How India Can Bridge Its Affordable Housing Gap

– Anil Pharande, Chairman – Pharande Spaces

Affordable housing isn’t just about providing homes to those who need the most – it also plays a crucial part in a smoothly-running economy. Sadly, most of the cities across the globe are struggling to offer decent, affordable housing to their citizens. India is not a unique case – the story is the same for both developing and advanced economies. The world is going through an intensive phase of urbanization, but the growth in individual incomes is not keeping pace, and this presents a gloomy picture for the housing situation.

Pharande Vaarivana Pune

Statistics indicate that over the next decade, the number of people adjusting in substandard housing will rise exponentially. Incidentally, India will be among the most challenged nations, unless the government is able to realistically work on its electoral promise of ‘housing for all’.

The ‘affordability gap’ is defined as the difference between the average rent people pay for their homes without having to spend more than 30% of their family income, and the price of acceptable housing units. In India, population growth has obviously triggered a rise in the affordable housing gap, but it by no means the only country with this problem. In the next 10-12 years, the world in general will have to come up with an additional 106 million low-income housing units.

These statistics illustrate a serious problem – how will this rising gap be bridged? In a country like India, what would be the means that will allow the government to support faster affordable home deliveries? Strategically, there would be three primary approaches to resolve the problem, and all are centered on lowered cost of construction, financing, land, maintenance and operations.

Even if individually implemented, each of the three approaches will significantly cut the affordable housing gap, especially in nations like India. If these approaches could be implemented in a tandem, the cost of affordable housing can be decreased by as much as 35-50%, gradually leading to a manageable situation over the next decade.

Freeing Up Developable Land

Land supply is among the most important element in housing prices. It is also responsible for the largest part of the overall investment in buying a home. If the government decides to open up strategic land around urban locations, it could be a huge solution to the rising prices of homes. At the policy level, making this happen is not too complicated either.

Most Indian cities have land parcels that remain unused or underused. In most cases, this land either belongs to the government or local/private authorities. Bringing forward these land parcels for real estate development will greatly help in launching affordable housing projects.

Bringing Down The Cost Of Construction

Compared to other sectors like manufacturing, the construction sector has been relatively stagnant in the past years. One of the reasons for this is lack of innovation – residential projects still use traditional techniques of construction that were used some 50 years ago. This is not the problem of India alone but many countries across the globe.

By replacing obsolete construction techniques with the latest modern innovative technologies, housing prices can be reduced by almost 30% and completion times by as much as 40%. For instance, using pre-fabricated components of construction that are manufactured off the site are a sterling solution. Processes like this, which are already in use in India but not to the required degree, can improve the efficiency of residential building deployment, and significantly augment budget housing supply.

A communal approach to construction materials purchasing by groups of developers who are committed to the cause of affordable housing would also help bring down housing prices.

Lowering The Cost Of Finance

In a cost-sensitive country like India, banking interest rates play a huge role in housing affordability. At the current interest rates, and even given the current subsidies, it is next to impossible for low income earners to get loans to buy homes. Banks and other financial institutions in the public and private domain should introduce encouraging schemes like contractual savings to assist low income earners to gradually accumulate the corpus needed to make down payments on affordable homes. Of course, lower interest rates would greatly help the situation.

Apart from these, the Indian government must also find means to reduce the cost of financing to developers engaged in affordable housing projects. It is encouraging that the new government is already working on its electoral mandate, but there is still no sign of a unified approach to implementation of its goals. Hopefully, we will see more progress being made on the ‘Housing For All’ promise in the future.

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.

