Archive: News

Condominium Developers Association makes the case against the newly Imposed VAT

March 22, 2019

 

– Association says ongoing projects should be exempt from VAT

– Welcomes 30% reduction of Cess but benefit marginal for projects nearing completion

The Condominium Developers Association of Sri Lanka (CDASL) is lobbying for ongoing projects to be granted an exemption from the newly introduced output Value Added Tax (VAT) on apartment sales.

Speaking to The Sunday Morning Business, CDASL Chairman Pradeep Moraes stated that many of the ongoing big projects in the country have neared the completion of construction work and imposing VAT on these apartments is unreasonable.

“Projects for which permits have been obtained already and work is ongoing should be exempt from output VAT as all their contracts and pricing has been based on previously existing tariffs. Each development will be affected in different degrees depending on how much they have spent on the project and how much inventory is left.”

Under the Budget 2019, 15% VAT has been imposed on apartment sales with effect from 1 April 2019.

“All the agreements that have been signed will continue to be exempt from output VAT. We have contracted with the clients also on the basis of certain conditions.”

Speaking further, he stated that providing a 30% cess reduction on imported construction material is most welcome but this would be of marginal benefit for developers who are nearing completion.

“Altair has spent more than 85% of the total project cost and there is 30% inventory to be sold. Therefore there is a disproportionate percentage of VAT that cannot be claimed and many other developers are in the same predicament,” said Moraes, who is also Director of Altair.

Meanwhile, speaking to The Sunday Morning Business, Sector Head of the Property Group at John Keells Holdings Nayana Mawilmada stated that even Cinnamon Life has completed most of its structural work and would therefore not benefit significantly from the cess reduction. 93% of construction work at Cinnamon Life has been completed while as at early March, 64% of its apartments were sold.

In another measure to offset the negative impact of the VAT impositions, the Budget 2019 also proposed the granting of residential visas for three years to foreign nationals who invest Rs. 70 million or more in condominiums. This process will be implemented this year. However, this residential visa will not be valid when the foreigner exits from this investment.

As appeared on The Sunday Morning

 

Chairman of the Condominium Developers Association refutes inaccurate media article under Right of Reply

March 8, 2019

Mr Pradeep Moraes in his capacity as the Chairman of the condominium developers association of Sri Lanka has issued a statement refuting the damaging Sunday Times article under Right of Reply.  The letter in full is produced below.

21st February 2019
Mr. Feizal Samath
Editor- Sunday BusinessTimes
Wijeya Newspapers
#8, Hunupitiya Road
Colombo -02

Dear Sir

We are compelled to request for the traditional right of reply to an article published in your newspaper last week which is malignant, misinformed and overwhelmingly incorrect and kindly request you to afford our reply equal prominence and positioning. We would also kindly request you to publish this rebuttal in its’ entirety.

This article quotes or misquotes (as the case may be) a gentlemen named as Mr. Ravi Abeysuriya said to be the Group Director of a Group called Candor.

We were shocked, angered and dismayed on reading through this article which was titled “Uncertainty in Sri Lankan Property Market” at the gross untruths, irrelevancies, insinuations and innuendoes which comprised almost the entire body of quotes attributed to him and rendered the article false, misleading and malicious in almost its entirety.

The tone of the article seems to seek to cause damage and wreak destruction on the Real Estate Industry.

The motives behind this unsubstantiated and untrue tirade we are unable to understand nor is it our business to try.

It may be an individual’s or company’s misguided belief, real or imagined grouse or vendetta. It could also be the belief that damaging one industry is the best means of propping up another or a case of complete ignorance combined with the presumption of knowledge.

It could also that Mr. Abeysuriya has been roundly misquoted in which case he joins all Real Estate stakeholders as being common victims of this article, and shares our empathy in the damage to reputation.

Let us do an elementary Fact Check.

  1. “Property Developers finding it difficult to pay back Loans”  – maybe true in a few instances, however this is made as a sweeping statement indicating that ALL Developers are in this predicament which is grossly untrue. Several of the larger developers are promoted by hugely rich international consortia, and many of the local developers lead the private sector in strength, broad base and profitability.

