Posts tagged ‘real-estate’

09/11/2016

5 Sectors Likely to Be Affected by India’s Surprise Move to Replace Large Rupee Notes – Briefly – WSJ

India’s move to curb corruption and counterfeiting by replacing high-denomination bank notes with new ones will likely have a significant impact on some sectors wrapped up in the cash economy.

Here are five industries likely to see change.

1 Real Estate

Many property transactions in India are made using cash. Builders often accept 10% to 20% of an asking price in cash to lower both the buyer’s and seller’s tax liability.“You may yourself have experienced when buying land or a house, that apart from the amount paid by check, a large amount is demanded in cash. This creates problems for an honest person in buying property,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Tuesday.The use of counterfeit or undeclared earnings in this way has increased the price of real estate, Mr. Modi said. The move to scrap the current 500 and 1,000 rupee bills could reduce prices, analysts said.“This will clean up the real estate sector and bring down the cost of doing business,” says Dhiraj Relli, chief executive of HDFC Securities.

2 Gold

Investing in gold is another way some Indians keep money from the eyes of tax officials. The country is one of the world’s biggest consumers of the precious metal, along with China.According to various estimates, the current volume of gold in Indian households is above 20,000 tons. Analysts say if people are no longer able to use wads of 500- and 1,000-rupee notes to buy gold, they will have to put it into the formal banking system or invest it in stocks, mutual funds or bonds instead. This is also likely to slow down India’s gold imports and reduce foreign-currency outflows.

3 Two-Wheelers

India is one of the largest two-wheeler markets globally. In rural India, many farmers buy motorbikes and scooters with cash after they sell their their crops.The current measure may slow down two-wheeler sales as buyers are expected to postpone their purchases until they replace their existing bank notes with the new ones.No wonder, two-wheelers stocks are one of the biggest losers on India’s benchmark S&P BSE Sensex index today, falling between 4% and 6%.

4 Consumer Durables

rMany people in India also prefer to buy televisions, fridges or air-conditioners with cash. Some of those purchases involve money derived from corruption.Others are made by people who might not have a bank account and are purchasing the products as dowry items. As a result, the move to replace the existing high-denomination notes is expected to hurt sales in this segment.

5 Microfinance

rMicrofinance companies that disburse loans to poor people will likely face difficulty collecting or disbursing cash in the near term. In the worst case, they may have to postpone loan-repayment installments and disbursements may not happen in the next 10 days due to a shortage of currency notes, says broker Religare Capital Markets Ltd. However, things will likely stabilize after few weeks, it adds.

Source: 5 Sectors Likely to Be Affected by India’s Surprise Move to Replace Large Rupee Notes – Briefly – WSJ

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08/04/2015

Cabinet amends real estate bill to stamp out illegal practices | Reuters

The cabinet has amended a bill to regulate the real estate sector, protect home buyers and curb undeclared “black money” in property markets that costs the exchequer billions of dollars in lost taxable income.

Labourers work at the construction site of a residential building in Mumbai's central financial district April 6, 2015. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

The decision by Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s government to amend the bill, which was submitted by the previous government in 2013 but not passed by the upper house, aims to boost investor confidence and stamp out illegal practices.

The new rules, applicable to residential and commercial developments, will make it mandatory for all projects and brokers to be registered with the real estate regulator who will oversee transactions and settle disputes.

“The bill seeks to ensure accountability and transparency, which will in turn enable the real estate sector to access capital and financial markets essential for its long-term growth,” the government said in a statement on Tuesday.

During recent years sluggish economic growth and delays in getting approvals stalled several real estate projects, leaving buyers waiting for their homes and developers holding high debt.

“This will be a game-changer for the sector,” Rajeev Talwar, executive director at DLF Ltd, India’s top real estate developer.

via Cabinet amends real estate bill to stamp out illegal practices | Reuters.

