Hello All,

Can anyone throw some light on the real estate trends in Kerala, in places other than Cochin and Trivandrum? Please feel free to share your thoughts on points such as

Will the real estate prices go down in 2012?

Impact of increased deposit rates on real estate. Will investors move away from real estate?

Do you think the rupee depreciation will open the floodgates in real estate investment?
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  • Kerala developers going for Crisil star ratings

    KOCHI: As the realty sector faces tough times, more developers from Kerala are going for Crisil 7 star rating. The 7 star rating is the topmost real estate project rating given by Crisil.

    `` Of the 250 applications we got in the country, we have given the 7 star rating only to less than 20 projects. Of this 4 are from Kerala,'' said Anurag Jhanwar, director of real estate ratings of Crisil.

    It is the players in the organized sector who are going for star ratings. Around 90 % of the real estate projects are in the unorganized sector and are often riddled with legal hurdles and construction delays. The star ratings differentiate the genuine builders from the others and help in gaining the trust of the customers, he said.

    The awareness on the star ratings is more in South India as the literacy level is higher. The key factors evaluated in the star ratings process are quality of legal documentation, construction related risks, financial flexibility of the project, innovative attributes of the project besides the background and track record of the project sponsor.

    Anurag Jhanwar, who was present to confer 7 star rating to Rs 30 crore luxury apartment complexes of Asset Homes in Kochi, said there a need for enhanced transparency in the real estate sector which can be achieved through self-regulation by developers.








    Kerala developers going for Crisil star ratings - The Economic Times
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  • No house tax in Kerala for buildings upto 660 sq feet

    THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a significant people- friendly measure, Congress-led UDF government in Kerala today decided to give house tax exemption for buildings up to 660 sq feet.

    Talking to reporters after a cabinet meeting here, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said it was also decided to waive the hike in tax rate on buildings up to 2,000 sq feet.

    "It will come into effect from this year," Chandy added. The decision was taken after ruling UDF recommended to the government to rect ..

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    No house tax in Kerala for buildings upto 660 sq feet - The Economic Times
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  • 30,000 beneficiaries to get housing loans under PMAY in Kerala

    Kudumbasree executive director A Shahjahan said that the targets for each bank for dibursal of loans has been fixed.
    Aswin J Kumar | TNN | 18 June 2016, 2:00 PM IST


    THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Housing loans will be given to 30,000 homeless people in the state as part of Prathanmantri awas yojana (PMAY). The loans will be given to those with annual income less than Rs 6 lakhs under credit linked subsidy scheme.

    Kudumbasree executive director A Shahjahan said that the targets for each bank for dibursal of loans has been fixed. The project aims at ensuring homes for homeless in urban areas by 2022. List of beneficiaries in 11 municipalities in various districts has been finalised. There are a total of 26255 beneficiaries for the project.

    Bank loans are available for construction of new houses, buying new homes and renovation of homes. For those with annual income less than three lakhs, houses measuring 30 sq.metres can be constructed and houses measuring 60sq.m can be constructed using housing loans for those with annual income below Rs 6 lakhs.







    30,000 beneficiaries to get housing loans under PMAY in Kerala | ET RealEstate
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  • Curbs mooted for houses in coastal buffer zone in Kerala

    The government has to identify suitable lands to rehabilitate the families hit by coastal erosion with the onset of the rainy season this time.
    TNN | 20 June 2016, 11:30 AM IST


    THIRUVANTHAPURAM: The state government has proposed restrictions on house construction by fisherfolk in coastal buffer zone, as a preventive measure to avoid damage to life and property. "Only such a step could prevent destruction due to coastal erosion especially during monsoon season," said fisheries minister J Mercykutty Amma.

    She added that the government has to identify suitable lands to rehabilitate the families hit by coastal erosion with the onset of the rainy season this time.

    "The priority will be to rehabilitate the displaced families," the minister said while inaugurating a workshop on 'development approach in the fisheries sector' organized by the Kerala Swathanthra Matsya Thozhilali Federation here on Friday.

