Updated: November 29, 2014 12:37:17 am
It’s been just about a fortnight that Alchemy Real Estate — a realty arm of 107-year-old Vadodara-based Alembic Group —made its maiden foray into Bangalore with a luxury residential project, and the four-year-old company from Gujarat already has firmed up plans for a mixed-use township in the country’s “garden city”.
“The 636 apartments that we have launched is in an area near the International Tech Park, that has coming up fantastically well as far as real-estate development is concerned. This is a sort of pilot project for us, and depending on its success, we plan to go ahead with a mixed used township in Bangalore in the coming days,” says Udit Amin, president, Alembic, which has moved out of Vadodara for the first time in the last four years of its existence and launched a project in eight acres of land at Whitefield, Bangalore.
Alchemy traces back its roots to one of the oldest industrial houses of India which is largely known for its pharmaceutical, healthcare and chemicals businesses. “We decided to enter Bangalore, because the local economy is much stronger (than in cities like Ahmedabad and Vadodara), growth in the real-estate market is much stronger than in Ahmedabad, and we also have a large land bank in the city,” Amin added without divulging the quantum of land bank the real-estate arm holds in Bangalore.
More and more real-estate developers from Gujarat like Alchemy are launching their maiden residential projects in Bangalore, which one of the developers describes as a city with strong real-estate fundamentals. Higher profit margins when compared to the local housing market in Ahmedabad and Vadodara, transparency in real-estate deals and faster appreciation in capital values of homes and an end-user driven market has been luring real-estate players to step into Bangalore from Gujarat.
A leading developer from Ahmedabad, who did not wish to be named, said that he is launching his first project in Bangalore’s Electronic city which involves about 200 villas. “We are doing the project as a joint-venture with a local land owner. We are starting off with just 20 acres, but it is a big project and we will expand as we move ahead,” said the developer who is yet to formally announce the project.
The profit margins that a developer can mop up while constructing a project seems to be the biggest lure. “The average profit margin for any residential real-estate project in Ahmedabad is between 15-25 per cent, but in Bangalore, this profit margin goes up as high as 80-100 per cent,” said Yogesh Bhavsar, president of GIHED (Gujarat Institute of Housing and Estate Developers), one of the leading body of developers located in the Ahmedabad region.
Real-estate experts point out the that the capital values of housing projects in large cities of Gujarat like Ahmedabad has been stagnating over the last three years. The experts whom The Indian Express spoke to have pointed out that the year-on-year growth of prices of homes in Ahmedabad was as low as 5-6 per cent during the last three years, which has driven more investors to look elsewhere. According to a recent report by global real-estate consultants Cushman & Wakefield, the growth in capital value of housing projects in Ahmedabad has been zero in the last 12 months, while the it has been between 13-15 per cent for cities like Bangalore and Mumbai.
The City of Gardens is also turning out to be an attractive investment proposition for private equity funds from Gujarat who are keen to tap the growth in Bangalore’s housing market. A couple of weeks ago, Ahmedabad-based real-estate fund, Amplus Capital Advisors, decided to park about Rs 37 crore in a residential project of a Bangalore-based company Jain Heights and Structures.
“We are very bullish on Bangalore. It is an end-user driven market, there is no speculation, land deals are clean, transparency in doing business is very good,” said Anuranjan Mohnot, CEO, Amplus Capital Advisors, a private equity advisory company promoted by a group of entrepreneurs and professionals of Ahmedabad-based Lalbhai Group, that runs and manages textile major, Arvind Limited.
“We entered the Bangalore market two years back and so far we have invested money in five projects — all of them residential — having a sale value of about Rs 750-800 crore,” Mohnot said adding that the Sebi registered fund was expecting an IRR (Internal Rate of Return) of 25 per cent from Bangalore when it makes the first exists in the coming months. All of the money that this PE firm from Gujarat has parked in Bangalore is in the mid-segment housing where prices of homes range between Rs 3,500-12,000 per square feet.
Real-estate firms like Arvind, Goyal, Bakeri Group and others too have all stepped out of their home base and launched projects in Bangalore in the recent past.
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