For real estate giant DLF, the guiding force this year is to keep thecommitments it has made, chief of which is the promise to hand over possession of property even as the company’s fortunes is on the upswing, says Ananta Singh Raghuvanshi, executive director (sales & marketing), DLF Universal Ltd, in an exclusive interview to Realty & More. Excerpts:
What is your road map for DLF for 2014?
This year for us is an year of trying to meet our commitments. From being a Gurgaon-centric company, we expanded to 16 different cities. In all these 16 cities, this is our year to try and hand over possessions. This year in Chennai, we are expecting to hand over almost 1 ,800 houses, out of which the first thousand have been handed over , the next 800 are in process. In Kolkata, we are supposed to handover 100 houses. In Bengaluru, we have sold 4,000 houses, out of which the possession of the first lot is due to happen in the first quarter of the coming financial year. Similarly, the possession process will start this year in other cities as well -Kochi, Hyderabad, Chandigarh and Lucknow. So in most of the cities, we will start giving possession this year. So, this year in all these cities, from being a buyer or a customer, people will become residents of the DLF projects.
How have the sales been picking up?
In Delhi we are getting a very good response from commercial and retail properties, after a long gap. Also at a time when people are saying that the market is dead, this month we have sold 200 small commercial plots in Lucknow in a week’s time. A similar trend is seen in Hyde Park in Chandigarh. Bengaluru is another market where we have been doing well and continue to do well. Another trend which is immune to the traditional ups and downs of the property market is the luxury holiday home segment. Looking at this we have got two products-one is in Shimla and the other one is in Kasauli. Also the NRI market is doing well especially the end-user NRI market.
What is your outlook for the industry for 2014?
Will the elections and the formation of the new government change things for the better? It is difficult to say, but definitely a certain sense of stability will come, because right now you don’t know what is going to happen. Once there is clarity then it will bring in lot of stability, whoever comes, and the mood will accordingly move in that direction. That is for the market to decide, that is difficult for us to say what will happen. The good part is that elections are round the corner now, and by May-June I think there will be complete stability and there should be total clarity about which direction we are headed to. The good part for us is that this will happen before what is normally considered as auspicious property season Dusshera, Navratra, Diwali, Christmas, New Year, etc.
What are the plans on the low cost or affordable housing segment?
We already are into the affordable segment. We cannot do that in NCR due to land cost. But wherever we have land holdings, we are making affordable houses. In Bengaluru, we are selling houses for Rs30 lakhs- fully built-up, ready-to-move. In Hyderabad and Indore, we are selling plots at Rs 15 lakhs. In Hyderabad, it is only Rs 5,000 a sq yard. In fact for Rs 10 Iakh you can get a 200 sq yd plot.
Lastly what do you say: who will earn more money-investors of DLF shares or investors DLF flats?
See, these are two different things- but for property let me tell you that we are not chasing investors, we are only looking at end-users. So for property business, I can comment, for the other side of the business I don’t look after it so it won’t be right for me to comment .
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