Emerging Real Estate Market in Mumbai
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India has firmed up its place in the world business space prompting global business houses to sit up and take a fresh view on India as a business and investment destination. In the last two years, Indian economy has grown well despite nature’s fury or other global adverse events. India is fast establishing itself as an alternative to China in a variety of sectors, particularly IT-ITES, manufacturing, and real estate. The most spectacular resurgence has been that of the real estate sector, which is back in business with a bang.
New projects, superior quality product, new growth corridors, increased infrastructure spending, falling cost of finance and interest, and growing capacity of common man in the key reasons behind the steady growth in real estate market. With stock market being highly volatile, investment in real estate has begun to look attractive and competitive with typical yields of 10-12% per annum are achievable, even though specific return is always linked to property specific factors, dynamics of real estate market and the overall economic performance.
Real estate is fast turning out to be a compulsive investment bet as compared to other investment vehicles such as capital and debt markets, bullion market etc. It attracts investors by offering a possibility of stable income yields, moderate capital appreciation, tax structuring benefits and higher security being tangible asset. With these prime factors there are several micro factors responsible for the returns on investment and those are location of the property in macro and micro context, the usage of property, the quality of tenant, the capital value and achievable rental, the prevailing structures of property tax and stamp duty.
The study includes the macro economic factors that make India a favourable investment destination. The purpose of the study is to give a comprehensive overview of the emerging Real Estate market of Mumbai. Today’s market is at a stage of ambiguity so a detailed study is required in this respect. In the final report detailed analysis will be carried out by fragmenting the market into Residential, Commercial and Retail space. An overview of each of these markets is included in the current report. The study will also include what are the various financing options in the emerging markets currently. A detailed survey will be carried out for the final report based on a questionnaire and will be send out to the various players ( Private Equity funds, Domestic Financial institutions, Local Real Estate Developers and Property Consultants to assess the various options available for Fund raising. Currently an introduction is also included on the same.
Characteristics of the Real Estate Market in India:
With reference to the availability of infrastructure facilities, following cities are currently attracting MNCs/corporate/real estate developers:
Tier I cities, Mumbai (Commercial hub), Delhi (Political hub) and Bangalore (Technological hub):
- Preferred option for many new market entrants
- Command the highest international profiles and significant proportion of FDI
- Offer qualified labour pool and the best infrastructure facilities
- Exhibit development of sub-urban commercial real estate
- Yield of 9.5 – 10%
(Real Estate Sector – The India Story Submitted by Miss Sonia Sahni Asst Manager Corporate and Investment Banking, ABN AMRO Bank, Nariman Point, Mumbai)
2.0 Macro-Economic Factors India:
Background of the Economy of India during 2008 and early 2009:
Last year 2008 was quiet a setback for the real-estate sector in India after the boom of the previous three years where the property market registered a return of more than 30-40% every year. The sector had faced a down trend where the property prices corrected by over 30%. This was due to the sub-prime crisis in the United States and also the correcting Capital Markets and bankruptcy of the MNC’s and the Banks. This resulted in loss of liquidity and hence a fall in demand. In August 2008 the inflation reached as high as 13% which forced a knee jerk reaction from the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) to cut the cash reserve ratio, the repo and the reverse repo rate which warranted the Banks to lend less and as a result of the further shortage in liquidity the real-estate market took a plunge.
However, the economy has recovered by leaps and bounce and which is reflected by the chart below:
Sam Mahtani, emerging equities manager at F&C, is confident on India's economic prospects. "Over the next 10 years, UBS estimates economic activity in India will increase by around 8.5% a year, a rate comparable with China and beyond the global average. We think that this growth rate could be achievable if Indian policymakers start to undertake structural reforms in the economy".
Over the next five years, the government is committing an estimated US$500 billion to road, rail, port and other vitally needed upgrades. If the right legislation is put in place and managed effectively, this could represent the springboard for long-term economic growth rates in excess of China's”, he believes.
GDP of India:
The chart shows that the GDP growth rate of India and China are far ahead than any other country in the world. This shows that the standard of living in the country is high. GDP reflects the total income, the total output and the total expenditure of the country. The economy of the country is the twelfth largest in the world as per the recent market exchange rate and it is ranked number four as per purchasing power parity. It is the 2nd fastest growing economy in the world. The service sector of India contributes more than 50% to the GDP and real-Estate sector is the third largest among it. Mumbai is the sole largest contributor to the national GDP and the economics of Mumbai further supports the fact.
The above figure shows the long term growth rate of GDP of India against the Developed counties of the World.
Economy of India (mid 2009) and its impact on Real Estate:
However the economic condition of the country has improved in the last year. This was a great precedent for the Real-estate sector in India and especially Mumbai. It has always been witnessed during recession that the financial cities of the world take the hardest hit but on the other hand recovery is quickly as well. The inflation rate in India is 0.30% on 1st December 2009. The CRR is 5% and repo rate is 4.75% and reverse repo rate 3.25% which is commendable and which has increased liquidity in the market and as a result of this the property prices have gone up in the country. The stock market has recovered exceedingly well and it had an almost 50% rise than the last year’s index. This has further increased the confidence amongst the analysts and the investors. In Mumbai the property rates have accelerated and it is not far behind the rates which were witnessed during the boom period. Mumbai has seen a constant price in the property prices since mid 2009 due to the strengthening of the economy.
Source: CBRE report 2009
By 2030 India will need up to 10 million new housing units per year. Rapid population growth, rising incomes, decreasing household sizes and a housing shortage of currently 20 million units will call for extensive residential construction. The financing of owner-occupied housing in particular holds out enormous market potential. (Deutsche Bank Report May 8, 2006).
Population in India:
India is the 2nd most populated country in the world at present after China. However, as per the numbers projected in a United Nations Report states that the Indian population would be more than the Chinese population by 2050.
(Population of India is also set to take over China by 2050 as per the UN report.)
1.0 MUMBAI – OVERVIEW:
Mumbai, the capital city of the state of Maharashtra, is the one of the largest metropolis in India. Known as the financial capital of the country, the city contributes almost 5% of India’s GDP. It is a multi-functional city with a vast array of economic opportunities, which has resulted in attracting a large migratory population from all over. The city sports a highly cosmopolitan environment with an intricate urban structure. Mumbai has long been home to several large multinational companies and is invariably the first choice for a new organization entering India.
