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Interview with Amit Chopra, Director, Escala Realty Pvt.Ltd

Goa is a small state with about 3,700 sq km area. Of these, green areas, beaches, etc. comprise about 80-85 percent, road/rail network covers about two percent, and public utility land or government buildings are another two to three percent.

About 8-10 percent of developable land remains, out of which about six to seven percent is already developed. Only two to three percent is available for further development or redevelopment. Then we have to factor in titles not being clear or the owners not being willing to sell/develop their plots. So hardly one percent is actually available, making clear title land or developed property in Goa a very scarce and valuable commodity in view of the demand by the 1.25 billion Indians as well as multitude of expats/foreigners who want to live or invest here.

There is no restriction on any Indian from purchasing property in Goa. PIOs or OCI card holders can invest in non-agriculture properties, even resident foreigners with long term resident/business visas are allowed to purchase non-agricultural property as long as the money is brought in legitimately after following RBI’s FEMA regulations.

One should engage a professional Realtor* in Goa as they have thorough knowledge about titles and permissions required and shall be best placed to help one with the growth areas.

The thing to remember is that even in the realty slump, the land prices in Goa did not go down, underlining that Goa is the best place to invest in India and as India is considered one of the best places to invest in the world currently, we can rightly say that Goa is the best place to invest in the world.

Goa offers land in all kinds of sizes and locations. Developers also offer plots and independent bungalows, but mostly one finds independent villas, row villas and apartments. Gated complexes seems to be the flavour of the day with amenities like swimming pools, gardens, play areas and parking being offered even in the mid-budget developments, with even lifts and top-end fittings as standard specifications. One can see a lot of these in the Kadamba Plateau, the suburbs of Panjim, around Margao and the beaches.

There are developments targeted towards the holiday crowd in the vicinity of beaches offering mostly studio apartments or 1BHK units with a few 2-3BHK units or row villas.

Then, there are the high-end developments with bungalows/villas/apartments either in the posh areas of Panjim or with a view – mostly the scenic ‘river views’ of the Mandovi or Zuari or few with ‘sea/beach view’. Another popular kind offers either a ‘field view’ or ‘valley view’; these kinds of developments command a premium and mostly have constructions with the best specifications, offer amazing amenities and are considered value for money. Many of these developments also offer inducements like high-end cars or yachts on sharing basis or even ownership basis to the buyers in addition to all the standard amenities like club houses, spa, gym, covered parking, 24×7 security, etc.

The hinterlands have also recently started to look like great investment opportunity with Dhargalim and Dodamarg emerging as hot destinations, being in close proximity to the upcoming Mopa Airport.

Traditionally, property has been one of the best ways of investment, beating even gold and the share market in the long term. Therefore, educated investment in properties is a very sensible decision. It is prudent to buy when the market is down or slow and the current financial scenario offers one a great window of opportunity for long term investment.

There are many opportunities available for investment in Goa, namely:

NORTH GOA:

Panjim Area-

Miramar, Campal and Altinho (posh areas)
Kadamba Plateau i.e. Ribandar, Baingunim
The suburbs of Caranzalem, Taligaon, Donna Paula, Bambolim, and Ribandar

North Goa cities-

Mapusa and suburbs
Ponda and suburbs

North Goa beach belt –

Candolim, Calangute, Baga, Anjuna, Vagator
Arpora, Assagao, Siolim.
The upcoming areas in the vicinity of the beaches of Morjim, Arambol.

New focus areas –

Ela or Old Goa and its surroundings especially Corlim and Karmali.
Divar and Charao Islands
The hinterlands of North Goa, notably Aldona, Moira, Dhargal and Dodamarg.

SOUTH GOA:

Margao area-

Margao town
The suburbs and vicinity specially Fartoda, Gogol, Navalim, etc.