PCMC In 25 Years – A Fast Forward Into The Future

Anil-Pharande
 
 
Anil Pharande on his vision and his expectations of the PCMC of the future
The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation follows a real estate model that has proven to be the most progressive and sustainable all over the world. The essence of this model is ‘planned development’ or ‘controlled urbanization’. PCMC is a twin city to Pune, but in that respect is uniquely different. Pune’s real estate development has not followed any sort of plan, and it is not hard to see it as a smaller version of chaotic Mumbai in less than 25 years.
A HOMOGENEOUS, MULTI-FACETED MOSAIC
In the same time span, PCMC will have attained its fullest potential as a model city of the future. Obviously, it will look very different from what we see today. It will have grown exponentially, into a harmonized montage of large industrial units, IT Parks, hotels, shopping and entertainment plazas, educational institutes and healthcare facilities – towering above public parks and gardens and crisscrossed with multi-lane roads and flyovers.
Further, the additional 25,000 acres of land that have come within the PCMC jurisdiction by virtue of the last Development Plan will eventually result in the addition of at least 2 million new homes. These homes will cater to every social stratum of property buyers, from the lower to the high income segments.
HORIZONTAL AND VERTICAL EXPANSION – CREATING A SPECTACULAR SKYLINE
In other words, there will be tremendous – yet controlled – horizontal real estate growth over the next 25 years. Most spaces allocated for residential use will have been utilized for that purpose. But this will not result in an urban jungle, since the PCMC planning blueprint will enforce the maintenance of vast green spaces at all stages of development.
Moreover, the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation will at all times endorse self-sufficient real estate developments such as townships and other integrated residential projects. The authorities have long since recognized that these are the most sustainable and progressive models for optimum real estate growth. These projects will ensure a scientific uniformity to the horizontal growth.
However, even these 25,000 acres will not suffice, since PCMC will have to accommodate a massive demand for housing. The following graph illustrates this point – it charts the population growth in PCMC over the last 25 years, and clearly depicts that this growth has been almost ten-fold (from 200,000 to 2 million).
graphAs the graph below indicates, there is reason to believe that population growth is likely to cross 50 lakhs (5 million)  by 2035
This growth will be fuelled by several factors. On the one hand, there will be a huge requirement for homes from the rapidly growing manufacturing sectors of Pimpri-Chinchwad and the Chakan-Talegaon belt. Chakan itself, though a burgeoning industrial hub, has little to offer by ways of residential facilities. The onus naturally falls on PCMC, which will necessarily be the residential location of choice for the entrepreneurs and employees of these units.
Simultaneously, there will be the spill-over effect from Pune City (which will have reached complete saturation point in the next 25 years). We further have to factor in the ever-increasing migrant population from all over the country, attracted as much by the excellent education institutions as by the varied career opportunities.
The obvious solution lies in growing vertically as well as horizontally. More land will have to come within the purview of planned development, and building heights will need to increase from the currently permitted 70 metres – approximately 22 floors plus parking – to 100 metres or more. FSI, which still currently stagnates at 1, will need to be raised to at least 2, or even 2.5.
In 25 years, PCMC will be a skyscraper city on the lines of Gurgaon.
WORLD-CLASS INFRASTRUCTURE
In most cities, such growth would mean serious infrastructure challenges. We have already seen what happens in a city like Mumbai, where skyscrapers are being built without sufficient parking, connectivity and municipal amenities to support them. However, thanks to the master plan that PCMC will always adhere to, the necessary infrastructure will precede the building of high-rises. I firmly believe that 25 years from now, the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation will serve as a national and even international benchmark for planned, scientific vertical real estate growth.
An essential pre-requisite to support this massive growth is an advanced public transport system. With an eye on this future requirement, PCMC has adopted a model similar to Ahmedabad’s Janmarg – a scientifically designed BRT-based  public transport system spanning 130 km across 14 routes in PCMC. This system involves 4-lane wide, exclusive roads with grade separators that will reduce the dependence on private transport in favour of more efficient public transport. This, in turn, will result in smooth traffic flow, less road blocks, radically lower pollution levels and a healthier, energy-conserving environment. To ensure that there are no hitches in the development of this lifeline, the PCMC has established an Urban Transport Fund for its funding.
Another pre-requisite for efficient transport is more connecting roadways. A ring road is on the drawing boards, but that will become truly effective only with the implementation of a hub-and-spoke road network. To illustrate this point, there are currently only two arterial roads connecting Pune with Pimpri-Chinchwad, and only two connecting Pimpri-Chinchwad with Chakan. These cannot sustain the enormous increase in vehicular traffic that industrial and residential growth will generate.
Again, it is my opinion that this alone may not suffice to cater to the public transport needs that will emerge over the next two decades. I personally feel that an elevated skybus or monorail network or even an underground rail network will be called for.
THE ULTIMATE GAMECHANGERS
I cannot end these musings without mentioning the new international airport being planned near Rajgurunagar and the International Convention Centre at Moshi, which will cover a sprawling 200 acres. The Convention Centre alone will spawn a huge tourism, hospitality and retail boom which will convert PCMC into a major urban destination both within and outside Maharashtra, perhaps second only to Mumbai. Global hotel chains will have redefined the hospitality sector, and the shopping centres will be populated by marquee retail brands.
In fact, the next two decades are surely going to see PCMC being catapulted into the international Big League, giving it a distinct global identity in its own right.
Anil Pharande is President, CREDAI – PCMC and Chairman, Pharande Spaces, one of the most innovative developers in Pimpri-Chinchwad

