Monday, November 03, 2008

Noose Tightens Around Necks of Mumbai Developers

The massive cranes around Mumbai are fast disappearing as the real estate industry goes down in to the dumps. Where one slab per month would be raised, it is now down to one in three months. Banks have become very choosy about lending to the real estate developers as investors disappear and home buyers wait for prices to drop.

It appears to be a game of who will blink first, with builders hoping for the prices to recover, and residentual apartments still costing between Rs 15,000 per square feet and Rs 21,000 per square feet in Juhu area of Mumbai, and Malad and Goregaon still commanding between Rs 9,000-15,000 per square feet.

In Mumbai, the same apartments that were on the market for the last 6 months continue to be circulated. For example, a builder demanding Rs 80 crore for a 8,000 sq ft super-built-up apartment has not been able to sell even one unit.

A few builders who have real estate purchased prior to 2004, are making optimistic noises, however most of them, for whom the interest rate is ticking, are squirming as the noose is tightening around their necks.

Some of the news in the market is of a the brother of a prominent developer from the eastern suburbs, who has branched out on his own now, is stuck after a US-based bank allegedly stopped funding his projects in Hyderbad and Chennai. Another developer with residential projects in Goregaon, Virar and Thane finds himself pushed into a corner after taking a Rs 100 crore loan from a Kutchi industrialist at hefty interest rate of over 40 percent.

One builder, who shook the property market last year after he paid a phenomenally-high price for a plot in BKC, is also believed to be now on the edge. His investors are breathing down his neck and even the nationalized bank which funded him, now wants its money back. His desperation is now evident because he has started offering brokers a 4 percent brokerage for getting clients, said sources.

In the commercial segment, the lease rental prices in BKC has come down from an average of Rs 450 a sq ft to Rs 325-Rs 350 a sq ft over the past three months, it is learnt. Developers setting up IT parks are also getting worried as they are not getting the price they were expecting, said a broker.

According to housing experts, about $4 billion has been pumped into the Indian real estate market by FIIs and venture capital funds. Another $12 to $14 billion was to flow in within the next 18 months. This will not come anymore.

Read the story here





Consider how the crisis has unfolded over the past eighteen months. The proximate cause is to be found in the housing bubble or more exactly in the excesses of the subprime mortgage market. The longer a double-digit rise in house prices lasted, the more lax the lending practices became. In the end, people could borrow 100 percent of inflated house prices with no money down. Insiders referred to subprime loans as ninja loans—no income, no job, no questions asked. - George Soros in latest book

everything’s going up, there’s a feelgood factor and people tell each other how much their houses are going up at dinner parties,” says Professor Mark Stephens of York University’s Centre for Housing Policy. “Then the music stops, as it always does.”

year, Japan was a more attractive market to put money in. If you look at the US, we can now get an internal rate of return of 25% there, so why would anyone want to come to India?” - a senior executive at an international financial services group, who did not wish to be named.

people told us house prices never go down on a national level, and that there had never been a default of an investment-grade-rated mortgage bond, "Mortgage experts were too caught up." - John Paulson, trader, who bet against subprime market and made $15 billion.

most puzzling are the real-estate projects of Parsvnath. Just have a look at the Pride Asia project near Chandigarh. They are asking almost US $300K-$350 K dollars for 2 bed room apartments. They have Villas in this project that costs more than US $1.5 million dollars. It is true that some people in India have that kind of money in India. However most of their wealth is black money and that can not be used to buy these properties. Obviously, these projects have been launched keeping NRIs in mind. - Sanjeev, comment from another site

Desai, aka Bani, the star of Balalji Telefilms's soap, Kasam Se, has been house hunting for over a year. She had almost closed a 2-BHK deal last year for Rs 1.5 crore in a Oberoi Constructions' building located at Andheri, Mumbai, but when she went back to confirm it, she was asked to cough up Rs 2.61 crore. Since then, she is still house hunting. - Mumbai Mirror


Your Ad Here