Vasco area-

Vasco town
The area between Dabolim Airport and Sancole, especially that overlooking the Zuari River

South Goa beach belt –

Between Utorda and Colva beaches
Between Benaulim and Varca-Mobor beaches
Area near Palolem Beach

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Realty Scenario in Goa by Amit Chopra

THE REALITY OF REALTY

WITH ITS HIGHS AND LOWS, KNOWING THE CURRENT AND FUTURE SCENARIO OF REAL ESTATE IN GOA WILL HELP YOU MAP YOUR INVESTMENTS BETTER: BY AMIT CHOPRA

Alas, there is but one…

GOA!The very word transfixes and transports one to a magical world.Goa has so much to offer; the World Heritage Sites of Old Goa and Fontainhas, some amazingly preserved Heritage Portuguese Houses, the churches & temples (many of them being more than 500 years old),beautiful beaches, stunning views, meandering rivers, charming islands, Bird & Wildlife sanctuaries, verdant fields, sweeping meadows of grasslands, wooded hinterlands, the amazing Sayadhari Mountain Ranges and a wondrous green cover.

Not to forget the deliciously celebrated variety of catholic and Hindu vegetarian and seafood offerings along with an eclectic array of restaurants that serve international cuisines of the likes that attracted Master Chef Sarah Todd; Goa is a real Foodies Heaven.

To Goans it is their home,the place of eternal succor; whileto others, a land of dreams and fun and parties.The culture and the people living the sussegado life is what makes Goa unique.

Goa is one of India’s most literate states with the highest per capita income. It’s home to some top colleges & institutions like Goa Medical College, BITS Pillani- Goa Campus, Goa College of Engineering, Goa Institute of Management Sciences, myriad Hotel Management Institutes, and of course, the-soon-to-be-opened IIT Goa.

No wonder this all makes Goa the cake, pieces of which are desired by all leading to the factor that governs Realty; ‘DEMAND’. Goa is a small state with over 80% of the land reserved for green areas. India is the world’s fastest growing economy with high population densityin the urban areas so everyone wants to take a break in paradise once in a while, and everyone who comes to Goa wants to live here forever. This is in turn leading to an ever increasing demand for homes of all varieties and massive investment opportunities.The demand for beds/rooms to fulfill the rise in the tourist footfalls has lead to construction of newer and better quality of Hotels/Resorts of all kinds be it Star, Boutique, Mid-Range, Budget, or even Backpacker. While earlier the focus was dominantly towards the Beaches, now the hinterlands are also becoming hot destinations with Eco-Tourism slowly becoming a very lucrative segment. Another segment that is gaining ground is Medical Tourism which is driven by Goa’s sunny moderate weather for those wanting to escape the biting cold. Moreover, with affordablemedical facilities in India, Goa is starting to develop as a base for Medical Tourism and for facilities like Holistic Health Centers and luxury Retirement Homes.

All these factors are however coupled with the fact that there is very little developable land on offer at any given point of time making Goa the best destination to invest in. The huge demand and sparse supply will ensure the stability of the market and fuel further growth.

If the market holds true, it is predicted that the boom can start as early as middle of next year with growth as seen in 2006-2008. One can choose to invest now when the overall rates are not very high or rue one’s foolhardiness when manifold increase in prices stares one in the face.

Goa offers something for everyone right from the lower end of the market to the ultra luxury segment. Good quality construction at affordable prices for the aspiring lower middle class, to unique and exclusive homes for upper middle classes, to ultra luxury products for the uber rich and celebrities are all available here. The locals, the ones wanting to live in Goa permanently, or the ones who want to make Goatheir second home; all should peek into this promising market.

A word of caution: Please engage the services of a reputed realtor whose expertise and local knowledge will help you secure your investment. Do too engage the services of a competent lawyer as it will make your life easier in the long run; the money spent today would pay off in the future by translating your investment into a lucrative, clear and marketable property.

Amit Chopra is the Director of Escala Realty India Private Limited, also the founder Chairman of the “GOA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS” and the Member of the Governing Body of the “NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS – INDIA”.

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Corona Virus Impact on Housing Trends

Housing Trends are constantly changing, generally based on upcoming localities and the income of people. The trend from about a few months ago was small or compact budget apartments within a secured complex. However, with the onset on the Corona Virus Pandemic, and the drastic changes in the lifestyle of many people, we see that the requirement of buyers is beginning to change.

The questions that buyers now ask are more toward the spaciousness of rooms and the health facilities being provided by complexes.

Some pointers to keep in mind about this post-pandemic housing trend:

More Space

Due to the lockdown effected to try and curb the spread of the Virus, and the fact that the children seem to be on an extended vacation, home buyers are now looking for properties that are spacious, so as to allow for the freedom to Work in a room without being disturbed.

