RBI’s home price index increases across India despite rate hikes

Home prices in the country have gone up – albeit at a slower pace — if data collected by the Reserve Bank of India is any indication, signalling that higher interest rates have not made much impact in the sector till now.

The RBI’s All India Home Price Index (HPI) recorded a 2.79 per cent growth (year-on-year) to 302 in the third quarter (ended December) of 2022-23 as compared with 293.8 when it showed a 3.1 per cent growth a year ago despite the rise in interest rates. On a quarter-on-quarter (Q-o-Q) sequential basis, the index rose from 298, an increase of 1.34 per cent, from September 2022, according to the latest RBI data. The Y-o-Y movements in HPI varied widely across the cities, ranging from a growth of 7.1 per cent (Kochi) to a contraction of 9.0 per cent (Jaipur), the RBI said. While Lucknow, Kolkata, and Jaipur recorded sequential Q-o-Q contraction in the index, it rose for the remaining cities. In Mumbai, the HPI rose to 292.9 from 286 a year ago, Delhi from 327.7 to 336.8 and Bengaluru from 315.9 to 331.1. Kochi index shot up from 310.1 to 332.3.

The RBI data is based on transaction-level data received from the registration authorities in ten major cities — Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Jaipur, Kanpur, Kochi, Kolkata, Lucknow and Mumbai.

“Though at first it seemed to be an issue of concern when the banks started increasing the home loan interest rates, the surging demand witnessed over the last 2-3 quarters has opened a completely new perspective. Almost in all major cities and their respective micro markets, sales across segments like premium, mid-segment and affordable, picked up,” said Sankey Prasad, Chairman & Managing Director, Colliers India.The RBI hiked the Repo rate by 250 basis points (bps) to 6.50 per cent since May 2022 to rein in inflation. Home loan rates of banks and finance companies have gone up as most of the loans are now linked to an external benchmark rate like the Repo rate.

“The sentiment remained positive and buoyant with a decadal high closing of 215,000 residential units sold across the nation. The same trend is largely expected to continue in 2023 owing to relatively lower levels of inventory overhang, a slew of new launches catering to the needs of the urban populace and a positive customer sentiment towards residential real estate as an asset class,” said Darshan Govindaraju, Director, Vaishnavi Group.

However, industry analysts are expecting the rates to come down once the retail inflation falls below the 5 per cent level in the coming quarters.
“We are of the opinion that the interest rate graph is at a peak now and it should start coming down and reduce by at least 2 per cent in coming months. Affordable and luxury segments are going to post continued growth with emerging segments such as senior living, student housing panning out well in the coming few years,” said Bhavesh Kothari, Founder & CEO, Property First.

Prasad said the strong position of our economy despite a global recessionary climate, a relatively stable job market and increasing purchase power parity are some of the factors driving the home buying decisions.

“The premium and luxury segment, in particular, has largely remained unaffected with the rising interest rates as customers are looking to invest in properties which provide them with a greater sense of living and offer them better returns as an investment,” Govindaraju said. Furthermore, as the high interest rates period has been lasting only for 3-4 quarters over the last decade as against 12-13 quarters more than 2 decades ago, the long-term growth story of the residential segment is promising, giving customers the confidence to invest in the sector early on, Kothari said.

Over the past few years, real estate prices have been on the upward trajectory reinforcing the idea that residential properties are a safe and smart investment option, Govindaraju said.

Indian commercial real estate well poised for growth amid recession fears

The adage, “what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger”, perfectly describes the journey of Indian real estate over a period of more than a decade. The sector has registered robust growth despite headwinds including the global financial crisis of 2008, demonetisation, and the Covid-19 pandemic, among others. As the global economy is gripped into recession fears again, India is better positioned to lead the world towards growth, and the Indian real estate sector will contribute to this growth from the front.

The crown jewel of the Indian real estate sector, the commercial real estate segment, has been leading the sector and contributing actively to nation-building. While the sector witnessed sluggishness due to the pandemic over the last three years, the return to the office, mushrooming of shared workspaces, and entry of organized players in tier-2 cities and beyond are driving the demand for quality office spaces across the country. These factors will continue to contribute towards expanding the sector in the coming years while enabling the industry to remain healthy during the crisis.

