DLF plans to make affordable homes

DLF plans to make affordable homes

New Delhi: India’s largest developer by market value, DLF Ltd, will now build apartments worth Rs30-50 lakh, a senior official said.

The realtor plans to launch 3-4 million sq. ft of what it called value housing in the current fiscal to March, Saurabh Chawla, senior vice-president, finance, told analysts on a conference call on Friday.

The projects will be located in Chandigarh, Gurgaon on the outskirts of New Delhi and on the fringes of Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad.

“Pricing will depend on the location and city, but we are largely looking at this price band (Rs30-50 lakh)," the company executive said on condition of anonymity. “You can’t compete in the market if your products cater only to a certain segment," the official said, referring to DLF’s product portfolio that largely comprises houses in the Rs50 lakh plus range.

“Value housing will offer a smaller sized unit at prices lower than the premium segment of housing," said its vice-chairman Rajiv Singh. “It is a lower extension of premium housing... We expect reasonably good money from this segment even when compared with premium housing."

DLF’s rival Unitech Ltd recently launched a new brand, Uni Homes, which will offer homes in the Rs10-15 lakh range. Other developers such as Puravankara Projects Ltd also have separate brands for so-called low-cost housing.

DLF expects to make a margin of 25-30% from value housing, compared with 30-40% from its other projects.

“Some of the larger developers, who are sitting on land bought at an historical cost, have a competitive edge in the market, which offers them the flexibility to develop products according to the market needs," said Anshuman Magazine, managing director of real estate consultancy firm CB Richard Ellis.

DLF expects to launch 12 million sq. ft of residential space, including lower priced housing in the second half of this fiscal. In the first half, the firm had launched around 5 million sq. ft of homes.

According to a presentation available on its website, DLF’s net debt has increased from Rs11,686 crore in the three months to June to Rs12,135 crore. In the September quarter, DLF repaid Rs394 crore and borrowed Rs183 crore. The firm added Rs165 crore of debt due to consolidation of land.

DLF Assets Ltd, which buys and holds completed commercial assets of the developer, still owes around Rs2,500 crore to DLF, Chawla said. In the second quarter, DLF Assets would have contributed around 10% to DLF’s revenue, he added. Till December last year, DLF Assets was contributing around 40% of the firm’s revenue.

Tejeesh N.S. Behl contributed to this story.