How Infrastructure Drives Real Estate Demand

– Anil Pharande, Chairman – Pharande Spaces

All property investors are familiar with the phrase ‘market drivers’, which has become one of the most utilized terms in real estate investment. What exactly are market drivers? They can be explained as advancements within a region which boost the overall worth of the location, and the desirability associated with residing there. It is a well-established fact that the infrastructure of an area is a key criterion for home buyers, and therefore property investors.

Infrastructure has numerous types. For instance, roads are considered key infrastructure, as they enhance the connectivity of the area. There is also civic infrastructure, which involves the availability of public services in the region. In India, the primary aspects covered under civic infrastructure are reliable water and electricity supply, without which an area falls flat as a residential location and therefore as a real estate investment destination.

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Then there is the factor of social infrastructure, which accounts for the liveability of the area. At the most basic level, civic infrastructure will include public transport and shopping outlets, but educational institutions and hospitals are also important. People expect to have colleges, schools and healthcare facilities close to where they live. Therefore, the level of saturation of social infrastructure will play a big role in the overall value of the location as a residential and investment destination.

The global standard for urbanization which is evident in most developed countries is that all or most of infrastructure required to make an area livable and desirable as a real estate destination are set up prior to or opening it up for large-scale real estate development. This is because efforts to put the necessary infrastructure in place retrospectively results in inconvenience to the existing population because of decreased public mobility during construction of such projects.

Retrospective construction of infrastructure projects also pollutes the environment during the actual construction process, and this is nothing but bad news in an area which is already inhabited.

Creating the infrastructure which is required to make a location liveable and also supportive to various economic functions can be compared to creating vast green cover in an area . In both instances, there is a primary requirement of adequate space. Another vital factor for successful infrastructure creation is time. In the case of trees, the root systems must be given adequate time to penetrate deep enough to provide anchorage as well as access to deep-lying groundwater. Similarly, infrastructure must be given enough time to be deployed, become functional and start servicing the area properly. Without space and time, both forestation and infrastructure creation become futile exercises.

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If we take the cases of Pune and the adjoining Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), we see a vast difference in successful infrastructure deployment. In Pune, the PMC has been unsuccessfully trying to provide retrospective infrastructure support to its massively congested and largely dysfunctional city areas.

Almost every new infrastructure project in Pune is hotly contested by local political parties and becomes road blocked by bureaucratic red tape. One of the reasons is that these projects affect already populated areas, which represent vote banks. The result is that most of these projects take ages to be built, and many are eventually shelved altogether.

The advantage that the PCMC has enjoyed is that it follows a proactive rather than reactive approach to infrastructure creation. In other words, massive Greenfield areas are taken up by the town planning authorities for infrastructure creation, and only then  opened up for further development by private builders. This has resulted in extremely viable, plug-and-play residential neighbourhoods and commercial districts which start delivering the goods from day one.

This proactive approach to infrastructure has earned PCMC the distinction of being one of India’s most sought-after destinations to live and work in. PCMC’s superior infrastructure has attracted the highest number of multinational companies and industries to the region, and this has also led to the highest rate of employment creation in PCMC. As a result, the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation has emerged as the most preferred city for home buyers who are looking to live close to where they work – and simultaneously enjoy a superior quality of life.

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.

PCMC’s Integrated Townships: Redefining Traditional Luxury

– Anil Pharande, Chairman – Pharande Spaces

Indian luxury real estate is in rapid evolutionary mode, and few of the previously accepted definitions of a luxury home have stood the test of time. For luxury home developers, the challenge has shifted from offering a number of attractive add-ons to providing a well-rounded residential experience that transcends luxurious exteriors, interiors and amenities.

Luxury townships are the obvious answer to the questions today’s buyers are asking. They are not looking for mere glamour – because of the mounting challenges of urban life in cities like Pune, they are also looking for superior infrastructure, cutting-edge security and project management and a walk-to-work option. These are obviously not an option in standalone luxury buildings – nothing less than a fully integrated luxury township can provide such advantages.