Greater Mumbai accounts for 13% of Maharashtra’s population and 1.2% of India’s population. The rate of growth of population has gone down but has been higher than the growth rate of Maharashtra.
Source: Census of India
Over 1901-71 period, the population in the island city was steadily increasing and was more than that of the suburbs. However, during the last 3 decades the population growth in the island city has been negligible whereas that in the suburbs is increasing at a rapid rate. Among the suburbs, the western suburbs (ward H, K, P and R) are more densely populated than the Eastern suburbs (ward L, M, N, S and T). The following graph indicates the projected population growth in Greater Mumbai.
The above graph further illustrates that the population of Mumbai is set of increase manifoldly, as against the other Metros of the country.
2.0 MUMBAI REAL ESTATE MARKET OVERVIEW:
The island city of Mumbai is the commercial capital and economic growth engine of India. Originally composed of seven small islands, land reclamation and infill carried out during the 18th and 19th century integrated these islands into a continuous peninsula (Deshpande and Arunachalam,1981). Beginning as a seaport on the west coast of the Indian peninsula, Mumbai has steadily diversified its economic base to include value-added manufacturing and financial services. The country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India and two of India’s largest stock exchanges, the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange are all located here. Mumbai accounts for one-tenth of factory employment and value-added manufacturing, while the port handles more than one-third of the total value of foreign trade (Deshpande, 1996), making the Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation one of the richest, with a budget of more than USD 1.2 billion (Mohan, 2003), exceeding the budget of nine States and Union Territories of India. This economic growth is sustained by and in turn, drives the steady influx of migrants from rural and regional centres of the country.
Consequently, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) is one of the fastest growing regions of India. Its population increased from 7.7 million in 1971 to 18.3 million in 2001 (Census of India, 2001) and is projected to increase to 22.4 million by 2011(MMRDA, 1999). (Journal on HOUSING TENURE FOR THE URBAN POOR: A CASE STUDY OF MUMBAI CITY by Gaurang Desai and Madhura Yadav).
Mumbai has gained immense prominence as one of the growing corporate and IT destinations in India. The Mumbai real estate scenario has been reflective of the burgeoning real estate sector of the country. The city has a mature and demand-led market driven by end users. Investors and HNIs have also been actively investing in various pre-leased properties with insurance, banking, IT/ITES, residential and retail sector occupants. Overall, there has been an increase in demand as well as supply and an appreciation in the real estate values across various micro markets in the city.
Economy of Mumbai:
- The per capita income of the city is Rs 66,360 which is three times higher than the national income.
- It contributes 1/3 rd of the total income tax collection of the country.
- It contributes nearly 60 % of the total income generated from custom duty of the country.
- 40 % of India’s foreign trade.
- Corporate tax collection of the city is Rs 40 billion.
- 20 % of the total excise duty collection of the country.
- Mumbai Metropolitan region generates 5 % of the total GDP of the country.
The island city of Mumbai is the economic growth engine and commercial capital of India. A combination of in-migration combined with a severe land shortage has resulted in Mumbai having one of the most expensive real estate in the world. As a result the city faces housing crisis with an estimated 60% of its total population living in slums, adopting multiple informal housing tenures.
Property Index of Mumbai:
Database:This index is based on minimum database size of 20,000 data points every month and the analysis has been drawn over a period starting Jan’09. The prices of properties are obtained across micro-markets through property listings on the website as well as based on nationwide sales force.
Index Algorithm:The complex algorithm takes into account the property prices as base and then factors in the demand and supply of residential properties for each of the cities covered by it. Care has been taken to give weight age to cities in line with the size of underlying property market.
The Real-Estate market of Mumbai can be divided into three types-
- Retail & Mall
4.1 Commercial Real Estate Market:
Mumbai’s commercial market is divided into its traditional business districts and the recently developed business addresses. The Central Business District (CBD) of the city is located in South Mumbai and comprises of:
- Nariman Point – Often said to be the ‘Manhattan of India’, Nariman Point has traditionally been the most attractive location for international companies, in particular international investment banks, insurance companies and consulting firms.
The areas concentrated within a radius of 1.5-2 km around the CBD are termed as the off-CBD locations, which include:
- Churchgate /Fort/ Fountain – This district has traditionally housed the city’s Business and Government establishments. It also houses numerous National and International Banks.
- Cuffe Parade – Primarily an up market residential area with a host of high-rise buildings. Some notable commercial buildings like the World Trade Centre and Maker Towers are located here.
- Ballard Estate – A prime commercial area where the buildings have European Renaissance architecture.
The off-CBD business centres of the city have expanded to include a number of areas mostly oriented towards central Mumbai:
- Lower Parel: This industrial belt of Mumbai is transforming itself into a commercial hub of the city. This area is being developed on what used to be the textile mills. With mill land being freed for commercial, retail and residential development, the Lower Parel area will see massive supply of space. Currently, there are a number of retail, entertainment and advertising companies located in Lower Parel. High Street at Phoenix Mills is the most prominent retail development in this region.
- Worli-Prabhadevi: The Worli–Prabhadevi area has been a conventional stronghold of number of corporate offices. Besides, there is also the presence of two malls – Crossroads and Atria, in the stretch. The ongoing Bandra-Worli sea link is expected to give a further fillip to this area.
The Suburban Business Districts (SBDs) of the city comprise of the following locations:
(Image of the Bandra Kurla Complex)
- The Bandra-Kurla belt: The Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC), which has been developed as an alternative business district to the CBD, has attracted a number of corporate. ICICI, National Stock Exchange, Wockhardt and IL&FS are some of the important corporate located here.
- The Andheri-Kurla Belt: This area is also an upcoming location of choice for IT/ITES companies, banks, insurance companies, etc. Some of the sought after Grade ‘A’ buildings in this belt are ‘Technopolis’ and ‘Solitaire Corporate Park’ where a number of corporate are relocating.
- The Malad-Goregaon Belt: The Malad Goregoan belt has become the preferred destination for IT/ITES companies due to the availability of large floor plates at competitive rentals. The superior quality of buildings offered at MindSpace is another motivating factor for technology companies looking for world-class amenities to come here.
- The Powai Belt: Another suburb, the Powai belt is scoring well on the IT/ITeS front. The pricing in rental terms is similar for Powai and Malad.