Also the statement implies that other trades / industries are free from any payback difficulties.

  1. “Most of the construction projects are on hold” – So hugely exaggerated as to be deemed “FALSE.” To our knowledge there is just one project of any significance to be temporarily stalled, not even coming close to damaging an industry average.
  2. “Enough and more property developers have gone bankrupt – again overwhelmingly untrue.
  3. “Real Estate market had 100% return and is gradually decreasing.” – This is an untruth of a different make up and is wonderfully vague, 100% in how long? It never had a 100% return in a year – perhaps across the board 100% in 5 years on a modest assessment of 15% year-on-year which has been evidenced and proven with some properties doing much better.

Conversely if the 100% referred to is over a shorter period and the rate is “gradually decreasing” then the sector is still doing wonderfully well and where is the problem?

  1. ” Rental income is coming down” – Yes and No. KPMG in their much lauded Report on “Paradise Island Luxury Living in the Tropics” published last year showed rental returns on condominia as between 5% to 9%, This remains broadly unchanged across the sector, and one must remember that this is in addition to capital gains which have been referred to above and which in combination yields (and have proven to yield) more than most other investments.
  2. Mr. Abeysuriya is quoted as saying that “there is a bubble in the market” and later saying “not yet in Sri Lanka” – so no real need to comment on this.
  3. “Close to 90% of 65% of sold apartments are bought by expatriate Sri Lankans” – this is completely false. Luxury apartments show 25% to 30% purchases by expat Sri Lankans, and the figures for mid-range and lower range apartments are much less.

This type of colossal inexactitude would be hilarious if not relating to such a serious subject.

Anyone disbelieving our outright rejection of this colossal untruth can cite right to information and check the statistics at the Land Registry.

  1. ” Sri Lanka is not able to attract foreign investment” – Again false, Sri Lanka attracted its highest ever FDIs in 2017, and figures in 2018 are expected to be close if not better.
  2. “15% VAT is a poor strategy to the Sri Lankan Property Market” – At last we are able to agree with Mr. Abeysuriya, and thank you Sir for providing us with this platform.

We respectfully submit to the Government and it advisors that a re-imposition of output VAT on apartment sales will not serve its intended purpose i.e increased tax revenue. It will shrink the sector to a size that yields far far less taxes than if allowed to grow to its natural, organic potential.

The industry has suffered over the last one and a half years or thereabouts as a result of ill-advised and perhaps irresponsible, and certainly baseless conjecture, surmise and speculation about its viability expressed by certain Govt., Public Service and Bank officials – again either quoted or misquoted within or without context.

This unfortunately fueled the typical Sri Lankan negativity and rumour mongering that sadly affected the momentum of the Real Estate Industry which was vibrant at the time.

The litmus test that the industry has passed though, the gauntlet that it has successfully run, is that despite the recriminations, and despite the prophets of doom, real estate in Sri Lanka has not succumbed to fear mongering.

The fundamentals of Sri Lanka condominia are extremely robust, and it has the demonstrated and proven capacity to (in very modest terms) generate at least $ 750 M / year in FDIs if even mildly supported to so do.

  1. The article goes on to state that there is no “independent data on the actual sales of luxury apartments ” – this is not only false but is an indictment on respected entities such as the Central Bank, KPMG ,Jones Lang Lassale and RIU ( Research Intelligence Unit) which have researched and distributed studies on the subject.
  2. “The data obtained by the Central Bank is based on the Land Index survey” – Again False. The Central Bank engages with our Association and its stakeholders in obtaining a report on activity on a quarterly basis, and I might add is very diligent and rigorous in ensuring that feedback is timely.
  3. “Buyers tend to pay full amount at once ” – False, most apartments commence selling from the time of the drawing board and obtaining  of preliminary approvals,  and payments in almost all instances are progress milestone based.
  4. ” Any approvals can be got by bribing officials at Govt. Institutions related to Land and Property” – we are not qualified to comment on experiences that Mr. Abeysuriya or the company he represents may have had (in fact we would be very interested to know whether they are in any  way connected with the Property sector, commenting with authority as they are), but we roundly condemn this statement as being an unfair, unjust and unwarranted vilification of  hundreds of Govt. Officials who discharge their duties without fear, favour or inducement.
  5. “Even if an Apartment complex starts building next door you have no say” – True, but that is the cost of reality, of development. Do we need to re-examine zoning laws, perhaps yes. But we cannot throw the baby out with the bathwater and say no to condominia, which is the only way out for Colombo (especially) to continue growing.

