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Editor’s Note

palash_royWe start this issue of the magazine with a tribute to one of the finest investigative journalists of the country in recent times. Akshay Singh of TV channel Aaj Tak lost his life on July 4under mysterious circumstances. He wascloselyassociated with me for the past eight years. Read moreabout this dabang reporter in the special R&M tribute on the facing page.

The past one month has undoubtedly been the mosteventful week for the real estate sector in terms ofpolicy announcements since the inception of the ModiGovernment. The Prime Minister on June 25 announced three major schemes – the much-talked-about 100 Smart Cities in the next five years, the ambitious’Housing for All by 2022′ and the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT). As the work starts on these projects, it will impact every body directly or indirectly associated with the real estate sector. In fact, project like Smart City will directlyassociate the real estate sector with many otherindustries. The Smart City and AMRUT projects together will get a grant of over Rs 1 lakh crore. Taking ‘Housing for All’ into account, the figure is estimated to touch Rs 4 lakh crore. If implemented the way it is envisaged, these three schemes would change not only the face of the nation but also the way of living of our citizens.

Moving on to the National Capital Region (NCR)….Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu on June 9announced the expansion of NCR taking the totalnumber of NCR towns to 23. Muzaffarnagar in UttarPradesh and Karnal and Jind districts in Haryana arenow part of the NCR. It may sound good to the ears ofthe residents of these three districts, but not much is expected to change on ground. Over the past two
decades the growth has been restricted majorly to twoof the NCR towns – Gurgaon and Noida. Urban plannersand experts are not too enthused with the development.

Expansion of NCR may not bring much cheer, but the NCR town of Gurgaon still remains a good market for luxury homes, says Santosh Kumar of JLL. The reason forthis, he says, is corporate activity. With good number of MNCs and domestic corporate offices, the city has a good appetite for luxury residencies. With substantialnumber of expats, and middle to senior-level corporateprofessionals, there is room for more.

In our Developer speak section, Dhiraj Jain of Mahagun talks about what we are dealing with in our cover story this time – the mega announcements of the Prime Minister. Vikash Bhagat of Airwil details out hiscompany’s Smart City project.

The first quarter of the current financial year has notbeengood for the stock markets. While the benchmarkNifty has eroded its value by almost one and a half percent over past three months, the Realty Index of NSEduring the period fell by a whopping 16 per cent.Barring Phoenix and Anantraj, all the real estate stockswere losers during the quarter. Unitech’s stock pricehalved in the last three months. Not only the real estate,companies associated with the sector also witnessedselling pressure. Losers included leading stocks of sectors like cement, steel, sanitaryware, paint, and plywood.

The issue also has the various news developments across the sector over past one month, in addition to there gular reads, which include home loan rates of various banks and HFCs, property rates of localities across major cities and new residential project launches in top cities.This time our Vastu expert details out what to be taken care of in multiplexes, and lastly your horoscope for the month.