Festive Season: Tips On Freebies And Offers On Property

– Anil Pharande, Chairman – Pharande Spaces

In Maharashtra, Diwali is definitely the time of choice for property buyers to invest in their dream home. In fact, property buyers look forward to this festival to sign the papers on their homes because this city cherishes this traditional time of investing in the future.

freeObviously, builders also respond to the vastly improved market sentiments and do all they can to sustain them. During the Diwali period, property buyers will be presented with a slew of offers which developers introduce to induce sales. The Diwali period this year will see a lot of such activity, because property developers are eager to create sufficient interest in their projects. The residential property market has seen slackness over the preceding months, and Diwali is the time that developers have been looking forward to as much as property buyers.

The question here is – do such ‘freebies’ constitute real value for property buyers? The answer to this does not depend solely on what is being offered. It is a normal market phenomenon for incentives to be offered during the festive season, but property buyers should consider the actual value of the property.

They should be cautious about extravagant freebies and take a close look at the factors that add or reduce value in the case of real estate. If the project is by a developer known for sub-standard construction, or if it is located in a ‘blind spot’ of the local real estate market, no amount of freebies can compensate. The property itself will not represent a good investment, and the buyer will not benefit in the long run.

Another aspect to watch out for is freebies being offered for properties in over-priced projects. At a time when property buyers seek the best options for their money, getting a free car along with an overpriced flat does not make sense. If the flats in this project do not represent good value for money, freebies will not improve the situation. If a buyer wants to buy a flat in Pune such a project, it is best to negotiate for a better price than to accept freebies – or ask for them in addition to a discount.

Home buyers should especially beware of freebies being offered by investors who have put their money into properties in locations that are known to be ‘overheated’ (in other words, where rates have been artificially inflated by excessive investor activity). In such cases, freebies are meant to act as psychological encouragements to make an unwise property purchase.

There are certain incentives that buyers can definitely take seriously. These are not in the form of cars or vacations, but represent actual savings to them. Such incentives include:

  • Reduced down-payments to book flats, with balance payable on possession, resulting in an extension of the period between booking and full payment. Normally, buyers would have to pay the balance as the building progresses
  • Waiver on stamp duty, VAT and registration charges
  • Free or significantly reduced clubhouse memberships
  • Free parking, furnishing, interior decoration and smart home features (which would otherwise be charged for)
  • Waiver on premium for floor-rise

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.

More Scope For Green Development In PCMC

The PCMC is one of the pioneering regions in the country to embrace the concepts and principles of sustainable development, and I myself have always been a strong advocate for the green way of life.
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The use of green building technology, non-conventional energy sources and sustainable waste water management does not only have a positive impact on the environment but also on the overall quality of our lives. Moreover, adoption of sustainable building and living practices reduce the strain on municipal resources, resulting in significant revenue savings which can then be used to build better infrastructure and provide even more services to the people.

I would like to touch on PCMC’s major thrust towards sustainable real estate development. It is no secret that green development is the future of real estate all over the world. In fact, many of the bigger residential townships and commercial complexes in the PCMC have already adopted the ‘green development’ mantra. Many of the developers active here have started to take sustainable real estate development seriously and begun launching Green Homes.

To date, there are around 60 registered green buildings completed or under construction in the PCMC. The new PCNTDA building itself is a resounding statement to how important sustainable development has become to the city.

Obviously, the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation is taking its mission to provide cleaner, greener homes to its citizens very seriously. But I must also add that we still have a long way to go. In my opinion, there is still not enough enthusiasm within the region about the benefits of green homes and workplaces. One of the reasons for this is lack of awareness.

And despite all the progress that has been made, there should be more determination by the PCMC to encourage and promote developers who are taking the Green cause seriously. I still see a great deal of disconnect between developers, agencies like GRIHA, the environment department and the building permissions agencies. Permissions for green buildings should be fast-tracked and be given preferential status. But this is still not to be seen, and it is quite disappointing.