    Pointing out that the state has not submitted the 'integrated coastal management plan' before the Union government, she said the department would conduct a workshop towards July end to put together the recommendations from scientists and experts and submit the plan in six months.

    The plan is required to be submitted to get exemptions in the coastal regulation zone (CRZ) rules that restrict construction or land development within 500m from seashore and 200 m from lakeshores.

    The main issue that plagues the coastal belt, however, was dumping and accumulation of waste, the minister said, adding that the government would launch 'Suchithwa Theeram' project with the support of local community and voluntary organizations.

    "The plan is to launch the project during the current trawl ban period itself and complete the project in a year," she said.

    On the pending debt relief proposals for the fishermen community, Mercykutty Amma said, "The last proposal was made in 2008 and the total liability in various banks excluding cooperative societies is around Rs 1.5 crore. The department cannot encourage people to take loans and demand a waiver. So there will be a revised cut of date for availing the relief scheme," she said.

    The fisheries minister also said that the state government would have to fight for a 'deserving share' in the Union budget allocation to implement various schemes for the welfare of the community.







    Curbs mooted for houses in coastal buffer zone in Kerala | ET RealEstate
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  • Hike in property tax soon in Kerala, says minister

    The property tax collected from the people is allotted to the local bodies in respective areas and is utilized for infrastructure development, minister said.
    K M Sree | TNN | 20 June 2016, 3:00 PM IST


    KOZHIKODE: The State government is planning to hike property tax and the public should cooperate with it, said Minister for Local Self Government K T Jaleel. Previous government had been showing reluctance in hiking property tax fearing public protest. However, a hike in property tax is inevitable to ensure fund for local self-governing bodies, said the minister.

    The property tax collected from the people is allotted to the local bodies in respective areas and is utilized for infrastructure development, minister said.

    Jaleel was addressing an interaction organized by Malabar Chamber of Commerce at P V Sami hall, here, on Saturday.

    The Minister assured that the government would work to make local self-government department, corruption free.

    Earlier, the government employees used to collect bribe from people claiming that their salary was insufficient for a dignified life. However, no such situation exists today as the government employees are now getting good remuneration, said the minister adding that strict action would be taken against government employees in case of violations.

    An anti-corruption cell will also be set up at the office of the minister to tackle the corruption related issue. A meeting of employees of the department will also be held after Ramadan to discuss new plans for the department, minister said.

    Public Service Commission will be entrusted the task of appointing new employees of Waqf board. 22 appointments will be made in the first phase, he said.





    Hike in property tax soon in Kerala, says minister | ET RealEstate
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  • Land requirement norms to be eased in Kerala

    The town planning department has proposed an amendment to the special provisions in the Kerala municipality building rules (KMBR) with regards to the land required for large-scale projects.

    TNN | Jul 06, 2016, 11.30 AM IST

    THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state government is mulling over relaxation of norms pertaining to land possession as part of its plan to attract big investments to the state.

    The town planning department has proposed an amendment to the special provisions in the Kerala municipality building rules (KMBR) with regards to the land required for large-scale projects.

    As per the proposal, the area requirement for projects with an investment exceeding Rs 100 crore will be brought down from two hectares to one hectare. The relaxation has been mooted following a recommendation from Kerala state industrial development corporation (KSIDC).

    Minister for local self-government K T Jaleel said the government was seriously considering introducing certain relaxations in building rules, which would bring in more investors to Kerala. "The builders have been demanding easing of norms on land possession with regard to investment projects exceeding Rs 100 crore. The KSIDC and the town planning department are working on it," he said.

    He added that the government was keen to follow the steps taken by some other states with an eye on attracting more investments in infrastructure development.

    "Land availability is a major issue for undertaking investment projects over Rs 100 crore in the state. If the land requirement for such projects is reduced, it will help address certain key concerns. The proposal has been submitted," said M Beena, managing director, KSIDC.

    K Ramanan, chief town planner said the proposal, as of now, has been suggested for hospital projects. "As per the proposal, the required land for big hospital projects will be one hectare," said Ramanan. Sources in the town planning department said the government might consider extending the easing of norms to other sectors as well.