10/12/2014

Need Financing to Build U.S. Property? Try Chinese Visa Seekers – China Real Time Report – WSJ

The giant trucks pumping concrete in Hudson Yards, New York’s biggest real-estate project in a generation, are being financed by an unlikely source: about 1,200 Chinese families in search of U.S. visas. As the WSJ’s Eliot Brown reports:

Developer Related Cos. says it has raised roughly $600 million from the families to build the foundation for three skyscrapers at the West Side project, a 17-million-square-foot colossus of office, retail and residential space set to open over the next decade.

To finance the concrete-steel platform, Related tapped a little-known and at times controversial federal visa program known as EB-5, which offers green cards to foreign families who invest at least $500,000 in U.S. projects that create at least 10 jobs per investor.

The amount brought in so far, which privately held Related hasn’t previously disclosed, is a record for the cash-for-visa program.

Related’s success shows how the once-obscure federal program has grown in popularity among developers and foreign investors since the recession.

Chinese nationals are the biggest source of EB-5 funds, making up more than 85% of visas approved in the 12 months ended in September. Many are investing for their children rather than for themselves, said Kenneth Li, a Houston real-estate broker who has offered advice to Chinese investing in EB-5 projects.

“For many of them, it’s for the next generation,” he said.

via Need Financing to Build U.S. Property? Try Chinese Visa Seekers – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

25/11/2014

News Corp. invests in India real estate website – Businessweek

News Corp. says it has invested in a real estate website in India as it tries to grow its digital business.

The New York-based media company, which is controlled by Rupert Murdoch, owns the Wall Street Journal newspaper and HarperCollins book publisher and runs the real estate website realtor.com.

News Corp. said Monday that it paid $30 million for a 25 percent stake in Elara Technologies Pte Ltd., which owns the Indian website, PropTiger.com. A News Corp. executive will join Elara’s Singapore-based board.

Last year, News Corp. split its newspaper and publishing business from its more-

via News Corp. invests in India real estate website – Businessweek.

14/08/2014

Chinese Buyers Are Driving a Boom in Australian Real Estate – China Real Time Report – WSJ

Australian house prices are rising quickly and demand from China is increasingly driving the boom, according to a report by Hong Kong-based brokerage CLSA.

The report, based on interviews with 50 industry participants in Australia, including major realtors, finds Chinese are now “driving the residential property market Down Under” adding that the “phenomenal investment” will continue for at least three more years.

CLSA says China is now the top source of foreign-capital investment in Australian real estate and anecdotal evidence indicates that foreign investment from China has continued to increase in 2014, having slowly accelerated over the last 5 years. The stock brokerage did not attempt to put a value on the investment.

CLSA said good education and a clean environment were driving demand from China.

“Australia offers both and we see no reason why its fundamental appeal will diminish,” it added.

There are currently only limited curbs on foreign buying of Australian property. Any newly built Australian property can be bought by foreigners . The purchase of existing properties needs the approval of Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board.

Government data this week showed house prices nationally grew by 10% in the year-to-June 30, with Sydney prices racing at 15% over the same period.

The issue of Chinese investment in Australian housing investment has prompted concern among Australians about the potential to be frozen out of the housing market, especially the highly desirable inner city markets of Sydney and Melbourne.

A government investigation into the issue of foreign investment in Australian property is underway and will report its recommendations in October.  One of the limitations of the debate over the issue is that there is not reliable data on how much money is coming into property from overseas.

Australia’s central bank has been watching the rise in house prices but has so far downplayed the role Chinese money has had on prices growth. If house prices continue to climb, the reserve Bank of Australia might have to raise interest rates at a time when the economy is weak and unemployment at more than decade highs.

via Chinese Buyers Are Driving a Boom in Australian Real Estate – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

30/07/2014

China’s 1 Percent vs. America’s 1 Percent – Businessweek

A new study by Peking University’s Social Science Research Center pulls back the curtain a bit on China’s überwealthy. The richestpercent of Chinese households control more than a third of the country’s wealth, according to the July 26 study.

Most of that is tied up in real estate. In 2012, the study says, real estate accounted for 70 percent of all household wealth in China. (The bottom quarter of households, tellingly, control just 1 percent of China’s wealth.) The outsize reliance on real estate as an investment vehicle for both individuals and enterprises is troubling, given widespread concerns about a property bubble. In June, apartment prices fell in 55 of China’s 70 largest cities, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics. In the southeastern city of Hangzhou, property prices dipped 1.7 percent that month.

