Did demonetisation erase black money in real estate?
Just a couple of months ago, demonetisation appeared to have taken all the remaining steam of our Indian real estate’s sails.
Sales in the significantly cash-driven resale homes market nosedived and prices in this segment declined by as much as 20-25%. They were already trailing primary sales prices by 25-30% in the investor-driven residential corridors before demonetisation.
We keep talking of ethical real estate business. Is a ‘code of ethics’ just a fancy manifesto you put on your office wall? Does it mean that the company merely steers clear of illegal dealings?
If that was all there is to real estate ethics, it wouldn’t be saying much. After all, thanks to India’s rather unclear legal system, it is possible to follow the path of dishonesty and self-interest without actually doing something illegal.
I have always thought that in real estate, the legal way can often be the lowest standard.
The fact is, unethical practices in real estate are the product of a short-term, mercenary approach to the business. This phenomenon is most evident in smaller brokerages, which often have no more than a single dealing with many of their customers.
I’m not saying that all small brokerage houses are unethical (I personally know a number of small operators whose business methods are completely above reproach. They know that good ethics equals good business).
What I’m saying is that a professional real estate company that takes ethics seriously,
While the man on the street continues to wonder when he will be able to buy a modest home of his own, India’s super-rich are raising palatial homes at truly astronomical expense.
Indeed, on the surface, India’s wealthiest appear to operate in an entirely separate dimension which has no overlap at all with the ‘real’ world.
There is certainly an element of truth in this – wealth tends to beget more wealth, and at some point, a perpetual motion machine grinds into motion; a cycle of money-generation which vibrates on a rather unique frequency.
The question is – does this frequency broadcast an ever-widening social divide? Not quite.
There are more elements to these super-homes than meets the eye. The trend of India’s extremely high net-worth individuals building palatial homes needs to be viewed from various angles.
Of course, it is to a great extent, a lifestyle statement that broadcasts the fact that the individual and his family have ‘arrived’ and should be numbered among the country’s wealthiest and most influential people.
The real estate market in many countries offers very lucrative investment prospects, with various offers and options.
Apart from that, Indian citizens buying property abroad can often avail of citizenship in the host country. This factor has considerable aspirational value with many.
The aspiration factor aside, property in more and more locations within Indian metros has become enormously expensive. Moreover, interest rates for bank loans are already proving to be a stumbling block and may rise further with the future revision of RBI norms.
In comparison, an Indian citizen wishing to buy a property in New York, London or Singapore can avail of the considerably lower interest rates of local banks in those countries.
Also, many foreign property markets are more transparent than our own, so investors can get ‘clean’ deals much faster and easier.
Investment in property abroad makes sense for those who are employed or have business interests in the country of choice. Indians who have settled or are planning to settle abroad permanently are, of course, prime candidates.
Global real estate firm sells its India Residential Services Division to Anuj Puri
MUMBAI, 25 APRIL 2017 – JLL is selling its India residential brokerage arm to former India head, Anuj Puri.
Mr Puri, who left the firm on 28 February, has worked closely with the JLL India and Asia Pacific leadership teams to complete the acquisition of Jones Lang LaSalle Residential Private Ltd (JLLR) and will lead a team of 200 residential brokers across eight Indian cities.