International property consultants state that gross leasing volume (GLV) for the period January-September 2022 is higher by 88% and 13% as against the same periods in 2021 and 2020, indicative of the resilience of the Indian office markets. The net absorption for the first nine months of 2022 (Jan-Sep 2022) is at a three-year high of 30.3 million square feet, backed by strong supply completions with healthy pre-commitments. Markets such as Delhi NCR and Bengaluru emerged as the two biggest office markets during this period.

And while the market is posting healthy growth overall, the occupier profile saw a shuffle. Over the past few years, the share of sectors other than IT and ITeS, which includes start-ups and small businesses, in office space absorption have been increasing. Reports suggest that the share of the IT/ITeS segment fell from 33% to 27% in the third quarter of 2022 while the banking and financial services sector posted impressive gains with its share rising to 16% from 10% during the same period.  This was followed by manufacturing and telecom, healthcare, and other real estate segments holding market shares between 14% and 16%. The shared workspaces segment is scripting new trajectories. However, at the same time, the IT / ITeS sector, India’s leading office demand driver has seen absorption declining from 49 per cent in H1 2021 to 36 per cent in H2 2022, which is indicative of an industry-wide trend.

There are umpteen reasons why the commercial real estate segment emerges victorious during challenging times and its ability to reinvent itself over the years is a key highlight of its journey. By remaining agile in its methods and offering stronger investor and customer propositions, the sector continues to be an investor favourite, who bet big on its ability to create long-term value. From introducing new and effective construction techniques to bringing down the cost of construction to enabling retail investors to participate through fractional ownership and real estate investment trusts, the commercial real estate segment has continued to outperform. Furthermore, the shift of India’s demography from the lower middle class to the middle class which is being led by the large domestic and international technology and consumer durable companies rests on the availability of Grade A commercial spaces

As the country gets back to normalcy with trade and commerce picking up, employees returning to the office and the rapid emergence of new-age start-ups, commercial real estate is most likely to benefit from these developments and create numerous opportunities for landlords, developers, service providers, and the ecosystem players. It is also setting benchmarks globally in developing financially sound properties, incorporating aspects of sustainability and technology in construction to set the path for its long-term growth.

Finest Property To Invest In 2023

Vaishnavi Premiere Bengaluru
A tribute to the city’s charm and elegance, the project has been designed in the vintage art deco style of architecture and is intended as a community for connoisseurs

There are homes that strive to provide the best luxury experience they can. And then there are homes that do not just stop there. Such homes tell a story – about their city, the residents, and about themselves. Vaishnavi Premiere is one such project. A tribute to the charm and elegance of Bengaluru, the project has been designed in the vintage art deco style of architecture and is intended as a community for connoisseurs. The towering façade, the dynamic patterns, and the majestic design make Vaishnavi Premiere a project unlike any other in all of Bengaluru! With just three residences per floor and a lavish floor-to-ceiling height, every home offers greater space. The extravagant infinity pool, handpicked amenities, grand arrival experience and unparalleled panoramic views in all directions, are all designed to enhance your experience in luxury.
The location, St. John’s Road, near MG The road is renowned for being a representative of the city’s aspirations.
It is an address coveted by many and is the perfect choice for a work of art.

Developer: Vaishnavi Group
Type of project: Ultra-luxury residences
Location: St. John’s Road, Near M.G. Road, Bengaluru
Configuration: 3 bedroom residences
• Art deco style of architecture
• 35 exclusive residences
• Large balcony decks
• Impressive iconic elevation
• Terrace with extensive amenities
• Rooftop infinity pool
Launched in: October 2022
Possession: September 2025
Current Status: Under construction

Building A Boutique Bengaluru

When Darshan Govindaraju joined his father’s highly successful real estate business, Vaishnavi Group, in 2015, he helped trigger perhaps the biggest change the Bengaluru-based company had experienced in its 17 years of operation.

It wasn’t something that the firm’s thousands of satisfied customers would notice when they moved into their thoughtfully planned homes or state-of-the-art commercial spaces, but it was significant nonetheless, particularly in terms of sustainability.

