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real estate Sri Lanka

Pradeep Moraes interviewed by Oxford Business Group on Real-estate market in Sri Lanka

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

 

Development Progress – April 2018

April 6, 2018

The latest images of Altair, offering unique luxury apartments for sale in Sri Lanka is soon to grace Colombo’s skyline. Scheduled to open in 2018.

 

Altair Residential Development Tops Out

February 2, 2018

 

Altair, the 69-story luxury residential complex which fronts Beira Lake in Colombo, celebrated its “topping out” to mark the completion of structural work. Going back to ancient times, the topping out ceremony marks the milestone of the placement of the last structural steel beam at the final roof height. This important moment also celebrates the accomplishment of the structural construction crews and the transition to interior construction.

Altair is composed of two slender tower blocks, with one block leaning into the other vertical tower, which supports it. The towers are oriented to the movement of the sun and to harness the tropical breezes, and the units offer 270-degree views of Beira Lake and the Indian Ocean. The unique diagrid structural system accentuates the slope of the inclined stepped tower.

“It is very exciting to see the completed building form tapering elegantly toward the sky. The unique combination of a straight and a sloping stepped tower gives the building a very distinctive appearance and has become a landmark for locals and tourists,” said Charu Kokate, who visits the site regularly. The diagrid structure is highly rationalized and allows for naturally ventilated and beautifully lit units. The units are very private and with their special entrances are like “little houses in the sky”.

A generous allocation of space for public areas, a feature of high-end buildings, is even more evident in this building. Of Altair’s 1.5 million square feet of space, 828,000 square feet or 55 per cent is residential space. Of the balance, 36,000 square feet is allocated for retail while 636,000 square feet, or 42.5 per cent is public space.

 

The 400-unit towers offer spectacular views of the Beira Lake, the Indian Ocean and the city of Colombo. The building is scheduled for completion in July 2018 and is already 70 per cent sold.

Taken from safdiearchitects.com

 

Altair celebrates ‘topping out’ – interior work in full swing

December 12, 2017

 

Altair, the 68-storey luxury residential apartment complex which fronts the Beira Lake in Colombo, recently celebrated its ‘topping out’ to mark the completion of structural work, an important milestone.

Going back to ancient times, the topping out ceremony marks the placement of the last structural steel beam at the final roof height. This important moment also celebrates the accomplishment of the structural construction crews and the transition to interior construction.

“We are now focussed on the façades and the interiors,” said Architect Charu Kokate, Principal at Safdie Architects, which is overseeing the project. Designed by acclaimed international architect Moshe Safdie, Altair is composed of two slender tower blocks which are oriented to the movement of the sun to harness the tropical breezes. The units offer 270-degree breath-taking views of the Beira Lake and the Indian Ocean.

“It is very exciting to see the completed building form tapering elegantly towards the sky. The diagrid structure visually accentuates the slope of the inclined stepped tower. The unique combination of a straight and a sloping stepped tower gives the building a very distinctive appearance and has become a landmark for locals and tourists,” says Kokate, who visits the site regularly to ensure that Moshe Safdie’s design vision is fulfilled in all aspects.

“The diagrid structure is highly rationalised and allows for naturally ventilated and beautifully lit units. The units are very private and with their special entrances are like little houses in the sky,” Kokate explained.

The staggered stepped form of the leaning tower allows for large terraces, which provide prime city and direct ocean views.

At the ground level, an arcade of retail outlets on the west side facing the Beira Lake sets the standard for future lakefront development along the planned pedestrian promenade. Restaurants on a mezzanine level overlook the promenade onto the Lake.

Altair Director Pradeep Sureka said a generous allocation of space for public areas, a feature of high-end buildings, is even more evident in this building. Of Altair’s 1.5 million square feet of space, 828,000 square feet or 55% is residential space. Of the balance, 36,000 square feet is allocated for retail while 636,000 square feet, or 42.5% is public space.

“With the focus moving to the completion of these interior spaces, Altair’s promise of redefining luxury high-rise living in Sri Lanka will soon take physical shape,” Sureka said. He added that Altair has already pleasantly surprised apartment buyers with numerous value additions including Italian Botticino marble flooring, extensive home automation, chilled water air conditioning, double-glazed windows, Duravit sanitary ware from the Philippe Starck designer range, a concierge-serviced reception,central-hot water and state-of-the-art high-speed fibre connectivity solutions.

A one-of-its-kind development in South Asia in terms of architectural design, structural engineering, and living experience, Altair offers its 400 apartments spectacular views of the Beira Lake, the Indian Ocean and the city of Colombo. The building is scheduled for completion in July 2018 and is already 70% sold.

Taken from FT.lk

 

Development Progress – November 2017

November 28, 2017

The latest images of Altair, soon to grace Colombo’s skyline with luxurious living.

 

Development Progress – October 2017

October 30, 2017

 

The latest images of Altair, soon to grace Colombo’s skyline with luxurious living.

 

 

Development Progress – July 2017

July 13, 2017

The latest images of Altair, one unique luxury residential projects in Sri Lanka, soon to grace Colombo’s skyline.

Moshe Safdie’s visit to Altair Colombo

February 16, 2017

Here are some captures from Moshe Safdie’s recent visit to Altair.

 

Development Progress – February 2017

February 9, 2017

The latest images of Altair, soon to grace Colombo’s skyline with luxurious living.

 

Altair provides insights into the real-estate market in Sri Lanka

March 26, 2016

Pradeep Moraes, Director Sales & Marketing of Indocean Developers, the makers of Altair flats in Colombo spoke on the topic titled “The Real Estate Growth Phenomenon” at the recently concluded Capital Market Conference (CAPM) In Colombo.

Speaking in-depth about the luxury real estate market, Mr Moraes said that the sector plays an integral role in transforming the capital markets in Sri Lanka.

Indocean developers, the company behind the Altair apartments in Sri Lanka, was a sponsor at the event.

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