Such disconnect is not worthy of a mighty and progressive municipality like the PCMC. Everything that happens here should be a benchmark for other regions to follow. The PCMC should be the most encouraging and determined of all the regions to promote and develop green real estate. There should be attractive incentives for both developers and consumers of green real estate. Only in such an environment can we hope to see PCMC become and remain the leader in sustainability.

I look forward to an era when this will happen, so that everyone associated with the PCMC can benefit and be proud of its efforts. This is my vision for a better tomorrow for the citizens and all stakeholders of PCMC, India’s most progressive municipal corporation. Jai Hind. Jai Maharashtra.

Anil PharandeAbout 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. 

Puneville’s Dazzling Independence Day Launch Draws Massive Attendance

The launch of Puneville, the game-changing, futuristic luxury township by Pharande Spaces at Punawale on India’s 68th Independence Day drew massive attendance of eminent dignitaries and real estate industry stakeholders. After hoisting the tricolour was hoisted at the launch venue to the refrains of the national anthem, Hemant Naiknavare – President, CREDAI Pune addressed the gathering and was generous in his praise for Puneville’s never-seen-before features.

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Puneville is a brilliantly conceived and executed luxury township,” he said. “Pharande Spaces, in partnership with globally acclaimed architects Aedas, have outdone themselves by delivering a fantastic residential project. The timing of this launch is perfect, because Puneville is the ultimate celebration of freedom of an ultra-modern lifestyle. Also, thanks to Pune’s rapidly accelerating Information Technology boom, demand for such ultra-modern township homes has never been higher.”

After the inaugural address, Kamlakar Akode, Director – Town Planning (Maharashtra) elaborated on the progressive ‘infrastructure first’ approach that is the hallmark of real estate planning and development in Pune’s progressive PCMC region, and added that Puneville is a fitting tribute to this futuristic approach which has set a new benchmark for Indian real estate.

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Addressing the gathering, Satish Magar, Vice President – CREDAI expressed his amazement at the world-class amenities offered at Puneville and also described the location at Punawale as nothing short of perfect. Shantilal Kataria, Vice President – CREDAI Maharashtra added that Punawale, Wakad and Hinjewadi are the most promising of Pune’s upcoming real estate locations and that Puneville is indeed an integrated township that has achieved global standards of excellence.

Anil Pharande, Chairman – Pharande Spaces described Puneville as his personal labour of love and the culmination of Pharande Spaces’ constant quest towards perfection in integrated township development. He was also graphic in his praise for Aedas for bringing the full benefit of their global architectural design expertise to bear in this luxury township.

After the Independence Day ceremony, Akash Pharande, Head (Marketing & Sales), Pharande Spaces treated the attending dignitaries and guests to an enthralling project presentation and a guided tour of Puneville and its various state-of-the art features. The sumptuous lunch that followed featured an international cuisine that dovetailed perfectly with Puneville’s uncompromisingly global design and ethos.

Pradhikaran: Pune Real Estate’s Hottest Growth Corridor

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Sector 14 in Pradhikaran now boasts of massive integrated township properties like Woodsville

Anil Pharande

The Pune residential real estate boom, initially kick-started by the IT/ITeS industry, has brought about a lot of unregulated development. While property prices in Pune rose unrealistically, the city’s traditional ease of living and pleasant climate, which were previously its USPs, suffered.

Hills and trees have been razed to accommodate the rapidly expanding concrete jungle that all but defines central Pune today. The town planning commission found itself impotent in the face of the development mania, which soon transcended all reasonable, sustainable boundaries.

Real Estate Issues In Pune

In Pune, infrastructure challenges have been increasing because of the ever-increasing population. This has also put escalating pressure on available land, resulting in the forced extension of the city limits.