What Govindaraju, who while sharing a surname with CN Govindaraju is not to be confused with the company’s Founder and Group Managing Director, had realized was that, if the constituent parts of a building could be made in factories, it would transform the company’s business model and drastically improve the quality and speed of delivery it offered customers.

“We were one of the first movers in India to use off-site precast construction for large-scale residential developments in excess of a million square feet [93,000 square meters],” he tells The CEO Magazine.

“We were one of the first movers in India to use off-site precast construction for large-scale residential developments in excess of a million square feet.”

“It means completion times are faster and the quality is assured as there is minimal human intervention in the process. It is also environmentally friendly as it uses less water than the conventional method. Material wastage and debris at the building site is minimized. This ensures reduced pollution and less fuel used in transportation.”

It also resulted in less noise and disruption at the building site, lower assembly costs and improvements in health and safety. The foresight of his father, CN Govindaraju, in envisioning the advantages of the method helped Vaishnavi steal a march on its competitors, many who have since made the switch themselves.

“The benefits have been manifold for us and we have executed close to four million square feet [370,000 square meters] of properties using precast construction technology. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been able to deliver all our projects ahead of time over the past four years, thereby setting new benchmarks for the real estate sector in India.”

A Sustainable Approach
Vaishnavi has been at the forefront of adopting sustainable practices through innovation and technology. Whether it be forming communities nestled amid 358 trees, the usage of precast construction or using LiDAR technology to create nature-responsive architecture without cutting any of the trees at site, each project is looked at with a lens of sustainability based on site-specific conditions.

“Everyone has to be conscious of their carbon footprint today,” Govindaraju says. “Over the past few years, we have worked towards achieving an Indian Green Building Council Gold or Platinum rating for our projects. Sustainable construction which involves not just construction technology but planning for ample ventilation and sunlight, opportunities for community farming and open spaces among others, enable our customers to lead a sustainable lifestyle.”

Since 1998, Vaishnavi has delivered nearly 40 residential and commercial projects, winning over 30 major industry awards along the way. It currently has 835,000 square meters of construction underway at various stages of development.

It has earned a reputation for completing projects ahead of schedule and for its meticulous and customer-centric planning. Its stated aim is to always exceed expectations with best-in-class amenities and feature-rich dwellings.

Govindaraju joined the family business post-graduation from Babson College in Boston, United States, in 2015. He is spearheading the residential sales, marketing and customer relationship management (CRM), as well as the rapid expansion of Vaishnavi’s commercial portfolio. He also oversees the leasing and maintenance of commercial buildings.

“Vaishnavi Group is predominantly a local player, so our strength lies in Bengaluru and its peripheral markets. Our growth will involve extending our footprint in the market we are familiar with,” he says.

“We are a boutique company operating in our own niche segment and our intent is to maximize our per-square-foot earning rather than have our name up in every micro-market.”

To that end, the Group has signed a 6.5 hectare parcel of land on Bellary Road, a prime location in North Bangalore, that has a build potential of close to 232,300 square meters of Grade A commercial space, making it one of the biggest developments in the entire region.

This development will have an integrated metro station within its premises. Vaishnavi has also signed an iconic prime parcel of land in the Central Business District with a build potential of 14,000 square metres. Another major project will be high-end villas, strategically located in established micro-markets.

“We are focused on leveraging our credentials and impeccable delivery track record to expand our footprint within the city, while always staying true to our credo of, ‘Building from the Heart.’”

Vaishnavi Group: A Renowned Real Estate Developer Building Awe- Inspiring Projects Of The Finest Caliber

Bengaluru, the Silicon Valley of India, has witnessed significant demand in the real estate market for its ever-bustling and dynamic culture. It has emerged as a key growth area for India’s new economy industries such as information technology, banking, biotechnology, e-commerce, pharmaceuticals, aerospace, research and development, clean energy and other service sectors. In recent times, the commercial real estate industry has grown exponentially in the city, with the top developers coming up with new projects in Bengaluru’s many growth corridors with good access to the city center, schools, hospitals, social infrastructure and other major localities.

