates so that they can be factored into future financial projections.

Conclusion

The momentary pause and panic in the real estate sector of a country whose GDP likely to reach $5 trillion by 2025 can certainly be viewed as an opportunity by large global investors who are looking to enter into or expand in India.

However, such players are not gamblers and will always ensure that they have the benefit of an experienced India-based consultancy to identify opportunities as well as their accompanying risks and required mitigation plans.

Individual investors, on the other hand, bear the onus of due diligence while acquiring distressed assets.

It should be clear that a well-meditated play in distressed property can reap rich benefits, while an inadequately researched acquisition can result in a severe financial setback and even legal complications.

Tips To Protect Your Home In Monsoon

Tips To Protect Your Home In Monsoon

Monsoon is a season to relish hot snacks with hot tea or coffee in a house which has been taken care off for the season. The monsoon can bring with it spillages, fungus and different issues, all of which can harm your home, furniture and other significant assets. Homes turn out to be more helpless during monsoon season and it is very vital for you to shield your homes from the desolates caused by rains.

Here are few handy tips and hacks that will help you get your home monsoon-ready:-

  1. The walls and roofs with cracks and holes are the places for the growth of Moss and fungus in the humid monsoon season. These are very harmful for the people living in the houses thus before monsoon starts one should check, locate and repair the cracks.
  2. To avoid seepage of rain water in to the house, one should paint the exterior of the house with waterproofing coat of paint.
  3. The rain water harvesting pipes needs to be checked and ensured that they are not having water clogging on the roof for water stagnation.
  4. To avoid accidents from electrical shock, one should check the external wiring and repair them before the season starts.
  5. To avoid rusting doors and windows with metal needs to be repainted and sunshades over the windows should be checked and overhauled.
  6. Water accumulation should be avoided around the house for the fresh water, mosquitoes to be breaded so puddles of water should be cleared then and there.
  7. Furniture should be kept dry and away from walls to avoid the moisture transfer.
  8. Wooden doors, windows and furniture should be waxed and oiled to keep it from swelling during the season.
  9. Naphthalene balls should be kept in wooden wardrobes to keep moisture at bay.
  10. Carpets and rugs should be rolled up for the season to avoid moisture and filth accumulating in them.
  11. Check for termite infestation, as a humid atmosphere will only boost the growth of termites. Make sure that wooden floors and furniture are properly polished to prevent moisture from building up. Cupboards and desks are easy target for infestation. Use camphor, neem leaves or cloves between clothes to keep away insects.
  12. Keep all the indoor plants outside the home as they increase dampness inside the home during rainy season.

Monsoons are keenly anticipated by every homeowner, but when it arrives it brings along a series of challenges for the homeowners. It is essential to drift clear of the problems to truly enjoy the season!

 

Indian Real Estate Lookout For 2018-2019

Indian Real Estate Lookout For 2018-2019

Indian real estate is going through a major transformation in the recent years. Some of the big decisions and new policies of the Indian Government have affected the real estate sector in big way, albeit in positive or negative manner. Few of the policy changes introduced by the government, such as demonetization, RERA, and REITs in 2016, followed by GST and FDI in 2017, have made huge impacts on Indian real estate sector. Apart from this, there are various other reforms anticipated by the experts in Indian economy, which may come into force in the coming time. However, the new legislation and trends that have come up in the real estate market have the power to reshape the Indian real estate sector for a long term and year 2018 can be a starting point towards the Indian real estate growth story.

Looking at the positive aspects of the reforms, there is a big possibility that years 2018-19 are going to be the bumper years for the Indian realty market. The transformation of market has attracted the eyes of domestic and foreign investors, and there are various positive trends observed by the experts, which point towards a more pro-active, positive and growing Indian Real Estate sector. Listed below are seven major positive trends in the Indian Real Estate market, which shows that there is great depth in the market and the so-called revival of real estate in India has already started.

