Monthly Archives: July 2009

HDIL’s first quarter result shows recovery

Neon Real Estate Sign
The first quarter results of real estate major HDIL indicate a improvement in the domestic realty sector. Not only volumes, but also prices are now moving northward.
Despite the fact that both sales as well as profit margins fell during the June quarter, the decline was less than expected and pace is also slackening. Revenues fell by 47% year-on-year to Rs 318.61 crore from Rs 601 crore in the same quarter previous year. With more than three-fourth of its revenue coming from low yielding land development and slum rehabilitation scheme projects, the margins have taken a major hit. Operating margin also fell from 58% to about 43%. Net profit stood at Rs 107.47 crore as against Rs 317.9 crore reported in the corresponding quarter of last year.
In this quarter, HDIL sold less than 1.8 million square feet of TDR at an average price of Rs 1,500 per square feet. It is expected to cumulatively sell close to 6-7-million square feet of TDR in financial year 2010. HDIL has managed to restructure major part of its debt liability and repayments would be due only by October 2010. On account of completion of the mall and multiplex at Kandivili, a Mumbai suburb, about Rs 21 crore worth of investments have been transferred to fixed assets from the Profit & Loss account in the current quarter. As the company follows the project completion method for revenue recognition, it is only by 2011 when the ongoing residential projects would get completed. On the airport project, phase I is expected to be complete by fiscal year 2010 and land acquisition for other parts of project is going on. Recently the company has entered into a rental-housing scheme with MMRDA. This is expected to add 30 million square feet of space to its existing 196-million square feet of land bank.

Lodha hikes bid price for NTC’s Finlay

Is time running out?
Photo by thinkpanama
Lodha Developers is ready to deal a 10.3-acre plot in Central Mumbai for Rs 710 crore in what could be the biggest realty deal this year, a sign that the slump in real estate sector may have finally gone. Company’s director Mr. Abhishek Lodha declared the offer made to acquire the Finlay Mill property belonging to NTC.

The developer is looking to fund the transaction through an IPO to raise three thousand crore rupees by end of August.

Lodha’s earlier bid for the 10.3-acre mill land was Rs 657.9 crore when the reserve price was fixed at Rs 708 crore. On Thursday, NTC’s asset review committee did not accept Lodha’s bid on grounds that it was much lower than the reserve price.

Lodha communicated to NTC its decision to increase its offer price for the Finlay property. The other bidder in the fray for the property was Indiabulls Real Estate at Rs 520 crore.

The payment for the Finlay Mill acquisition would be made in three tranches over three months. The deal will be inked between Lodha and NTC in the next ten days.

NTC board to decide on bid

sacramento bungalow
Photo by j l t
Lodha Developers’ Rs 657.9-crore bid for the 10.3-acre Finlay Mill property in central Mumbai has not been cleared by the asset review committee of the National Textile Corporation. Bid was placed on 16th of this month. NTC’s asset review committee was to take a decision, as it was much lower than the reserve price. The committee could not arrive at decision, as many members were against awarding the land parcel at a price lower than the reserve price.

NTC MD K Ramchandran Pillai said, “The asset committee had the power to take a decision. Now, the NTC board will decide whether to award the Finlay Mill land to Lodha.” On July 16, the Finlay Mill property received two bids from Lodha and Indiabulls for Rs 657.9 crore and Rs 520 crore, respectively. This was widely viewed as a revival of the real estate.

Realty April-June net seen slumping

3D Realty Handshake
Mid-cap real estate developers are expected to show a slump in sales by half to as much as 90% in the June quarter, as home buyers stay clear of purchases, as per a poll of brokerages.

Margins are also seen squeezed as many launch cheaper housing to boost unit purchases, but the firms are expected to show a fall in their bottomline by at least 60%, or plunge to losses during the quarter over a year-ago, as per the poll.

“Mid-income is boosting demand. There is a huge gap in supply-demand.” Shailesh Kanani, analyst at Angel Broking said.

Besides launching affordable housing, builders have tried to reschedule loan repayments and raise funds through share placements with institutional buyers in the first half of this year.

“Profit after tax is set to improve sequentially, and in the quarters ahead, owing to balance sheet deleveraging,” Religare Hichens Harrison said in a report.

“Going ahead, we expect a build-up of momentum in launches in the affordable housing segment,” a report by Edelweiss Securities said.

“General confidence in the economy and affordability will be the key demand determinants over the next one year,” according to the Edelweiss report.

Consider all the factors before purchasing

There are various factors that must be discussed before purchasing property. One needs to consider factors such as economic growth outlook, interest rates, job security, demand, credit supply etc, understand the overall dynamics of the real estate sector.

Rough estimates show that out of the total 100 percent real estate market the residential segment weightage is approximately 75 percent whereas 20 percent is commercial office spaces and balance 5% comprises retail, hospitality.

The mid market residential segment (residential properties between Rs 15 – 50 lakh) represents nearly 85% of total mortgage disbursements in India. Therefore, the mid market residential segment represents nearly 64% of the market. Almost 55% of mortgage finance disbursement for residential properties happens within the top seven cities and the balance 45% is shared by the whole country.