Vaishnavi Group is one such prominent Real Estate Developer based in Bengaluru with over twenty four years of experience in creating landmark commercial, residential and retail projects. While Vaishnavi has always operated in the commercial real estate space since its very first project, the last 2 – 3 years have seen Vaishnavi delve into the commercial sector in a massive way with about 50 lakh square feet of commercial space developed and delivered with zero vacancy across its projects. This is right up there with any of the country’s large players today. The company always emphasises on the principles of vision, unwavering focus, emphasis on quality and an obsession with project execution and delivery across all its developments. This ethos propels Vaishnavi forward as it continuously surpasses expectations at all levels, as evidenced by its 4000+ satisfied families and a rich roster of commercial clients.

As a commercial real estate developer, Vaishnavi Group has strategically located itself across all parts of Bengaluru, and is agnostic to the scale of the project it takes up – whether there is a great opportunity in the CBD, even if it is a 50,000 or 75,000 square feet development, or in the growth corridor, where projects might vary between 5 – 25 lakh square feet. The underlying vision is to develop projects of unparalleled quality across the city. Vaishnavi has developed a significant number of buildings in the secondary business district, where a majority of startups begin their journey before moving on to the peripheral belts. It is high quality projects in these growth corridors that have given the company much leverage today, allowing it to take up large-scale projects.

Vaishnavi has delivered and leased 15 lakh square feet of Grade A office space in the established Outer Ring Road belt within the past year and is adding another 25 lakh square feet development in North Bengaluru, where the Metro Station is being housed within the premises of its land.

A Notch Above All
As a company, Vaishnavi adheres to top-notch building standards and delivers projects promptly. Its commercial buildings are primarily located in the city’s growth corridors, where there is strong existing demand, good transportation, social infrastructure and so forth. An enticing aspect of its commercial buildings is that the company has a very high floorplate efficiency. The usage of precast technology allows Vaishnavi to plan the floor plate optimally and management’s involvement in the planning stage allows the company to maximize the efficiency of each floor plate from the onset of the project. In fact, all of its buildings go through a rigorous design and planning process, which implies that the company invests substantial time and money into developing the optimal commercial building while also making them environmentally sustainable. Vaishnavi works towards an IGBC Platinum or Gold certification for its commercial buildings which ensures that a commercial tenant’s operational costs are significantly reduced over their operating period. These are the finer nuances that distinguish Vaishnavi Group’s commercial buildings.

Road Ahead
Vaishnavi Group has always placed a premium on locating its projects in good micro-markets or potential high growth markets, with an emphasis on the emerging commercial belt in North Bengaluru. Vaishnavi has also been a major CBD player in Bengaluru producing buildings of exceptional quality and visibility around the city core which has also provided the company with excellent leverage within the commercial real estate community. “With constant improvements in technology, there are always opportunities to improve the specifications of an upcoming project. Vaishnavi Group is constantly on the lookout for such opportunities to deliver bestin- class projects to improve occupiers’ operational efficiencies. Vaishnavi has primarily been a residential real estate player of big scale, with our commercial portfolio growing exponentially over the past few years.

We are further focused on leveraging our credentials and our impeccable delivery in the commercial office space market to expand our footprint widely within the city. There is a good appetite in Bengaluru for efficient and well-planned commercial spaces and we aim to be the developer of choice for all kinds of occupiers. We are keenly looking forward to leaving a positive and a highly qualitative mark on the city’s commercial office space segment,” concludes Darshan Govindaraju, Director, Vaishnavi Group.

Vaishnavi Group leases 700,000 sq.ft. to smartworks

Vaishnavi Group, one of the top real estate companies in Bengaluru, has leased 700,000 sq. ft. to Smartworks in Vaishnavi Tech Park. This is the single largest flex office transaction in the country. The 50% pre-booked 9000+ seat center will be operational in the final quarter of 2022.

Vaishnavi Tech Park is a multi-functional IT and Business Park with a contemporary design that has been built using global offsite precast construction technology. Vaishnavi Tech Park has been developed on a land parcel of 5.6 acres and has a total leasable area of 7 lakh sq. ft.

Designed for IGBC platinum certification, the building is energy efficient as it significantly optimizes the operational expenditure. Speaking about this transaction, C N Govindaraju, Chairman & Managing Director, Vaishnavi Group said, “Vaishnavi Group has been developing commercial spaces for over two decades now and we have leased out 1.5 million sq. ft. in the last year to many marquee clients from a cross-section of organizations and government bodies. Smartworks has recently leased out 7 lakh sq. ft. at Vaishnavi Tech Park, which is the single largest managed office space transaction in the country.”