  1. Global capital flow into Indian real estate

One of the major signs of revival for Indian property market, investments by global investors has increased recently, with various international property funds and investors acquiring strong position in Indian realty space. As per World Investment Report 2016-17 by the United Nations Conference for trade and development, India has been ranked fourth in terms of FDI inflows, which shows strong interest by the foreign buyers and investors in the Indian markets. Improvement in India’s overall credibility with transformation of regulatory framework has built up an attractive destination for both global and Indian investors. Thanks to improvement in transparency, NRIs and foreign investors find country’s real estate market more reliable than ever before. Thus far, Indian real estate has attracted USD 32 billion in private equity and various other foreign investors are willing to invest in various sectors in India. As per Economic Survey of India, Indian Real Estate sector witnessed significant improvement attracting a total Foreign Direct Investment of USD 257 million in the second half of 2017 only. Looking at this trend, the expectations from private equity is high in the coming years and it is projected that 2018 and 2019 will be even bigger years for FDI investments in India.

  1. Developers will revamp their business models

From year 2000 to 2016, because of lack of strong regulations of Indian property sector, developers used to launch many projects at the same time and there was no guarantee of completion of projects on time. There are numerous instances where investor’s hard earned money went down the drain, simply because the developer is highly over-leveraged and could not complete the project. Now, with the enactment of RERA Act (Real Estate Regulation and Development Act, 2016), a deadline has been fixed for the projects to be completed, which will force developers to re-zig their business models. The developers will require to bring more transparency as well as accountability in their processes, and do a lot more to increase consumer confidence in the project. Also, other legislative reforms such as The Goods and Service Tax (GST) Act 2017 as well as The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act 2016, will have a major impact on the business models and work ethics of developers. This also means that most of fly-by-night developers will be out of market and Indian real estate will have more reputed and serious property developers. This will bring in more confidence of domestic and foreign investors into the market, which may result in higher and sustainable demand in the long run.

  1. Ever increasing housing demand

Although past few years have observed comparatively lower transactions in the residential sector, housing demand in the country is quite high, thanks to its ever-growing population size. In India, there is an estimated shortage of around 40 million houses (urban and rural). In addition, population growth of 1.3 per cent per annum, favorable demographics, rise of concept of ‘nuclear families’, increased migration to urban areas, fiscal benefits, rising income/aspirations, etc. could lead to another 10 million demand for houses per annum. However, in the recent times, most of the property developers focused on luxury to mid end housing only, whereas much of this demand is in the affordable housing segment. Moreover, with time, the definition of affordability also has changed and with ever increasing land prices, high finance rates, construction cost and stringent development regulations, affordable housing was not at all profitable option for real estate developers. This required some impetus from the government for developers to focus on affordable housing segment.

With the government nod of infrastructure status to affordable housing in Union Budget 2017-18, this sector is expected to grow at a high pace. The affordable housing segment is expected to be the next big growth driver of the Indian economy with property experts predicting a phenomenal growth rate of over 30% in the medium term. Developers may now have options for diverse and cheaper sources of funding, including external commercial borrowings (ECBs), which eventually can lower the borrowing costs of developers, who should pass on the savings to the buyers and investors. New reforms also amended the size of affordable housing units in big cities, which is more in line with the markets. Moreover, banks may also be willing to lend these projects at attractive interest rates, which will result in easy and cheaper financing options to end users as well. With this in mind, various property developers and builders in India are gearing up to develop affordable housing projects, which is expected to improve the market sentiments in the time to come.

  1. Commercial market shots

One of the major leader of property sector, commercial office market, is turning out to be the front runner in witnessing positive changes in the market owing to various legislative revolutions. RERA, REIT, demonetization, GST, Make in India and various other reforms have given numerous positive shots to commercial real estate market, which has started springing back towards high growth curve.

A) REITs: With the government making way for REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) in Indian realty market, the commercial office market has already started bouncing back in Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi and Pune. With major market players such as Blackstone, Embassy and DLF making fast in-roads for REIT model in India, the trickle down impact on other realty players in anticipated in 2018-2019, which may result in improvement in other commercial office markets of the country with higher investment returns to its investors. The REIT potential in India is huge, with around 229 million sq. ft. of office space currently being REIT compliant. As per industry experts, even if 50% of this space is listed in the next few years, it will be mammoth $18.5 billion worth of REIT listing. Moreover, India’s stock of Grade A commercial assets is also increasing with more and more developers are looking to contribute to this sector and REITs acting as a sure-fire growth catalyst. The long term results should show investments in other markets such as retail, industrial and hospitality, which is expected to improve the overall market sentiments.