There will be 600 new shopping centres by 2010. India’s burgeoning middle class will drive up nominal retail sales through 2010 by 10% p.a. At the same time, organised retail is becoming more important. At present organised retail accounts for a mere 3% of the total; by 2010 this share will already have reached 10%. (Deutsche Bank Research 6 may,2006)
The Peripheral Business District (PBD) of the city consists of:
Navi Mumbai: Navi Mumbai is being developed as a counter magnet to Mumbai, with the basic objective of curbing further congestion in the city. The potential target audience, apart from the existing residents, arises from the 40,000+ IT/ITES industry workforce travelling to Navi Mumbai daily. Consequently, the government has undertaken a number of initiatives to promote further development of IT & ITES sector in Maharashtra state. These include formulation of a progressive sector-specific policy, development of IT parks and development of the “Knowledge Corridor” between Navi Mumbai and Pune. Sector 17 of Vashi and CBD Belapur were developed as the prime commercial areas for Navi Mumbai. A number of corporate have moved to Navi Mumbai, the largest amongst them being Reliance Industries. Millennium Business Park at Mahape and Airoli Knowledge Park at Airoli, developed by MIDC houses several IT/ITES companies like Aptech, CMS computers, Datamatics, Mastek, TCS, Patni etc
4.2 Residential Market Scenario:
Residential real estate in Mumbai is today amongst the most expensive in the country.
The key residential areas in the city are as follows:
- The south and central locations of the city like Colaba, Napean Sea Road, Worli, Breach Candy and Pedder Road are the most preferred locations for leased accommodation for the senior and expatriate staff.
- Amongst the key suburban locations, Bandra and Malad in the northwest and Powai in the northeast are equally preferred due to proximity from the emerging commercial/office locations.
- Other suburban residential micro-markets of Andheri, Goregaon and Mulund also fall in the preferred category. In fact, these areas are witnessing fresh construction activity with projects from prominent residential developers like K.Raheja, Oberoi Constructions, Royal Palms and the Runwal Group.
- Luxury housing projects, which have been traditionally concentrated in South and selective Central Mumbai locations, are now being planned in the suburban regions like Malad as well as peripheral districts. Currently, a number of IT/ITES companies have located there.
- The Central Mumbai belt consists of areas such as Mahalaxmi, Lower Parel, Worli, Parel,Byculla, Chinchpokli, Sewri, Wadala, Dadar, Matunga and Mahim.
- The micro markets of Worli are currently established markets and command a premium over other central Mumbai pockets. The current ongoing rates in Worli vary between Rs. 25,000-30,000 per sq. ft.
- Lower Parel is fast emerging as a residential and commercial destination, with additional supplies expected from the mill lands.
4.3 Mumbai Mill Lands:
(Image of an old Mill in Mumbai)
Bombay had first developed as an industrial city through the growth and expansion of the cotton textile industry from the late nineteenth century to the nineteen forties. Now known as the Mill Lands, the textile industry was located in the central districts of the Island City. After World War II and Independence, to the fifties, sixties and seventies, the industrial base of the urban economy diversified into petroleum and chemical production, and then into petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, consumer goods and engineering industries. These new industries were mostly located on the eastern fringe of the Island City, in the Eastern suburbs, and in the seventies and eighties expanded to Thane and its surrounding district, as well as the Thane-Belapur belt flanking Navi Mumbai.
Till the late seventies, the Cotton Textile Mills were booming with activity but in 1982 things changed. The unorganized Powerloom sector had taken over and it was becoming uneconomical to maintain large-scale industrial units within the city limits on account of high power and Octroi costs. Moreover, the 18-month long crippling strike by the mill workers proved to be the final nail in the coffin. All this led to huge losses and the running of the Cotton Textile Mills became unviable. Several mills were declared sick and a few even shut down their operations. Only a few managed to survive.
The total area occupied by all the mills put together is approximately 605 acres (2,446,278.39 sq. mt.) There are three categories of ownership of the mills, namely, National Textile Mills (NTC), Maharashtra State Textile Corporation and Private Owners:
4.4 Mumbai Port Trust Land:
The proposed release of Mumbai Port Trust (MbTP) land could change the face of the eastern waterfront in Mumbai.
MbPT has about 40 acres of surplus land of which a substantial portion is on the environmentally sensitive eastern waterfront (areas such as Sewri, Wadala). Large tracts of MbPT land had been leased out to private companies, several of whom have shifted their facilities to other areas, but continue to maintain a token presence on the leased land.
With the construction of Trans- Harbour Link and the Special Economic Zone at Dronagiri this land is expected to turn out into a virtual goldmine. The MbPT policy for commercial utilization of this land has been awaited for several months since the new board of trustees were not constituted. Now with 17 of the 21 trustees in place, the process of formulating the policy has been set in motion. The subcommittee is expected to unveil a plan of action when MbPT board meets on August 9.
Besides the above, there are some Port Trust plot that are being released in the market. These include a 28.39 hectare (approx. 70 acres) plot at Titwala, vacant lands in isolated pockets totalling to 5.17 hectare (approx. 14.5 acres) and a slum-encroached plot measuring 6.77 hectare (approx. 17 acres) on the eastern waterfront.
Floor Space Index (FSI):
FSI stands for Floor Space Index. Municipalities and Government’s allow only a certain amount of FSI. Otherwise there are possibilities of sky scrapers been constructed in narrow spaces that would be leading to parking and various other problems like the one existing in downtown Manhattan. In Mumbai, FSI was first introduced in 1964 and the value than was 4.5 times. Over the years there were several changes made to the rule which depends broadly on the leading Municipal Corporation and the State Government.
With an average of 2.9 m2 per person, the consumption of residential floor space in Mumbai is one of the lowest in the world. More than 50% of the city’s population lives in slums. This type of record would be expected from a city in a desperate economic situation. However, this is not the case. Mumbai is a prosperous city with an expanding economy. (Mumbai FSI conundrum: The perfect storm: the four factors restricting the construction of new floor space in Mumbai – By Alain Bertaud 2004).
The very low consumption of floor space coupled with very high real estate prices would suggest that a number of supply bottlenecks might be responsible. By comparing Mumbai to other metropolis in Asia it appears that indeed 4 factors are exceptional and contribute to the very low supply of floor space:
- An exceptional topography that reduces the amount of developable land;
- A draconian and ill-conceived land use policy restricting the area of floor space which can be built on the little land available.