Strategically located next to the Outer Ring Road (ORR), close to the Sarjapur Junction, Vaishnavi Tech Park offers excellent connectivity to the upcoming Bellandur Metro Station and hotels such as Novotel, DoubleTree Suites by Hilton, and Fairfield by Marriott making it a vibrant business destination. Designed keeping workspace wellness in mind, Vaishnavi Tech Park is also equipped with a food court, amphitheater, outdoor sporting zones, futsal court, gymnasium, and F&B and retail zones.

Vaishnavi Group sets a new benchmark in Bengaluru’s residential plotted development with its latest offering ‘Vaishnavi Life’

BANGALORE, India, April 8, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Vaishnavi Group, a renowned Bengaluru real estate developer with an enviable track record of over 23 years of ahead of schedule delivery, has announced the launch of ‘Vaishnavi Life’, a premium plotted development located at Yelahanka Extension, just 25 minutes from Hebbal flyover.

Spread across 45+ acres, Vaishnavi Life features pre-engineered and smart plots ranging from 1150 – 3550 sq. ft. Vaishnavi Life boasts of a host of thoughtfully planned amenities such as a courtyard-themed 32,750 sq.ft clubhouse, 14 thematic parks and over two acres of central activity space amongst others.

Commenting on the launch of the premium plotted development project, Mr. C N Govindaraju, Chairman & Managing Director, Vaishnavi Group said, “Vaishnavi Life is an outcome of a larger vision to deliver premium residential plots and thoughtful, yet luxurious amenities for discerning home buyers in Bengaluru. The company has garnered customer goodwill for delivering projects ahead of schedule. Now, through Vaishnavi Life, we at Vaishnavi are redefining the concept of premium plotted developments.”

“Currently, we see that North Bengaluru is the most preferred among seasoned investors as well as first time home buyers as a viable option for long-term real estate investment. Connectivity to the arterial Outer Ring Road as well as proximity to the Kempegowda International Airport apart from access to Bangalore’s CBD are the key factors driving this demand,” he added.

Yelahanka, touted as a high growth location is also peaceful and safe owing to the multiple defence establishments. Located before the airport toll, Vaishnavi Life, is strategically located with access to all parts of Bangalore as well as the peaceful environs of Yelahanka extension.

The residential plots at Vaishnavi Life start from Rs. 49.10 lakh onwards.

About Vaishnavi Group
Vaishnavi Group, a Bangalore based real estate company was started with the explicit aim of making a mark in the real estate segment as the most admired brand for its integrity, commitment and for exceeding expectations consistently. Started in 1998 by its charismatic leader, C N Govindaraju, a civil engineer by profession, the Group has come a long way, carving a niche for creating boutique projects, leaving an indelible mark amidst its expanding customer base. Never inclined to be a volume player, Vaishnavi Group has always been focused on smart developments that ensures micro focus and stringent quality control.

For more information log on to: www.vaishnavilife.com

For more details, please contact Priya on 91-9900962760 or mail on priya@vaishnavigroup.com

Union Budget 2022: What the realty and infrastructure sector expects

With Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman set to present the Modi government’s eighth Budget on February 1.

