2 August, 2023
Unlock the doors to real estate success
Read time: 5 minutes

In today's edition:

  • In the news: China, AI, and rivers
  • My thoughts on: Basics: residential real estate investing
  • Q&A: Loans

Handpicked stories from my weekly digest

Here are the 5 stories that you need to be aware of from this past week:

  • MahaRERA delivering on it’s KPI: The complaints against developers have come down post Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority’s (MahaRERA) enactment2. Prior to this, 23% of projects received complaints. Now, this number is at a remarkable 3.5%! I’ve always been a huge proponent of RERA, and it’s great to see the initial impact being so profound already. Read more
  • China’s real estate crisis is not over: China’s largest property developer – Country Garden – pulled out of a $300 million new shares issue. Why? New home sales by China’s 100 biggest developers dropped 33% year-over-year for the month of July. Previously in 2021, we saw major defaults from property giants. This situation is one to watch. Read more
  • JLL talks AI: JLL has launched a GPT - the very first large language model (LLM) purpose-built for the commercial real estate industry. It will be used by 100,000+ JLL employees to deliver better insights to clients. The impact of these technology innovations will have major implications on hiring and the sector’s evolution. Read more
  • UPI payments scale new peaks: This payment backbone infrastructure is now processing 100 crore transactions every 3 days. With festivals coming up, are we going to see more records broken? Read more
  • The mystery of a river’s missing water: Researchers at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory are studying how much snow disappears into the atmosphere through sublimation instead of replenishing the Colorado river. This has a significant impact on climate change and our ability to prepare for tougher times. Read more

Dealing with the standard dilemma


Image credits: Shutterstock

For an individual who has decided to invest in real estate the question that comes to mind first is: Which kind of property fetches good returns? Land, flats or independent houses?

This standard question has to be looked at from the lens of not just returns, but principal safety as well. I will address this age-old question with a pros and cons framework that will help you make the right decision for your profile.

Before I get into the meat of things, please note: a lot of homework is required to convince yourself that the investment you make is safe and gets you the desired returns. It's recommended to consult with a real estate professional or financial advisor who has expertise in the specific market you are interested in to make informed investment choices. Only after satisfying yourself that the investment is safe, you should part with the money.

The type of property that fetches good returns can vary depending on various factors such as location, market conditions, economic trends, and individual preferences. Each type of property has its own set of advantages and disadvantages:

Land / Plots


  • Potential for high appreciation: Land in strategic locations or areas with expected future development can see significant appreciation in value over time.
  • Flexibility of use: Land can be utilised for various purposes, including residential, commercial, agricultural, or industrial developments.
  • Lower maintenance costs: Unlike buildings, land typically requires minimal maintenance, which can save on ongoing expenses.


  • Lack of immediate income: Land generally does not generate rental income until it is developed or leased for specific purposes, so investors might have to wait for returns.
  • Speculative nature: The value of land investments can be influenced by factors beyond an investor's control, making it somewhat speculative.
  • Titles: Any litigation involving the land will set you back financially and disrupt your investment timeline.

Flats (Apartments)


  • Rental income: Flats can provide regular rental income, making it a good option for generating cash flow.
  • Higher demand: In urban areas with a high population density and limited land, there is often significant demand for rental flats.
  • Shared maintenance costs: In the case of condominiums, common areas and amenities are shared, reducing the individual maintenance burden.


  • Market saturation: In certain areas, there might be an oversupply of apartments, leading to lower rental yields and slower appreciation.
  • Depreciation: The property value of flats goes down fast as the age of the building increases. So, flats give you diminishing returns. You have to factor in this component.
  • Association fees: Apartment owners may be subject to homeowners' association fees, which can impact overall returns.

Independent Houses


  • Appreciation potential: Houses located in desirable neighbourhoods can see considerable appreciation in value over time.
  • Rental income: Independent houses can also be rented out to generate rental income.
  • Personal use: If you plan to live in the house yourself, you get the benefits of both ownership and a place to reside.


  • Higher maintenance costs: Independent houses typically have higher maintenance costs compared to apartments or land.
  • Lower demand in some areas: In certain locations, the demand for standalone houses might be lower compared to apartments.

A well-researched investment decision, considering these factors, is crucial to maximising returns on any type of property.


What is the ideal ratio of own money versus loan when buying a property?
- Janak

Hi Janak,

You shouldn't opt for a higher loan amount just because you draw a bigger paycheck. Carefully calculate your monthly expenses and how much you can spare for EMI. Remember, if you borrow more, you may end up paying more EMI and that will reduce the returns on your investment. Exit the loan as soon as possible and plan your next property.

Have a question? Reply to this email - if it's relevant to the broader Open House community, I'll feature it here!



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Disclaimer: This newsletter is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. Please conduct your own due diligence prior to making any decisions.

By Ashwinder R. Singh
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