The pattern of development has been decidedly mercenary and unplanned, with the only criteria being accessibility to existing and upcoming IT hubs. While the rise of Hinjewadi created increasing demand for homes in its immediate vicinity, places like Aundh soon witnessed a slew of projects by property developers. Similarly, property prices in Baner and Wakad rose so steeply that they finally corrected.

Focus On Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC)

As things stand now, central Pune no longer has an iota of its previous quality and ambience in residential property offerings. It is therefore not surprising that homebuyers are beginning to focus on the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation. This area has, in fact, emerged as the last outpost Pune’s previous residential property comfort levels.

The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation first came into the limelight as an industrial area. However, it also has an advantage that central Pune does not – planned development. The growth of the real estate sector in the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation is closely regulated by the PCNTDA, which works together with the PCMC to ensure planned and realistic growth.

Central Pune continues to suffer from pollution, depleting greenery, traffic jams, water and power scarcity, lack of proper infrastructure and unrealistic residential property rates. Meanwhile, Pradhikaran (the location that defines the PCNTDA) has been benefiting from sensible real estate development.

If one studies the demographic development of Pune real estate growth, it is evident that Pradhikaran is precisely where the city’s growth is headed in the North/North-Western direction. This is extremely significant in terms of long-term residential property investment.

The Rise Of Pradhikaran

In years gone by, the PCNTDA began to acquire land in the PCMC area so that planned development could take place in the future. This planning included the allocation of specific areas for industrial activity, residential property development, public parks, unobstructed spaces, shopping centres, office buildings, roads and utilities.

Water supply to all sectors was ensured by the construction of several mammoth water tanks, each with capacities of several million litres, before development was permitted in each sector. Once this was done, the PCNTDA made the developed land parcels available to property developers.

The PCMC master plan also provides for generous road widths, the likes of which are impossible elsewhere in Pune. This goes a long way in preserving one of Pradhikaran’s natural splendour and hygiene.

Because of these factors, and also because of the growth in the PCMC industrial belt, the last two years have witnessed a huge increase in demand for residential property in the Pradhikaran area.

The fact that a number of large international companies are operating in nearby Chakan has, in fact, been a primary criterion for the area’s development profile. These companies regularly deliver thousands of jobs at all levels, which has had a telling effect on Pradhikaran’s general economic status. Specifically, there has been a huge surge in demand for residential property there.

Pradhikaran’s expansion, which has been inspired by the Chandigarh model of controlled development, began with a few hundred acres. Today, the area speaks for about 7000 acres. Pradhikaran is continually seeing infrastructural enhancements on all fronts – including roads, water and electricity supply and digital connectivity.

Pradhikaran now boasts of massive integrated township projects that offer all the hallmarks of ambient, sustainable living. Apart from the high lifestyle quotient, the investment potential of these townships benefits from a magic mix of real estate market drivers.

The presence of Tata Motors, Talawade, Hinjewadi, Chakan and the Pimpri-Chinchwad industrial belt add to the value of these townships, while the Mumbai-Pune highway and Expressway make it advantageously accessible to the financial capital of Mumbai.

No wonder that Pradhikaran is now being seen as both, the best option for first home buyers, and as the new residential property investment hotspot in Pune’s real estate market.

About The Author

Anil Pharande is Chairman of Pharande Spaces, a leading construction and development firm operating in the PCMC area of Pune, India.

Affordable Housing In India – Where Is The Supply?

Affordable housing is a term we use for residential units in India’s urban areas which are affordably priced with respect to households that fall within a specific limited income range. There is no single set of parameters to define what an affordable housing unit should cost in India. This is because the pricing and feasibility to developers of affordable housing is a function of the city, location within the city, type of project being built and also the construction technology employed.

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In India, it is appropriate to judge the affordability of a home on three broad parameters – the monthly income of prospective buyers from the target segment, the size of the home and, of course, its price. There is another element that should be mentioned, namely the target clientele itself. We tend to look at the word ‘affordable’ solely in terms of the LIG (lower income group) segment. For this segment, affordable housing would mean 200-300 square foot dwellings priced at between 7-12 lakh.