Pandemic burdens small to medium players with debts
By Mr Pranav Dangi, Founder of Hosteller”The prolonged effect of Covid-19 pandemic on the overall hospitality sector has created a burden on small to medium scale players to service their debt obligations. Ongoing pressure on such players to maintain high operational standards, as required in the hospitality industry, has pushed them towards higher operational costs and thereby, towards the inability to service their debts.We feel, in the 2022-23 budget, the GoI shall create provisions to create liquidity for the travel & tourism industry, provide directions to the central bank to roll out low-interest working capital loan schemes and expedite the paperwork process. This shall navigate the industry through the difficulties imposed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Tax deduction for home loan interest should be increased to Rs 5 lakh
ByMayur Shah, Managing Director, Marathon Group”To pass on greater benefits of home ownership, the government should consider increasing the available tax deduction for home loan interest under section 24B from Rs. 2 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh and also consider increasing the home loan principal deduction under section 80C from the current 1.5 L limit.The definition of affordable housing should be revised from the current limit of Rs 45 lakh to at least Rs 75 lakh or else the criteria should be changed to only apartment size of under 60 sqm in metros, and not the cost of the flat, as the cost in metros is invariably higher than non-metros . This would level the playing field and give a big boost to buyers in metro areas. Currently, very few projects within the city come under the definition of affordable housing when in fact, the need of the hour in a city like Mumbai is to create a more affordable housing stock. The project eligibility deadline for affordable housing also should be extended to 2023.The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana benefit for the first-time homebuyers in the Middle Income Group lapsed on 31st March 2020 and should be extended further so that first time buyers are encouraged to enter the market”

Budget must continue concessions in home loan interest rates
ByLakshay Jindal, Director and CMO, Jindal Mechno Bricks”The budget 2022 is, indeed, one to look forward to. The stock market touched an all-time high in valuation the previous year, and we witnessed many multi-billion dollar so-called ‘start-ups’ being listed on the Stock Exchange. On top of that, the Real Estate sector, which had been dormant for quite some time, has picked up pace again, and the market has considerable liquidity today.I hope this budget continues the concessions in home loan interest rates, which have been the key driving force for the real estate market in India. The time is just right for the government to boost its spending on affordable housing under PM-Awas Yojana. This move will further strengthen the growth prospects of the Real Estate sector. Another opportunity to seize is the trend of manufacturing facilities shifting away from China. The government should incentivize establishment of such facilities in India. There should be some budget allocated to build large logistic hubs, medium and high-skill training institutes, upgradation of infrastructure, and the like, in order to facilitate global investments in the manufacturing sector. Lastly, I expect large government spendings on the renewable sector. There could be introduction of schemes that accelerate investments in production, distribution or consumption of renewable energy.Another, big expectation is schemes or tax concessions that are targeted to help the middle class of the country. Inflation, which is a record high, has adversely affected the savings of the middle class. It has been evident that the more this class saves and flourishes, the faster our domestic demand comes back on track.”

The stock market will jump up and overall expect a populist budget
By Mr Anil Lala, Managing Director, Fanzart,”The budget will be a progressive continuity of the last years budget policies fueling economic growth. I expect the government to ease repayments from borrowers especially those businesses impacted by covid. The stock market will jump up and overall expect a populist budget.Since the retail sector has been badly impacted due to covid I expect the government to boost the sector with ease in financial support from lenders and improvise policies to help the sector get back on its feet.”

A tax concession to developers for unsold inventory can be directly passed on to customers by way of price reduction
C N Govindaraju, Chairman & Managing Director, Vaishnavi Group,”Reduction of GST on cement from 28 per cent to 12 per cent and reduction of GST on steel from 18 per cent to 12 per cent, thereby bringing down the overall cost of construction. Reduction of rate of interest on housing loans.PMAY scheme eligibility is currently INR 45 lakh. The eligibility for metros should ideally be increased from INR 45 lakh to INR 65 lakh so that more home buyers can avail themselves of this benefit.A tax concession to developers for unsold inventory can be directly passed on to customers by way of price reduction. This will serve a two-fold purpose in terms of clearing of unsold inventory and completion of projects.”

Introduce PLI for the furniture and associated industries
BySrikanth Iyer, CEO and Co-Founder, HomeLane“This is the opportune time to introduce PLI for the furniture and associated industries.The real estate industry is going through an unprecedented boom globally post Covid and India is no exception. This has led to the demand for home interiors shooting up and the Indian furniture industry is in the middle of an unprecedented boom in the organised sector. This is projected to be close to 30Bn$ in FY22.However, the manufacturing is still being done in other SE Asian countries as the overall costs are still much higher for manufacturing in India. Given that there is a global crisis in the supply-chain because of which costs are temporarily high, it is the appropriate time to give a significant boost to the large players in the furniture industry to manufacture in India. I would request for the Minister to consider a PLI for the furniture and associated hardware industries. This will ensure that we are able to divert most of the manufacturing requirements domestically thereby generating much needed employment, investments and help the industry break from the stranglehold from China and other countries.”

