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 – India’s Best-Planned Real Estate Market

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Anil Pharande, Chairman – Pharande Spaces

Planning In Real Estate

Planning is an inalienable component of real estate development. This is why buildings are engineered, not built randomly. While developing a project, this means that the builder follows a pre-determined design provided by an architect, who has based his or her design on proven engineering principles.

This planning ensures that the building’s structure has a prescribed foundation depth and distributes weight uniformly so that it can withstand internal and external stresses. The engineering aspect of project design also ensures that living units are proportionate and that the available space within them is optimally used.

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In a residential complex, the planning aspect is extrapolated beyond individual buildings. The architect’s job is to engineer the project in such a manner than the buildings are distributed according to plan across the plot, and that open spaces, parking spaces, internal roads and common utilities are exactly where they are supposed to be. In larger townships, the planning aspect becomes even more involved because of the larger area.

Planned Cities

All these are expected factors when it comes to real estate projects. But when such detailed planning is applied to an entire city, its benefits are vastly magnified. Architects, engineers, town planners, government agencies and builders approach the development of the whole city as though it were one large integrated complex.

This takes a huge amount of planning, coordination, investment and effort, but the results are obviously worth it. This is how the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation came into being. This is what sets it apart from other cities and into the same bracket as other planned municipalities like Chandigarh.

Today, the PCMC is a model city which is the result of careful planning of economic, social and real estate development. Unlike in the other regions in Pune, PCMC’s town planning authorities have scrupulously shielded the city from the ad-hoc development that has paralyzed the rest of Pune. The futuristic thinking and high vigilance that has been employed in developing this region has resulted in an avant-garde satellite city which adds a whole new dimension to the Pune’s real estate market.

Planned Cities Which Began Well And Ended In Chaos

From the start, planning authorities of the PCMC were determined not to repeat the mistakes committed in other cities which were originally meant to be immaculately planned municipalities. They started off on the right note, but the planning aspect soon decayed and gave way to the kind of unregulated growth that has destroyed the urban fabric of most Indian cities today. Some of the examples of failed attempts to produce planned municipalities in India are:

  • West India: Navi Mumbai and the Kalyan-Dombivili and Virar-Vasai belts
  • North India: The Ghaziabad-Gurgaon-Faridabad-Greater Noida corridor
  • South India: Bangalore’s Devanhalli-Yelahanka and Chennai’s Siruseri-Sriperumbadur belts
  • East India: Kolkata’s Rajarhat-Batanagar-Kalyani belt.

In each of the above cases, what had begun as a regulated real estate development process soon turned to a commercial expansion. PCMC on the other hand, adopted a smarter blueprint from the start. No scope had been given to nearsighted development. PCMC was always meant to be the city of the future where residents could enjoy the benefits of 100% infrastructure-based, community-oriented real estate planning and development.

Real Estate Demand Drivers In PCMC

Demand for residential real estate in a successful satellite city is created when there is a right balance of infrastructure, a stress-free lifestyle and employment opportunities. Additionally, there has to be good connectivity to the parent city. In context of PCMC, these are:

  • Road and rail connectivity to Pune
  • Its highly-planned business and industrial zones create countless new jobs every year
  • Infrastructure is vastly superior when compared to Central Pune
  • Real estate development is strictly dictated by a pre-planned urbanization model that ensures high living standards for all

PCMC is a perfect example of how satellite cities can surpass the central city. Here, the retail, commercial and residential markets work together symbiotically to create a winning proposition for end users and investors alike. When compared to Pune, PCMC has a much higher availability of green spaces, superior social fabric and vastly better infrastructure. Thanks to better land availability, PCMC also provides the most opportunities for real estate developers to create large integrated townships, which have are nothing short of a blessing for Pune’s residents.

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.