But what about people who earn more than the average factory labourer but still cannot afford to buy a decent 1 BHK flat of 300-450 square feet within ten to fifteen kilometers of their workplaces? They too need affordable housing – housing appropriately priced for the middle class. The home buyers in this segment can afford to buy flats in the price range of Rs. 30-35 lakh via home loans.

Obviously, they expect a certain standard of living, comforts and facilities for this expense. However, but even such flats are hard to come by in our larger cities. This is the case even in Pune.

Today, around 30% of India’s population lives and works in urban areas. This means that they occupy less than 2% of the land available in the country. If we zoom in on Maharashtra, it emerges that close to 60% of the overall population lives in urban locations. Distressingly, a closer look at a city like Mumbai reveals that over 50% of its citizens live in slums. Mumbai’s slums occupy less than 4% of the land available in the city. Obviously, the affordable housing quotient has gone badly wrong in Pune’s prosperous neighbouring city. However, the problem is larger than just one city, which continues to get negative press only because of its exorbitantly high property rates and enormous annual inward migration.

Despite everything being said on the matter, the shortage of affordable housing in India is getting worse instead of better. The country’s urban population of 285 million has multiplied itself by five over the last half century. It is projected that it will continue to increase at this fast pace, and that 50% of all Indians will be living in urban areas by the end of the next three decades. So, if the shortage for housing for the lower income segment stands at 25 million today and there is no increase in the pace of supply of affordable housing launches, what will this figure look like in 30 years?

Let us look at the situation from a real estate market point of view. There is, in fact, a gigantic market for affordable housing in India. Currently, it is valued at anything between Rs. 5-10 trillion. What is really being done to address this huge market – especially the one constituted by the ever-growing middle class? There are next to no Government incentives for projects with flats in the Rs. 30-35 lakh bracket.

While the only answers to this question in Mumbai seem to lie in small projects on the far outskirts of the city, Pune presents a far more encouraging picture. Developers of township properties in Pune have now begun addressing this market with an internationally inspired property development model called integrated townships. This model is based on maximum value for money to buyers, based on high-grade common infrastructure and shared facilities in more cost-effective, yet progressive areas like the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation.

With fully integrated township projects like Woodsville and Celestial City, we at Pharande Spaces have been successful in delivering affordable housing for the mid-income segment of home buyers in Pune and the PCMC area.  There are various reasons for this success.

For one, land for these integrated townships was acquired early on in upcoming locations such as Ravet and Moshi. This meant that the price of the finished products could be kept within the means of Pune property buyers. Secondly, townships like Woodsville and Celestial City are conceived and constructed on a model that allows luxurious facilities and amenities on an economy of scale. In other words, it is possible to provide luxurious features for all units in these projects on the basis of a large-scale master plan.

Anil-Pharande

 

 

Anil Pharande is Vice President – CREDAI (Pune Metro) and Chairman of Pharande Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that develops township properties in the PCMC area of Pune, India.

A Call For Action For The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation

Anil-Pharande

 

 

Anil Pharande is Vice President of CREDAI Pune Metro and Chairman of Pharande  Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that develops township properties in the PCMC area of Pune, India.

The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation was honoured by by presence of Maharashtra Chief Minister Shri Prithviraj Chavan, Deputy Chief Minister Shri Ajit Pawar and NCP President Shri Sharad Pawar. These distinguished dignitaries had very generously agreed to inaugurate several key infrastructure projects at PCMC:

  • The new PCNTDA building near Akurdi Railway station
  • The Traffic Park at Bhosari
  • The flyover near Spine Road
  • PCMC’s very own Nala Park
  • The Science Park at Auto Cluster

We, the architects of India’s most progressive planned city, were truly inspired by the kind words of praise, encouragement and hope that these honoured guests offered at the inauguration ceremonies. It is clear that the Government has recognized Pimpri-Chinchwad as the City of the Future, and that the city can depend on the fullest support as it continues to progress.