Multiple Uses

Can one corner in a room be used as a virtual classroom seat, and a study table? Can this balcony be used as a small workshop? People are now looking to see how they can make use of every corner of their house. Especially since the parents’ work timing may coincide with the child’s classes or the home maker may want to keep an eye on the child as they are attending lectures.

Greater Number of Appliances

With the push for staying at home as much as possible, people are searching for things to do, or are going back to hobbies that they have neglected for so long. This can sometimes lead to multiple gadgets being used in the home at the same time. In small apartments, the number of electrical fittings are limited, and there are only so many extension boards you can use. Thus the requirement for more electrical fittings in the prospective property is one thing you must keep a check on.

Access to Health Facilities

Can an ambulance get through to the complex easily? Is there a proper first aid kit on hand in the complex for emergencies? Health benefits and proximity to medical facilities is another query that may come up.

Proximity to Retail and Essential Services

During a lockdown sometimes the main issue is the procurement of resources to run a house, be it groceries, stationery or even mini electrical appliances. Thus the shift of housing trend towards properties within the vicinity of retail shops, and other facilities is apparent.

The Corona Virus Pandemic has had a massive impact on the economy of the world, but the real estate industry has managed to stay afloat, by shifting to virtual tours of properties, and by keeping most of the interaction and transaction online.

We, at Escala Realty India, have a Sales Team who have always prioritised the client and delivered. Even during this pandemic, to ensure that you do not face any risk, we give you the offer of checking the property virtually, and wherever required site visits are done maintaining social distancing and proper sanitation. No matter the real estate trend, we are always ready to provide options based on what you need and what you want. Escala Realty India will help you find your best match in properties, and will help you right up to the final stage.

All you have to do is… Stay Safe! Stay Home!

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RERA to be implemented in Goa post election results

SOURCE :Economic Times

The Real Estate and Regulation Act (RERA), which was passed by the central government in March 2016, will be notified within six months after the election code of conduct gets lifted on March 11, chief town planner and joint secretary, TS Pattaraju said on Monday while speaking at the first foundation anniversary of the Goa Association of Realtors.

“The draft is ready and submitted to the government. Once the election code is lifted, the notification for RERA will be issued. The chief secretary is looking at the matter closely,” Pattaraju said, adding that personally he is not in favor of putting all the responsibilities on the builder, and that they should be shared by other stakeholders, including the buyer.

“The developer should not be held responsible for everything. There are four to five stakeholders, including the customers. All should share the responsibilites. A clarity on the defination of carpet area is also needed,” Pattaraju said.

GCCI president Narayan S Bandekar said that the real estate industry faced two major challenges in the form of RERA and demonetization which adversely affected the industry. He expressed hope that the industry recovers soon. “There was an abrupt fall in the housing sector following demonetization, but I feel these affects will go away in the long run.”

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WFH sees big city professionals realise the Goa dream — buy/rent property, move to the beach

AUTHOR : Manasi Phadke

SOURCE :Times Now News

Most people are buying or renting property near popular tourist destinations in Goa, like Anjuna and Vagator, giving a boost to the beach town’s Covid-hit real estate business.
when the entire country and most of the world went into a lockdown due to Covid-19. Migrants, who made up a bulk of the rental market in Goa, left in large numbers as some lost jobs and others started working from home. Commercial rentals too were hit with offices scaling down premises.

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Golf Links bungalow bought for Rs 170 crore in Delhi’s priciest real estate buy after lockdown

AUTHOR : Vandana Ramnani

SOURCE :Times Now News

Real estate experts say several big-ticket deals that exceed Rs 100 crore could be struck in the national capital over the next six months.
That is one pricey house to have but then the address doesn’t come cheap. The owner of a leading electronics contract manufacturer recently bought a house in New Delhi’s tony Lutyens bungalow zone for Rs 170 crore in what is believed to be the priciest residential transaction in the city after the lockdown.
Real estate experts say more such deals are in the offing over the next six months as the ultra-rich go shopping for spacious and green locations in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

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From competition to collaboration