    The government accords sanction for large-scale investment projects based on the recommendation of a committtee comprising the principal secretary, LSG (chairman), the director of urban affairs, the chief town planner, the district officer (department of town and country planning) and the secretary of local-self government institution. The minister said the relaxation is being considered only for land requirement and that the other conditions will be retained.





    Land requirement norms to be eased in Kerala | ET RealEstate
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  • Plantation workers in Kerala to be brought under special housing scheme

    The scheme will be formulated to provide houses to all workers in the plantations, Finance Minster T M Thomas Issac told the assembly.
    PTI | Jul 14, 2016, 02.30 PM IST


    THIRUVANTHAPURAM: Kerala government on Wednesday announced a package for workers in the plantation sector by bringing them under a special housing scheme.

    The scheme will be formulated to provide houses to all workers in the plantations, Finance Minster T M Thomas Issac told the assembly while concluding the debate on general discussion on 2016-17 state budget.

    The amount necessary for this purpose will be set apart in the EMS Housing Scheme for the poor, he said. For constructing 34 roads, Rs 560 crore will be sanctioned from the special investment scheme. For new bypass roads Rs 105 crore has been set apart, while for construction of 9 new bridges Rs 100 crore has been earmarked, he said.

    For construction of new flyovers Rs 90 crore and railway over bridges Rs 70 crore has been set apart, the Minister added. Government also decided to reconsider tax concession on rice bran oil and expects to garner Rs 10 crore through this.

    Trivandrum Press Club's Media management and Journalism Training centre has been alloted Rs 25 lakh for improving facilities.






    Plantation workers in Kerala to be brought under special housing scheme | ET RealEstate
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  • 72 flats in seven months, National urban livelihood mission sets an example in Thiruvananthapuram

    The first project to be realized under National urban livelihood mission (NULM) has been accomplished in record time by Urban housing mission (UHM).
    Aswin J Kumar | TNN | Jul 15, 2016, 04.00 PM IST

    THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a city where housing schemes drag on for decades, a residential complex has come up at Karimadom in just seven months. The state-of-the-art complex is all set to give a facelift to Karimadom which had been remembered for the unhygienic environment and total neglect from authorities.

    The first project to be realized under National urban livelihood mission (NULM) has been accomplished in record time by Urban housing mission (UHM), formed for the implementation of centrally-sponsored housing and livelihood schemes.

    The complex, which has been built under 'Shelter for homeless' component of NULM, consists of 72 flats with each unit measuring 30sq m. It has been completed at a total cost of Rs 6.3 crore.

    According to Binu Francis, director, UHM, formation of SPV helped in direct monitoring of the scheme. As soon as the project was finalized, an SPV was formed with minister for urban affairs as chairman and six directors.

    Besides, for the first time, a housing scheme fixed the highest percentage for liquidated damage (LD) which put additional responsibility on the firm which won the contract.

    While housing schemes under urban bodies fix nominal LD, UHM has set 0.55% as LD. Karimadom was chosen for the scheme following protests from a group of families who had been living in dilapidated homes since 1972. The usual hassles associated with transit accommodation and delay in finalizing beneficiaries were also resolved.

    Each unit has been completed with a living room, a small entrance, a kitchen and a toilet. Besides, the units have been installed with lights and fans.

    The project was undertaken by HLL which took up the project on a turnkey basis and once the contract is finalized the firm would have to hand over the key of completed flats within stipulated time.

    "All the 72 fsamilies who had been living in bad conditions can now shift to brand new homes. Unlike other schemes NULM doesn't put financial burden on beneficiaries," said Binu Francis. The project is backed by 100% subsidy from the Centre.

    Each square feet has been estimated at Rs 1,200. The apartment complex will be opened in the first week of August. Meanwhile, the construction of apartments under Basic services for urban poor (BSUP) in the same area at Karimadom is yet to be completed almost seven years after the project was launched.






    72 flats in seven months, National urban livelihood mission sets an example in Thiruvananthapuram | ET RealEstate
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  • Kalyan Developers to invest Rs 300 crore in Kerala
    ET Bureau|Jul 26, 2016, 06.57 PM IST

    KOCHI: Kalyan Developers, the sister concern of Kalyan Jewellers, is investing Rs. 300 crore as part of its expansion plan in Kerala. The company has planned three new residential projects in Thiruvananthapuram , two of which will be launched this month with nearly 100 apartments on offer. The third one will be launched before the end of this year.

    Kalyan Developers will also add five new residential projects in Kochi, Kottayam and Thrissur. Kalyan Developers will invest Rs. 300 cro ..

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    Kalyan Developers to invest Rs 300 crore in Kerala - The Economic Times
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  • Valuation certificate has opened a Pandora's box in Kerala
    The government decision has invited heavy criticism from various quarters, and critics allege it would open further space for corruption and manipulation in realty sector.
    Greeshma Gopal Giri | TNN | Jul 31, 2016, 09.41 AM IST

    KOCHI: Before queuing up in front of the sub-registrar's office for registering your newly bought property, it must be ensured that an assistant engineer from the local body has assessed its value. Opening a Pandora's Box, finance minister Thomas Isaac made it mandatory from July 18, to obtain a valuation certificate issued by a person holding the position of an assistant engineer or above for property registration in the state.

    The government decision has invited heavy criticism from various quarters, and critics allege it would open further space for corruption and manipulation in realty sector.

    Fazal Ali, director, Bavasons Construction said, "All powers and discretion for fixing property value has been accorded to the officials with the local bodies. This decision provides a chance for large scale corruption."

    According to builders, though the local body officials are familiar with building rules, they are incompetent to assess property value. "As it is difficult for buyers to obtain valuation certificates, the builders will own up the responsibility. But, it must be understood that whatever amount the builder has to shell out it would be passed on to the buyer. And in effect it will result in cost escalation," said architect L Gopakumar.

    Ali also said as there was much confusion, the registration department was not willing to go ahead with registration process. He pointed out that engineers with public works department (PWD) would be in a better position to make an assessment of property value based on the PWD manual.

    Officials with the registration department were unable to go ahead with property registration. They said it is unclear on what basics would the local body officials make the assessment. The department is not clear whether the valuation certificate has to be included as part of documentation and filed in the sub-registrar office.

    However, Saji Kumar, chief engineer, local self-government department (LSGD) said though they have come across a government order issued by the registration department they were not aware of the finer details. It is generally believed that rates of Central Public Works Department (CPWD) would be made applicable.








    Valuation certificate has opened a Pandora's box in Kerala | ET RealEstate
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  • Kozhikode corp to introduce uniform property tax regime
    The state government rejected the separate tax proposal put forth by finance standing committee of the previous corporation council citing that different tax regimes cannot be entertained in the same corporation area.
    TNN | Aug 10, 2016, 06.00 PM IST


    KOZHIKODE: A corporation-level empowered committee meeting to be held on August 11 will take a final decision about introducing a uniform property tax regime for the entire corporation area. The civic body decided to introduce the new tax regime covering seventy five wards after the state government rejected the proposal for the two separate tax rates for old corporation wards and for the twenty wards that fall in the limits of Cheruvannur-Nallalam, Beypore and Elathur.

    The state government rejected the separate tax proposal put forth by finance standing committee of the previous corporation council citing that different tax regimes cannot be entertained in the same corporation area. The then finance standing committee proposed lesser tax for the twenty wards falling in the limits of merged grama panchayats of Cheruvannur-Nallalam, Beypore and Elathur citing that the areas are yet to get the benefits of merging with the corporation.

    The government had asked all the local-self-government bodies to introduce the revised property tax with retrospective effect from April, 1, 2013. Majority of the LSG bodies have already introduced the revised tax rate in their limits.

