Infrastructure: The Key Real Estate Investment Criterion

Anil Pharande, CMD – Pharande Spaces

We keep hearing the term ‘market drivers’ being used in real estate. What are they? Market drivers can be defined as developments in an area that increase the value of living there. It is a well-established fact that infrastructure is by far the most important driver for real estate demand and property appreciation growth.

Infrastructure can take many forms. It includes road development to boost connectivity of a location, civic infrastructure such as dedicated water and electricity supply, public gardens, etc. that increases the quality of living in the area, and social infrastructure such as schools, colleges and healthcare, which result in shorter travelling time to such very essential services.

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Infrastructure must be put in place either before or along with other real estate development. Attempts to put it in place retrospectively create the kind of mess that we can see in many of our cities today. The building of flyovers and road widening are attempted in highly congested areas, disrupting the flow of normal activity and taking ages to be built, causing great inconvenience and massive costs to the city because of the incessant delays.

Building infrastructure is like growing trees – in both cases, there needs to be enough space for them to grow, and sufficient opportunity for a root network to deploy. Without space and depth, neither trees nor infrastructure can grow and flourish. If we take the case of Pune as an example, we can see that building infrastructure as an afterthought to real estate development, rather than as a precursor, does not really work well.

Pune’s haphazard development in the past has not been favourable for decent infrastructure deployment to complement its rapid development on other fronts. Battling severe constraints, Pune’ development authorities are doing their best to counter the ill-effects of unregulated development which has so far been taking place.

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We are seeing some good results in building support infrastructure, but the Pune Municipal Corporation is actually a losing battle. This is amply illustrated by the fact that the Pune Municipal Corporation is not able to provide suitable parking, traffic management solutions and utilities supply despite enormous investments.

Guidelines For Homebuyers & Investors

  • The infrastructure of a location is a major focus area for property investors for a very good reason. Real estate investors want to attract end-users, either as rental or purchase clients, to the properties. They know that an area without sufficient infrastructure will be unattractive to their clients, because the quality of living quotient is low.
  • Again, properties in areas without good infrastructure tend to have cheaper property rates for a reason. Developers with projects in such locations know that the area has little or nothing to say for itself in terms of quality of life. The only way they can hope to sell their projects is to offer very attractive rates.
  • Buyers should place infrastructure availability prominently on their checklist while scouting for suitable homes. Road and rail connectivity, water supply, proximity of schools, hospitals and shopping outlets are of paramount importance. Buying a home cheaply if the location does not offer these is meaningless, and will give cause for regret.
  • If one is buying a property purely as a long-term investment and primarily for capital appreciation, one can afford to be a bit philosophical about existing infrastructure. After all, one is not planning to live there and does not expect very fast appreciation. As long as there is a reasonable assurance that it will arrive in the foreseeable future, it makes sense to invest in a property located in an emerging area where infrastructure is in its nascent stages.
  • However, if one is buying the property in order to generate rental income, existing infrastructure is far more important than upcoming infrastructure. People looking for rental options are also looking for a certain ease and dignity of living. They are willing to put the option of buying a home aside so that they can live in a good home in a good location on rent.
  • Where the option exists, give a high preference to townships over all other options. While checking out townships, ensure that they are located in areas which have a good saturation of support infrastructure as well. Most large Indian cities now have township projects coming up.
  • In Pune, the infrastructure-rich Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation is attracting the highest number of buyers and investors of township properties. In other parts of the country, Navi Mumbai and the Kalyan-Dombivli and Vasai-Virar belts are becoming important township hubs.
  • In Delhi NCR, the areas to look at for townships are Ghaziabad, Faridabad and Greater Noida. In Bangalore, the growth hubs for townships are Yelahanka and Devanhalli, and in Chennai they include Sriperumbadur, Perambur, the OMR belt and Anna Nagar.

