Dec 16, 2008

Business - India;DLF to invest Rs 15,000 cr in affordable housing

Buoyed by robust sales in mid-income housing, real estate giant DLF today said that it would invest Rs 15,000 crore over the next three years to develop various residential projects across the country in the range of Rs 15-40 lakh.

DLF, the country's biggest real estate developer, had last year announced its plan to enter into the mid-income housing segment, realising the huge untapped demand in this category. "We will be investing Rs 5,000 crore a year over the next three years on mid-income housing projects," DLF Home Developers Vice President A Harikesh said."Mid-income homes will be our focus area and will witness significant growth in the coming quarters," he added.

DLF's investment plans for affordable housing coincides with the announcement by public sector banks to boost the segment by cutting home-loan interest rates, putting caps of 9.25 per cent for Rs 5-20 lakh and 8.5 per cent for loans of up to Rs five lakh.

Harikesh said that internal accruals, advances against sales and capital raised through private equity would take care of the planned investment. DLF had raised Rs 1,675 crore as private equity in eight projects in November 2007.

DLF Home Developers, the wholly-owned subsidiary of DLF, would construct about 40,000 housing units in the mid-income category, sizes of which would vary between 1,000 square feet and 1,800 square feet, he added. The company has witnessed tremendous response for its mid-income housing projects and sold over 7,000 flats so far this year, despite slowdown in the housing demand for the last six months on account of high interest rate and capital value.

DLF has launched mid-income housing projects in Bangalore, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Indore, Kochi, Kolkata and Pune. The company would launch similar projects in Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Ambala, Goa and Lucknow within the next six months. DLF Homes plans to launch such projects in all 31 cities where the company will have a presence by 2009-10, Harikesh said.

"The price would vary from city to city but majority of the units would be in the price range of Rs 2,000-3,000 per square feet," he said, adding that in the metros, the apartment prices would be higher compared to smaller cities because of high land costs.

He noted that the demand for its affordable housing is largely coming from end-users. As part of its strategy, DLF is discouraging speculation in its property by introducing a lock-in-period of one year for re-sale and selling only one flat to each family. DLF currently has a land bank of over 750 million square feet of saleable area.

No comments: