Tag:Luxury Real Estate
Consortium of local banks funds optimisation of cash flow at final phase of completion
A consortium of leading local banks, comprising the Bank of Ceylon, NDB Bank and National Savings Bank, has raised a syndicated loan of $ 25 million (Rs. 4.5 billion at current rates) for Sri Lanka’s showpiece high rise property development Altair, in a noteworthy vote of confidence in the prospects for the project as well as for the sector in general.
One of the largest syndicated loans in Sri Lanka’s property development sector in recent times, the loan is intended to ensure cash flows at the final stages of completion of the Altair project are maintained at optimum levels of liquidity, the project’s promoter Jaideep Halwasiya of Indocean Developers said.
This infusion of funds is in addition to the $ 251 million (Rs. 45.6 billion) that has already been invested in Altair by stakeholders, whose offshore investments are subject to the statutory limits specified by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
The syndicated loan made up of US Dollar component and Sri Lanka Rupee component is repayable in 18 months with a grace period of six months.
Commenting on the facility structured for Altair, Indocean Developers Director Pradeep Moraes said: “This is a significant development not just for Altair, but for the property development sector in general, in the context of current sentiment in the market and the rising impairment charges and NPL ratios in the banking sector. We commend the three banks for their positive approach to the opportunity presented by Altair.”
The short term syndicated loan was arranged by NDB Investment Bank Ltd. (NDBIB) and Bank of Ceylon. In a letter to buyers of apartments at Altair, Indocean Developers said the security offered under this loan is the only encumbrance placed on the project.
Altair is a one-of-its-kind development in South Asia in terms of architectural design, structural engineering, and living experience. Structural construction has been completed and 70 per cent of its apartments are already sold.
The building comprises of two tower blocks, which are oriented to the movement of the sun to harness the tropical breezes. A 63-storey sloping tower leans in to a taller, 68-storey vertical tower, with a diagrid structure that visually accentuates the slope of the inclined stepped tower. The unique combination of a straight and a sloping tower gives the building the distinctive appearance that has made it an iconic element in Colombo’s rapidly changing skyline.
Acknowledged as a new paradigm in contemporary living in Sri Lanka, the Altair building offers its 400 apartments spectacular views of Colombo’s Beira Lake, the port of Colombo, the Indian Ocean and the city. The diagrid structure is highly rationalised and allows for naturally ventilated and beautifully-lit units that are very private. The staggered stepped form of the leaning tower also allows for large terraces, which provide prime city and direct ocean views.
Altair’s apartments range from 1,468 square foot two-bedroom units to palatial and eponymously appointed Presidential Suites and Sky Villas of up to 5,277 of square feet. Prices range from $ 525,000 to $ 2 million. A distinguishing feature of Altair is that 45% of total space has been set aside for public areas, which is well above the industry average.
August 6, 2019
Here’s a glimpse of the progress of Altair from August 2019. As Altair nears completion, Individual apartments are taking shape. We are building Sri Lanka’s most sought after condominiums.
April 18, 2019
While the painting of the Altair structure continues the fixation of glass windows also continues while the 63rd floor infinity pool and the sky garden are taking shape.April 4, 2019
While the painting of the Altair structure continues the fixation of glass windows also continues while the 63rd floor infinity pool and the sky garden are taking shape.
While the painting of the Altair structure continues the fixation of glass windows also continues.
Altair completed outer structure light up for the holiday season. While the painting of the Altair continues the roof top sky garden and infinity pool is also taking shape .
October 9, 2018
While the painting of the Altair structure continues the roof top sky garden and infinity pool is also taking shape .
June 1, 2018
Altair Director Pradeep Moraes was interviewed by Oxford Business Group, in his capacity as the Chairman of the Condominium Developers Association of Sri Lanka on how the real estate market is adapting to market changes.
In what ways do you see the capital gains tax impacting the local real estate market?
Moraes: Seeing as 10% is a modest tax, the impact would be minimal. A number of other markets have much higher levels of taxation and still experience vibrant real estate growth. The tax has been implemented in a clear and open way, the figure has been made public, and now the market can factor it in and go about its business.
Is there enough purchasing power in Sri Lanka to support further developments in the luxury residential segment?
