Latest Real Estate News on 'Pune'

National Green Tribunal orders vigil along coastal areas

Comments Off on National Green Tribunal orders vigil along coastal areas   |  February 8, 2014

PUNE: The National Green Tribunal, western zone bench, Pune on Tuesday, directed all collectors and police commissioners of the coastal zone areas and districts in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa, to instruct police stations to step up vigil to stop illegal sand mining in the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ).

The directives have come in the wake of increasing activities by the sand mafia and extensive extraction of sand for construction.

The tribunal also directed the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Regulatory Authority (MCZMA), collectors and commissioners of all coastal zones and districts to submit status reports along with cases registered and sand seized, apart from taking strict action against sand mafias and those responsible for illegal extraction.

The tribunal bench, comprising Justices V R Kingaonkar and Ajay Deshpande also suggested that these authorities take assistance from local fishermen, community members, homeguards and social organizations to comply with the directions.

The order added, “The state government may, if so required, depute homeguards to assist the Coastal Police Force (CPF) to monitor the activities of keeping vigil and registering cases against sand mafias.”

The order came in response to a petition filed by Mumbai-based non governmental organization (NGO) Awaaz Foundation against the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, Ministry of Environment and Forest, Maharashtra Maritime Board, collectors of Raigad, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Sindhudurg, and Mumbai Municipal Corporation, among others.

Advocate Asim Sarode, representing the Awaaz Foundation, told TOI that the NGO’s petition challenges the illegal business of sand dredging and mining in foreshore lands, creeks, tidal waters and other areas and sand extraction.

“The tribunal has granted ad-interim relief for banning forthwith all sand mining in areas falling within CRZ in the coastal districts of Thane, Ratnagiri, Raigad, Sindhudurg and Navi Mumbai districts, and also restraining the collectors, MPCB, Maharashtra Maritime Board from issuing any further auction notices, granting licences and permissions for mining sand in areas that fall within CRZ in the coastal districts of the state,” added Sarode.

Kolte-Patil Developers acquire 34 acre land worth Rs 350 crore in Pune

Comments Off on Kolte-Patil Developers acquire 34 acre land worth Rs 350 crore in Pune   |  February 7, 2014

MUMBAI: Kolte-Patil Developers Limited, a leading Pune based real estate developer, has announced the closure of the acquisition of a 34 acres land parcel at Wakad, Pune for approximately Rs 350 crore.

This land parcel is the largest contiguous land parcel within the city municipal limits and has a prime location on the Mumbai-Pune highway. The Wakad land parcel lies in close proximity to the Rajiv Gandhi Hinjewadi IT Park that houses global IT companies like Infosys, Wipro, TCS, IBM, Tech Mahindra etc. making Wakad a preferred residential choice in Pune. Further adding to the attractiveness of the location is its vicinity to the renowned areas of Aundh and Baner, Pimpri-Chinchwad Industrial area, Mumbai-Bangalore Bypass and Balewadi National Sports complex.

The project is 100% owned by Kolte-Patil with a total saleable area of 2.3 msf. The company will develop a mixed-use residential housing project with some commercial aspect.

In a statement, Sujay Kalele, CEO, Kolte-Patil developers ltd said: “We are excited to announce the closure of this land acquisition, which adds significantly to our non-township developable land bank and diversifies our development risks. We are confident that the project would receive a tremendous response given our strong brand name and execution capabilities. This is the largest reported land deal within the city limits in Pune and was funded largely through internal accruals. Post deal closure, our balance sheet remains robust with a net debt-equity ratio of 0.16x as of December 31, 2013.”

Developers draw home buyers with interest rate concession

Comments Off on Developers draw home buyers with interest rate concession   |  January 18, 2014

PUNE: Members of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (Credai) have introduced a scheme wherein the buyer pays only 7.5% interest on the loan amount till the possession of the apartment or for 24 months – whichever is earlier.

The lender will not take a cut on the interest. Instead, the developer will shell out the difference between 7.5% and what the lender is charging for that specific period.

Also important are the various restrictions which the Reserve Bank of India has put on such ‘deals’ to attract customers and some recent court decisions have spelled out with the intention to contain the tendency of making lofty promises and taking the customer for a ride.

The offer aims at helping the hesitant prospective customers to buy, said vice-president Rohit Gera. “There is no slide in the demand, but many home buyers are sitting on the fence. We want him to act,” Gera said.

The offer implies that a customer pays 10% of the cost of the house as down payment and the bank will start disbursing the loan according to the progress of the project. Banks will process the loan applications according to their rules and charge the same interest. However, those who sign an agreement between January 17 and March 31 with any of the Credai Members will get back from the developer every month the interest in excess of 7.5%.

Gera said for a loan of Rs 40 lakh, a customer will save approximately Rs 10,000 per month during the period of construction. After two years, when the project will be complete, his income would have gone up and the regular EMI would not pinch him, he added.

