Wednesday, 15 February 2017


The stock market has always played the role of a barometer to the economic mood of a nation. Real estate is one of the prime elements in the latter context.

In fact, an interesting and important relationship exists between real estate investments and the stock index. While both offer a profitable investment opportunity, both also carry risks that complement each other.

A common belief has been that the profit margins associated with stock investment has been higher when compared to alternative asset investments. Stocks are liquid and flexible, whereas real estate is not. Also, stocks offer growth rates that real estate investment can rarely match.

Lastly, stocks are also easier to acquire and operate than buying a property as an investment. Investment property also includes several added elements like insurance, maintenance, taxes, legal fees, broker commissions, etc.

It has also been observed that dramatic movements in the global stock market will throw up salient differences between real estate and equity investment. The strength and weakness of the global economy appears to influence both real estate and stock prices.

After the great recession, the stock market lost about 60% of its value. With loans getting cheaper, people now invested more in real estate, since it promises guaranteed returns in the future.

A crucial point to note here is that while stock prices can rise and fall, real estate investment almost always brings in more profits. In fact, the allocation towards real estate in most investors portfolios has steadily risen since the Global Financial Crisis. This is because investors seek to take advantage of the low correlation between the asset class and equity market.

We already know that volatility is always caused by the monetary and fiscal policies of governments, and this has effectively increased the focus on real estate investments. Rising inflation has the same kind of effect on both investments. Increased inflation lowers the currency value, and in turn drives up the price of assets – real estate very prominent among the asset classes.

The outcome of stock market volatility is more evident if one follows the changes in real estate markets. Real estate investment provides more stability and can also deliver a continuous income stream, and this is why it attracts more investors. The slow but steady correlation between the stock markets and real estate markets provides the important advantage of diversification in an investor’s portfolio.
Also, investors can be more confident of constant returns, since the real estate market is relatively immune from both short and long-term price swings. Stocks, on the other hand, are subject to constantly changing prices, and investors can be placed in really tough situations when choosing whether to hold or sell their stocks.

To conclude, both assets offer long-term appreciation of value. However, if one is looking to create a strong portfolio and has the right kind of funds to invest, real estate will always be a safer and less stressful platform.

After all, the demand for homes will never cease as long as we continue populating the planet - what can be a better source of assurance for an investor?

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Wednesday, 1 February 2017

An ‘Uttam’ Budget For The Real Estate Sector

After last year surgical strike on black money with demonetization, everyone was keenly awaiting for the budget of 2017. This was the first budget which was presented on the first week of February, normally budget was presented on the last week of February. From this year onwards railway budget was merged with the annual financial budget. The real estate contributes approximately 15% to India’s GDP. Even the the prime minister’s office tweeted about the budget - “The Housing sector stands to gain immensely from the Budget”. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it was a ‘Uttam’ budget to strengthening the hands of the poor.

The biggest cheer in the budget was the reduction of tax rate of individuals earning between Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh to 5% from the current 10%. Many of consumer for the affordable home come under this category. With tax rate cut, now consumers will have a good opportunity to buy their dream home and many banks are now offering loans with low interest rate. Now consumers will have more purchasing power.

Holding period for considering gain from immovable property has been reduced to two years from existing three years now. Under the latest provisions, developers to get one year's time to pay tax on notional rental income on completed unsold residential inventory. In the previous budget Finance Minister had allocated Rs 15000 crores for Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). In this year’s budget allocation for PMAY has been increased to Rs 23000 crores.

Affordable housing now coming under the ambit of the infrastructure sector, making this segment eligible for various government incentives and attractive for foreign investors. With foreign investor coming to India the standard of infrastructure will now increase.

National Housing Bank will refinance loans worth Rs 20,000 crore in 2017-18. This was possible due to last year surplus liquidity after demonetization. After introducing Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA) in 2016 which has led to more transparency in the realty sector. Implementation of policies like Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) Bill has made project promoters to register their projects with the Regulatory Authorities disclosing project information. In this year budget Rs.3,96,135 crore has been allocated for infrastructure, this will boost the real estate.

A sigh of relief for all home buyers as exemption for housing loans interest payments may go up from the current 2 Lakhs to 2.5 lakhs. Instead of built up area, carpet area to now define affordable housing. Now any cash transaction above Rs 3 Lakhs is banned & this is a favorable step towards for more transparency. This year GST will also come into effect, which will bring positive effect on the real estate sector.

Overall this year’s budget will bring more positive transformation to the real estate sector.