India seen boosting budget spending on infrastructure
India plans to raise spending on infrastructure in its annual budget next week to set the economy on a firmer footing, but fiscal constraints leave little chance of concessions for households hurting from the pandemic, officials said.

Vaishnavi Icon- Exhilarating facade

Commercial buildings, especially office spaces can be more than just brick and mortar structures. Creative design elements can lend character and charm to an otherwise staid building. Architects typically experiment a lot with the interiors of the buildings but little has been done to enhance the exteriors.

For making the exterior of commercial design attractive, one can try creative facades, green forays and art installations. One such experiment has been done at Vaishnavi Icon, a ground plus six storey commercial building by Vaishnavi group located in the CBD on Richmond Road, just a few meters away from Trinity Circle.

The company has installed a 15-foot sculpture crafted from stainless steel at the entrance of the building premises, which appears as grand and striking as the building itself. The structure that appears to be a wired profile of a human face stands tall as you enter and prompts one to take a deep look at it.

Titled “Exhilaration”, the concept of the sculpture is all about keeping an open mind and letting your imagination run free.The stainless-steel sculpture took 6 months to create and has been conceptualized and executed by well-known sculptor, ArzanKhambatta.

“In the current work scenario where everyone seems to be competing, meeting goals, pushing for deadlines, and in the process losing themselves, this sculpture is about giving the mind a vacation, so the soul can wander,” explains ArzanKhambatta, about his masterpiece.

“In the most stressful of situations, if the mind is open, if you let it breathe, life becomes better and miracles happen. The sculpture aims to bring about a calming, soothing & relaxing feeling to those who view it,” adds ArzanKhambatta.

Karnataka: Property revenue exceeds target in 2021 amid pandemic pressure

BENGALURU: While the cash-strapped Karnataka government struggles to control its fiscal deficit, there may be some relief in terms of better revenue mobilization. The department of stamps and registration, the third-highest revenue grosser for the state, has already met over 76 percent of its revenue target for the financial year 2021-2022, which is also indicative of a booming realty sector.

The pandemic seems to have made no dent in the revenue as the department’s coffers continue to swell. Ravindra-PN, inspector general of registration and commissioner of stamps, said they had racked up Rs 9,784 crore as of December 31, 2021, which is higher than the nine-month (April to December) target of Rs 9,500 crore.

“We have achieved around 76 percent of the Rs 12,665 crore target for the 2021-22 financial year and are confident of surpassing it by March this year,” he added. The department had managed to meet only 85 percent of the Rs 12,665 crore target in the 2020-2021 financial year,” a senior official said.

In the past six months alone, the government has netted Rs 7,000 crore, which is twice the revenue earned during pre-Covid times. The number of property registrations has been on the rise after the government eased Covid curbs in June last year even as sub-registrar offices functioned with limited staff strength.

B’luru, Mys contribute 60%

Among the districts, Bengaluru and Mysuru accounted for the lion’s share (60%) of the revenue. The government had not revised the 2020-21 target of Rs 12,665 crore since the real estate market was reeling under the impact of the pandemic’s first wave.

Senior officials are overwhelmed by the response as revenue remained unaffected despite the government not considering their proposal to reduce the guidance value last year. The government had only reduced stamp duty for the first registration of apartments costing between Rs 20 lakh and Rs 45 lakh to 3% from 5%.

Official sources said earning much higher revenue was a possibility since the government has now reduced guidance value by 10% across the state effective from January 1. Prashanth Reddy, chairman, real estate expert committee, Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce (BCIC), said: “It’s certainly a good move, but it would have been better if they had offered the sops for a year instead of three months.”

Suresh Hari, chairman, Credai Bengaluru, said the cut in guidance value should be extended till December since real estate may be affected again due to spread of new variants of Covid.

CN Govindaraju , chairman and MD, Vaishnavi group, said the change in guidance value is primarily applicable to the available stock of residential and commercial buildings which have already obtained the occupancy certificate. “If the government extends the sops for another nine months, it will motivate other developers to complete projects sooner and obtain OC. This way, it will help the government earn higher revenue in terms of registration fee and stamp duty,” he added.