But how do China’s rich stack up against America’s? The U.S. Internal Revenue Service analyzes income, not household net wealth, and in 2012, America’s richest 1 percent took home 19.3 percent of household income. But incomes rose almost 20 percent for the top 1 percent, whereas they inched up just 1 percent for the bottom 99 percent.

via China’s 1 Percent vs. America’s 1 Percent – Businessweek.

26/06/2014

Indian Property Market Takes A Small Step Out of the Shadows – India Real Time – WSJ

Few that have bought or even rented real estate in India would be surprised by a recent survey showing the property market here can be maddeningly murky.

Jones Lang LaSalle’s Global Real Estate Transparency Index showed that while things have improved, Indian cities still have to work on transparency. The Chicago-based real-estate consultant said India needs to go further to create more clarity on the rules connected to property purchases and real estate prices.

“India still scores among the lowest in the transparency of its transaction process,” the report said.

Jones Lang LaSalle looked at just over 100 markets around the world and rated them on a dozen parameters ranging from the availability of data, the number of publicly-listed developers and the strength of regulators.

India struggles most when it comes to recording real estate transactions. Too many deals are done off the book, recorded with government offices that don’t disclose numbers or are never recorded at all, making it difficult for home buyers and even analyst to assess what a property is worth and which direction property prices are moving.

Most of the deals that pop up on everyone’s radars are big corporate transactions in bigger cities. Those above-board deals may very well be only a tiny slice of all the real estate activity though. Smaller deals done by smaller companies and in smaller cities are often hard to keep track of, analyst say, making it difficult to estimate what is really going on in the real estate market.

Meanwhile the real estate agents are too often untrained and unscrupulous in India. It seems like almost anyone can dabble in the market if they can create the right connections and grease the right palms to push through all the paperwork needed to transfer control of properties.

India’s standing was also hurt by its lack of a regulator for the real estate sector. While a regulator is in the works, the industry is currently being overseen by the Ministry of Urban Development, local registry offices and many others depending on the property.

Things are, however, better than they were a year ago. India’s biggest cities stepped up in Jones Lang LaSalle’s ranking to 40th in 2014 from 48th in 2012 while the medium-sized cities moved up to 42nd place from 49th.

The improvement is thanks to private equity firms who have been investing a lot of money and demand more transparency. India’s growing mortgage-loan market is also helping as banks require more reliable information about buyers, sellers, properties and the way deals are done, said Anuj Puri chairman of Jones Lang LaSalle Inc.’s Indian operations.

Market transparency could get a further boost soon if India’s new government goes ahead with plans to improve real estate regulations.

“Later this year India is likely to enact the Real Estate Regulation Bill, which seeks to improve regulation over real estate agents and the quality of land registry records,” the report said.

via Indian Property Market Takes A Small Step Out of the Shadows – India Real Time – WSJ.

06/05/2014

China’s Millennials Can’t Afford Homes in Beijing (Without Daddy’s Help) – Businessweek

For many young professionals in Beijing, the dream of owning a home feels increasingly remote. Soaring home prices—driven in large part by the popularity of real estate as an investment vehicle in China—mean that even relatively successful young workers find it hard to climb onto the housing ladder in leading cities.

Potential buyers visit a real estate trade fair on April 5, 2012 in Beijing

According to a recent study by the University of International Business & Economics in Beijing, fewer than a quarter of college-educated, employed professionals in Beijing age 34 and younger are homeowners. Those with relatives in the capital city often reside with family members. Others rent apartments—paying, on average, 37 percent of their monthly income in rent.

Of those young respondents who were homeowners in Beijing, fully three-quarters said they received substantial help from their parents or other family members. And of those, 25 percent said their parents had paid the full price of their home outright in cash.

via China’s Millennials Can’t Afford Homes in Beijing (Without Daddy’s Help) – Businessweek.

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17/04/2014

Why China Needs to Let More Companies Go Bankrupt – China Real Time Report – WSJ

China needs to let more companies go bust.