Nevertheless, there are reasons to be cautious in all this optimism. It is true that the careful and futuristic engineering of development at PCMC by the PCNTDA has become a national and even international benchmark for town planning. However, there have been various challenges along this road to progress. We need to take these hurdles into consideration if the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation is to fulfill its maximum potential as the City of the future.

Considering the pace at which real estate development has been taking place, certain lacunae in adhering to the PCNTDA’s master plan were unavoidable. One of the most glaring examples of this was the emergence of unauthorized structures in various pockets of the PCMC.

Thankfully, this issue is being dealt with firmly. The authorities have embarked on a massive drive to deal with such structures, and we are confident that all illegal constructions will be erased from the landscape by the end of 2013. However, we cannot deny that these are damage control measures which would not have been necessary if the damage had never been allowed to occur in the first place.

More Road Connectivity

Another area of concern is lack of adequate road connectivity between certain key areas of the PCMC and areas such as Talegaon. Because of the massive potential for industrial and residential development in and around these areas, they have seen most of the road construction initiatives. In the process, road connectivity from these locations to some of the most important growth areas of PCMC has been largely ignored.

Paradoxically, the areas referred to as Phase 2 in the PCMC development plan hold the highest potential for real estate growth. Thanks to the availability of large land parcels at relatively lower prices, residential and commercial realty development has picking up rapidly in areas such as Moshi. In the meantime, Moshi has become a hotbed for property investments because of the International Convention Centre being jointly developed by the Maratha Chamber of Commerce and the PCMC.

Despite this, there is still no sufficient road connectivity between Phase 2 and the larger industrial hubs. This is going to prove to be a huge stumbling-block for the overall growth of the region. The lack of a suitable road network means that people living in areas like Moshi face difficulties in reaching their workplaces in these employment clusters. This issue must be addressed on a priority basis. A city like PCMC must do everything in its power to ensure that its growth pockets are not isolated from each other.

PCMC Needs To Expand

Yet another issue is that the population within the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation is growing at an annual rate of 73%. Such a rate of growth makes it necessary to provide more spaces for development. Unfortunately, there have been limitations put on the city’s potential for geographic expansion by Red Zones (non-development areas).

It is imperative that more of the region’s outlying villages be included in the urbanization plan. There are enough examples in India of what happens when a city does not expand geographically in tandem with its population growth. Such a situation must not be allowed to develop in the PCMC. Also, PCMC needs to be able to accommodate the rapid growth in population in terms of providing more educational institutions, shopping complexes, healthcare establishments and entertainment zones.

Encourage Green Development

Finally, I would like to touch on PCMC’s major thrust towards sustainable real estate development. It is no secret that green development is the future of real estate all over the world. In fact, many of the bigger residential townships and commercial complexes in the PCMC have already adopted the ‘green development’ mantra. The new PCNTDA building itself is a resounding statement to how important sustainable development has become to the city.

Nevertheless, there is still a noticeable lack of enthusiasm within the region about the benefits of green homes and workplaces. One of the reasons for this is lack of awareness. Many of the region’s residential property developers and buyers have not been attuned to the advantages of environmentally sustainable properties. I urge the State Government to join hands with the PCMC to bring about greater awareness and eventual adoption of this vitally important principle.

I also strongly advocate better incentives for developers and buyers of green homes in the PCMC. The use of non-conventional energy sources and sustainable waste water management does not only have a positive impact on the environment and on the overall quality of life. Such measures reduce the strain on municipal resources, resulting in significant revenue savings. Unless the benefits of these savings are passed back on to the developers and buyers of sustainable properties, we cannot expect a more wide-spread adoption of the ‘green’ mantra in PCMC.

We gratefully acknowledge the importance that the visiting dignitaries have given to the City of the Future by gracing it with their presence. At the same time, we sincerely request them to take heed of PCMC’s most urgent requirements.

