Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Gritty problems plague sand

Demand is growing but supply and storage issues keep prices volatile
Sand, a key construction material, has been a source of angst for developers. Availability woes have led to volatile prices. “There is a lot of uncertainty in procuring this crucial raw material,” says C Shekar Reddy, President, CREDAI National, an association of real estate developers.
Chitty Babu, Chairman and CEO of Akshaya, a Chennai-based property developer, notes that sand prices in Chennai were in the range of ₹600 per cubic meter (cu. m.) in 2012, but zoomed to a peak of ₹2,600 per cu. m. in 2013-14 due to local bans. This has eased now and sand is available from a couple of quarries.
Supply gaps
Demand for sand has been growing from the residential segment as well as for developing infrastructure, such as airports, ports and metro rail. Chitty Babu says that demand has shot up 10-fold over the last decade.
And although supply is available, the extraction process has not been efficient. Sand occurs naturally in river beds and can be extracted directly. Local, State, and in some cases, Central government permissions are required for mining sand. But similar to illegal mining issues seen with iron ore, there have been problems in this segment too — contractors extract more sand than what they are allowed to remove and operate beyond their stipulated hours.
The rights to mine sand are often controlled by cartels and vested interest groups. Courts have come down heavily on such quarrying and shut their operations. This has aggravated scarcity in certain regions.
Even in places where operations have been streamlined, the output has not been enough to meet demand and prices have drifted upwards. One example Reddy points to is Visakhapatnam. Here, quarrying operations have been handed over to women’s self-help groups. Prices in the State have increased substantially. For instance, sand is up from ₹750 per cu. m. to double that in Visakhapatnam and over ₹1,000 per cu. m. in Nellore and Vijayawada.
Local issues
Another aspect that adds to sand’s availability woes is that unlike other building materials, there is no inventory maintained. Even in factories where concrete mix is produced, sand storage in silos is sufficient for only a few days. Due to lack of inventory, transportation and logistics are important issues and lorry strikes add to the woes, says Arvind Gowda, CEO of Expat Engineering, a developer with presence in multiple cities.
Bulk of the demand comes from metros and sand needs to be transported over long distances. For example, sand for the Bangalore region is brought from locations including Tumkur, Mangalore and Tiruchi in Tamil Nadu. In regions where sand is not available close by, sand costs jump up when fuel costs rise. That said, the recent drop in diesel prices has not lowered sand costs, say builders.
Wherever possible, sand is purchased from the closest sources. As local supply decides prices, there are wide variations between regions.
For instance, sand price in Noida is over ₹2,000 per cu. m. while in Chennai it is closer to ₹1,500 per cu. m. Also, costs are higher during the monsoon season compared with summer months, because mining is easier in the dry season.
Alternative sources
To meet demand, developers are increasingly using mechanised sand, popularly known as m-sand. This is manufactured from quarries by grinding rock. It is not just more readily available but also has cost advantages. For instance, in Hyderabad, where natural sand costs around ₹950 per cu. m., m-sand costs ₹550 per cu. m. However, m-sand is not for plastering and is suitable only for concrete mixing. Most ready-mix concrete plants already use this alternative. Over half the developers are opting for pre-mixed concrete in their construction.
Another source of natural sand is the sea. But it is not used in the construction of concrete structures because it contains salt which absorbs moisture, says Gowda. Hence, it is used primarily for plastering. One other way to obtain more natural sand is by de-silting reservoirs in urban areas. Data shows that nearly 75 lakes in Bangalore have disappeared in the last 25 years due to lack of maintenance. Removing silt from water bodies using dredging equipment can help protect them and also be a source of sand — a win-win for all, says Reddy.
Price trend
One square foot of built-up area requires 1.2 cubic feet of sand. In Chennai, sand cost would be ₹50 per sq ft sold. Typical construction costs are around ₹1,200 per sq ft. Total sand costs, river sand and m-sand form 5 per cent of building civil shell and core cost in the Mumbai area, says Harleen Oberoi, Executive Director, Project Management, Cushman & Wakefield, a real estate consulting firm. He notes that river sand prices have fallen by around 20 per cent while m-sand prices have increased by around 10 per cent in the last three years.
In most regions, the expectation is that sand prices may remain range-bound. While supply issues could persist, the use of m-sand, slow launches in the residential segment and respite in diesel costs may keep prices from rising steeply.
SOURCE: Hindu Business Line

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Expat Carnival: Invest Close to Goa for High Returns

Who says you can’t relax, unwind, have a bit of fun, and make a profitable investment in land? Expat brings you yet another great opportunity with Expat Carnival. This project is located in Sindhudurg district, Maharashtra and is only 7 kms from Aronda beach, 19 kms from the proposed Mopa airport and 43 kms from Panaji-Goa.