There was a dearth of two to three bedroom properties within this range of Rs 15 – 50 lakh within the greater metropolitan areas of major cities. Easy supply of money from equity capital sources created an artificial demand of land for the development of large township projects and SEZs. Everybody started announcing huge and multiple projects but ignored the calculation, execution and delivery capability perspective involved.

Most developers started projects 10 – 20 times the total square footage of what they had delivered in the last 20 – 30 years. The various sources of institutional capital lapped up the story. However critical considerations like the nature and kind of organisation structure, management bandwidth, labour, capital equipment, machinery, project time were ignored.

The pricing of residential projects went up by 400 – 500 percent in most cities between 2006 – 2008. Interest rates also went up from an all time low of 7.00 percent, 20-year fixed mortgage to as high as 13.75 percent floating rate in 2008. This put a lot of strain on affordability.

The stock market crash and job insecurity that followed the Lehman Brothers fiasco, drove away investors and actual buyers. The credit tightening from domestic banks and marked to market losses started reflecting on credit supply to the sector and the market went dead.

Developers came stress with no cash flows from the sale of projects and rentals of commercial office spaces and retail spaces also dipped by as much as 50% and everybody started playing the waiting game and bottom fishing to get back into the market.

The most credible development companies, in the absence of retail buyers, could not find capital to complete under-construction projects. This led to delays and temporary abandoning of projects. Developers were forced to rethink strategies to get back cash flows and improve sales. This led to developers having a “Eureka” moment about affordable housing.

Luckily for the markets better sense has now prevailed and several developers are re-pricing projects downwards and repositioning them as affordable housing. The banks have also selectively started lending to developers, albeit in small amounts and with strict performance criteria. The banks have also brought down interest rates and also restructured debts. This has slowly brought buyers to the market.

The worst seems to be over for the mid-market residential real estate asset class, although the same is not yet true for commercial office spaces and retail malls. This segment essentially drives cash flows as well as the major chunk of demand. This segment is also one which gets maximum bookings from actual user market rather than the investor bookings in percentage terms. Therefore, it is the lead segment in driving real estate markets. Unfortunately, it was the most neglected segment during the bull run of 2006 – 2008.

Now that most developers have realised that this segment is bringing back buyers who were left out to due to affordability issues during the bull run, cash flows are likely to improve. There have been a few launches of affordably priced projects, which have seen a positive response from actual users.

This has led to other developers following suit and taking advantage of the positive sentiment that has emerged towards affordable/mid market residential segment. The market will see a slew of such launches in the next three months to one year, giving ample choice to actual buyers. Prices will stabilize for a while.

Omaxe subsidiary will develop township

Twin Towers by Omaxe at NOIDA
Photo by vm2827
Construction firm Omaxe said its subsidiary has entered into an agreement with Allahabad Development Authority for the development of a township in Allahabad.

Pancham Realcon has has entered into a memorandum of understanding for the development of township in Allahabad on a proposed area of 1,535.12 acres, Omaxe said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange. However, the company has not disclosed the financial details of the township project.

A look towards budget in new light

Where is going the stock market ?????
Photo by pfala
Market responded unexpectedly on budget. If we judge the budget 2009, there is nothing negative in terms of imposing new taxes on the corporate world. This budget is good if we take recession under consideration. Talking about US, they are still facing trouble due to recession but on the other hand, India survived the deep recession and registered 6.7% GDP growth this financial year.

I think this budget could be presented in much better way. Mr. FM has increased allocations for various social sector projects. It has strong scope for market and the market will soon realise its benefits and will take it as supportive budget.

Everybody is saying that there is no gain in budget, but at the same time it is also acceptable that there is no lose in this budget. It is not bad as per investment point of view.

Indian HNIs make realty investment

3D Realty HandshakeForeign developers are trying to attract Indian HNI (High Net Worth Individual). HNIs are people with net financial assets (liquid assets) of at least $1 million, excluding primary residence and consumables. India is projected to be the world’s third largest economy by 2050. A subsequent increase in the number of wealthy individuals, real estate consultants from across the world are trying and also getting the HNI segment interested enough to buy.
Strong GDP growth, robust figures in industrial and service sectors, high market capitalization and steady FII inflows are some factors contributing to the rise in HNI wealth. In 2006, India’s HNI population crossed the one lakh figure, which made it the second-fastest growing HNI segment in the world.

DLF plan could hit barrier

Plans by the promoters of top real estate company DLF to buy out hedge fund DE Shaw’s investment in family-owned DLF Assets (DAL) could hit a roadblock because of a little known rule in the country’s foreign exchange laws.
Under a ‘put’ option signed between DE Shaw and three companies controlled by DLF-promoter KP Singh’s family in May 2007, the US-based fund, which invested $400 million in convertible preference shares of DAL, could exit its investment and get a fixed return of at least 27%.
As per the ‘put’ option with DLF Investments, Kohinoor Real Estates and Buland Consultants, DE Shaw is supposed to get back around Rs 2,500 crore after forex adjustments. But FEMA classifies all equity investments that carry a fixed return as debt, which could bring DE Shaw investment under the purview of external commercial borrowing (ECB) guidelines.
With ECBs not allowed in the real estate sector, investors holding convertible stock with fixed returns could find their exit option blocked.