So, are the days of liberal pricing and sweeteners of the post sub-prime crisis back in the realty sector? Credai Pune Metro president Hemant Naiknavare did not quite agree. “The situation in the aftermath of sub-prime crisis was different. The fear of an imminent job loss kept buyers away. This time, it is the economic slowdown that has made the buyer cautious and hesitant,” Naiknavare said on Wednesday.

Pune sees highest office space addition in Q4 2013

Comments Off on Pune sees highest office space addition in Q4 2013   |  January 15, 2014

Close to 7.3 million sq.ft. of office space supply entered the market in Q4 2013, as compared to less than 3 million sq.ft. in Q3 2013.

Close to 7.3 million sq.ft. of office space supply entered the market in Q4 2013, as compared to less than 3 million sq.ft. in Q3 2013. This was led largely by a number of commercial and SEZ developments that had been delayed over the previous two quarters, and were finally completed in Q4 2013. Pune led these project completions, followed by Bangalore and Hyderabad—together contributing to about 71% of the total new supply in India’s top office markets in the last quarter of 2013.

The fourth quarter of 2013 accounted for around 7.3 million sq. ft. of new office space addition across India’s major cities, with this supply distribution lead by Pune (30%), Bangalore (26%), and Hyderabad (15%). During the fourth quarter, prime office space supply in Pune grew significantly q-o-q—registering above 2.0 million sq. ft. of fresh space, as compared to less than 50,000 sq. ft. of supply addition in Q3 2013.

The city’s total commercial office space supply addition for 2013 stood at approximately 4.4 million sq. ft.,registering the third largest supply addition in 2013, following Mumbai (8.4 million sq. ft.) and Bangalore (8 million sq. ft.). High vacancies and lower demand levels had resulted in quite a few project delays over the previous quarters of 2013—leading to a significant supply addition by the year-end in the city. Pune’s Off Central Business District (Off CBD) micro-markets of Viman Nagar, Magarpatta, Aundh, Baner, Shanker Seth Road, SB Road and Nagar Road saw the maximum supply addition to the tune of 62% in the review quarter, over the Peripheral Business District (PBD; 30%), and the Central Business District (CBD; 8%). Around 1 million sq. ft. of IT SEZ space was added to the city’s existing stock, with the completion of the EON SEZ – A atKharadi in the PBD; while the CBD did not witness any significant project completions in Q4 2013.

Pune’s total office space absorption in 2013 stood at around 2 million sq. ft., with the fourth quarter contributing to about520,000 sq. ft. of space take-up—a q-o-q growth of around 23% over absorption in Q3 2013.With supply numbers over-riding absorption levels, rental values remained under pressure and continued to maintain stabilityacross most micro-markets during the review period.While Off CBD rental values in the IT/IT SEZ segment remained stable, the commercial segment saw a negligible appreciation of about 1–2% in rental values, owing to persistent demand from corporates preferring to set up their offices in the region.

Pune witnessed an increase in leasing activity during the quarter; and this trend is likely to continue into the coming few months too. A large number of transactions, which are in advanced stages of discussion, are likely to be closed within the next quarter. The IT/ITeS, banking and financial services segments will continue to drive the demand for office space in the Off CBD and PBD locations of Pune. Owing to a steady addition of supply and persistent demand levels, rental values are likely to remain stable across most of the city’s micro-markets in the short to medium term.

PMC may not hike property tax next fiscal

Comments Off on PMC may not hike property tax next fiscal   |  January 5, 2014

PUNE: Chances are that citizens will not be burdened with an increase in property tax in the next financial year. The civic administration has submitted a proposal to the standing committee, suggesting that the levy should not be hiked.

Property tax is one of the main sources of revenue for the PMC. The department handles the billing and collection of property tax on residential, commercial and other types of properties held privately or by state and Union governments within the municipal limits.

“The committee has received the proposal, which was tabled at its meeting earlier this week. The members wanted to discuss the proposal, so it was decided to arrange a special meeting for the purpose. The civic administration has suggested that there should be no increase in the tax and the proposal is expected to be approved,” standing committee chairman Vishal Tambe told TOI.

As per the proposal, the civic body will have to decide on the issue by February 20, 2014. The proposal has projected income from property tax for this year to be around Rs 720 crore.

PMC officials have said the administration hopes to increase the revenue from property tax by around Rs 20 crore per year, thanks to unassessed properties identified in a special drive. The PMC currently collects tax from owners of around 7.5 lakh properties. It has identified around 16,000 more properties and additional constructions in over 4,000 structures in its drive.

“Property tax revenue is expected to go up due to various such initiatives taken this year. Also, the PMC had increased the tax in current financial year. Hence, the department prefers not to hike the tax for next year,” civic officials have said.

According to the officials, the civic administration had proposed a hike of 18% during the current financial year (2013-14), which the standing committee reduced to 8%.

Property tax is the tax charged on immovable or tangible real property, such as land, buildings and permanent improvements. PMC assesses all residential and commercial properties situated within its limits, based on which the owners have to pay the tax. The levy may also include basic house/building tax plus service taxes such as street tax, and conservancy/scavenging tax. It is collected either every six months or annually. Citizens who pay their dues before May 31 get a discount of 10%.

