Interview: Ravi Narayanan, senior general manager and head – retail secured assets, ICICI Bank.
By: Shritama Bose | Updated: November 28, 2017 12:20 PM | Financial Express
The home-loan market seems to have slowed down, first because of some postponement of demand with demonetisation, and then with the implementation of RERA. Where do you see things going from here?
The supply in the system had anyway started reducing in the last two years. Between September 2016 and September 2017, supply has dropped by over 10-12% in residential real estate in the top 40-45 cities. Till a year back, the inventory overhang used to be about 18-20 quarters in the industry. Along with supply, absorption of units was also coming down because of various reasons, one of which could be demonetisation. People expected a price correction. With RERA coming in, my estimate is that the supplies will go down still further because the act has put in various guardrails as to how the builder must manage the finances available for the project. This augurs well because inventory overhang should not be so much. The second outcome of RERA will be a rise in customer confidence. So once this whole dust settles, we will see pick-ups rising. So there will be a decrease in inventory and an increase in sales and that should be good for the industry.
Won’t that also cause asset prices to rise?
It will follow a pattern. There is an oversupply right now. If the demand-and-supply gap comes down drastically, then the prices will go up. In the next six to eight months, a lot of consolidation might happen in projects underway, which may not be amenable for prices to go up. Prices will remain, more or less, at the same level or there may be some fall in prices. Also, in the last six-seven years, real estate has seen a slight downturn. Typically, the industry follows an eight-to nine-year cycle. So in my opinion, 2018 will again see a rise in sales.
A development that followed demonetisation was the expansion of the credit-linked subsidy scheme (CLSS) for housing. Are you seeing supply and offtake picking up in that category?
Over 60% of new home launches in the industry in the first half of FY18 had ticket sizes under Rs 25 lakh. Because of this scheme under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, a lot of projects have started coming up in this category. Builders are also entitled to certain benefits if a part of their projects are of sizes below a certain threshold.
So is the phenomenon of builders allocating more space to smaller units a countrywide one?
This is happening primarily in Mumbai and Pune. Some of it is happening in Chennai and Bangalore. But, it is not happening across the country as yet. That’s partly because you have to keep operating costs and land cost under control to be in affordable housing. It is a very price-sensitive market. However, given the focus on this sector from this government, there’s bound to be more players flocking to it.
In mortgages, banks have continuously been losing market share to housing finance companies (HFCs). Have they actually weaned away bank customers for their growth?
No, because the mortgage industry is really big. The mortgage book of the country is now at Rs 15 lakh crore; over the next few years, at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 20%, it should go up to Rs 50 lakh crore. When the pie is so large, everyone will have a share. It’s just a question of how each player orients themselves. Today, most banks are focused on the metros, while HFCs are operating in the peripheries (of cities). So we are not meeting each other much. But very soon, it will all become one playground. Banks venturing into the peripheries will be much faster because we anyway have branches.
From the past few quarters, the real estate markets in India have been going through a phase of massive change.
Kanika Gupta Shori | Retrived on 1st Dec 2017 | Moneycontrol.com
How do you time your entry in any investment channel — whether it is equities or real estate? Is it the juncture when the markets are booming and everyone is joining the fray? Does that make for a sound investment decision? Probably, not!
Most retail investors and homebuyers make this mistake. They buy when the prices are peaking. Naturally the returns are not as expected. Am I right?
Well, I am citing the basic principle of investing here. If you are on board, I would further explain why 2018 should be the year you should enter the real estate market.
From the past few quarters, the real estate market in India has been going through a phase of massive change. The regulatory reforms implemented through frameworks defined under the Real Estate Regulatory Act (RERA), and Goods & Services Tax (GST) to an extent, have led the sector in a certain direction.
It is mandatory for all the real estate projects to be in compliance with the provisions of RERA, which attempts to make sure that projects are delivered in time and the money paid by buyers for certain projects is not squandered for other purposes.
In short, RERA protects consumers’ interests. It will be impossible for fly-by-night operators to be in the market and only the most-committed players will be able to navigate the roadmap. This will benefit both buyers and sellers, in the long term.
It is a buyers’ market
The combination of excess supply, high prices and low consumption has translated into huge inventories across the country. The consumption side has also been impacted by demonetization. Clearly, it is a buyers’ market for now – and for the next few quarters. But not for long!