- Muddled property rights preventing households and firms to freely trade land and floor space as a commodity;
- A failure to develop major primary infrastructure networks, which prevents the city to overcome its topographical constraint. In turn, the weakness of the infrastructure network is used to justify the restrictive land use policy. (Alain Bertaud July 15th 2004).
Comparing Mumbai to other similar sized Asian cities, (Bertaud 2004) found that within a radius of 25 km from the city centre, sea and water bodies occupy 66% of the total area for Mumbai while it was 22% in the case of Jakarta and 5% for Seoul. Cities with such extreme topography often compensate for the lack of land by allowing the height of buildings to be increased. In the case of Mumbai however, this is not the case. While the Floor Space Index (FSI) in most large cities varies from 5 to 15 in the Central Business District (CBD) to about 0.5 in the suburbs, in Mumbai the FSI remains uniformly fixed at 1.33 for the Island City and 1.00 in the suburbs (Alain Bertaud, 2004).
(The above map shows the different FSI values in the city.)
Transfer of Development Rights (TDR):
A cartelisation of Mumbai's real estate, one of the costliest in the world, in the matter of transferable development rights has put upward pressure on prices and has also caused concern in policy circles.
In case of Mumbai, TDRs were used initially to compensate plot owners whose development right was restricted due to some public programmes like widening of roads etc. Later this was used for compensating owners of Heritage buildings who could not develop their lands. More recently they have been used in case of Slum Redevelopments where additional development rights could not be consumed on a plot due to over density reasons. There are also talks about using TDR for redevelopment of old buildings. Another detail about TDR is that it can be only used in the same or northern ward of the generating plot... Hence you could see sudden additions to suburban buildings that have high property value.However, it also led to haphazard and unplanned development in the suburbs. There was an increased the pressure on suburban infrastructure.
In a recent development, just six-odd builders and developers hold 70 per cent of the 2.5-3 million sq ft TDR available. The price of TDR has also surged to Rs 2,500-Rs 3,000 per sq ft from Rs 800-1,000 sq ft in the past six months.
Realty sector experts in Mumbai cartel had meant a rise in TDR prices practically every month. The development is a sequel to a 2008 order of the High Court here, which stayed a state government decision to allow 33 per cent extra building rights (measured as more of Floor Space Index, or FSI, the ratio of what can be erected on a plot of land to its area) in return for more premium.
Nainesh Shah, executive director of Everest Developers, argued that TDR rates can be brought down only by an increase in the stock of land and the government are the only entities that can make this happen. "More land needs to be released,"
Ashutosh Limaye, associate director, strategic consulting, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj, said“TDR trading follows the open market principle. For areas that are popular and in demand for real estate development (Bandra, Chembur, Vile Parle, etc), land prices is high and it makes sense to buy TDR even at a higher rate”.
However, A Vile Parle-based activist and former builder, Bhagwanji Raiyani, filed a Public Interest Litigation in the Bombay High Court asking for a total ban on TDR, following which the court in an interim order banned the use of TDR along the Eastern and Western Express Highways and the Eastern and Western suburban railway tracks.
In the recent times, the government is considering a proposal to increase floor space index (FSI) in the suburbs to two without taking the transfer of development rights (TDR) route. Under this, for example, a builder involved a slum project in Trombay gets the nod to transfer development rights to the north of the rehabilitation site. Because of this policy, the suburbs are witnessing the construction of tall towers, which use TDR.
There has been a 100% rise in property prices in Mumbai, Thane and other places, primarily because of the high cost of TDR. If a builder buys TDR at Rs 4,500 per sq ft, he will have to add another Rs 4,500 per sq ft towards the cost of land and construction. This forces him to sell flats at Rs 10,000 per sq ft even in a distant suburb like Mulund, which is an absurd rate. No wonder there is tremendous consumer resistance. Around 50% of the flats remain unsold because the prices are beyond an average buyer’s reach,’’ (Subhash Runwal, former office-bearer of the Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry, reported in Times Of India).
The demand for FSI is 10 crore sq ft per annum in the suburbs. If the government sells this at even Rs 2,500 crore, it can generate a whopping Rs 25,000 crore annually. Half of this revenue can be used for improving infrastructure in the suburbs and the rest for development work in the rest of the state”.
The Golden Question:
How to design new FSI and TDR values for Mumbai?
- Design a spatial land use strategy based on current land values and future investments in transport (bridges, highways, metro, BRT). Identify high accessibility nodes.
- Divide the existing and future built-up areas into land use zones based on accessibility and on existing character of the area;
- Identify and map the historical areas and natural areas that need to be protected, those that should not be redeveloped, and where the new FSI will not be applied;
- Design regulations (FSI, % lot coverage, setbacks, etc) for each zone.
- Comprehensive plan ready and approved for the entire city
- No more TDRs are issued during preparation of plan, however, already issued but not yet used TDRs are honored.
- New FSI plan prepared and approved for 2 or 3 main streets and high intensity areas around new metro stations and bridge access.
- New TDRs can be issued but they have to be used in the areas already mapped for FSI increase.
- Meanwhile the comprehensive strategy is prepared and approved.
- More areas for FSI increase are prepared every year and where TDRs can be used.
- After 2 or 3 years new TDRs are issued only for slum redevelopment and for historical area protection.
The above is just a model example of how the increase in FSI would solve the Real Estate problems in Mumbai. If the Government adopt the path which has been used in downtown Manhattan than it would reduce Real Estate prices in the city, help to relocated millions of people, abolish the TDR practice and the additional space could be used to improve the lagging infrastructure of the city.
4.5 Mumbai Salt Pan Land http://infochangeindia.org/Agenda/Coastal-communities/Saltpan-city.html
The proposal to use saltpan lands first emerged in 2002 when the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) warned that it was running out of land and asked the state to release land belonging to various departments like defence, the Bombay Port Trust, and saltpan lands.
In 2006, the then Union Minister for Commerce and Industries Kamal Nath and Ex Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh worked out a formula of developing saltpan lands on a no-profit-no-loss basis. The scheme proposed allowing private developers extra FSI for commercial purposes after setting aside 225 sq ft houses to accommodate slum-dwellers.