That was the message from several executives at a real-estate conference in Shanghai on Thursday, as the latest string of loan defaults among real-estate developers and a small construction firm have some people talking about bankruptcy more freely.

It’s crazy that China hasn’t had a major bankruptcy in recent years, said Ronnie Chan, chairman of Hong Kong-listed property developer Hang Lung Group.

Although the country has a bankruptcy code somewhat similar to that in the U.S., it’s rarely used. Borrowers sometimes flee rather than try to work out problems under bankruptcy law, and there are few judges, administrators or lawyers who specialize in the field.

Last month, property developer Zhejiang Xingrun Real Estate Co. couldn’t repay nearly $600 million of loans. Local officials in Fenghua, the eastern city where the developer is based, are worried that a bankruptcy could hurt the city’s reputation and have said they’ve set up a task force to deal with the outstanding debt and remaining land assets.

On Wednesday, a Shenzhen-listed shipbuilder said property firm Nanjing Fudi Property Developing Co. has failed to repay 105.4 million yuan ($16.9 million) loan, including interest.

While China has seen developers default before, government officials have arranged bailouts for troubled firms that allow their underlying financial problems to fester. On Thursday, analysts argued that authorities have to be willing to address the other option: Let the companies go broke, and send a warning to markets, even if it leads to some financial turmoil in the near term.

Mr. Chan argues that real-estate firms declaring bankruptcy isn’t a social problem. “Another firm takes over the land or project, and no one has to be fired.”

Developers and government officials must be “forced to accept reality,” he said.

To be sure, the developer isn’t saying massive waves of bankruptcies are the way to go either. This is acceptable as long as not too many companies go broke at the same time and doesn’t result too much disruption, Mr. Chan added. In other words, they don’t want a “Lehman Brothers” moment.

“That’s why we prune trees,” said John Allen, chief executive officer of private investment firm Greater China Corporation in a later speech. “Bankruptcy is one of the healthiest things around. You want to get rid of the weak players.”

via Why China Needs to Let More Companies Go Bankrupt – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

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07/04/2014

Housing Cools in China; Developers Face Loans They Can’t Repay – Businessweek

Amid a cluster of half-built brick townhouses surrounded by peach groves on the outskirts of Fenghua city, workers could be seen taking down metal scaffolding and hauling away steel plates last month. They had heard that Zhejiang Xingrun Real Estate, the company building the housing development called Peach Blossom Palace, was insolvent. “The developer owed us hundreds of thousands of yuan” for scaffolding and steel, said workers Xie and Wang, who would only give their surnames. “We are taking these materials back for now because there’s no work here.”

Unfinished houses at Zhejiang Xingrun’s development in Fenghua

The collapse of Zhejiang Xingrun may signal the start of a shakeout among the nation’s almost 90,000 real estate companies. After China began allowing private homeownership in 1998, homebuilders binged on easy credit from banks and other lenders. Now many developers are struggling with debt as thousands of apartment buildings across the country sit empty and the government makes it harder to borrow. CBRE Global Investors says there are about 30,000 developers after small construction companies and those formed for only one project are eliminated. “That is far too many, even for a country as large as China,” says Richard van den Berg, country manager for China at CBRE. “Consolidation needs to take place.”

Home prices in China have climbed 60 percent since 2008, when the government began a 4 trillion yuan ($645 billion) stimulus program to counter the effects of the global financial crisis. Former Premier Wen Jiabao began trying to cool the property market in 2010, imposing higher down-payment requirements, raising interest rates on loans for second-home purchases, and increasing construction of low-cost housing. Li Keqiang, who succeeded Wen in March 2013, further tightened credit in June, in part by cracking down on nonbank lenders.

About 67 percent of housing under construction in China last year was in less affluent cities such as Fenghua, according to Nomura Holdings (NMR). About 120 miles south of Shanghai, with a population of 500,000, Fenghua is best known as the birthplace of former Chinese nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek. The city is filled with pawn shops, textile and garment factories, and empty residential buildings.

via Housing Cools in China; Developers Face Loans They Can’t Repay – Businessweek.

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