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Indiabulls buys land in London

IndiabullsReal estate News India: Indiabulls Real Estate has paid £155 million (Rs 1,550 crore) for a commercial property in London’s Mayfair, marking the third significant realty investment in London by an Indian realtor since November 2013. The Mumbai-based developer has bought a 87,444 sq ft property, 22 Hanover Square, in an auction from the Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, which is now part of Aberdeen Asset Management. Mayfair is an up-market London neighbourhood, home to the significantly wealthy.

Indiabulls is looking to finance the transaction through internal accruals, company officials said. It plans to convert the building — which is currently rented out to international property consultants, JLL — into a luxury residential property. Buyers from India could constitute a significant chunk of apartment owners, company officials said.

The conversion, including the change in end-use, could take over two years, the officials said. Till then JLL would stay on as a tenant. It’s lease on the building is till 2017.

The building was put on block in April this year with H2SO, a property consultant, that recently become part of Colliers International advising Scottish Widows Investment Partnership on the sale. “Indiabulls Group is managing a large capital base of Rs18,000 crore and had made profits after taxes of over Rs 1,800 crore last year. We are now seeking to diversify our investments and profit pool across various geographies and London is a very safe investment,” said Sameer Gehlaut, Chairman, Indiabulls Group while confirming the transaction. Another Mumbaibased realtor, the Lodha Group, bought two properties in London — McDonald House in central London in November last year and a building on Carey Street in February 2014.

“Over the years, London has demonstrated that it’s a very mature real estate market that has remained stable through economic cycles like the 2008 crisis, since it attracts investments from across the globe — Europe, Asia and the US; and is therefore a very good hedge besides being a reasonable IRR investment,” Gehlaut said.The property is located in a prime part of Mayfair adjoining Bond Street. Given the location, and the fact that the owner also has the title to the land on which the building is located, the auction witnessed significant interest.

Four bidders were selected after the first round of bidding to participate in the final round.

Indiabulls Real Estate has a range of projects including offices, commercial complexes and premium residential developments with over 24 million sq ft of projects under construction in India.

According to a recent report from a UK-based luxury property agent, Wetherell, wealthy individuals from India are among the top buyers of properties in London.

Wetherell says that Indian buyers are now the largest group of overseas buyers in Mayfair, comprising 25% of all purchasers (second only to British-based buyers), and well ahead of Asian and Continental European buyers (19% of all purchasers) and Russians and Middle Eastern buyers, who now comprise just 13% each of all buyers. These Indian investors have so far ploughed £1 billion into the prime central London property market over the last 18 months, and are expected to spend another £500 million on redevelopment in the next five years, the report said.

Source: articles.economictimes.indiatimes

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