WB CM – proposed seat change fuels hope of demand surge in real estate

KOLKATA: Leading city-based realtors like the Surekas, Mohtas of the Merlin Group and the South City consortium have put their real estate projects on either side of the Kona Expressway and National Highways 6 and 3 on fast track within days of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjees’ announcement to move her seat of governance from Kolkata to Howrah temporarily.

Most of the real estate players ET spoke to felt that relocation of the Writers’ Building to the 13-storey HRBC building in Howrahs’ Mandirtala, less than 100 metres from Vidyasagar Setu, from October 1 will increase traffic movement and floating catchment of the area significantly.

The shift will also give a fillip to roadside eating joints, fast food stalls as well as the transport business. Former Credai-Bengal president Pradeep Sureka agreed. The CMs’ announcement to move her seat of governance to Howrah will not only increase traffic movement, but also improve infrastructure and draw public attention to the area. We plan to initiate work on our residential project shortly, said Sureka, who is also managing director of Sureka group.

City realtor Merlin Group also hopes to obtain the State Governments’ approval for its proposed residential project soon.

Alchemist buys land in Kolkata, to invest Rs 600 crore in project

NEW DELHI: National capital-based realty firm Alchemist Township has bought about 20 acre land in Kolkata from a local builder Highland Group and will invest Rs 600 crore to develop a residential project.Property consultant Jones Lang LaSalle India facilitated the deal. Alchemist Group is promoted by K D Singh, a Rajya Sabha MP from Trinamool Congress Party.

“In this deal, Delhi-based real estate developer Alchemist Township India has purchased 2 million square feet of prime residential land from Highland Group at Kolkata Riverside, a satellite township development encompassing 262 acres being developed on the banks of the Hooghly River,” JLL India said in a statement.

When contacted, JLL India Managing Director (Land Services) Mayank Saksena said Alchemist has bought about 20 acre of land but declined to disclose the value of the deal.He also noted that this is the largest land deal between two private parties.

“Altogether, Alchemist Township India Ltd has earmarked approximately Rs 600 crore for this project,” JLL India said.Jones Lang LaSalle India was transaction partner for both the firms in this deal.

A spokesperson from Alchemist Township India said the group intends to develop golf-course facing apartments and group housing on the two plots they have acquired.

Source: The Economic Times

RBI Report – Kolkata property prices up by 60%, highest among Cities

Kolkata property prices have moved up 60% year-on-year, highest among all the Indian cities and much above the national average of 21%, the RBI said in its annual report.

To track real estate price movements, the RBI has compiled quarterly house price indices for nine major cities as well as an aggregate all-India index based on data on property transactions received from registration authorities of state governments.

The RBI, in its annual report, has pointed out that property prices in Kolkata witnessed the highest growth of 60% between the fourth quarter of 2012 fiscal and fourth quarter of 2013 fiscal. It was lowest for Mumbai at 10.6% during the same period.

Although Credai president and managing director of CSR Estates C Sekhar Reddy said the RBIs’ assessment is based on presumptive valuation, data available from the West Bengal government show that property prices have sky rocketed mainly because of high value land sale pushed by the state government agencies since 2009.

The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), Kolkata Municipal Development Authority (KMDA) and the West Bengal Housing Board are mainly responsible for land deals and the three agencies together have sold a little above 5,000 acres for R18,000 core in the last four years, a KMDA official said.

KMC this June auctioned a 2-acre plot on the EM bypass for R115 crore, the biggest land deal in Kolkata so far with price per cottah translating to R96 lakh. In an earlier land deal in 2009 KMC sold a 3.35-acre plot on the same EM bypass for R135 crore via the auction route and this translated to R70 lakh per cottah. Prior to that

Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO) auctioned a 2.25-acre plot in the IT township of Rajarhat for Rs 51.13 crore.

The government agencies have set the trend, Harsh Vardhan Patodia, of Credai Bengal said. He however did not agree with the RBI figure saying property prices in Kolkata have gone up 18% in the last one year but prices in the city crashed during the fourth quarter last fiscal.

The latest National Housing Bank residex (for quarter to March)

Source: The Financial Express