Pune Real Estate: From Kothrud To Wakad – And Beyond

Anil-Pharande

 

 

Anil Pharande, CMD – Pharande Spaces

In Pune, property and quality of life were once synonymous, but that can no longer be taken as a given. In earlier years, it did not really matter much where one chose to buy property in Pune – all locations were more or less supportive of peaceful family life in their own right.

Today, while considering flats for sale in Pune, one has to consider a number of variables – among them the levels of traffic congestion and pollution, the availability of basic facilities such as water and, of course, quality of the neighborhood.

Let us take Kothrud, for example. This once charming area was one of the first suburbs to be developed after the old city. Even today, it is considered a desirable core area due to its strong connection with the city centre via Karve Road. However, for better or for worse, Kothrud is also mentioned in the Guinness Book of World Records as the suburb with the fastest urban growth in the world.

Kothrud started developing in late 90s. Back then, Pune City was truly a Pensioner’s Paradise, with little economic activity. People from Mumbai looking to buy property in Pune preferred Kothrud, naturally leading to an accelerated rate of development.

By the time the IT/ITES boom began in 2000-02, Kothrud was a full-fledged residential destination. Because of this, it fortunately did not go the way of suburbs like Aundh and Baner in the West or Viman Nagar in the East as they joined the IT/ITES bandwagon.

Over the past decade-and-a-half, Kothrud has evolved as one of the most densely populated residential destination in Pune. Residential projects are very scarce and the demand is enormous. However, because of the manner in which it grew, Kothrud was not developed holistically in terms of social infrastructure.

Many other areas in Pune developed on similar lines, and the old Pensioner’s Paradise charm soon gave way to massive, relentless development. This began the hunt for less cluttered and more lifestyle-supportive residential locations.

Pune Property

Fortunately, Pune is not a sea-locked city like Mumbai, and there was scope for looking further ahead. One of the first areas to emerge as a preferred area to settle down was Wakad – a once-nondescript village with 5000 locals who farmed sugarcane, onion and groundnut in its rich, black, fertile soil.

In 1983, the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) acquired 50% of this virgin location. By 1998, PCMC counted Wakad as one of its areas. Today, Wakad has emerged as the focus of younger, financially fit families that are looking to upgrade their lifestyle by moving to larger, more nature-endowed homes on the outskirts of Pune City.

With the increasing congestion of the previously preferred area of Aundh, neighboring Wakad was seen as the perfect location, with close proximity to the Infotech and Biotech Parks at Hinjewadi, the Pimpri-Chinchwad Industrial area, the Mumbai-Bangalore Bypass, the Super Express Highway to Mumbai and the Balewadi National Sports complex.  Thanks to the Expressway, Wakad is only about 80 to 90 minutes away from Mumbai, and Mumbaikars looking to buy property in Pune saw it as an excellent value proposition.

Of course, Wakad is just one of the chapters that the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation has in its book of Pune real estate successes. Today, Ravet and other sectors of Pradhikaran in the PCMC have become the new residential real estate watchwords in Pune. These areas are developing fast and are even now venues of extremely modern integrated residential projects.

However, the development of Wakad marked the beginning of a new residential real estate trend in Pune – the quest for better environments to settle down in and recapture some of Pune’s erstwhile glory as Queen of the Deccan.

Anil Pharande is Vice President of CREDAI Pune Metro and Chairman of Pharande  Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that develops township properties in the PCMC area of Pune, India.

Pune Real Estate: The Price Of Rapid Urbanization

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By the most recent reckoning, India’s population currently hovers around the 1.15 billion mark. It is estimated that by 2030, this figure will have grown to around 1.53 billion. India’s urban areas are just about ready to burst at the seams, on the heels of an accelerating population explosion.

The population growth in India’s rural areas in the present decade is around 18%, and over 30% in the urban areas. This pattern of urbanisation is seen as encouraging, since it seems to indicate that India will attain the global urbanization standard average in the course of the next decade.