Overall we believe that it is way overdue for us to get together, within industries, and across industries, and promote Sri Lanka as a holistically appealing and viable commercial entity, because our equitable share of an expanded cake will be far bigger and far more wholesome than a slice we fight for at the cost of another.        

Regards,
Pradeep Moraes
Chairman
Condominium Developers Association of Sri Lanka

Altair a top attraction at Maldives Living Expo 2019

February 26, 2019

From left: Altair Director Pradeep Moraes with Chief Guest Maldivian Minister of Housing Aminath Athifa and members of the Altair team that participated in the Maldives Living Expo 2019

Sixteen months after structural construction was completed, Sri Lanka’s showpiece high-rise Altair continues to be an attention-grabber in markets around the world with the latest being the Maldives, where the development was one of the biggest attractions at the country’s longest-running property show. The Maldives Living Expo 2019, which was supported by Altair both as an exhibitor and a co-sponsor, attracted more than 5,800 visitors interested in luxury living options in the archipelago and the region. In its seventh edition, the three-day exhibition focused on home and living lifestyle, offering visitors an opportunity to get more information about upcoming real estate properties, products, services and options available in the Maldives and neighbouring countries. The 30 exhibitors showcased properties ranging from the utmost luxury to affordable living and lifestyle options.

Sri Lanka’s most distinctive and instantly recognised high-rise, Altair is a one-of-its-kind development in South Asia in terms of architectural design, structural engineering, and living experience. The building comprises of two tower blocks, a 63-storey sloping tower which leans in to a taller 68-storey vertical tower. Acknowledged as a new paradigm in contemporary living in Sri Lanka, the Altair building has already brought a new dimension in aesthetics to Colombo’s skyline and offers its 400 apartments spectacular views of the Beira Lake, the Indian Ocean and the city of Colombo.

Taken from FT.lk

Altair Adjudged Best Condo in Asia for Architectural Design

November 16, 2018

Beats contenders from 15 countries including Singapore, Japan and Australia at 2018 Asia Property Awards of Property Guru Asia

Sri Lanka’s contemporary architectural masterpiece Altair has beaten condominium developments in 15 countries in Asia including Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, China and Australia, to win the ‘Best Condo Architectural Design Award’at the 2018 Asia Real Estate Summit (ARES) hosted by PropertyGuru Asia in Bangkok, Thailand.

The only Sri Lankan high-rise ever to be adjudged the best in Asia, Altair was honoured at PropertyGuru’s ‘Best of the Best’ awards, at which individual winners selected at country award events throughout the year, were contenders.

Markets from Sri Lanka to China competed at the largest Grand Final event to date of the 13 year old Asia Property Awards, attended by more than 500 guests, with developers from Japan and Australia making their debut at the ceremony. The countries that competed for awards were Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Mongolia, Australia, Japan, Philippines, Myanmar and Cambodia.

“We are justifiably elated at winning this award, which is a tribute to the architectural genius of Moshe Safdie and the vision and courage of the promoters of the project, who had confidence, not only in their ability to build Altair, but also in the market’s potential to do justice to such a  remarkable edifice,” Mr Moraes commented. “The word icon is sadly overused today, but by  winning this award we have emphatically shown why Altair richly deserves that adjective.’