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A number of Indian developers who previously specialized in traditional luxury residential projects – one or two snazzy buildings in a tony part of town where ‘address value’ accounts for a massive price premium – have therefore shifted their focus to the township format. This is because luxury living in today’s context is a 360-degree lifestyle equation which cannot be limited to elegant superficialities.

The buyer profile for integrated luxury townshipspuneville is also different today. These are not HNIs hailing from families with protracted histories of wealth – they are young, self-made entrepreneurs, the corporate upper management cadre and high-placed Information Technology professionals.

This new breed of luxury home buyers is not swayed by impressive addresses and the other factors which dictated how luxury was interpreted in the past. They are looking for the aspects that spell genuine luxury today – convenience, safety, reliable water and electricity supply, modern recreational facilities, on-the-spot availability to essential services like hospitals, schools and shopping, and good internal and external connectivity.

punevilleThey will not spend their hard-earned money on an expensive location but invest in a superior living experience for themselves and their families. Moreover, the traditional CBDs of cities like Pune are no longer the areas which yield the most lucrative jobs – the IT and manufacturing hubs in modern satellite cities like the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) are the next employment hotbeds which are driving both the demand and trend for high-end homes.

This luxury home buyer demographic is highly tech-savvy and environmentally conscious, and attributes a lot of value to ‘smart’ and ‘green’ features – not only at a residence level but at a project level. Again, this is only possible in integrated townships, and this is what has spurred the growth of PCMC’s ultra-modern townships over the last decade.

These townships offer their residents:

  • Broad, well-lit internal roads
  • 24×7 water and electricity supply
  • Multiple user parking per unit
  • Multi-level security
  • Green open spaces
  • Conveniences  such as shopping malls, banks, schools and hospitals within the project
  • Easy connectivity to other parts of the city
  • Modern recreational facilities

The best integrated townships also include high-grade commercial spaces and give residents the ultimate luxury – the walk-to-work option. Obviously, this new definition of luxury living provides a stark contrast to the traditional concepts of luxury homes, which was usually tied to a vanity address in an exorbitantly pricey location. Though older luxury buildings in the core areas of cities like Pune are invariably redeveloped into luxury skyscrapers, there is nothing that can be done about the fact that the locations themselves are cramped, polluted, devoid of support infrastructure and often hemmed in by slums and tenements.

While the window view from a luxury home in such a setting is usually one of chaos and urban decay, the corresponding view from a home in an integrated township is one of greenery, orderliness and unpolluted air. No wonder, then, that the younger and smarter generation of luxury home buyers today prefers the benefits of contemporary luxury far away from such areas. Integrated townships are their obvious choice.

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.

Pimpri-Chinchwad Among Most Popular Cities On The Internet

– Anil Pharande, Chairman – Pharande Spaces

In a recent discussion with the Times of India group, some interesting trends came to light. With 121 million Indians currently logged in on the internet, and this number is growing at the rate of 25% per annum. More and more Indians are logging in and relying on the Internet to meet their needs for information, help them access goods and services, scout for jobs and look for homes and investment opportunities.

The internet has revolutionized the way Indians perceive their world and consume news and information about it, and the rapid growth of smart phone use in the country has only boosted this trend. According to a recent report by HSBC Global Research, India – India’s smartphone penetration stood at just 30% last year, will by 2019 account for 12% of the global smartphone market with a whopping penetration rate of 65%.

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Obviously, media houses like the Times Group have not lost any time in harnessing India’s promising online market. Times Internet, the Times Group’s flagship internet brand, is also India’s largest Indian online group. Naturally, it draws a massive amount of online traffic, and lays claim to over 6.5 billion page views per month. Indiatimes.com alone accounts for 5 million visitors every single month.