However, it is also true that this upsurge in our cities’ population is putting available civic structures like public transport, water supply, drainage, sewerage and obviously the supply of housing under severe pressure.

This raises the question – how are India’s real estate developers addressing the problem of insufficient infrastructure in and around their projects in the main cities? The fact is, they can’t do much.

In cities like Pune, property buyers have no choice but to turn a blind eye to the absence of sufficient infrastructure. They are aware of the fact that they will face numerous inconveniences, but what can they do?

Many opt to buy into projects that boast of compensatory measures to overcome the infrastructure deficit. These would include independent water supply if a reliable municipal pipeline doesn’t exist, electricity backup to make up for unreliable power supply and sump pits if the area does not have adequate sewage.

However, such projects in Pune City are few and far between, and homes in them come at extremely high prices. Also, no matter in how many ways Pune developers compensate for lack of civic infrastructure, they cannot add more than a token patch of landscaped lawn by ways of natural ambience.

The high property rates are a real problem. Many of those who buy flats in Pune have saved all their lives for buying their Pune dream home. They have made a lot of sacrifices to make this happen; having finally managed to save enough, they buy their homes and immediately regret it.

The maintenance costs for their flats are far too high for them to bear – a lot of them can’t afford petrol for their cars anymore. They travel to and from work by bus.

We have all looked at the parking lots of highly-priced residential projects and seen dusty cars with handmade posters on the rear windows saying things like ‘Homemade Detergent Soap Available at Flat 12A’ and ‘Tuition For Stds. V to IX – Contact Mr. XYZ at Flat 26C.

It simply makes no sense to invest everything in a home and then live in financial stress afterward. The solution obviously lies in finding a home where the same investment buys you more.

The choice is between paying a certain amount on a small, under-equipped flat in the crowded central city or on a spacious home in a location blessed with natural beauty and and sound infrastructure.

The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, which planned its residential areas decades ago, offers such options. The integrated residential projects in Ravet and other sectors of Pradhikaran close to the upcoming International Convention Centre offer the kind of homes that Puneites have always dreamed of, but never been able to own.

The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation also has an extremely vibrant economy, offering more and more job opportunities across all business sectors with every passing year.

Finally, because of the regulated nature of the PCMC real estate market and the high emphasis on civic facilities and amenities, there is no question of an eventual infrastructure deadlock. The real estate prices are way below those see in Pune, too. For that reason, these are the kind of homes that will be sources of joy for several generations.

Anil Pharande is Chaiman – Pharande Spaces, a leading construction and development firm operating in the PCMC area of Pune, India.

You may reprint or quote this article with full credit to the author and a link back to PunePropertyBlog.com

Township Property Mania Hits Pune

In Pune, something very new and exciting is happening on the residential real estate market. Where ordinary flats were once the most sought-after type of residential property, the trend is slowly but surely changing to a demand for township properties. The more discerning Punekars of today says that nothing less than the convenience and ambience of a township property will do.

Pune property

Who are these people? Mostly representatives of the IT and manufacturing sectors. These, along with some other discerning professionals, have apparently become fed up with the congestion of the inner city, and the lack of amenities in the projects there. They are setting their sights on the spacious, green environment of areas beyond Aundh. Pimpri Chinchwad, with a special focus on the booming market in Pradhikaran properties, is especially in demand.

What is it about these township properties in the PCMC area that makes them so different from other available ones on the Pune property market? Well, one reason is that nothing within the suburbs of Pune can match the bliss of living in a township property. The mantra in these avant-garde resindetial projects in Pimpri Chinchwad is still ‘respect and enjoy Nature’. In the township properties in areas like Moshi and Ravet, green environment is carefully maintained and traffic congestion is unheard-of, despite the proximity of the Express Highway.