B) Co-working spaces: Indian office sector is moving into ‘hybrid’ spaces or co-working culture, looking at the strong demand for flexible working spaces in India. The rise of numerous start-ups in Indian markets has paved the way for this market, which is turning out to be a big boost for the commercial office sector. Co-working spaces are popping up across Indian metros as well as Tier-II cities, providing start-ups with flexible working options at affordable rents. Presently, there are more than 100 operators in this space across India, though there is still very limited supply of co-working spaces available. This sector is slowly moving to become a big success story, with various other countries also following the same model.

C) Industrialization and Trade: Apart from various other factors, improvement in industrialization and trade opportunities in the recent past are also fueling the demand for commercial office space in various cities in India. Moreover, with recent changes in FDI policy, demand for warehousing industry is expected to increase many-folds in 2018-2019, which will have a positive impact on other sectors including commercial office market.

  1. Alternative asset classes

It is quite heartening to know that it is not only the residential, commercial and hospitality sector, which are showing revival of trends. Instead, various alternative and new asset classes have emerged in the Indian real estate sector such as short term stays, specialty hospitals and medical institutes, schools, student housing, aged care facilities, etc. These emerging sectors are showing great signs of high growth in the recent times and promises to push the sector further up with induced investments by various domestic and foreign investors.

  1. Market consolidation 

In the past few years, owing to slowdown of realty sector, comparatively few sales and lack of financing options in India has led to various developers over-leveraging themselves. This means that most of small time developers may either have to sell off their assets or enter into JV with big and more reputed developers to save them from this financial mess and deliver their projects. With this consolidation of property development market on the cards, the highly overcrowded real estate sector in India is expected to become a lot leaner and meaner. With consolidation happening by ways of joint developments and joint ventures between landowners and/or small developers with bigger, better-organised players, smaller developers being bought out by larger players, and struggling developers cashing in their land banks by selling them to players with stronger balance sheets and appetite for growth.

This may be a lengthy process for the time being, however, the initial feelers of this process are prominently visible in various markets in India. Several small builders with half-baked projects are already looking for investments and rescue from big brothers, with many more sitting on the fence to gauge the initial results. This consolidation will surely flush out all the bad elements from the real estate market and it is expected to be more transparent, level playing and promising market for foreign and domestic investors.

RERA ACT – Pluses and Minuses

RERA ACT – Pluses and Minuses

The Real Estate Regulatory Authority Bill was recently approved by the Union Cabinet and is in effect in the State of Maharashtra w.e.f 01.08.2017.

While it might be helpful for some, it has its own hurdles. Few pluses and minuses of the RERA Act.

Pluses:

  • Transparency: Promoters must provide accurate disclosures on the website along with the allotment letter.
  • Compulsory registration: Builder must register with the housing regulatory projects and submit all the details of the property.
  • No misleading claims:  A written affidavit should be given mentioning the time frame of the project to be delivered.
  • Money management: Builders have to deposit 70% of the buyer’s amount in an escrow A/c to avoid diversion of money.
  • Warranty: RERA will provide 5-year warranty for structural defects.

Minuses:

  1. Hike in property prices: Due to the lack of liquidity, builders have to look for other sources for money thus, leading to rise in the price of the property.
  2. Stagnant growth: Due to 70% investment in escrow account there will be cash flow hindrances leading to delay in projects.
  3. Supply-demand imbalance: Compliance to all the aspects will delay the project and as there won’t be pre-selling of the property.
  4. Harsh penalty: If a builder fails to fulfil any provisions, he will be liable for imprisonment up to 3 years or 10% of the total cost of the project.
  5. No cover on rental: RERA doesn’t include any rental agreements and arrangements of any sorts.

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