Rr Amit Chopra speaks on all things related to the real estate business in Goa

In conversation with ANNA FERNANDES

A self-taught professional in the fields of real estate consultancy and construction, Amit Chopra’s career as a realtor traces back to the year 1993. Starting out as a real-estate “broker” in Delhi, he slowly branched out to working as a project consultant for real estate developers, providing them much-needed inputs to initialise projects and land acquisition. In January 2006, he moved to Goa and started his own firm Escala Realty Pvt Ltd. He was the founder-chairman of the Goa Association of Realtors in 2015 and became a member of the Governing Body of the National Association of Realtors – India (NAR-India) in 2016. Recently appointed as president of the Goa Association of Realtors (GAR), he speaks to Business Goa about his new role, the association, and the industry in Goa.

Walk us through your journey in the real estate world.

I initially ventured into the industry as a freelancer. Back then, the market was very different and totally unorganised. The real estate sector was not recognised as a legitimate trade, nor was it considered a very respectable profession. Even my father, a colonel in the army, had a big issue about his son dropping out of engineering and becoming a “broker”. “Broker”, was often used as a derogatory term. But I knew I had found a profession that I liked and wanted to pursue. So, I began reading up extensively on the industry and made myself familiar with all the governing rules, bye-laws and regulations of the trade.

I was based in Delhi then, and with time, I made a mark for myself. My mother is a Goan, and I always wanted to come back to Goa. In 2006, I made a sudden decision to move to Goa. I knew nobody in the real estate market here. I had to literally start from scratch.

In Goa, I was an ‘outsider’ – my name conveys that. But, over a period of time, we were able to successfully build a very good name and trust within the Goan market. From a guy who nobody knew here, to the founder-chairman of the Goa Association of Realtors, and now the president of the association! It has been a very interesting journey.

TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR FIRM ESCALA PVT LTD.

The company, originally, started off being known as “The Consultants” back in Delhi in 1993 when I initially ventured into the real estate industry. Establishing the firm in Goa, in 2006, that name was too generic, so we had to change it. The term “Escala” actually stems from the Portuguese word meaning “scale”. The most important unit in real estate is the scale. So, the name seemed apt. Today, Escala is one of Goa’s top realty firms that specialises in providing a wide range of realty-based services to clients. We are well known in the market as real estate consultants, property legal advisors, builders, developers and project consultants offering complete turnkey execution of projects including design, decor, construction, architectural, structural, plumbing, electrical, interior design and other related consultancies. Services that we specialise in include building construction consultancy services, renovation services, architectural services, property sourcing, locale identification and project viability studies and complete real estate consultancy. Our main focus is on providing fair deals to all our clients. To provide the best services to our clients, we have a competent team of professionals comprising of qualified legal advisors, architects and other associates. Some of the projects that we have worked on include Casa de Reis, Perto de Goa and Goa Greens.

As president of GAR, what is your immediate course of action?

My immediate course of action is to work towards improving the standards of conducting business here. Secondly, I intend to increase the repute of our association and its founders – the trust that our association members will carry by virtue of being members of GAR. As realtors, it is our duty to showcase our knowledge, competence, and efficiency. Realtors are problem solvers and solution providers. Our goal at GAR is to set the highest and most ethical standards and practices in the field of real estate consulting. With an over 40-member strong base and growing, GAR seeks to bring diverse professionals in the real estate industry on a common platform to create a vibrant real estate market. Further, the association hopes to foster professionalism and integrity among our members. Established in 2015, GAR has been instrumental in turning competitors into collaborators. By working together, one can actually achieve more. We, therefore, strive to increase the number of our association members. By joining GAR, one gets the benefit of automatically becoming a member of NAR India and gets recognition in all state associations. Business for members also develops on a wider scale. Every member is bound by and has to strictly adhere to the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.

What are some of the past initiatives undertaken by GAR?

We have undertaken a number of CSR initiatives in the past. We recently launched a donation collection drive as part of our CSR initiative to collect funds for Kerala flood victims. Through the individual contribution of our committee members, we were able to raise about ₹2,34,000. We want to do similar things in the future. We have also undertaken blood donation drives, borne the expense of two cataract surgeries, sponsored water coolers to Rosary High School, Dona Paula, among others. Our term has just started, so we are still in the process of formulating a lot of initiatives.