The environment is absolutely perfect for families to live in. There is so much demand for these properties that many prominent developers have snapped up prime land exclusively for the building of township properties. Other factors also add to the popularity of these townships – the Expressway, of course, is a vital one. The Expressway is the umbilical cord between Pune other major cities, beginning with Mumbai. In many ways, the Expressway is the lifeblood of Pune’s commercial progress. In addition, the nearby Mumbai-Bangalore Highway brings in further commercial growth and intercity connectivity.

With the kind of investment value that localities along these two major highways get, their popularity comes as no surprise. However, the Expressway has also brought about the existence of the Hinjewadi Infotech Park. The professionals that work there need homes close to their offices, and also privacy and peace in their time away from work. This has been another driving factor behind the township properties mania in the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation area. Obviously, another contributing factor is the Pimpri-Chinchwad industrial belt.

In the not-so-distant past, township properties were a residential genre reserved exclusively for the ultra rich. This has changed drastically with their rising popularity. The fact is, owning a township property in Pimpri Chinchwad has now become a feasible option for Mr. Everyman.

Anil-PharandeAnil Pharande is Vice President of CREDAI Pune Metro and Chairman of Pharande  Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that develops township properties in the PCMC area of Pune, India.

 

 

Where Are India’s Budget Homes?

Anil Pharande

The concept of affordable housing in India sounds simple enough, but nothing could be more complex than this subject. We all know that India needs more budget homes, but where are they?

Trends come and go. Developers’ business agendas change along with the dynamics of the real estate market. However, the dire need for compassionately priced homes remains. Of course, there are quite a few developers who are addressing the demand for affordable housing. Nevertheless, if we consider the sheer vastness of the demand, their offerings don’t make even make a dent in it.

Pune PropertySoon after the real estate market revival after the Lehman-induced global financial crash, it did seem as though the Indian developers had finally woken up. A huge number of them focused squarely on developing affordable housing projects. The inflexible demand for such homes in our larger cities and their further suburbs meant was their ticket out of financial trouble.

And then the economy revived, and it kept on reviving. Suddenly, home buyers with lower incomes were no longer in fear of their jobs. The stock market revived, and capital began to flow into the real estate sector again. This was good news for the real estate market in general, but bad news for the affordable housing sector. Greed took over again, and the focus of developers once again shifted to higher-priced premium housing.

Premium homes were an attractive segment for developers in 2006-07, and there were many project launches aimed squarely at India’s more affluent classes. The global economic downturn put a brake on this trend only through the worst period of 2008 and 2009. In this period, it did seem as though affordable housing was going to get its due share of attention at last. However, they did not take long to concentrate on premium housing again.

So – where does the common man stand today? What has happened to affordable housing? Was it no more than a passing trend to tide developers over during the leaner economic period? Budget home launches have reduced a lot. In fact, even mid-income homes in many of our cities have become so expensive that demand for them has slowed down.

It cannot be said that nothing at all is happening in terms of budget homes in India. There are commendable efforts still being made by conscientious, smart developers to cater to the housing needs of the lower-income groups. However, it is not enough. The shortage in this segment is still huge. The Government has come out with special schemes for affordable housing for builders, but most of them are not taking up the opportunities.

We are now faced with an escalating problem. More and more people who can be classified as slum dwellers are obtaining good jobs, and are able to afford homes in the bracket of Rs. 7-12 lakh. It is only because there is no supply of homes in this bracket that they continue to live in slums and run-down chawls. The affordable rental housing projects that were announced earlier with so much fanfare are not happening in the required numbers.

This means that India now has vast numbers of people who could live in better conditions, but are unable to. Because of the continued demand for accommodation in slums, it is harder than ever to eradicate them. Slum redevelopment can only take place on a significant scale if the resistance to it decreases.

Anil-PharandeAnil Pharande is President of CREDAI PCMC and Chairman of Pharande  Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that develops township properties in the PCMC area of Pune, India.

This article may be reprinted with proper attribution to the author and a link back to PunePropertyBlog.com