Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd: Buy
CMP: Rs.70
Real Estate Bill has been approved by Parliament, bringing relief for home buyers.

The proposed law makes it mandatory for all residential and commercial projects to register with the Regulator and will apply to new and ongoing projects.

Once the Bill is notified, the investments in the real estate sector are expected to move up. Also early clearances might bring down the property prices, bringing more volumes for the builders.

But the biggest advantage of this bill is that it is likely to eliminate bogus builders, which is positive for the established real estate developers like HDIL.

Last month, HDIL reported a consolidated net profit of Rs.92.95 crore in the December quarter as against Rs. 67.29 crore in the corresponding period a year ago.

Total income stood at Rs.329.09 crore in the third quarter of this fiscal year from Rs.359.48 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year.

The company's sales booking increased 14 % to Rs.389.19 crore during the October-December period. HDIL's net debt declined to Rs.2,890.55 crore as of December 31, 2015, from Rs.2,970.41 crore at the end of the September quarter.

The Mumbai-based developer has completed construction of 100 million square feet area since its inception in 1977. It has delivered more than 1.5 lakh homes. The company has 22 ongoing projects and about 46 million sq ft area under construction.

"Possession handed over in last 24 months is approximately 2,500 residential units. In the next 12-18 months we will hand over 4,500 residential units," the presentation said.

On its upcoming 550 acre township project 'Planet HDIL', the company said it is in "advanced stage to close first large FSI sale transaction".

HDIL has also initiated discussion with large warehousing, logistics park, cash and carry stores in and around this township project to create potential job opportunities, the firm added.

This year's budget has addressed the affordability issue through a number of policy initiatives like 100% service tax exemption for affordable homes, and additional yearly rebate of Rs.50,000 on housing loan interest for first time home buyers in affordable segment with loans not exceeding Rs.35 lakh. HDIL as you know is into affordable segment too-- the company recently launched the first phase of its affordable housing  project "Planet HDIL", the mega smart city in Virar (East); one of the largest affordable housing projects in the country.

Meanwhile, Neha Hiranandani, director of Mumbai-based House of Hiranandani said the new Real Estate Regulatory Bill is a step in the right direction, but could end up making property costlier. "The bill has failed to bring the government authorities into the ambit who are responsible for the continuous changes in regulations, lack of transparency and predictability in functioning. The bill is therefore incomplete in its approach, and the outcome of this is going to be more expensive products for consumers,” Hiranandani pointed out. “Placing 70% of receivables in an escrow account in an economy with such high interest rates is going to lead to a complete shift in the business model of many companies. Owing to lack of holistic approach, the end price to consumers will continue to rise, putting a severe strain on affordability,” Hiranandani said.

“We wish the developers’ interest is also taken care when buyers default and delay payment which result in delays in project execution. Developers cannot be blamed for such delays,” said Chintan Sheth – Director, Sheth Corp. “The Act also has to take into account the delays arising out of clearing plans and permissions.”

India’s real estate sector is arguably the most opaque segment of the economy due to the parking of ‘black money’ by politicians and bureaucrats in the sector.

At the same time, it is also highly unorganized, with practically anyone able to become a ‘developer’ even if he or she has no original capital or prior experience. Many people who own land in the cities take loans, build up complexes, sell the units and repay their loan. This has led to inconsistencies in quality, and affected even high-end developers due to inconsistent reputation around the sector.

The Real Estate bill is designed to bring accountability and predictability into the sector, but contrary to developers’ suggestions, it has left the government officials — who often cause project delays — from its regulatory ambit.

However, everyone felt the new law will ensure greater transparency and provide greater comfort to buyers. “This will boost buyer confidence and in turn will also help increase sales. This bill also looks at the developer’s interest by taking into consideration external factors in case of project delays,” said Vikas Oberoi – Chairman & Managing Director, Oberoi Realty.

Therefore, buy the shares of HDIL at Rs.70 for a target of Rs. 74.50-81, in the short term.
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