    The tax rate which will be a self-assessed one and based on plinth area will cover around 2.25 lakh buildings. The revised tax rate will be introduced dividing the civic body areas into three zones for the easy calculation of property tax. Areas including government or semi-government offices, educational institutions, market, bus stations, hospitals, railway stations and commercial complexes fall under the primary zone. The areas situated adjacent to primary zone and can be developed in future will find a place in the secondary zone. And the locations which do not figure in either primary or secondary zones fall in the tertiary zone.

    According to the corporation office, the state government has fixed general tax in the range of Rs 8 to 20 per square meter for residential buildings falling in the limits of primary zone. The minimum rate fixed by the state government is Rs 8 per square meters. While the minimum rate for commercial building is Rs 90 per square meter, Rs 100 for supermarkets and shopping malls, Rs 60 for office buildings and for other uses under the industrial sector.







    Kozhikode corp to introduce uniform property tax regime | ET RealEstate
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  • Traditional houses to be renovated in Kerala
    The scheme is being implemented by the Kerala State Welfare Corporation for Forward Communities Limited at a cost of Rs 1 crore on Tuesday.
    TNN | Aug 14, 2016, 10.34 AM IST

    PALAKKAD: The minister for culture and law A K Balan will inaugurate the renovation scheme of 50 houses in the agraharams of Tamil Brahmin community at Kalpathy on Tuesday.

    The scheme is being implemented by the Kerala State Welfare Corporation for Forward Communities Limited at a cost of Rs 1 crore on Tuesday.

    The corporation will renovate another 150 houses in Palakkad at a cost of Rs 5 crore in the second phase.

    The agraharams are a fusion of the culture and architecture of Tamil Nadu and Kerala traditions, which is being preserved by the government. The meeting will be presided over by Shafi Parambil, MLA.






    Traditional houses to be renovated in Kerala | ET RealEstate
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  • Kerala govt to rollback tax on land registration among kin During discussions in the assembly, minister Thomas Isaac informed that the new tax structure for such registrations would be finalized after discussions by the subject committee on finance.October 27, 2016, 15:00 IST




    THIRUVANTHAPURAM: Considering the demand of the treasury and opposition benches, the state government will consider the rollback of 3% tax that was introduced in the previous budget for registration of land deeds among family members.

    During discussions in the assembly, minister Thomas Isaac informed that the new tax structure for such registrations would be finalized after discussions by the subject committee on finance. The UDF government had set Rs 1,000 as the ceiling for stamp duty for registration of land deeds within families.

    The minister also told the house that he was willing to withdraw the purchase tax imposed on sale of gold ornaments with retrospective effect, provided the opposition raised the demand on record. The 5% purchase tax was imposed on sale of gold ornaments by the UDF government. But it was argued that the tax was only on paper and the then finance minister had issued directives to freeze that tax collection.

    "I'm ready to take back the purchase tax on gold. But since the former minister KC Joseph has cautioned me against the rollback of budget announcements with retrospective effect, I won't take a call on my own. Let the demand come from the opposition," he said.

    After Muslim league MLA, P K Basheer questioned the withdrawal of 14% tax imposed on mobile charger, finance minister Thomas Isaac said the government would cancel the same. "At present, 5% tax is imposed on mobile charger that is sold with mobile handsets. For separate sale of mobile chargers, the tax is 14%. The government only wished to unify the same as 5%. Since the decision to unify the tax with retrospective effect has become a point of debate, the government will withdraw the tax unification," he said.

    The minister said the government was open to the recommendations of the subject committee on the demands raised by MLA VD Satheesan on the tax structure for flat construction business. Satheesan pointed out that the unscientific tax structure was tempting builders to evade tax net. The bill was referred to the subject committee after the conclusion of discussions.








    http://realty.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/regulatory/kerala-govt-to-rollback-tax-on-land-registration-among-kin/55085454



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  • Housing scheme to be launched at Muttathara As per the decision, housing scheme will be implemented on 3.5 acres of land which was handed over to fisheries department near sewage farm, Valiyathura.TNN | November 08, 2016, 17:00 IST


    THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The project to rehabilitate fishermen families who lost their homes in coastal areas like Valiyathura due to sea erosion will be launched at Muttathara. The decision was taken in a meeting held here on Monday. Fisheries director S Karthikeyan, councillors Beemapally Rasheed, Sheeba Patrick, Noorjahan, other officials of the department concerned took part in the meeting.