About The Author:

Anil PharandeAnil Pharande is Chairman of Pharande Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that develops township properties in Western Pune. Pharande Promoters & Builders, the flagship company of Pharande Spaces and an ISO 9001-2000 certified company, is a pioneer in the PCMC area offering a diverse range of real estate products catering especially to the 42 sectors of Pradhikaran. The luxury township Puneville at Punavale in West Pune is among the company’s latest premium offerings. Woodsville in Moshi is another highly successful PCMC-based township by Pharande Spaces which is now in its 3rd phase.

 

 

Punawale Now: Taking West Pune Real Estate To The Next Level

Taking West Pune Real Estate To The Next Level
Taking West Pune Real Estate To The Next Level

Punawale – West Pune’s Hottest Real Estate Location

While real estate is a constantly changing and evolving concept, some parameters remain constant – the three success mantras are still Location, Location and Location. In this respect, Western Pune is an important new chapter in the annals of Pune real estate’s success story. Pune’s burgeoning western corridor is today the most preferred destination for home buyers and real estate investors not only from Pune, but also from Mumbai and various other parts of Maharashtra.

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Because of the rapidly increasing demand for residential and commercial properties, West Pune has in the past delivered some of the most attractive real estate locations. One of the most exciting new locations in this corridor is Punawale.

To a large extent, Punawale owes its fast rise to fame to the fact that it is located very close to the thriving Information Technology parks in Hinjewadi and Tathawade, as well as to the Pune-Mumbai Expressway. At the same time, Punawale offers quick access to Wakad and has a number of good schools, hospitals and shopping malls close at hand. With the arrival of superlative residential projects by reputed developers at Punawale, this area is now the location of choice for IT/ITeS professionals working in Hinjewadi and Tathawade, as well as from buyers from the MIDC manufacturing hub who are attracted by the better lifestyle options now available there.

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This combination of factors has had a big impact on demand for properties in Punawale, and has led to the launch of many new residential projects. Puneville, a luxury township recently launched by leading developers Pharande Spaces, is one of the most notable examples of Punawale’s massive image makeover on the Pune real estate map.

“Like Moshi, Ravet, Spine Road, Wakad and many other highly successful real estate locations in PCMC, Punawale has the added advantage of being located at the fulcrum of various major road development projects,” says Anil Pharande, CMD – Pharande Spaces. “In fact, Punawale is now seeing the fastest development after Aundh, Baner and Wakad have become almost fully exploited and come close to complete saturation. Moreover, the development of this region is firmly supported by the unlimited cash reserves of the PCMC, which is Asia’s wealthiest Municipal Corporation.”

Backed by a diverse and vibrant economy which provides a convincing complement to that of Pune, real estate growth in Western Pune is driven by its prolific manufacturing sector, which is represented by a number of national and global industry giants. This region is seeing a steady and growing pipeline of employment opportunities generated by its manufacturing and Information Technology industries.

These inherent advantages have ensured that areas like Punawale see instant absorption of housing projects across budget brackets. Employment-driven real estate locations like Punawale also receive the maximum attention from property investors.

“Employment generation is by far the most important catalyst driving real estate demand and supply in Pune,” says Sanjay Bajaj, Managing Director – Pune, JLL India. “Home buyers in a city with such a vibrant economy will at all times seek to find options as close as possible to their places of work. This helps them rationalize their daily commutes and thereby gain more time with the family, cut down on their monthly fuel expenses and also preserve their health and mental wellbeing. In a rapidly growing market like PCMC, proximity to workplace is therefore a very critical criterion that home buyers focus on. In this respect, Punawale has become one of the most desirable locations in PCMC.”

While the initial demand profile in this region was first geared towards mid-income housing, it now draws demand for luxury homes as well. The Punawale micro-market is especially suited for large integrated township projects, which offer one-stop solutions in terms of self-sufficient infrastructure, superior amenities and quick access to schools, healthcare, shopping and public transport.