Considering that the internet has become the fastest and most trusted medium to reach consumers of real estate, developers will take such statistics very seriously. Over and above other information which is of great interest, real estate developers want to know the demographics of online visitors, and which areas job seekers – who are of course potential real estate buyers – are investigating online.

According to sources at Times Internet, 85% of the monthly visitors to their sites are graduates and 40% of these are post-graduates. 19% of these visitors have an annual income of over Rs. 7 lakh per year. But more interesting than this are the online traffic details for India’s leading cities, because these details reveal which cities potential home buyers are most interested in.

Also, according to the latest statistics available from the Times Group’s indiatimes.com, the Pimpri-Chinchwad draws a mind-boggling monthly traffic of 658273 visitors on. In fact, PCMC ranks among the top 10 cities in terms of search rankings on the Internet. On TOI.com, Pimpri-Chinchwad ranks 4th after Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi, with 21.7 million views per month. In comparison, Pune ranks 9th with only 5.26 million viewers per month.

Online visitors are interested in the PCMC for various reasons, the first of course being job opportunities. This stands to reason, because in terms of job creation, PCMC is significantly ahead of Pune and most other cities in Maharashtra with the exception of Mumbai. The combined employment generated by the Hinjewadi IT Park and the MIDC manufacturing belt has made PCMC a focus area for fresh graduates seeking to build their careers.

PCMC is also among the most prominent search terms for online home hunters. Buyers are attracted by the prospects of living close to their workplaces, the superior infrastructure in PCMC, and the more attractive property prices when compared to most regions in the Pune Municipal Corporation.

The highest number of online searches for real estate within the region are for properties in Puneville, Moshi, Ravet and Chakan, as these areas offer fast access to PCMC’s primary employment centres and also offer superlative returns on investment. Another key terms which features prominently in online home searches are for integrated townships, for which PCMC has extremely famous.

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.

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.

What Is The Ideal Time To Hold And Sell Investment Property?

Anil-PharandeAnil Pharande, CMD – Pharande Spaces
The Indian real estate market is among the most lucrative for making investments. Barring grave global crises such as the most recent one, this market will not go downhill and provide very decent returns to investors.
Before the global financial crisis (GFC) or recession that hit the world in 2008, real estate investors made great profits on properties which they had held for just few months. During the recession itself, property markets plummeted and there were no takers for real estate.
However, this was an unnatural situation – as the situation improved and things came back to normal, real estate market across the world became calmer.  In a normal market scenario, property rates rise at a steady pace and uneven or abrupt rises or declines do not happen.
Types of investors
There are two types of investors into properties – those who look at making a regular rental income and have no plans of exiting the same, and those who look for capital gains. For the latter type, earning good returns requires them to time the sale of the property well. Only when the property has seen decent price appreciation does it make sense to put it on the resale market. The question is – what is the right time to sell?
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Ideal time span to remain invested
This subject is incessantly debated, and there are various opinions on it. However, it is generally agreed that in normal market conditions, the real estate market should be looked at as a long-term investment bet. What this means in real terms is that a good ‘holding period’ for properties purchased for capital appreciation is around three years, with the ideal period being 3-5 years. However, it has actually been seen that the best returns on investment on properties are actually obtained in a period between 5-7 years.
Ideal time for exiting
The perfect time to exit from a real estate investment will actually depend more on one’s expectations than on market conditions. While exiting after three years should ensure decent returns on investment, one would have to extend the horizon if the expectation is for the highest possible profit.
Investors looking for the highest capital gains from their property investments should target residential projects that are under construction, rather than completed projects. The best time to invest in such properties is during the time of launch. Thereafter, while some experts feel that the best time to exit such properties is when the project is nearing completion (or latest when the developer starts handing over possession to buyers); others advise investors to target one year after possession as the perfect exit time.
Which of these horizons make the most sense will really depend on local market conditions such as demand, supply and infrastructure development of the region. Before taking a decision to either buy or sell an investment property, a thorough understanding of the current local property market is in any case de rigueur.

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.