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adProperty News For February 2011

Hdfc raises home loans rates by 0.25%
Source : The Economic Time Published On : 2011-02-02 City : Chennai

HDFC Raises Home Loans Rates by 0.25%

Home loan leader HDFC has raised interest rate for new as well as old borrowers by a quarter points with effect from February 1.

A quarter (or 25 basis) point increase in home loan interest will push up EMI (or equated monthly installments) for borrowers by 16 for every 1 lakh loan. Thus, the EMI burden on a 10 lakh home loan will rise by 160.

Since HDFC follows a three-month reset cycle for its floating rate loans, the rate increase will impact all existing customers over the next three months depending on their date of first disbursement.

An increase in home loan rates was expected after the Reserve Bank of India on January 25 raised the short-term benchmark rate at which banks borrow from RBI to tide over liquidity shortfall.

"This is in line with the interest rates in the economy, which have hardened due to an increase in policy rates, inflation and liquidity in the domestic market," said a statement by HDFC.

The rate decision by HDFC, which serves as bellwether for the home loan market, comes at a point when property demand has been affected due to high prices in several cities. According to Amit Goenka of property brokerage firm Knight Frank India , "End users and even speculators are withdrawing from the market due to tightening of liquidity and steep rise in prices. In the October-December quarter, there has been a 35-40% year-on-year fall in volume, which will continue."

However, HDFC chief executive Keki Mistry recently said he does not think "people will stop buying houses if interest rates rise." Indeed this is reflected in the loan numbers. Between October and December, HDFC's loan disbursement rose 38% (over the year-ago period) despite rate increases in September and December. In December, HDFC raised rates by 50 basis points for new borrowers and 75 basis points for old borrowers. On property prices, Mr Mistry said: "There could be small correction in places where prices have risen sharply."

But according to Aashiesh Agarwaal of Edelweiss Securities, "With prices being at unsustainable level and interest rates going up would lead to further pressure on demand, especially in markets such as Mumbai." Mr Agarwaal thinks that demand from speculators will also fall not because of rising interest rates, but due to weakening trend of residential volume.

Many commercial banks also raised their lending rates this week. On Monday, three state-owned lenders - Allahabad Bank, Punjab national Bank and Punjab & Sind Bank - increased their base rates to 9.5%. Base rate, for a bank, is the new floor rate used to price all loans. On Tuesday, three more public sector lenders - Bank of India, Indian Bank and Indian Overseas Bank - also raised their base rates to 9.5%. HDFC has increased its Retail Prime Lending Rate (RPLR), on which its adjustable rate home loans (ARHL) is benchmarked, by 25 bps.

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Banks to secure realty loans with escrow a/cs
Source : The Economic Times Published On : 2011-02-02 City : New Delhi

Banks to Secure Realty Loans With Escrow a/cs        

NEW DELHI: The Reserve Bank of India has asked banks to put in place an escrow mechanism that can ring fence their loans to real estate firms and keep a closer tab on the end use of funds.

The RBI has been looking to tighten the lending norms for the real estate sector after last year's bribery-for-loan scam involving LIC Housing Finance and some public sector banks....

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Why home insurance makes sense
Source : The Hindu Published On : 2011-02-05 City : Coimbatore

Why home insurance makes sense

Investing in property unlike other assets requires constant monitoring and maintenance. For instance, a few years after acquiring a property, you need to worry about your structural maintenance in the form of repairs, maintenance, painting and even fiscal maintenance such as property taxes, betterment taxes, etc.

For many of these investors, banks didn't push products like home loan insurance and hence chances are that many of them may not have adequate cover. Such investors can put the house in order by looking at current options. Here are some tips. One of the simplest options for covering loan liability is through an insurance plan....

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A concrete alternative?
Source : The Hindu Published On : 2011-02-05 City : Bangalore

A Concrete Alternative?

Is there a viable alternative to concrete? Concrete is one of the most widely-used building materials. Steel, glass, natural and synthetic fibers are four major material groups. Steel reinforced concrete is widely used. However, structural synthetic fiber is replacing steel in several applications.

V. Ramakrishnan, Regents Distinguished Professor at the Technological University of South Dakota, and Clifford N. MacDonald, Director of Engineering, FORTA Corporation, U.S., who had jointly developed structural synthetic fiber, spoke to The Hindu Property Plus during their visit to the country. “We are continually experimenting and developing new technologies. Work is being done on bacterial concrete [embedding bacteria in the concrete to precipitate calcite, which will strengthen the concrete and prevent cracks]. Work on other materials to reinforce concrete is also progressing,” says Mr. MacDonald....

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Don't let the building be a box
Source : The Hindu Published On : 2011-02-05 City : Bangalore

Don't let the Building be a Box

The Green Sense column explores just one theme in each essay, which makes it easy to read and comprehend. In the process, it singles out issues, which ideally cannot be so separated, being part of the whole process of building. Material cannot be discussed without reference to external elevation; windows affect internal functionality; and semi-open spaces need to relate to the building plan at large.

As such, without the opportunity of an inter-related narration in long text, this column is limited to information coming in bits and pieces, and it is hoped that the reader would connect them together. Often, it may be difficult to inter-relate the topics, where the specific eco-theme stands in isolation, and may never get applied. Hence all of the above explanation and the following text to illustrate the case of window positions and plan form....

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