In 2007, a committee of union ministers including Sharad Pawar, A Raja, Kamal Nath and Jaipal Reddy was formed to look into all aspects before a decision regarding saltpan development was taken.
In May 2008, the decks were cleared for the private development of saltpan lands stretching to 2,177 hectares. This, despite the Union environment ministry objecting to the release of lands covered by mangroves, which fell under the CRZ 1 category.
· The Centre is working on a comprehensive policy for redeveloping Mumbai’s slums so that precious real estate in the island city can be freed up for infrastructure and development. The ‘From Hutments to Tenements’ policy envisages resettling Mumbai’s slum-dwellers in housing projects that could be developed on the 2,700-acre expanse of saltpan land in the city.(Indian Express, June 16, 2006)
- A much-awaited measure to alleviate the severe paucity of land in the country’s financial capital, Mumbai, is close to realisation. Over 5,378 acres of saltpan land in the city’s suburbs, owned by the Centre, will soon be unlocked to develop low-cost housing projects for rehabilitating slum-dwellers to be displaced by the various infrastructure upgrade projects, including expansion of the Mumbai international airport.(The Financial Express, May 30, 2008).
- “Opening saltpans for development will decongest the city considerably and ease the housing shortage. This would automatically ensure a fall in prices,” said Anuj Puri, chairman and country head, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj, a leading real estate consultancy firm. In most parts of the world, where saltpans have been developed, he said, there has been a spurt in the construction of high-end luxury houses and hotels due to the proximity of the sea.(HindustanTimes, November 20, 2009)
Both the Centre and the government of Maharashtra have long been eyeing Mumbai’s saltpans under the pretext of undertaking low-cost housing projects to relocate the city’s slum-dwellers and upgrade infrastructural facilities. Saltpans are lands along the coast that were hollowed out to process salt; in Mumbai they are spread over approximately 5,378 acres.
The Konkan coast around present-day Mumbai was ideal for the manufacture of salt; indeed, salt works have been in existence here for as long as people can remember. Since 1850, however, the saltpans began to be acquired for various public purposes, and little by little, they ceased to be used to produce salt.
Mumbai’s saltpans are spread across the eastern suburbs of Ghatkopar, Chembur, Wadala, Kanjurmarg, Bhandup, Mandale, Turbhe, Nahur and Mulund, and the western suburbs of Dahisar, Mira Road, Bhayander, Malvani and Vihar. Although most of these lands are privately owned, since 1960 the Central Salt Department in Jaipur has taken the view that salt work lands belong to the central government, and that the salt manufacturers only have right of use to the land to produce salt under the terms of the licence.
More recently, the state government has been claiming that though owned by the central government, the salt work lands were leased out to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. Subsequently, the BMC sub-leased the land to various people on a 99-year lease, to manufacture salt. Though the lease is over in most cases, the lessees have not given up possession of the land.
These salt work lands, said to be nine times the size of the defunct mill lands in central Mumbai, are now slated to be exploited for private real estate and public infrastructure projects under the pretext of freeing Mumbai of its slums. At the meeting of a high-powered group of central ministers it was decided, in May 2008, that “efforts of various central and state agencies (will) be coordinated and urgent measures evolved for using these lands for rehabilitation of slum-dwellers,” (Financial Express, May 29, 2008).
The BMC is drawing up a revised development plan (a blueprint for the city’s development) for 2014-2034 that suggests opening salt work lands for commercial development. One of the “urgent measures” needed to make this possible is to relax environment protection regulations governing coastal land use -- these regulations, as applied to Mumbai, prohibit development on all but 240 hectares of salt work lands.
The move has triggered a heated debate among environmentalists, citizens’ groups and those concerned with urban planning. The civic body’s plans for the last few stretches of saltpans would spell disaster for Mumbai, say citizens’ groups and environmentalists. The latter argue that a major portion of the land is covered by Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) guidelines, and that these lands cannot be used for development. Besides, saltpans form part of the fragile ecosystem that supports thousands of species of animals, birds and fish.
Environmentalists also claim that saltpans, with their thick mangrove trees, are Mumbai’s last defence against flooding. “The saltpans are eco-sensitive zones that act as natural buffers against ocean flooding… They absorb the rush of water from the sea,” says the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), a research body.
The next five years are going to be crucial, say experts, as rising sea levels threaten the city. One of the biggest challenges for the state forest ministry will be to save the saltpans and mangrove lands in and around Mumbai. It will also have to put an end to the large-scale destruction of mangroves along the city’s coastline, failing which millions of lives will be affected. “Mangroves are a natural barrier between the sea and the land. Their importance has increased manifold because of the erratic weather patterns Mumbai is prone to,” says Debi Goenka, member of Conservation Action Trust.
4.6 Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA):
Slum Rehabilitation Authority also known as ‘SRA’ is one of the major objectives of the MHADA to rehabilitate the people who live in slums as major part of the land in Mumbai is covered by it. This is a strong initiative taken by the Government as they want to achieve their dream of converting Mumbai on the lines of Shanghai. This will attract foreign investors and at the same time uplift the city to the main financial hub of not only India but Asia as well. .
There were many different names in which Slum Rehabilitation used to function. They are as follows:
1936 Slum clearance
1976 Slum Improvement Program
1980 Slum Up-gradation Program
1980 Site & Service Program
1985 Prime Minister’s Grant Project
1991 Slum Redevelopment Scheme of MCGM
1996 Slum Rehabilitation Scheme
According to Simon and March (1958), policy making is constrained by inherent limitations of time and resources on the part of its participants. Consequently, policy making is a political process that requires decisions to be made that affect the material interests of various groups within society (Hawkesworth, 1998). The focus on home ownership for slum residents in recent times reflects a convergence of interests and their ability to collectively set the political agenda.
Since the eighties and through the nineties, international agencies such as the World Bank advised governments to refrain from any direct role in the provision of housing (World Bank, 1993). Central to this, was the belief that centralization of power and responsibility by government agencies had resulted in inefficient and inadequate solutions (Rondinelli, et al., 1989), stifling initiatives at a more localized level (Ostrom, 1990; Korten 1990). As an alternative it suggested that housing be treated as an economic and not social sector, mandating the integration of private capital and market instruments. To support such initiatives, it suggested the development of private property rights, housing finance instruments and the integration of private players in the development process.