MORE: http://carnival.expat-properties.com


  • Expat Carnival lies on State Highway-123, close to the town of Malewad, Sindhudurg district, Maharashtra
  • The project is just a one and half hours drive from Panaji, Goa, India’s hottest tourist destination via NH 17 and the proposed Mopa airport is 19 kms from the project.
  • The Government of Maharashtra has declared Sindhudurg District a tourist destination, which means, your property will benefit from the Government’s investment in infrastructure in the area
  • Expat plans to develop a Resort Project in the second phase, which will benefit investors with appreciation of land prices.
  • Considering real estate/land prices in Goa, Expat Carnival would be a great investment option. The prices are bound to appreciate as this belt is sure to develop providing huge returns.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Why you should consider land a viable investment option

Lansel D’Souza,Expat Group

Gopal Krishnan a senior manager at an IT giant in Bangalore got his yearly bonus in 2014. Unsure of what to do with the money, he sought advice from his family and friends. They told him not to risk it with some high risk investment in stock market but be safe and put it in a fixed deposit account so he can have a decent retirement fund later in his life. India is today filled with people like Gopal who have a fair amount of disposable income and aren’t aware of their investment options. They are guided by friends and family who are often misinformed too. India has seen a rise of over 29 percent in the disposable income generated in the country between 2007 and 2012. What are the people doing with this income? In the search for investment options, you usually encounter a number of risks. The popular maxim of investing is that the risk you take is directly proportional to the returns on your investment. Essentially, that means like Gopal’s FD account the lesser risk in your investment, the lower the returns and vice versa. Perhaps the starting point for most investors is the low risk option of fixed deposits, mutual funds or commodities. The more adventurous may gamble on the high risk-high return stock options. However, if you’re an investor with a medium risk appetite looking to get high returns, you might want to consider investing in land. Historically, land has only gone up in terms of value. Over the last five years, land has shown over 100 percent value appreciation in some areas. Knight Frank's Prime Asia Development Land Index showed that land for residential development in Mumbai, Bengaluru and NCR saw over 24 percent growth between 2012 to 2014. Such growth is indicative of the great potential land holds for investors, yet many haven’t recognized this opportunity so far. In terms of residential land on the outskirts of cities, you should take into account that already established residential areas may be hard to penetrate owing to few available spaces and high capital that is involved. Nonetheless, if you do your research you could find spaces that are either in the process of developing or aren’t discovered yet but have the potential to grow. These spaces provide the best opportunities in land investment. There are some key indicators you should base your research on including connectivity and access to basic amenities. Some of the major deterrents to buying land in the past have been misconceptions associated with it. People often go by the erroneous notion that land does not produce income or produces very little of it. According to research, land was the investment that provided over 100 percent returns on investment between 2010 and 2013. The difference with land as compared to other investments is that it is a tangible asset that allows you to adopt a few precautionary methods that reduce the investment risk from medium to low while still maintaining high returns over a long term. Out of the approximately 700 million acres India covers, 500 million acres is dedicated to agriculture and forest cover, leaving only 200 million acres for the 1.2 billion people in the country. This little patch of land is important to everything we do in society and communities. The world, especially India is short of habitable land that needs to be able to develop, accommodate, expand, scale up, build, grow or upgrade. Nonetheless, that’s only a part of the reason investing in land should be an element of your portfolio. All of the three primary needs for life – food, clothing and shelter – are dependent on land, which provides the investor with a host of flexible options on getting the best out of your land investment. You could dedicate it to organic farming, tap into a small business idea or build a home on it. At the same time, it also gives you an option to leave it alone because in most cases it still continues to appreciate steadily and surely. Despite its promise people are often discouraged from investing in land by their perception of the amount of capital required for it. Firstly, it is more economical to buy vacant land than a developed property, a number of investors have invested in land using their savings and entirely avoiding dealing with loans and mortgages. Moreover, if you can find the right places to invest and get in at the right time, the returns could be great. The additional feature is that land can be a source of passive income over the long term, meaning it requires the customer to do little actively to gain returns. In essence, land as an investment provides a wider range of business opportunities in a sector that rarely depreciates. Mutual funds, equities, commodities, residential property and other options all make sense in certain scenarios and so does land. It is a long-term option that will diversify and add volume to any investment portfolio. It’s important not to jump the gun on land investment, only venture into it if you’re willing to consider it as a serious option and treat it as a business endeavor.

