Hamptons International, a global residential sales agent, is all set to foray into the Indian Real Estate market by setting up three offices in the country by this year-end.

Hamptons International is a subsidiary of Dubai-based Emaar Properties. Domestic real estate major EmaarMGF, a joint venture between Emaar Properties and MGF, has 40 per cent rights in Hamptons's worldwide operations.

In India, Hamptons International would provide services in the area of global sales, lettings(Rent in Services), Residential Property development, property management, Home Loans and Mortagages, EmaarMGF said in a statement.

The initial plans of the company involve setting up offices in Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad by end of 2007, it said.

"As the Real Estate India market matures and realty services become a specialised function, global entities like Hamptons will be instrumental in making the property buying process a smooth and hassel-free experience for Indian customers," EmaarMGF Executive Vice Chairman and Managing Director Shravan Gupta said.

This marks the entry of an organised Real Estate services company into the country with a strong focus on the Indian residential properties sector, he said.

Hamptons Internationals' reputation has been built on its strong residential sales and lettings services in the UK market, mainly within London and the south of England.

American Real Estate tycoon A Alfred Taubman, who made billions setting up shopping malls across the US, is now eyeing Indian shores.

With organised Retail Market hotting up in the country, NYSE-listed Taubman Centers Inc has initiated talks with private equity funds, including the Reliance Industries-backed Urban Infrastructure Opportunities Fund (UIOF), and Real Estate Developers.

Sources said a Taubman team working in India is exploring opportunities for developing as well as managing Commercial Space in India. The talks centre around forging either a pan-India joint venture with a big fund such as the Anand Jain managed UIOF, or forging multiple regional alliances with prominent developers across leading cities.

It is believed Taubman has been in talks with UIOF for 3-4 months now even though the progress of these parleys could not be ascertained at this point. An email query to UIOF did not elicit a response. In context, it must be mentioned that Taubman Asia was set up recently, with Hong Kong as its headquarters, for expanding in the Asian markets.

Two prominent south-based developers — Prestige Group, which is credited with building arguably one of the most successful Mall Space in India, and Shriram Properties, part of a diversified Chennai-based group — have held early parleys with Taubman. Shriram Properties declined to comment.

Prestige Group V-P (mall development) Neeraj Duggal said: “We have had initial talks with Taubman, but it is too early to comment. They will think of doing much more in India than just bringing in the money.”

Taubman is credited with running some of the popular malls in the US. In 2006, the average annual sales per sq ft in its malls was pegged at $539, making it possibly the most successful firms with respect to turning footprints into revenue. Taubman properties reported an occupancy rate of over 91% during 2006.

After being proclaimed as one of the Seven Wonders of the world, Taj Mahal automatically got the attention from Indian Real Estate Industry. There are many Real Estate Developers from foreign who are interested in the Investment in the area around it.

Also, Property developers and consultants across the country are keenly watching the inclusion of the Taj Mahal as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. The architectural marvel located in Agra has already been a tourist destination for several hundred years, but its inclusion in the coveted list is expected to further drive tourism--and give real estate and retail in the city a new fillip.

There are already two prominent malls--Taneja and Adlabs—selling handicrafts and ethnic artefacts located near the Taj Mahal. These malls will now get a huge boost. “Developers like Parsavnath, Omax, Ansals and Unitech have started eyeing huge residential and retail developments near the Delhi-Agra highway, spread across several lakh hectares,” says Anuj Puri.

Currently, retail properties in and around Agra are priced at Rs 6,500-9,000 a sq ft. Residential property, on the other hand, is available from Rs 3,500-4,000 a sq ft. Says architect Hafeez Contractor, “The Taj Mahal is all set to boost the real estate market in Agra. Agra should now see a shift in population from Tier-I cities, provided the infrastructure supports it.”

Anil Malhotra from Yum! Restaurants International said, “Agra already has Pizza Hut and KFC restaurants. But now that tourist footfalls in the city are likely to go up, we will be expanding the number of our restaurants significantly.”

Realty TV - Live every moment in India

Posted by Jack Macferson | 11:29 PM | | 2 comments »

A 24-hour TV channel dedicated to real estate goes on air this month in India, a hot property market where buying a new home is considered a hallmark of success among the youthful middle class. About 90 percent of all property investment in the country is in houses, while an economy growing at 8 to 9 percent a year has spurred demand for shopping malls and offices as well.

The owners of "Real Estate TV" say their station will be the first of its kind in south and southeast Asia, a one-stop shop for everything related to the property business and some 250 related industries, such as cement and steel. "It will provide comprehensive, latest and authentic updates on all aspects of real estate, including infrastructure," said Manoj Namburu, chairman of the Alliance Group which owns it.

"Apart from property information, analysis and advice, we will have various shows on lifestyle, heritage homes and interior decor among other things," said Krishnan Sriram, the channel's corporate communications chief. The channel can also be seen in the Middle East, targeting the large Indian expatriate community in the Gulf.

Real Estate TV will also air game shows and even soap operas with a real estate theme, as well as a reality show on the red tape and corruption that faces home-buyers. India's property boom gathered pace after the government eased rules on foreign investment in the construction industry in 2005 to help revamp the country's crumbling infrastructure and fill an estimated shortfall of 20 million homes.

Investors, especially from the United States, have flocked to India since, drawn by a demand for homes among a burgeoning middle class, whose income is growing at 12 percent a year. Still, rising mortgage rates and a doubling of property prices in major cities in the last two years have sharply raised home prices, sparking fears of a downturn. But Real Estate TV is confident of finding a profitable niche on Indian airwaves -- already congested with a glut of news, entertainment, sports and spirituality channels -- because the construction industry is a top advertisement spender.