Slums In Mumbai and it’s Facts:
Mumbai has largest slum population in India:
Greater Mumbai is home to the country’s largest population of city slum dwellers in the country, as per the declaration in Rajya Sabha . Mumbai, the country’s economic capital, is followed by Delhi, Kolkata, and Chennai.
Minister of state for housing and urban poverty alleviation Kumari Selja informed the “House that there were approximately 64,75,440 slum dwellers in Greater Mumbai while Delhi had 18,51,231 people living in slums. (Source - The Times of India - TIMES NEWS NETWORK).
Slums have constituted an integral part of Mumbai's cityscape for several decades. With its potential to provide employment to a vast multitude, the city attracts a large number of people. Many of them stay in slum colonies for the lack of a better alternative.
Slum-dwellers stay in shanty structures in unhygienic environment, not by choice but by compelling circumstances as they were thrown out of the formal housing sector, the latter being unaffordable and much beyond their income levels.
It is imperative to enhance their standard of living and for which an authorized dwelling unit is a first step in the right direction. This, in turn, will bring about a marked improvement in their hygiene and health as well as raise the level of public hygiene which has fallen to very low ebb.
Salient Features of Present SRA schemes:
- Every slum structure existing as on 1/1/1995 or prior there-to iseligible for rehabilitation.
- Slum dwellers get a self contained 225 sq. ft. carpet area tenement free of cost.
- Cost of construction of the rehabilitation tenements is cross-subsidized from the sale of free sale tenements in the open market.
- FSI generates from Rehab to Sale ratio which is 1:0.75 for City, 1:1 for suburbs & 1:1.333for Dharavi.
- FSI is generated on the basis of no of rehab units on the plot and NOT as per size of the plot “It may exceed 2.5”.
- No financial involvement of the government.
- The entity developing the slum rehabilitationscheme is entitled to free salecomponent inproportion to the rehab component.
- A sum of Rs. 20,000/- per tenement is recovered from the developer for subsidizing the monthly maintenance of the building.
MHADA SRA Schemes:
MHADA or Maharashtra Housing & Area Development Authority has approached the respective state government for concessions under the SRA or Slum Rehabilitation Schemes for its upcoming housing projects in Mumbai and neighbouring areas. This move ofMHADAwill help get a higher Floor Space Index (FSI) in lieu of certain benefits it promises to the SRA.
The projects undertaken by MHADA under SRA schemes include:
- Kole Kalyan, Santacruz
- Matulya Mills, Parel
- Modern Mills, Parel
- Mumbai Gas, Lalbaug
- Tilak Nagar
- Nehru Nagar, Kurla
All constructions and MHADA housing schemes are for the Lower Income Groups (LIG) and the Middle Income Groups (MIG) and priced accordingly. The MHADA flat rates have been kept between Rs. 6.5 - 9.5 lakhs and Rs. 15 lakhs for the categories. In lieu of this land, MHADA was supposed to handover 50% of the housing projects so developed to SRA.
Slums near the Mumbai International Airport to be rehabilitated:
Slums near the Airport
Civil aviation minister Praful Patel said that the houses would be provided to those living in 90,000 slums in Mumbai airport area. The Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL), the consortium which will carry out modernisation and upgradation of the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, is busy scouting for private land to re-house the 90,000 slums near the airport and the state government has decided to provide them houses," The first lot of 20,000 homes would be handed over in June-July, Patel, who attended the meeting for a brief time. (DNA India).
The swathes of private land have already been identified and earmarked for purchase in areas like Andheri, Kurla, and Kanjurmarg. Additionally, MIAL (The Mumbai International Airport Ltd) is not ruling out the option of resettling a percentage of the squatters on a 55-acre Airports Authority of India plot in Dahisar. The exercise could cost MIAL Rs 3,000 crore. ‘‘The resettlement and rehabilitation will be at their own expense, though the details are yet being worked out. However, there will be certain concessions from the State.
Other Initiatives by the Government: The UPA government (Central Government) unveiled its plan for introducing Rajiv Awas Yojana for slum dwellers under JNNURM on the lines of Indira Awas Yojana for rural poor.
"The scheme for affordable housing through partnership and the scheme for interest subsidy for urban housing would be dovetailed into the Rajiv Awas Yojana which would extend support under JNNURM to states that are willing to assign property rights to people living in slum areas," President Pratibha Patil said while addressing Parliament. (Indian Express Thursday, Jun 04, 2009 at 1214 hrs)
Maintaining that infrastructure development under the flagship programme of JNNURM would continue, the government would continue to focus on infrastructure, basic services and governance reform and increase support to cities to upgrade public transport.
Details of the biggest SRA project of Mumbai, Dharavi is included in the Appendix.
4.7 Urban Land Ceiling Act:
4.8 Costal Regulatory Zone (CRZ):
CRZs include areas upto 500 metres on the landward side of high-tide lines (HTL) and areas around creeks, rivers and so on.
Ecologically sensitive areas (like national parks); historical areas; heritage areas; flood-prone areas; areas between low-tide and high-tide lines Restriction: No development allowed
Areas where there has been substantial development before CRZ rules came into force Restriction: No building on seaward side of roads or authorised buildings. Floor Space Index of 1.33. Design should fit surroundings
Areas that are relatively undisturbed
Restriction: No development up to 200 metres from HTL, except for open spaces, salt-pans, agriculture and forest. From 200 to 500 metres temporary resorts allowed; some construction for fishing villages and gaothans allowed. Repairs to existing structures allowed
The Queen’s Necklace of Mumbai
Considering the Mumbai’spopulation growth, the demand for land is increasing ever since and Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) is restricting the growth of this international city. Time and again many, who have been aggrieved are facingacuteproblem for developments. Out of total area 437sqkm, 133sqkm is in CRZ I, 100sqkm is in CRZ II, and 25 sq km is in CRZ III. Still, the land starved Mumbai is not having any relaxation in the CRZ norms. 3 Stars and 5 Stars Hotels in Juhu and Versova cannot execute their expansion programme neither Esselworld (India’s biggest Amusement Park) could expand because of CRZ. World over suchenvironmental laware not with such a restriction. In Japan an Airport is floatingon the water. Dubai is having massive construction plans for Palm Jumeriah Island on the sea. (Accommodation Times by Pallavi Khanna)
Despite the fact thatsolid waste disposalis not allowed in CRZ but Mumbai needs to disposal 6000 tonnes of solid waste per day. The missing links of the Development Planning road prior to 1991 are not permitted & therefore transportation problem has becomeacute. Almost 134 slum pockets and 30 slum schemes are held up because of such restriction. Now MOEF’S approval for projects in CRZ is exceeding to 5 crores which needs amendment, since Central Government approval are time consuming, the regulation needs urgent attention.