With RERA in place, developers are now focusing on completing their existing projects. The new home launches, across top eight cities in India, have gone down by more than 75 percent in the third quarter of the current fiscal, as per industry research reports. The overall number of project launches has gone down by more than 40 percent in the first nine months of the current calendar year. These trends imply that the supply side will gradually find some equilibrium with demand, and prices will subsequently start picking up pace.
However, in the present environment, there is a situation of excess supply and property buyers are in a better position to negotiate, and grab a great deal.
As per industry reports, the National Capital Region (NCR) and Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) have around 2 lakh and 1.8 lakh unsold units respectively.
Home loan interest rates are at all-time low
The excess liquidity in the banking system have led the RBI rejig the key lending rates. Resultantly, the home loan interest rates that were recorded at around 9.5 percent a year in 2016 have now been floating in the range between 8.3-8.4 percent.
That makes for considerable savings in the EMI costs; enabling people to avail of low-cost home finance, and become a home owner. It is expected that the home loan rates will remain low for the next several quarters and may even come down further.
Considering the average annual rental yields at 5-6 percent, there is not much difference between the costs of rent and owning a home.
Steady revival of interest from global investor fraternity
The implementation of overarching regulatory mechanisms has instilled a much higher level of confidence in the global investor fraternity. The real estate sector is projected to receive Private Equity (PE) investments to the tune of US$4 billion during this fiscal year, as per industry reports.
Not just the PE funds from the US, Canada and Singapore are interested in infusing capital in the sector, but countries such as Japan, China, Qatar, Hong Kong and the Netherlands are also poised to invest in the sector.
At the same time, global sovereign wealth funds—that are otherwise known for their risk-averse, conservative approach—have been increasing their exposure to the market and it proves that the sector is headed in the right direction.
As for property buyers, it is a sign of revival on the cards.
In overall, the current environment presents an opportunity to buy property and make the best out of the coming year.
(The author is COO of Square Yards)
Growth in mortgages in the banking sector slipped to 11.4% year-on-year (y-o-y) in October from 12.8% in September, data released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday showed.
By: FE Bureau | Mumbai | Published: December 1, 2017 4:51 AM | Financial Express
Growth in mortgages in the banking sector slipped to 11.4% year-on-year (y-o-y) in October from 12.8% in September, data released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday showed. Home-loan outstandings at banks had grown 16.6% y-o-y in October 2016. The total outstanding on mortgages in the banking system stood at Rs 9.03 lakh crore as on October 27 this year. Retail loans as a category grew 16% y-o-y in October, a shade slower than 17% in October 2016. Outstanding retail loans as on October 27 stood at Rs 17.45 lakh crore. Loans to individuals had been clocking growth figures in the mid-to-late teens since May 2015, before signs of a slowdown began to surface in November 2016.
In September, outstandings on credit cards grew the most, at 37.7%, among all categories of loans to individuals. Vehicle loans grew 7.4%, significantly slower than 23.5% in September 2016, while consumer-durable loans dropped 9.4%, as compared to a year-ago growth figure of 20.3%. Credit to industry contracted on a y-o-y basis for the thirteenth straight month in October, falling 0.2% y-o-y to Rs 26 lakh crore. In October 2016, the corresponding figure stood at Rs 26.05 lakh crore, 1.7% lower than the October 2015 level.
Industrial credit has been falling almost consistently since August 2016, with September 2016 being the only month of positive growth ever since. Credit deployment in industry fell 13.5% y-o-y in the medium industry segment. However, loans to large industry and micro-and-small industry recorded positive growth, rising 0.2% and 1.2%, respectively, over the year-ago period. Bank credit to industry has been muted for the past couple of years as lenders turned cautious amid worsening asset quality and well-rated corporates chose to raise money from the bond market.
Loan growth has been suffering partly due to capital-starved public sector banks. Analysts expect the recapitalisation of state-owned banks to fuel credit growth in the months ahead. In a recent note, Kotak Institutional Equities wrote that lenders like Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank and Union Bank of India should see loan growth improving. “Loan growth for PSU banks is also partly supported by loan buy-outs from NBFCs and private banks. Retail cycle continues to hold up well, prompting many banks to pursue this segment more aggressively,” Kotak said. Trends in the corporate loan growth appear anaemic, according to the brokerage, with few signs of a turn in the capex cycle.
Updated: Nov 03, 2017 | 11:07 IST | ET Now Digital
Good news for State Bank of India (SBI) customers and for those willing to take a home loan in the near future. SBI, the country’s top lender by assets, has made its home loans cheaper. The bank has reduced home loan interest rates by 5 basis points to 8.30 per cent per annum. With this reduction, SBI’s offering in the home loan segment has become the lowest in the market, as the bank claims.
