Speed of building PMAY houses improved during pandemic: Prime Minister – ET RealEstate

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Reuters Photo)

BHOPAL: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the average time of building a house under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY-Gramin) came down to 45 to 60 days during the pandemic from 125 days as migrants, who returned home during the lockdown, also contributed towards it.

He said under the PMAY, 18 lakh houses have been constructed in the country during the coronavirus period.

Modi also called for the need to strengthen the poor in order to end poverty.

He was speaking at the virtual housewarming ceremony of 1.75 houses built in rural parts of Madhya Pradesh under the PMAY scheme.

“The speed with which these houses were constructed is a record. The construction of a house under the PMAY used to take an average of 125 days earlier. But in the coronavirus period, the average time taken for it came down to 45 to 60 days. This is an example of turning a crisis into an opportunity,” he said.

“This has become possible as the migrants who returned home during the coronavirus-induced lockdown also joined the work and availed benefits of the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan, under which Rs 23,000 crore have been spent on infrastructure and other works,” he said.

The migrants returned home, got employment under this campaign and this expenditure also helped the construction- related businesses, he added.

“This campaign has helped the rural economy,” he said.

On the occasion, the prime minister interacted with some of the beneficiaries of the project.

While interacting with Pyarelal Yadav from Singrauli, Modi said, “For removing poverty, it is important to strengthen the poor and this scheme has developed self- confidence in them so that they can sleep peacefully in their house at the end of the day after toiling hard.”

Son of Gulab Singh from Dhar district’s Amjhera village told Modi that he constructed his house with the collective efforts of his villagers, who contributed voluntarily for it.

The masons and laboureres, who were rendered jobless due to lockdown, worked for them free of cost, he said.

When Narendra Namdeo of Bhitarwar in Gwalior district praised the PM for his government’s decision to nullify Article 370 and triple talaq, Modi asked him in a lighter vein whether he was planning to contest elections considering his knowledge about several issues.

Namdeo’s wife thanked Modi for providing a house, a gas connection and a toilet to them and invited him to visit their home, which Modi accepted.

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Home prices in Hong Kong ease 0.5% in July – ET RealEstate

HONG KONG: Hong Kong private home prices eased 0.5% in July, the first drop since April, as one of the world’s most expensive property markets continued to be pressured by the coronavirus pandemic and political uncertainties.

The drop in July compares to a revised no change in June. Supported by strong demand and low interest rates, prices have still gained 1.5% so far this year.

The financial centre was hit by a new wave of coronavirus infections in July, pushing housing transaction volumes to a four-month low in August. The real impact on property prices will be reflected in August and September due to a lag effect, agents said.

The market’s recovery was also capped by Beijing’s imposition of a national security law in the Chinese-ruled city on June 30, sparking a fresh exodus among residents.

“The drop is smaller than expected, it’s mainly because large-sized properties have out-performed,” said Thomas Lam, executive director of Knight Frank.

He expected the market correction will continue, citing weak purchasing power in an economic recession.

Realtor Centaline noted the secondary housing market became active again in late August as the pandemic eased in the city.

“Government easing (of) social-distancing measures also provide a positive signal,” it said.

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Housing segment recovers in June: Report – ET RealEstate

BENGALURU: Housing sales and launches are seeing upward trends across top cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai with both demand and launches seeing higher growth.

“With June being the first month of Unlock 1.0 in India, activity in the housing space marks encouraging recovery,” said a recent report by Edelweiss Research.

Demand plunged 68% QoQ in Q2CY20; however, the sharp recovery witnessed in May (up 52% MoM) and June (up 71% MoM) is a harbinger of hope. Supply plummeted 82% On q-o-q basis during the quarter; however, it improved sharply in June, it mentioned.

According to the report, new launches during June 2020 grew 8.9x MoM on a low base, but were down 49% YoY. “Bengaluru accounted for 39% of launches during the quarter, followed by MMR (24%) and Pune (23%); while other markets together contributed the remaining 15%. On the demand front, MMR contributed 40% of the absorption with Pune (22%) and Bengaluru (13%) coming next,” the report mentioned.

Prices during June bounced back 7–11% YoY in Chennai, Bengaluru and MMR, but slid in Kolkata and Hyderabad (down 5–8% YoY). YTD average prices rose in Bengaluru and Chennai by 6–7% YoY, but corrected 4% YoY in MMR and Kolkata. Prices in other markets remained in a narrow range, it mentioned.

Hyderabad and Pune remained the best markets with 22-23 months of inventory, followed by Chennai and Bengaluru at 37-38 months. NCR remains the worst real estate market with 71 months of inventory; inventory levels in MMR and Kolkata were 40 months and 44 months, respectively.

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Hong Kong eases mortgage rules for commercial property – ET RealEstate

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HONG KONG: Hong Kong’s banking regulator said on Wednesday it would relax commercial property mortgage rules, in a move to boost liquidity in a market that has been hit hard by U.S.-China trade tensions, violent street protests last year and the coronavirus crisis.

The change lifts the cap on the loan-to-value ratio for banks providing mortgages for non-residential properties to 50% from 40%, effective Thursday.

Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) deputy chief executive Arthur Yuen told a press conference the change was designed to make it easier for the commercial sector to obtain mortgages.

Hong Kong’s commercial property market, the most expensive in the world, saw a drop in transactions in the first half, with prices of offices and retail premises dropping 15% and 10% respectively from the second half of 2019, and the pressure is likely to remain, according to HKMA.

“This will have a big psychological impact on the market,” said Dennis Cheng, senior sales director at Ricacorp (C.I.R.) Properties, of the rule change.

He expects a 20-30% rise in transactions in the next month because investors will not be required to put forward as much cash. However, he did not see a rise in prices, because of low rental yield expectations.

The HKMA tightened rules on mortgage loans several times after the financial crisis in 2009, amid a property price boom.

Alex Leung, a senior director of CHFT Advisory & Appraisal, said the relaxation would enable banks to rearrange loans to avoid the liquidation of some property owners, especially smaller investors.

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