Development of Salt Pan lands in CRZ I, II, and III is almost 60% of the total area which is 2177 acres. The land can be used for development but because of CRZ, it cannot be utilized. Secondly, MHADA also cannot develop their dilapidated buildings because of CRZ. In its project at Gorai, which was financed by the World Bank, the authority took seven years to clear the land and allowed construction. (Times of India Dated August 12 2009)
After the gates opened for the FDI in real estate in India, it is eminent that these norms are relaxed. The need for the extra land is always hitting the city of Mumbai very hard, but the CRZ is restricting the development on its existing land. Entire Dharavi is on the bank of MITHI River. And most of the parts are falling under CRZ. With the help of Prime Minister’s funds, Asia’s largest slum was started for redevelopment and ratification. (Economic Times)
Owing to the acute shortage of Land for development in Mumbai the state and the Central government are planning to give special concessions to the island city.
"The government is considering giving a special status to Mumbai under CRZ Act to resolve issues regarding development and redevelopment of the city," Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said. "The economic capital of the country has peculiar problems and requirements and therefore changes have to be made in the CRZ Act to provide the city a special status,"
The special status envisages housing and right to employment for economically weaker sections, especially the fishermen. The housing projects along the coasts will be undertaken by the state government with state funding and not by the private builders.
Supporting the state’s proposal to the Centre, principal secretary (urban development) T C Benjamin said, “Almost 38% of Mumbai’s land comes under CRZII, where further development is restricted. Of the remaining 62% of land, 19% is part of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. While there is a growing demand for land, there is no land available unless the land that is locked is freed. There is a need for the CRZ to be made more amenable to development”.
Providing a separate rulebook for CRZ in Mumbai is based on the recommendation put forth by the put forth by an expert committee headed by M.S. Swaminathan to review the draft CMZ notification of 2008.
The committee had suggested that issues regarding Mumbai’s development and redevelopment based on local specific amendments — referring to old dilapidated buildings that need urgent attention -be resolved. It recommended that the government take a careful view of the issue restricting permitted construction to specific areas.
This means Mumbai’s ambitious projects like cluster development, under which the island city’s old and congested areas will be redeveloped in clusters, can get a nod from the Centre. The nod is necessary as a significant portion in south Mumbai comes under the CRZ and would need permission to build higher in areas near the coast.
There will be no increase in FSI (floor space index) in such coastal areas however; the government would be looking at the possibility of lower income housing for special weaker sections through public finance,”
However, there are articles written by many experts and Newspapers regarding the danger of the development of land in the CRZ and their dreaded outcomes which is included in the Appendix.
5.1 CURRENT INVESTMENT SCENARIO:
Since the opening up of the real estate sector in 2005, Private equity funds in India have been very active with a number of transactions taking place in the past three years at entity, portfolio and SPV level. According to Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion data, a good amount of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows have been channelled into the Housing and Real Estate (RE) sector, with approximately 50% of last year’s inflows already having been accumulated during the first two months of second quarter 2008. This acts as a testimony for the investor confidence in the sector.
DB Real Estate Research has estimated India’s total commercial stock to USD 300 billion, making it the fourth largest commercial real estate stock in Asia, just behind Japan, China and South Korea
Real Estate and Financing Trends in India:
Securitization and CMBS:
From the perspective of companies who want to sell off assets, securitization schemes provide a greater diversity of alternatives to liquidate real estate. Securitization is primarily used by the corporate houses to convert the corporate real estate to commercial real estate.
Realty Funds/ Realty Mutual Funds in India:
Initiated by SEBI, the REMFs true potential would be tapped only after the setting up of REITs, as they infuse confidence among investors by serving as custodians of title deeds. (REITs pool various real estate assets, including warehouses, buildings, industrial estates and parks, malls, commercial and residential premises and get listed on the stock exchange to enable investors to buy and sell. They afford an opportunity to diversify the portfolio within that limited sense as well. However, SEBI has not allowed the creation of REITs in India as yet, though REITs are well established in the more mature real estate markets. ) Currently the REMFs in the Indian market are targeted at the HNIS and corporate investors. (Real Estate Sector – The India Story Submitted by Miss Sonia Sahni Asst Manager Corporate and Investment Banking, ABN AMRO Bank, Nariman Point, Mumbai)
Source: RBI, CEIC, Bloomberg
6.0 Private debt:
Private debt is the most important source of financing real estate in India. It accounts for more than 60% of all institutional real estate investments. Strong demand for commercial real estate lending in the last years was boosted by falling interest rates, a vibrant real estate investment market, and a rise in corporate outsourcing activity. In the past four years, bank loans for commercial real estate have increased by more than 500% to USD 2.4 bn. This number is poised to grow further in the next years, despite the RBI’s desire to slow credit growth. Also because real estate loans still play only a minor role on the banks’ balance sheets, commercial real estate financing via bank loans is very likely to continue its growth trend.
6.1 Private Equity:
Private investors play an important role in the Indian investment market. At the end of 2005 the total Indian private equity volume was roughly USD 1.6 billion, accounting for 40% of the Indian real estate capital market. This market is rapidly growing. In 2005, private property companies and individuals’ holdings of real estate grew by 40% YoY. The Indian pension fund system is still poorly developed. Its investment strategy can be characterised by a high degree of risk aversion. Regulation mandates that at least 60% of asset allocation is in government securities or other approved securities. In the private equity category, it still counts as the second largest investor group, but its exposure to the real estate sector is still very small. Changes in the pension funds’ asset allocation strategy will largely be driven by congruent changes in regulation. In its absence, pension funds are likely to keep their large positions in government bonds and other approved securities. This holds for insurance companies as well, given that Indian insurance authorities still regard real estate investment as risky. Regulation for insurance companies’ investment strategies remains restrictive, explaining their small exposure to real estate (USD 10 m in 2005). This will hardly change in the near future unless the regulatory bodies ease the rules
The Security Exchange Board of India (SEBI) approved the Real Estate Fund (REF) in 2005. However, it will be sometime before retail investors actually begin investing in real estate funds. At present, REF is only open to high net-worth individuals, institutional Investors and global investors, such as HDFC Property Fund and ICICI Venture. The demand for REF is strong, and this could be the catalyst for the future development of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs).