Realty business stares at slowdown

Comments Off on Realty business stares at slowdown   |  December 31, 2013

The multi-crore realty business in Pune seems to be staring at a possible slowdown as many new projects are being shelved. The rate of project clearance by the building permission department of the PMC has dipped by 12 per cent thanks to a fall in demand and rise in inflation. In Pimpri-Chinchwad, tough measures against illegal constructions by the PCMC administration has forced the builders to plan their projects meticulously, leading to delay in submission and clearance.

Prakash Deshmukh, president of The Indian Institute of Architects, said the question of affordability is creeping into the minds of home buyers, forcing them to rethink their strategy. Realtors say inflation and government apathy towards the issue means that price rise is passed on to the end buyer. In Pune, this essentially means that affordable housing has become out of reach for the common man. Although projects which neared completion this year had many takers, the fact is that builders had to change their strategy to suit the sluggish market sentiments.

Shrikant Paranjape, vice-president, Credai Pune Metro, said, “People resisted from high investments in properties. Though there were sales during festive seasons still the expected amount of sales for the year could not be attained. High inflation and rupee depreciation also led to sluggish market.”

Senior Credai members said the builders in many cases either took up part completion of projects or shelved extending projects to tide over the cost escalation. “In this way, some of the projects which were supposed to have three to four phases were divided into smaller parts and completed,” said a Credai senior member.

Some realtors blamed the government policies for the downturn. D S Kulkarni, chairman and managing director, D S Kulkarni Developers Limited, said, “2013 was bad for realtors. It was not about getting customers or not selling the flats, it was all about various rules and regulations that the builders were burdened with. The rules and regulations had no clarity and were against the realty sector.”

Meanwhile, the chorus for affordable housing seemed to be getting louder with even realtors backing it. Deshmukh claimed that affordable housing in the range of Rs 7-8 lakh was the need of hour for more than 65 per cent of the city. “Of this 45 per cent would be able to purchase their properties with out any government help,” he said.

In the last one year, the action taken by PCMC administration against illegal structures has caused jitters among the building community, especially those who had till now been setting up illegal constructions through underhand deals.

PCMC demolition drive kept industrial town on the edge

Comments Off on PCMC demolition drive kept industrial town on the edge   |  December 31, 2013

The Year 2013 will go down in the history of the industrial town of Pimpri-Chinchwad as the one that saw strongest possible action initiated by the civic administration against illegal constructions. As a result, in the last six months, nobody — not even builders known for brazenly setting up illegal structures — have dared to raise an inch of illegal construction in Pimpri-Chinchwad.

Morchas have been carried out and protests staged, civic general body meetings were adjourned several times and standing committee meetings ended without transaction of any business, state legislature has been rocked, MLAs have resigned and corporators quit in a desperate bid to halt the drive against illegal constructions launched by Municipal Commissioner Shrikar Pardeshi days after he took charge in June 2012.

Much to the “dismay” of citizens and politicians, no amount of pressure — not even from Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar who holds sway in the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, and “seven life threats” to Pardeshi — has failed to stop the demolition drive. During the last one-and-a-half years, the PCMC administration has flattened over 500 structures — including over 2,200 flats — and has filed FIRs against 2,000 people, including builders.

The PCMC action is being described as the only-of-its-kind in Maharashtra. The neighbouring Pune Municipal Corporation, too, has not been able to match up.

Besides causing jitters through his drive, Pardeshi also tried to “bring in discipline” and “end corruption” in the civic functioning by transferring officials who had remained in the same position for years. So far, over 300 senior officials and lower grade employees have been shifted.

The civic chief has also not spared officials who faced charges. On his last day in office, a probe was initiated against a PCMC health chief and his perks held back following allegations of irregularities. Several officials faced action on a mere complaint from the citizens.

Fearing action, some officials even took voluntary retirement.

The drive against illegal constructions has been described as an acrimonious battle between Pardeshi administration on one hand and residents, activists and politicians on the other. “Since he has taken action against officials as well, they also want him out…” said Sanjeevani Pandey, an activist. So far, Pardeshi has won all the rounds. However, with the state government declaring its intention to bring in an ordinance to regularise illegal constructions in a month’s time, residents may have the last laugh.

Justifying his action against illegal constructions, Pardeshi has often said: “Whatever I am doing is as per the Bombay High Court’s directives.”

As for action against officials and staff, the civic chief has said he was determined to end the “contractor raj” existing in the PCMC.

Along with illegal construction, the last five months have also been dominated by responses to the SARATHI helpline launched by the PCMC, which has cut the corporators to size. Residents no longer have to rush to corporators to get their work done or seek information regarding civic functioning, services or procedures for making an application. In a short time, SARATHI has become popular. On an average, it receives 152 calls per day and 361

hits on its website. In fact, PCMC e-governance model this year drew national attention what with officials from different states descending on Pimpri-Chinchwad to experience the changes.

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