    As per the decision, housing scheme will be implemented on 3.5 acres of land which was handed over to fisheries department near sewage farm, Valiyathura. The corporation councillors have long been demanding rehabilitation of families after the governments had failed to find proper accommodation for them. Around 20 families have been staying in school classrooms for more than five years after they had been shifted to schools as part of rescue measures. The matter had become complicated when the government earlier directed the councillors to find a proper land for launching the housing scheme.

    The meeting has also decided to deploy six temporary staff as part of conducting initial procedures.





    http://realty.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/residential/housing-scheme-to-be-launched-at-muttathara/55304063

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  • 3 different building rules in Kerala for corporations, municipalities and panchayats soon The preparation of each draft has reached the final phase and is being perceived as a major change since Kerala Municipality Building Rules (KMBR) came into effect in 1999, overriding Kerala Building Rules (KBR) of 1984.Aswin J Kumar | TNN | December 12, 2016, 17:00 IST

    THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The building rules, which were subject to a series of amendments during the tenure of UDF government, are set for a drastic change with the state government mooting the introduction of three different building rules for the state, depending upon the nature of area. The town planning department has formed three committees on formulating building rules separately for corporations, municipalities and panchayats.

    The preparation of each draft has reached the final phase and is being perceived as a major change since Kerala Municipality Building Rules (KMBR) came into effect in 1999, overriding Kerala Building Rules (KBR) of 1984. In 2011, another change was ef fected as KMBR was further divided into two, adding Kerala panchayat building rules (KPBR).

    LSG minister K T Jaleel said that the drafts will be scrutinized by the department and presented in the assembly . The decision to go for three separate rules has been spurred by a slew of reasons ranging from a flurry of amendments that were made in KMBR between 2012 and 2014 and the delimitation process that created 28 new municipalities.

    “The amendments during the previous regime were so much that it resulted in a lot of confusion, pertaining to various rules.With building rules being classified based on area, this confusion can be addressed,“ said a senior town planning official. Sources in the town planning department said that major changes will be introduced in terms of floor area ratio (FAR), coverage, open spaces, access to highrise constructions and parking depending upon the construction site.

    According to experts, Kerala offers maximum FAR compared to all other states. While KMBR had limited FAR between 2 and 2.75, the amendment introduced by the UDF government offered four. For specially sanctioned projects, FAR was even five. It implies that if a builder is permitted to construct 100 sq m on a plot measuring 100 sq m in Mumbai, in Kerala he could build 400 sq m on the same plot. Variable FAR, considering the nature of local body , is likely to be introduced in the revised set of rules.

    “Many municipalities, which were formed following delimitation, shared the characteristics of an urbanized panchayat. Some of these contain ecologically sensitive areas as well. If a common FAR applies to corporation and a municipality , it causes unregulated development. With a variable FAR and separate rule, this problem could be solved,“ an official said.

    It is learnt that the amend ments, which were largely at variance with National Build ing Code (NBC), might also undergo a revision. NBC pre scribes a broad range of open spaces vary ing between 4.5-16m around residential apartments, depend ing on their height to facilitate free movement and operation of fire service vehicles.The amendment introduced in 2013 in KMBR diluted this recommendation. KMBR said that in case of highrises, a clear motorable open space of 5m shall be provided for building at the front as well as any one of its side contiguous to the adjacent road to facilitate fire fighting.

    A total of 28 new municipalities were formed in 2015 following delimitation and one municipality was converted into corporation. LSG officials said that classification of building rules is a common ploy being implemented by Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. “Such states practise development control regulations for areas within the city and beyond that region, another set of rules is followed. By having two rules, development can be strictly regulated based on geographic specifications,“ said an LSG official associated with the plan.





    http://realty.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/regulatory/3-different-building-rules-in-kerala-for-corporations-municipalities-and-panchayats-soon/55939732

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