In the new millennia of real estate India has emerged as strong, swift and bold player. Industry expert’s believe that the Indian real estate has huge demand potential in almost every sector, be it commercial, residential or retail.

“India is the most exciting real estate market in Asia,” says Michael Smith, head of Asian real estate investment banking at Goldman Sachs. “It’s one of the last major countries in Asia with an improving market.”

The Real Estate explosion

This spurt of growth in the Indian real estate is in large part due to the by the burgeoning outsourcing and information technology (IT) industry. By 2010, the IT sector alone is expected to require 150 million sq.ft. Of space across major cities .New companies means new offices, houses, shops in short commercial, residential and retail space.

This growth is facilitated by favorable demographics, increasing purchasing power, existence of customer-friendly banks and housing finance companies, professionalism in real estate and reforms initiated by the Government to attract global investors. People have more purchasing power and exposure to organized retail formats has redefined the consumption pattern. Even small towns want to emulate the culture of their big city cousins. As a result, retail projects have been mushrooming across even B-grade cities.

This new way of life has quite drastically changed the face of India’s real estate, may it be the city centers the urban areas or the new yuppie towns. Small shops, old fashioned bungalows and office blocks have all changed into luxurious apartments, with club-houses, pools and sprawling greens. Instead of small shops we have humongous sprawling malls and office complexes.

The Global Effect

When Farallon Capital Management, a U.S. hedge fund, and its joint-venture partner, Indiabulls, snapped up an 11-acre property in central Mumbai in March 2005 for $54.5 million an acre, the purchase was called an act of idiocy by local developers. A few months later, when the same joint venture offered $95.5 million an acre for a nearby property, this was the second-lowest bid.

The first dynamic impact that announced a global change in the Indian real estate sector came when the Government introduced new policies in February 2005. It allowed 100 per cent foreign investments in construction projects with fast-track approvals. But the fatal attraction for foreign investors was the potential investment returns of 25 per cent or more in Indian projects that were nearly impossible to achieve in the US and European markets today.

Industry sources more than 90 foreign investors are already in the country tapping into the real estate investment avenues in India. Dozens of US funds are being raised for investments in Indian realty. Those raising the funds include Blackstone Group (US$ 1 billion) Goldman Sachs (US$ 1 billion), Citigroup Property Investors (US$ 125 million), Morgan Stanley (US$ 70 million) and GE Commercial Finance Real Estate (US$ 63 million) JP Morgan, Warburg Pincus, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Colony Capital and Starwood Capital, and believe it or not this is just the tip of the ice-berg.

Morgan Stanley closed a deal worth about US$ 150 million with Oberoi Constructions in Mumbai. The Nakheel Group in Dubai entered into a US$ 10 billion deal with DLF for residential projects in Tier I and II cities. This was followed by three financial institutions — Khaleej Finance and Investment (KFI) from Bahrain, Kuwait Investment Company (KIC) and Kuwait Finance House (KFH) — from the Middle East promoting a US$ 200 million fund for investing in India.

Players At Home

Investors back home have also sat and started taking active participation in the real estate segment. Indian financial institutions are competing with each other. Prominent companies promoting real estate funds in India are HDFC Property Fund, DHFL Venture Capital Fund, Kotak Mahindra Realty Fund, Kshitij Venture Capital Fund and ICICI’s real estate fund, India Advantage Fund.

The Tata group has also joined hands with private equity firm, Xander, to raise US$ 1 billion for an institutional retail real estate fund. DLF has raised US$ 2.24 billion in the country’s largest initial public offering and has also entered into a joint venture agreement with Indian pharmaceutical major Ranbaxy group company Fortis Healthcare to set up hospitals across the country with investments of about US$ 1.5 billion. klimt cairnhill

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