Metropolitan cities in India are fast becoming a hub of industrial parks, high rises, residential complexes, sprawling malls and huge commercial complexes, which are gradually but steadily transforming their skyline. If you are commuting on the busy and packed streets of Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata or any other tier I city, you will come across brightly colored cranes, rubble, construction and hordes of workers scurrying up and down the towering skyscrapers. This surely urges you to contemplate on the explosion of real estate sector in India.
Is it a mirage?
How real is the influx of investments by speculative and long-term profit makers? Are the commitments by oversized private equity firms, overseas investors and domestic financial institutions adding to the hype and frenzy created in the concrete world of real estate?
Astute watchers in the property sector feel that the bubble is not as big as it seems. According to prominent investors, brokerage firms and property developers, there are certain factors which are failing to add the right tempering to the real estate markets in India.
According to reports by Cushman and Wakefield, there has been a 15 per cent drop in the valuation of private equity deals in the first nine months of 2012. Their observations are based on the following:
The current situation is raising fears of an overheated economy and real estate bubble. This has inspired the central banks to initiate a lender cutback on the amounts sanctioned for real estate loans. The act has caused an upward escalation in the rates of interest and lowered the attractiveness of home financing for consumers. As a result, the cost of home and office rentals along with their purchase price has ended up touching unprecedented heights.
So where does this scenario leave the investors and property purchasers?
The prices of property in the Indian markets are being stoked by the following factors:
The present scenario in the Indian real estate markets is raising concerns with regard to future profit margins for foreign investors. Contrary to the figures in the past two years, when increasing valuation in property yielded returns as high as 30-40% on investments, the expected returns in the days to come are not expected to go higher than 15-20%.
Foreign investors are now looking towards other emerging markets such as those of Latin America and Eastern Europe.
According to analysts, this is a good time for purchasing real estate intended for long-term investment and end use. The cyclical nature of the markets is expected to push up the residential property rates in the next three years. If the investment horizon is greater than this period then it makes good business sense to invest in property in metros and other fast developing cities.
The decision to purchase property in the emerging areas should be backed by a complete analysis of the demand-supply forecasts and infrastructure plans for the region. As far as capital appreciation and rental yields are concerned, mid-range houses are expected to provide better returns than luxury apartments or premium property purchased at discounted prices.
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