The new rates are effective November 01.
The effective interest rate for all eligible salaried people will be 8.30 per cent per annum for loans up to Rs 30 lakh. Rates have been reduced by 5 bps point in all the brackets. Over and above of 8.30 per cent rate, an eligible home loan customer can also avail an interest subsidy of Rs 2.67 lakh under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana scheme.
At present, for a new customer there’s now the possibility of taking bigger loans or incurring lower interest costs in making their dream home purchase a reality.
Before you finalise the loan ask these five key questions to get a good deal on your home loan
1. Negotiate rate of interest
Lenders mostly define the interest rate in a minimum and maximum range, the actual rate charged depends on your eligibility criterion. As a borrower you have the ability to negotiate a better interest rate.
Financial advisers say you can do this not just by comparing your loan options, but also by improving your eligibility by adding a co-borrower and combining the co-borrower’s income with your own.
2. Buy a home loan only after comparing
Before you zero in on a loan, compare between the different loan products available in the market.
Look at the equated monthly installments (EMIs), the interest rates, the processing fee and other related charges to choose the perfect loan. These days home loans offered online, you can always explore with a few clicks.
Look at the base rate, the margin offered, what is the maximum tenure offered, and how is the eligibility calculated and most importantly whether a property similar to yours has been funded by this lender earlier.
3. Fixed rate or floating?
Home loans can be extended either on fixed or on floating rates. If a home loan is taken on fixed rate then the interest rate will not change during the entire loan period and the borrower continues to pay the same EMI throughout the loan term.
All new floating rate bank loans today are linked to the MCLR, whose interest rate automatically resets at fixed intervals. This is beneficial for customers since interest rates have been trending downwards of late.
If the interest is expected to fall then opt for a floating rate and if it is expected to rise then opt for a fixed rate loan.
One can pre-close the loan ahead of its original tenure. If you are on a floating interest rate, no charge will be applicable. If you are on a fixed rate, there may a charge applicable.
4. Understand your borrowing capacity
People often decide to pay high EMIs thinking the loan load would come down with time due to annual increases in their income. However, their incomes may or may not rise with time. Therefore, they must borrow to the limit where paying EMIs would not stretch their finances.
5. Additional costs
When you take a home loan remember that interest is not the only cost you have to bear; there are certain additional costs too.
Every time you apply for a loan with a bank or non-banking financial institution, you are charged a percentage of your loan amount as processing fee. The amount may vary from 0.5 per cent to 1 per cent of your loan amount.
Legal fees are charged by banks or NBFCs to ascertain the legal status of any property. Usually, legal fees are applicable for home loans or loan against property.
Depending on your loan type, you may be charged an amount for prepayment of your loan. If you do not repay your loan EMIs on time, you will be charged a late payment fee. The late payment fee will depend on your lending bank or NBFC and the type of loan.
The police are interrogating bank employees to find out how the loan was approved despite forged documents.
Farhan Shaikh | MUMBAI | Updated: Nov 10, 2017 18:29 IST | Hindustan Times
The Santacruz police are investigating a cheating case where seven people allegedly conned Bombay Mercantile Bank to the tune of Rs. 34.65 lakh. The police registered the case after bank employee, Abuzar Rizvi, 53, lodged a complaint against seven people for fraud.
The accused allegedly forged documents to get a loan worth Rs. 34.65 lakh cleared for two flats in Malad. Senior inspector at Santacruz police station, Shantanu Pawar said, “The accused applied for a loan for two flats in Vijay Properties’ Pride Building a couple of months ago.” To find out how the loan was approved despite forged documents, the police are interrogating bank employees who were involved in the process.
The illegal nature of the documents was noticed at the Santacruz (West) branch of the bank, following which the bank officials alerted the Santacruz police station. The case was registered on Thursday under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for criminal conspiracy, cheating, and forgery. The police have booked the loan applicant along with six others, including the middlemen involved in the forgery.
Bank officials at the Santacruz branch were not available for comment.
By ZeeBiz WebTeam | Mumbai | Updated: Tue, Nov 14, 2017 04:48 pm
If you are willing to get a home loan in the future, it is extremely important to understand the impact of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) that came into effect on 1 July 2017 in India. GST is a unified indirect tax levied on the consumption, sale and fabrication of all types of goods and services at the domestic level. It is the India’s largest tax reform since independence.