In Punawale, Western Pune has received yet its most iconic real estate destination to date – a location that is eminently placed to take this prosperous, infrastructure-driven region’s real estate story to the next level.

Integrated Townships – Giving The Village Back To Urban India

Anil Pharande

Anil Pharande, CMD – Pharande Spaces

While the concept of integrated township living is still something of a novelty in India, the concept of living in integrated residential communities is definitely not. If we look at how configurations like villages work, then it emerges that Indians have been living in integrated residential communities for a very long time indeed. Of course, integrated townships are a far more specialized and sophisticated real estate model – and one which is becoming a very important one for various reasons.

For all those who have been living in cities like Pune and Mumbai, the fact that urban life can and does become rather disconnected is not news. Since most developers will build residential projects on whatever small land parcels are available, neighbourhoods are created in a very unplanned and uninspiring manner and their residents wind up living in small, isolated pockets which are often quite far from day-to-day conveniences and essentials such as shopping centres, schools and hospitals.

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At the same time, people are thrown together on the basis of their household budgets, which is basically what decides what kinds of homes they can buy. Those who opt for staying on rent are often transient families which do not add to the neighbourhood. Creating a sense of neighbourhood and community under such circumstances is very challenging – and because people also have the stresses of their daily work life to tackle, they tend ignore what neighbours they have altogether.

The unfortunate fact that emerges is that people can buy homes, but not a sense of community. Integrated townships, on the other hand, bring the best elements of a village back to urban dwellers. They are distinct and cohesive neighbourhoods within people can reside with a comforting sense of certainty and predictability. People who buy homes in integrated townships are not merely investing in an orphaned, anonymous set of walls somewhere in the city – which is basically all that one can expect from most residential projects in India today.

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Township residents become members of a self-sufficient residential microcosm which operates on proven fundamentals of social integration and living convenience. They enjoy all the benefits of a comfortable and secure lifestyle with the additional benefit of social ‘connectivity’ that derives from like-minded people who are willing to invest that extra bit for their families living in harmoniously balanced neighbourhoods.

The fact that schools, shopping, healthcare and public transport are readily available and accessible goes a long way in reducing stress and increasing the willingness and scope for healthy social interaction. Likewise, not having to contend with water supply issues and power outages makes for more relaxed and happier neighbourhoods.

And since integrated townships also offer parks, gardens and other places for people to meet and interact in, the stage is set for a way of life which most city dwellers in India have bid goodbye to long ago. In a very definite way, integrated townships have brought the village back in the best possible way – by allowing people to enjoy the benefits of community living against a zero-stress backdrop.

About The Author:

Anil Pharande is Chairman of Pharande Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that develops township properties in Western Pune. Pharande Promoters & Builders, the flagship company of Pharande Spaces and an ISO 9001-2000 certified company, is a pioneer in the PCMC area offering a diverse range of real estate products catering especially to the 42 sectors of Pradhikaran. The luxury township Puneville at Punavale in West Pune is among the company’s latest premium offerings.

Why Roads Boost Real Estate Growth

Anil-Pharande– Anil Pharande, Chairman – Pharande Spaces

It is no secret that improved road connectivity is very important for real estate growth. Most property brokers will make a big case out of an area’s excellent road network and how this improves the appreciation value of a proposed property. But how exactly does this phenomenon work? What is the real ‘connection’ between better roads and better real estate values?

  • The History Of ‘Road Power’

Infrastructure is the key to growth for real estate – and the cornerstone of infrastructure is roads. The importance of roads to human being is vouchsafed by how long they have been around. The oldest paved road in recorded history was made sometime between 2600-2200 BC in Egypt; but it was the Roman Empire which brought out the fullest potential of roads traversable by wheeled, horse-powered carriages.

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Circa 312 BC, the Roman Empire built stone roads throughout Europe and North Africa to aid its military campaigns. At the height of their power, the Romans had built 78,000 kilometers of roads that led to and from Rome. History is witness to what the Roman Empire achieved by connecting the parts of the world that were important to them to their seat of power.