Among the condominium developments that competed for the ‘BestCondo Architectural Desing in Asia award were ‘8St Thomas’by Bukit Sembawang Estates Limited, Singapore; ‘Alpha City’ by Alpha King, Vietnam; ‘Glorious Mansion’ by Long For Group Holdings Limited, China; ‘Mount Pavilia’ by New World Development Company Limited, Hong Kong; ‘Scenia.Bay’ by Nam Tien Lao Cai Jsc. Co,, Vietnam; ‘Sunplay The Heights Bangsaray’ by Sunplay Asia Limited, Thailand; ‘stirling Residences’ by LN Development (Stirling) Pte Ltd., Singapore; ‘Taman Anggrek Residences’by Agung Sedayu Group, lndonesia; ‘TheCUVEE’by Chaopraya Mahanakorn Public Company Limited, Thailand; ‘The Smith’ by Triniti Land, Indonesia and The Vales’by Anchorvale Residences Pte Ltd., Singapore.

Speaking at the awards event, Terry Blackburn, Managing Director, Asia Property Awards and Property Report of Property Guru noted that “Today, Asia has the fastest growing economies and most exciting real estate markets in the world, and the majority of award winners are Asian developers selling to Asian buyers and are helping millions achieve the dream of home ownership.” He also expressed the hope that the years the Asia Property Awards have spent promoting Sustainable Development, Green Buildings and Corporate Social Responsibility, have in some small way, contributed to the conversation on what the best Asia should look like in the future.

The region’s biggest and most prestigious real estate awards series, the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards are recognised as the ultimate hallmark of industry excellence in the Asian property sector. Headquartered in Singapore, the PropertyGuru Group is Asia’s foremost online property company and has been voted ‘Asia’s Most lnfluential Brand for Online Property Search’by consumers. PropertyGuru helps over 16 million people find their dream home every month.

At the 2018 PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards in Colombo, a precursor to the Grand Finale in Bangkok, Altair took the major honours winning the Overall Award for ‘Best Condominium Development’and the awards for ‘Best Luxury Condo Development (Colombo)’and ‘Best Luxury Condo Architectural Design (Colombo)’while its only Sri Lankan Director Mr Pradeep Moraes was named ‘Real Estate Personality of the Year.’

Sri Lanka’s most distinctive and instantly recognised high-rise, Altair is a one-of-its-kind development in South Asia in terms of architectural design, structural engineering, and living experience. With structural construction completed and 70 per cent of its apartments sold, Altair is scheduled to commence the handing over of apartments to buyers in March 2019.

The building comprises of two tower blocks, a 63-storey sloping tower which leans in to a taller, 68- storey vertical tower. Acknowledged as a new paradigm in contemporary living in Sri Lanka, the Altair building has already brought a new dimension in aesthetics to Colombo’s skyline and offers its 400 apartments spectacular views of the Beira Lake, the Indian Ocean and the city of Colombo. The development’s 1.5 million square feet of high-end eco-friendly living space is supported by 40,000 square feet of up-market retail space.

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

 

Visit of Japanese Investor Forum 12.10.18

October 18, 2018

 

Altair provides a helping hand to the No Kunu initiative focused on a cleaner Colombo

August 2, 2018

 

Altair provides a helping hand to clean up the surrounding areas of the Beira Lake as a part of the No Kunu initiative focused on a cleaner Colombo.

 

 

Altair awarded four prestigious awards at the Asia Property awards (Sri Lanka) by Property Guru

August 2, 2018

 

Altair was awarded four prestigious awards at the recently concluded Asia Property awards (Sri Lanka) by Property Guru. The awards include ‘Best Luxury Condo Development (Colombo)’, ‘Best Luxury Condo Architectural Design’, ‘Best Condo Development (Sri Lanka)’. And Pradeep Moraes, Director, Indocean Developers of Altair was also awarded for the first time ever ‘Sri Lanka Real Estate Personality of the Year’.

 

 

Pradeep Moraes of Altair named PropertyGuru’s first-ever Sri Lanka Real Estate Personality

July 10, 2018

 

The PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Sri Lanka) competition, which is being held for the very first time in Colombo on 12 July 2018, has chosen its first-ever Sri Lanka Real Estate Personality of the Year.

Pradeep Moraes, director at Indocean Developers – the company behind the twin tower Altair, designed by celebrated architect Moshe Safdie – has been selected to receive the prestigious honour by the editors of PropertyGuru Property Report magazine.
“We are recognising Pradeep Moraes’s contributions to raise standards in the local real estate sector as well as his work as chairman of the Condominium Developers Association of Sri Lanka,” the magazine said.