Private Equity/Venture Capital Funds:
As per the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Foreign Venture Capital Investors (FVCIs) may invest in real estate assets, within the framework of SEBI. This has paved the way for capital infusion into the market and a significant weight of foreign capital is now chasing Indian real estate. Indirect real estate investments are made into a pooled investment fund; such funds are usually created in partnership with domestic developers or financial institutions. Such VC firms, partnered with developers form a potential client base, keen to invest in the real estate sector.
(Real Estate Sector – The India Story Submitted by Miss Sonia Sahni, Asst Manager Corporate and Investment Banking, ABN AMRO Ban,k Nariman Poin,t Mumbai)
The funding of the Ghatkopar project is just one example where some 50,000 sq. m of new housing will be coming up at a 20-acre site in a Mumbai suburb. The site is being developed by Runwal CapitaLand, a joint venture between the Runwal Group (a local developer) and CapitaLand (a Singapore-based realty company). Funding for this will primarily come from the 51 per cent equity put into this joint venture by the two partners. This is a gradual shift in the way the construction of both residential and commercial property is being financed — away from debt and towards equity. This equity could be put up by developers, private equity funds or retail investors in real estate mutual funds. Mukesh Patel, knowledge worker, Neelkanth Group, a realty company: “Debt financing is becoming less attractive. Developers, big and small, are closely watching the DLF IPO. Many are in talks with venture capital funds.” (Business World by Gargi Banerjee 28th April 2010)
The Indian market for real estate finance has come a long way in recent years. Traditionally, developers funded their construction costs by pre-selling houses to buyers. So, a builder would ask buyers to cough up, say, a third of the final cost of a house even before the first piles were drilled into the ground. In effect, very little of the builder’s own capital was at risk. This was a neat arrangement for him because of the terrible scarcity of new housing in our cities.
The funding of construction using advance money from buyers has faded out, thanks partly to competition and financial sophistication. Private debt and bank lending have since emerged as the most important source of real estate finance in India, accounting for 60 per cent of the total money being spent on new construction activities.
A recent Deutsche Bank report on Indian real estate says that owing to a lack of alternatives, commercial bank lending seems to be the most efficient way of raising capital in India. In the past four years, bank loans to commercial real estate have increased by more than 500 per cent to $2.4 billion. The RBI has been worried that an asset price bubble could be blown and the financial sector could get battered when it pops. So, it has raised the risk weightage on real estate loans, and that is one reason why mortgage rates have gone from 7.5 per cent to about 9.5 per cent.
Despite this, commercial real estate financing is likely to grow. Real estate loans are still a minor part of bank balance sheets. Henry Chin of RREEF, Deutsche Asset Management’s real estate and infrastructure investment management arm, says: “We are expecting bank lending for commercial real estate in India to grow in the medium term. Traditionally, commercial bank lending is the major source of capital in real estate markets, particularly in less mature markets. In India, we have seen a large amount of lending to the residential sector in the past three years, however, while lending for commercial real estate has, until now, been relatively small. It is set to increase.”
Here are the details of some of the fresh investments in the Indian Realty Sector. Morgan Stanley Real Estate invested $68 mn in Mantri Developers and Siachen Investments $100 mn in Nitesh Investments. New York-based private equity firm The Chatterjee Group is also planning to raise $450 million to invest in commercial real estate in India. Britain's Trinity Capital has also expressed interest to pump in funds into the sector. The opportunity, as reported by a recent Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) study, is projected to be a whopping $7-8 bn in the next 18 to 30 months. Prakash Gurbaxani, CEO, Tishman Speyers ICICI Ventures, ”Real estate is probably the next big opportunity in India. For years, this industry was not open to financial investment. Globally real estate is considered a mature class of investment. In the years to come, there will be a tremendous opportunities in the sector.”
According to estimates, demand from the IT/ITES sector alone is expected to be 150 mn sq ft across the major cities by 2010. “Land prices have increased rapidly in these markets -- the extent of the rise, however, varies from city to city and even within cities. (Economic Times April 16, 2006)
Private equity investments in India climbed to the highest level in six quarters as a rally in equities helped stoke a revival in appetite for stakes in the nation’s companies. New investments by buyout firms rose more than threefold to $2 billion in the three months ended March 31, from $620 million in the first quarter of 2009. Private equity activity in the country is increasing dramatically. Already this year private equity investment in the area has hit $1.2 billion compared with just $714 million in all of 2009. (Bloomberg Business Week by Pooja Thakur April 06, 2010, 2:07 AM).
Further, the list of Private Equity funds in Real Estate and their role with the Domestic Developers in included in the Appendix.
6.2 Public Debt:
The public debt market, which here only comprises outstanding corporate bonds and Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities (CMBS), is in the very early stages of its development in India. In 2005, the total value of public debt stood at no more than USD 6 m, and this is solely accounted for by the listed corporate bonds. In the last years there have been no CMBS issuances in the Indian market. In the last three years the growth rate for ABS and RMBS averaged 150% and 250% YoY respectively although admittedly from low levels.
6.3 Public Equity:
Neither Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) nor Real Estate Mutual Funds (REMFs) exist in India, implying that the real estate public markets are still limited. The only way to invest in real estate in the public market is through listed property companies Generally speaking, the creation of REITs will improve transparency and liquidity on the real estate capital market. In India, recent news indicates that the potential introduction of Indian REITs and/or REMFs in near future might provide investors with a comfort zone to reduce the transparency and liquidity risks. This will also provide a wider range of choices for investors to engage in real estate investment, considering the current limitation of the public property sectors.
The limited liquidity on the investment market and rising demand for investment product led to commercial property prices rising faster than rents in most asset classes and regions. The initial yields for property investments have therefore come down in most markets. With investor appetite – both domestic and international – rising rather than falling, we anticipate continued yield compression over the short to medium term. A rapid convergence with European or US yield levels is of course not in sight as significant risks on the Indian market remain:
* Liquidity risk: The investment market is still in its infant stage. Investors face serious challenges in finding appropriate investment product.
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