The GST Council has been formed to administer the system. The four tax brackets have been fixed at 5%, 12%, 18% and 28% for various types of commodities and services. The new tax system has a direct impact on home loan seekers and the entire real estate industry in India. Let’s discuss.
Real estate before GST
Property builders and house buyers had to remit multiple central and state levies such as stamp duty, Value-added Tax (VAT), registration tax and service tax. The imposition of these taxes was based on the locality and construction phase of properties. For instance, the buyers of under-construction properties were required to pay the whole gamut of levies. Conversely, registration charges and stamp duty were imposed on the sale of ready-to-move-in properties. Paying several types of taxes was the biggest challenge faced by the stakeholders of the real estate industry. The complicated tax system has led to the disparity in property rates across the nation.
Real estate after GST
The Indian real estate sector comes under the purview of GST, which excludes ready-to-move-in properties and residential schemes sponsored under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). Under-construction properties are taxed at 18% that will be applicable only to 2/3 of the value of the property. The remaining cost of the property is considered the value of the land. Excluding stamp duty and registration charges, the actual tax rate will be 12%. Realtors or property developers can benefit from input tax credits, which ought to be transmitted to customers.
GST impact on home loans
When a home loan is obtained, interest is paid on the principal amount. The interest remitted on the principal amount is considered the cost of the loan. Besides, the loan borrower pays property valuation charges, advocate charges and processing fee. The home loan service was taxed at 15% under the previous tax regime. Currently, it is taxed at 18% and thus, the loan will be expensive by 3%. GST is not applicable to prepayment fee for an MCLR-linked mortgage, but prepayment fee for a fixed rate mortgage is taxed 18% instead of 15%. The borrower is taxed at 18% on any charges recouped by lenders.
The Indian real estate segment has been experiencing significant transformations recently. The new Real Estate Regulation Act (RERA) has addressed the problem of non-transparency. In India, as far as the residential segment is concerned, the implementation of GST is undeniably an affirmative sentiment booster among potential customers. The system may not be helpful in diminishing the prices of properties in the short-term. The simplicity of the system will benefit all the industry stakeholders including property developers and buyers.
GST advantages for property developers
GST has turned out to be a better option from the stance of property developers who had to pay multiple taxes under the previous tax regime. Currently, they are taxed under the unified tax system. As far as building materials are concerned, the new tax system brings no major changes. Let’s consider a few building materials. Under the previous tax system, pillars and iron rods were taxed at 20% that has been reduced to 18% currently. Cement is currently taxed at the highest rate of 28%, which is more than the previous rate. The tax rate on fly ash bricks and sand-lime bricks has been reduced to 5% from 6%. These marginal variations can make a big difference.
Affordable housing schemes have been kept outside the purview of GST. Needless to say, the unified tax system has been a much-needed reform. Industry experts and tax practitioners in the country have accepted the system that impacts the real estate industry as well. Home loans will be marginally expensive as discussed earlier. The current tax regime has brought transparency and simplicity in the housing loan services and real estate sectors. It is likely to be a boon for all industry participants.
(This article was authoured by Bank Bazaar.)
Our Bureau | MUMBAI | NOVEMBER 8 | Hindu Business Line
The clamour to be the cheapest home loan provider is getting louder. A week after SBI said it is charging the lowest interest rate on home loans following a 5-basis-point (bps) cut in its marginal cost of funds based- lending rate (MCLR), Bank of Baroda (BoB) has joined the bandwagon.
On Wednesday, BoB said it is offering the cheapest home loan rate (at its MCLR of 8.3 per cent) for ‘best rated’ customers across different categories, irrespective of the loan amount. The tenure is up to 30 years for all categories — salaried and self-employed.
‘Best rated customers’ are those with a credit score of 760 and above. For customers with a credit score below that, BoB, based on risk rating, charges a mark-up of up to 100 bps over its MCLR.
“The lowest rate of interest currently offered by other public sector banks is applicable only to a small category of customers such as salaried women seeking a loan of less than ₹30 lakh. However, a male entrepreneur with pristine credit rating seeking a home loan of more than ₹75 lakh may end up paying a rate of interest of 8.5 per cent and above at other banks,” BoB claimed in a statement.
Last week, SBI said that following a 5 bps reduction in its MCLR, its home loan rate is the lowest in the market. One bps equals one-hundredth of a percentage point.
(This article was published on November 8, 2017)