The career of Moraes spans more than four decades and covers a wide range of industries, including fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), aviation, advertising, automobiles, industrial marketing, communications and broadcasting, security, and property development.
After 10 years heading the sales and marketing division of John Keells Development, Moraes joined Indocean Developers (Pvt) Ltd as president of sales and marketing in 2013 and was appointed to the board as its sole Sri Lankan director two years later.

One of the biggest and most ambitious projects of his career is Altair, which has been conceptualised to be one of the tallest residential towers in Sri Lanka. The project is up for Best Luxury Condo Development (Colombo) and Best Luxury Condo Architectural Design at the 2018 PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards (Sri Lanka) competition.

 

Bringing Colombo to the forefront of global architectural excellence

“Euphoric is the best description of how I feel at being chosen as the first Sri Lankan to be bestowed with this award, more so in light of the exalted company of previous winners from the region,” Moraes said of his selection.

“I would like to dedicate this award to the promoters of Altair for giving me the opportunity and the exposure, and for bringing Colombo to the forefront of global architectural excellence with the iconic edifice that is Altair.”

Moraes believes that Sri Lankan real estate has witnessed “vibrant and sustainable growth,” propelled by consistent capital appreciation and rental yields, changing lifestyles of consumers, and confidence shown by foreign investors.
“I would go a step further and also dedicate my award to all the foreign developers, who, with their investments, declared and demonstrated their faith in Sri Lanka’s real estate industry,” he said.

 

Among elite company

The award puts Pradeep Moraes among the top leaders of the global real estate industry.

Previous winners of this elite award for the Asia Pacific region include former Philippine senate president Manny Villar of Vista Land Group, Thailand’s richest woman Supaluck Umpujh of The Mall Group, American-born Thai magnate William “Bill” E. Heinecke of Minor Hotels, British-Asian billionaire Gulu Lalvani, formerly of Royal Phuket Marina, Indonesian tycoon Candra Ciputra of PT Ciputra Development Tbk, Malaysian entrepreneur Dato’ Seri Abd Wahab Maskan of Sime Darby Property, Myanmar’s top businessman Serge Pun of SPA Group of Companies, Cambodian tycoon Rithy Sear of Worldbridge Cambodia, and Hong Kong’s Dr Allan Zeman, father of Lan Kwai Fong.

 

Using CSR to promote interracial and inter-religious amity

In addition to Moraes’s work at Altair, he has also pushed to promote corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the country.

Among Altair’s ongoing CSR projects include supporting Gangarama Temple initiatives and providing daily meals for the last four years now to 150 religious inmates and staff of the Little Sisters of the Poor (a home for the aged run by Catholic nuns catering to inmates of any religion). Altair also spearheaded the erection of a Hindu shrine in the heart of Colombo, on land belonging to a Buddhist temple, for interracial and inter-religious amity.

The Sri Lanka Real Estate Personality of the Year award will be presented by PropertyGuru’s chief operating officer Jeremy Williams during an exclusive, black-tie gala dinner on 12 July 2018 at the Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo ballroom. Sri Lanka’s Megapolis and Western Development Minister Champika Ranawaka has been confirmed to deliver the keynote address.

More than a dozen companies have been shortlisted for the industry’s highest honours to celebrate excellence in the vibrant Sri Lankan real estate sector. Around 300 guests and select members of the press are attending the historic ceremony.

 

Presentation to HNB Wealth Managers

February 16, 2018

 

 

Altair sponsors 146th AGM of Colombo Club

January 16, 2018

 

Altair, Colombo’s most distinctive luxury living marque, was the sponsor of the 146th Annual General Meeting and gala dinner of the Colombo Club, one of the oldest and most exclusive social clubs in Asia.

As part of its support to this elegant event, Altair sponsored two Business Class return tickets to Singapore and several other prizes presented to the winners of a raffle draw for members of the club. This was the second consecutive year that Altair was associated with this prestigious organisation as the sponsor of its AGM.

Taken from dailymirror.lk