However, it was only much later that ‘road power’ could begin to be fully exploited. It was, in fact, only in 1768 that the French inventor Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot built the first steam-powered automobile capable of human transportation. Ever since then, roads have emerged as the master key that unlocks all urban potential in the modern world.

  • Fast Forward To Today

It is safe to say that real estate development as we know it is impossible without adequate road networks. In the first place, they are required to transport construction materials and manpower to sites. Thereafter, people need roads to be able to travel to the newly developed locations. However, the basic roads that are initially used to ‘open up’ and area usually fall short of the task of really making it prosper. High volumes of traffic require larger, better-planned roads to accommodate it, and it often emerges that existing distances between locations can be significantly reduced by laying new roads altogether.

In the city of Pune, one recent example of the introduction of a new major road can cut down the distance that needs to be travelled between destinations was the Spine Road in the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC). The launch of this important piece of infrastructure had a direct and very beneficial effect on residents in all the areas it influences. It connects two major highways, provides access focus for various residential, commercial and industrial centres and is the longest stand-alone road in the region. Spine Road has significantly relieved traffic congestion on internal roads – it has six lanes with cycle tracks, service roads and even parking facilities.

  • How Roads Improve Urban Life

Time Saved = Improved Lifestyle: With the shorter distances achieved by well-planned and strategically laid new roads, people can choose to not use their fuel-guzzling cars and travel to and from work by public transport or two wheelers instead. Apart from improving the quality of lives, this also decreases noise and air pollution in residential areas. Improved road connectivity also improves the overall safety of a neighbourhood, because emergency services like law enforcement and fire brigades can reach there faster. Residents also have quicker access to hospitals, which often makes the difference between life and death.

Obviously, infrastructure initiatives like the Spine Road in PCMC are a major advantage to employees working in the area’s numerous manufacturing and service industries. In Indian cities, the amount of time it takes to get to and from one’s workplace literally makes or breaks residential locations. Also, because residents of well-connected localities can reach and return from their workplaces faster, they have more time to spend with their families. The same fundamental works for school-going children, as well.

Considerable Savings On FuelEver-increasing fuel prices were once a concern only to the middle class, but they are today even the more affluent classes are feeling the heat. In India, electric cars that can meet the travel requirements of a normal-sized family are still a distant dream. Like it or not, we continue to depend on fossil fuel-driven vehicles.

A normal middle class family can save quite a lot on its monthly fuel expenses when a new road improves overall connectivity in their locality. Communities which live in areas without good road connectivity often spend between 10-15% of their monthly income on transportation alone. The figure rises proportionately to the number of vehicles the family operates.

The Health ‘Connection’Reduced travel time also equals a lower chance of commuting-related physical ailments and stress levels. When people have to travel over longer distances daily, the time in which they are exposed to traffic pollution and extreme climate increases proportionately. Several serious health problems such as deep vein thrombosis and lung infections have been directly linked to regular, long automobile travel.

By the same coin, road rage and reckless driving also often the direct by-product of traffic congestion caused by insufficient road linkages. Also, improved road connectivity leading to significantly shorter travel distances makes it possible for people to opt for health-positive travel modes such as bicycles.

The Real Estate ‘Connection’For all the above reasons, improved road connectivity has a massive impact on real estate prices of a location. There is always higher demand for homes in well-connected areas, because they are more accessible, safer, healthier and cheaper to live in.

About The Author:

Anil Pharande is Chairman of Pharande Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that develops township properties in Western Pune. Pharande Promoters & Builders, the flagship company of Pharande Spaces and an ISO 9001-2000 certified company, is a pioneer in the PCMC area offering a diverse range of real estate products catering especially to the 42 sectors of Pradhikaran. The luxury township Puneville at Punavale in West Pune is among the company’s latest premium offerings.