SOURCE: moneycontrol.com
LINK: http://bit.ly/1zxtdAf

Friday, 13 February 2015

Expat NewsBurst: Prices in Taloja To See An Upwards Trend

As central Mumbai localities are out of reach for several property seekers, the upcoming suburban areas are the saviors. One such location is Taloja in Navi Mumbai, which offers properties at a lower price along with sound social infrastructure and connectivity.Taloja has gained prominence among property seekers due to its strategic location, connectivity and affordability.
Taloja is located in close vicinity to Kharghar which is the Central Business District (CBD) of Navi Mumbai.In addition, the upcoming International Airport at Panvel will be located at a distance of about 15 kms from the locality.
The construction of the Navi Mumbai Metro, phase-1 is ongoing currently, giving hope to the residents of the area. This will connect the 11 km stretch between Belapur to Pendhar which will further meet Taloja. Once functional, the phase-2 will connect the MIDC and Taloja to Khandeshwar, an extension to the proposed airport. Taloja is also in close proximity to NH-4 and the Old Mumbai-Pune Highway, ensuring convenient travel to parts of Mumbai, Thane and Pune. All those looking to invest here may look forward to increase in real estate values because of the upcoming infrastructure development.
“Among all localities of Navi Mumbai, Taloja is gaining buyer attention due to its proximity to Mumbai. Travelling from Badlapur and Karjat takes a minimum of 2-3 hours to any part of Mumbai while, from Taloja, the same distance in covered in just over an hour and a half. This is one of the reasons why several buyers are opting for Taloja,“ says Ranjit Jha, proprietor at Jha and Associates.

Although in terms of property prices, Badlapur and Karjat offer housing in the same price range as Taloja, but still, the future seems to be in favour of the latter.Ashutosh Limaye, head-research and real estate intelligence, JLL India, says, “Badlapur, when compared to Taloja, does not have its own economic driver. Not only this, Taloja also has better access to the city and is well-connected to the upcoming Panvel Airport.“
At present, 1 and 2-BHK units are the most popular in Taloja. Further, depending upon the size of the flat, prices of 1-BHK units vary from Rs 14-30 lakh. A 2-BHK unit, with sizes varying from 900-1,200 sq ft, would be available in a price range of Rs 20-60 lakh, depending upon the brand of the developer and the exact location.In fact, 1-RK units are also popular and cost Rs 15-20 lakh.
Taloja is equipped with all the basic social infrastructure with malls located within 3-10 km, fashion tech nology colleges, international schools, golf course, technical institutes, central park and the Tata Cancer Hospital in the vicinity.
“At present, values in Taloja are Rs 3,500-4,500 per sq ft, which are expected to rise to Rs 7,000-8,000 per sq ft, taking into account the upcoming developments and the soon to be functional infrastructure,“ says Saurabh Tiwari, proprietor, Bricks and Values. Looking at the current scenario, end-users have outnumbered investors. Local realtors unanimously agree that those living on rent in Mumbai are opting to buy property in Taloja. Considering the ongoing and upcoming infrastructure development followed by strategic location and affordability shows that buying in Taloja can be a smart investment decision.
SOURCE: MagicBricks

Friday, 6 February 2015

Expat Sparsh: Chalets and Studio Apartments in Karjat, Near Mumbai

Expat Sparsh, located in Karjat near Mumbai, is the perfect getaway to create memorable moments with your family. It offers you an opportunity to invest in fully furnished weekend homes that are carefully planned to let you and your family enjoy your weekends in a resort atmosphere, at a home away from home amidst greenery, tranquility and various amenities.