Moraes: According to global real estate consultancy Knight Frank, Sri Lanka recorded the second-highest growth rate internationally in the ultra-rich community in 2016. In our experience, luxury condominiums continue to be purchased with over 90% equity and without borrowing. Over 90% of such developments are in the relatively affluent Western Province, predominantly in Colombo. Additionally, 99% of luxury and ultra-luxury apartments in completed projects and around 51% of those under construction have been sold, according to investment management company JLL, with over 60% of both sold to resident Sri Lankans. Most of the larger projects have been undertaken by reputable international developers who do not borrow locally and have certainly done their due diligence.
Like many countries, Sri Lanka has a hugely inequitable distribution of wealth. This, combined with the previously relaxed tax regime, has led to a gross underassessment of wealth, some of which is sent overseas. Luxury real estate offers a desirable and commercially sound option for attracting these funds into the local economy. There is certainly enough purchasing power to justify further luxury developments.
How the profile of luxury residential property owners changing?
Moraes: The current profile is 60-65% resident Sri Lankan, 25-30% expatriate Sri Lankan and less than 10% foreign. The low foreigner count is because the purchase of residential property in Sri Lanka is not linked to residency privileges, unlike several countries in the Caribbean, South-east Asia, and the Middle East, as well as certain Mediterranean countries in the EU. However, this is now being remedied with a proposal to grant residency visas connected to investment.
The recently inked comprehensive free trade agreement with Singapore, together with the enhancement of the existing agreement with India and those being negotiated with China and Pakistan are expected to encourage business relocation to Sri Lanka, which should have positive effects on rental markets.
How has the market reacted to calls to restrict lending to the real estate sector?
Moraes: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka has engaged with all stakeholders and is satisfied that the real estate industry is not a cause for concern. It has broadcast this view, going on, in fact, to say that the luxury segment was the least vulnerable.
As with markets everywhere, mindset and speculative concern can and will affect performance, as was seen in Colombo with the six-month slowdown in sales in 2017. Thankfully, this has now corrected, and sales are proceeding satisfactorily once again.
What impact would the introduction of real estate investment trusts (REITs) have on the Sri Lankan market?
Moraes: The benefits of REITs would be phenomenal for both the industry and the economy as a whole. Investments could increase exponentially, as REITs facilitate the entry of small local investors who otherwise lack the means to purchase as an individual. They also reassure foreign investors that their purchase benefits from professional guidance and market knowledge.
The stumbling block to the implementation of REITs is the issue of the 4% stamp duty payable to the provincial councils. REITs by their very nature propagate multiple transactions and it was feared that the business model could not sustain repetitive taxation. However, evaluation undertaken by industry players, the Colombo Stock Exchange and the Securities and Exchange Commission points to the aggregate of capital gains and rentals providing a cumulative return that remains attractive.
Therefore, steps are now being taken to revive the formulation and implementation of REITs, based on this belief in their viability and the scope for their productive participation in the Sri Lankan capital market.
Originally published on Oxford Business Group Website
April 25, 2016
Colombo’s skyline is rapidly changing. Altair is set to be one of the city’s tallest structures, standing at 240 meters high. Towards the North-East side of the Altair apartments is the new Lotus Tower now under construction. Standing 350 meters high it’s billed to be the tallest structure in South Asia.
The Lotus Tower will primarily function as a transmission tower but will also include shopping centres, food courts, banquet halls and a revolving restaurant. There will be an observation deck and high speed elevators, which can reach the observation deck in less than a minute. The facility is complete with an underground car park for 2,000 vehicles and is expected to be a hub of activity with sports, shopping arcade and entertainment facilities to be built in and around the tower.
During national festivities, the Lotus tower will have special displays which will be a special treat for the residents of Altair. Due to the unique locational positioning and and vistas afforded by Altair , the Tower will be visible from no fewer than 5 different types of Altair flats i.e A, D, E, G and H. These flats have a great view of the Lotus tower in all its glory.
To catch a glimpse of how the lotus tower may view from these apartments, see the videos in our views section.
Both iconic landmarks in Sri Lanka, the Lotus Tower and the Altair Apartments in Colombo are to be completed by the end of 2017.April 25, 2016
The latest images of Altair, soon to grace Colombo’s skyline with luxurious living. Scheduled to open in 2018.