We strive to provide a platform for dissemination of information and exchange of ideas on matters related to the real estate industry. In collaboration with CREDAI and GCCI, we have successfully hosted and organised multiple seminars on RERA, implication of GST and TDS, and so on. We have also conducted education and training sessions on taxation, marketing and sales, Vastu consultancy, and other topics with regard to the Real Estate sector. We have also successfully brought in uniformity in the charges for the service rendered by realtors. Further, we aim to establish a harmonious means of communications to facilitate a better interface between the real estate community. We have worked with CREDAI, Indian Institute of Architects – Goa Chapter, GCCI, and other trade organisations.

Finally, we strive to deliver sustainable development in the real estate sector. At GAR, we believe in sustainable development that preserves the charm of Goa.

What are some of the challenges faced by the real estate market today?

The real estate sector is still quite unorganised. There are many issues we, as realtors face, such as legal permissions, title clearances, standardisation of fees – all of which we hope to ease through GAR. In Goa, old property records are not in order, the archives are in a mess. It is very difficult for a layman to search for properties in the archives. Digitising all the property records will make a huge difference. If the government can do something to streamline online records of properties, it would be beneficial to both realtors and consumers.

What does the future of real estate in Goa look like?

The future of real estate in Goa looks good. In the coming 15 years, we will continue to see a good demand for real estate in Goa. It will probably not be the speculative kind of demand that we experienced in the early years, instead, it will be a good and steady demand. There are quite a few developers who are doing really good work in Goa, in both possessing a good project and providing good amenities to their consumers.

Real estate is the biggest investment one can make. They say, in life, there are three things that are most important – roti, kapda, makkan. These are the three essential entities that you require in life. In clothes and food, you keep investing minimum amounts of money – you may invest in gold, you may invest in shares, but you won’t invest as much as you would in a house. The largest investment one tends to make is in a roof over one’s head. One tends to put his entire life savings into it. So, as realtors, we are entrusted with the responsibility of being honest and transparent when dealing with our clients

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3 Points to Remember when Marketing your Property

So, you’ve finally decided to move into a more accommodating space? And you’ve come here for tips on how to get your current space in and out of the real estate market?
Great! I’m glad we can help you.
Research into all of our dealings, served and unserved, have led us to the conclusion that there are three main points to keep in mind when selling or leasing out your property.

PRESENTATION – FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT

Ask yourself, would you buy a residence where it looks like others are already living there? Or would you feel like you’re intruding on another person’s, another family’s space?
Our recommendation is to not be living there at all when showing it to prospective buyers. The next best recommendation is to keep your space neat, tidy, and as neutral as possible. This can be done by shifting all personal items into storage.
Most owners work with real estate agencies for the very reason that they do not need to go through any hassle during the middle of the day. Real Estate agencies along with handling buyer verification, can also handle the presentation of your space.
Presentation also applies to plots. An overgrown plot can hide the unique selling points of the property. Trees and flowering shrubs are always a plus, but no one likes trekking through a plot to see its view.

PRICE – IT SHOULD ALWAYS BE RIGHT

Would you pay the same amount for a well-maintained apartment in a rundown building and an apartment in a new building? No.
Would you expect the rate of a Villa to be the same in the main city, its satellite city, and the surrounding village? No.
Would the rate of a plot in the middle of the city be the same as a plot in the outskirts of the city? Probably not.
The Price of any property depends on several factors – Location, Age, Amenities, Maintenance, Society, USP, and most importantly, Demand.
Consulting with a Registered Property Agent for the right price is always a good idea since they have knowledge of the market trends and will be able to guide you better.

PATIENCE – IMPOSSIBLE IN NOTHING

No matter in what direction the real estate market is flowing, no property goes off in a matter of days.
For a Real Estate Agency, the time that’s taken for a thorough site inspection, checking of property documents, photo, and video shoots, marketing, multiple site visits, all for your property, with buyer verification, and finally token reception, takes around six months.
If you choose to use the DIY method, just marketing, buyer verification and negotiations will take you about six months.
If even after six months nothing seems to be moving, we re-work our strategy.
To recap – The three points to remember when marketing your property are:
1. Presentation
2. Price and
3. Patience
I hope you have found this post helpful, or if you think we missed something let us know in the comments.

Stay Safe. Stay Home.