Pune Property: The Power of Location

What are the factors that make a residential project popular? Speaking in contemporary real estate terms, there are some fundamentals:
1. The builder’s brand equity
2. Attractive elevation, with tempting amenities
3. Competitive property rates
4. Location
One could argue that a builder’s brand, driven by reputation and prestige, shouldn’t be a major consideration. However, the fact is that a well-known developer’s banner sells project simply because it is a trusted name on the market. Such a builder is known for quality construction, clean titles, decent property rates and overall transparency.
Of course, elevation and amenities count for a lot, too. After all, a property is basically defined by its physical characteristics. Attractive rates certainly matter, but one should not have to forgo basic quality, aesthetics and proper amenities just for lower rates. However, since Pune is a city of passionate bargain-hunters, this is what often happened in the past – buyers overlooked the fact that a cheaply-priced property does not really appeal.
Fortunately, these days Pune property buyers have become aware that neighbouring Pimpri-Chinchwad offers residential projects that are vastly superior to anything that Pune has to offer – at much lower rates, and in far more pleasant surroundings.
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Which brings me to location – the last but certainly not the least consideration in my list above, and the primary topic I want to address here. Location is a vitally important factor to consider while buying a home in Pune. In fact, location should be a priority consideration.
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What gives location such power on the Pune property market? Take the area near the Pune International Convention Center in Pimpri Chinchwad, for instance. Obviously, a location that is now so popular with property buyers from both Pune and the PCMC area does not win its reputation in a lottery. There are qualifying aspects involved. It is home to the integrated residential project called Woodsville, and is very favourably connected in terms of public transport. The roads are wide and spacious, ensuring that traffic bottlenecks cannot happen. There is ready and limitless availability of water, the scenery is a homebuyer’s dream come true and the development in this area is carefully regulated.
The last point is very significant – regulated town planning ensures a sufficient amount of
open spaces and prevents cluttering. In other words, homeowners in Woodsville are assured that what they see from their windows and terraces today is exactly what they will see ten years down the line. Another developer cannot buy up the plot in front of their unit and build some kind of monstrosity there. The massive green cover is being maintained for ecological reasons, so the generations to come will breathe the same unpolluted air.
The fact that this area is within easy reach of a number of crucial points within Pune as well as from important cities like Mumbai and Nasik has contributed to its popularity. In other words, location – especially from the point of view of a Pune property buyer – should be seen both from both a present and future perspective.
Anil Pharande is President of CREDAI PCMC and Chairman of Pharande Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that develops integrated residential projects in the PCMC area of Pune, India.
On the Pune Property Blog he discusses the market fundamentals that drive one of Pune’s most dynamically emerging real estate investment destination.
You may reprint or quote this article with full credit to the author and a link back to PunePropertyBlog.com

Woodsville — The Perfect Integrated Residential Complex In PCMC

Woodsville, the ultra-modern integrated residential complex in Pune’s burgeoning twin city of PCMC, is a home-owner’s most cherished fantasy transformed into larger-0than-life reality. At Woodsville, you and your family can finally live life to the fullest. An exclusive, fully facilitated and self-sufficient 50-acre community, Woodsville is actually your very own town within a city.
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Rising twelve, eighteen and twenty two storeys high against a vista of green gardens, Woodsville consists of stately buildings housing 1, 2 & 3 BHK apartments. The striking façade is an arresting combination of elegance & individuality in communion with nature.
The Great Outdoors At Your Doorstep
The large podium garden is the centerpiece, where children can make merry in complete safety, and senior citizens can enjoy leisurely walks or get together with their neighbours, savouring the peaceful ambience. A clubhouse with indoor games, a swimming pool and cool water bodies afford healthy recreation options. The towers form a classic backdrop to this pastoral mosaic.
Spaces To Luxuriate In
The apartments, which reflect the magnitude of Woodsville, are generously sized, ranging from spacious 1 BHKs admeasuring 665 sq.ft. , large 2BHKs of 913 to 1033 sq.ft. up to enormous 1,601 sq.ft. 3 BHKs. Living spaces are laid out to receive plenty of natural light and fresh air making every homecoming a welcome experience.
Click here to learn more about Woodsville

The Real Estate Magic of Integrated Residential Projects

When you are setting out to purchase the home you always dreamed of and saved for, you obviously wanted something more than just an orphaned, anonymous set of walls in some congested city center. The problem is, that’s all that most residential projects in India offer these days. There is a lot more to the perfect home than good construction, layout and fittings – a residential property needs supporting social and physical infrastructure to become a suitable home. Moreover, the beleaguered city dweller’s heart yearns for the sight of greenery, open spaces and fresh air.
After all, we want our children to grow up in better conditions than we possibly experienced at their age…
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In Pune, integrated townships have been seen as the answer to these requirements. However, land constraints, zoning laws and the budgetary considerations that govern property buyers in many areas often do not make the integrated township model feasible.
A more practical and feasible alternative is Integrated Residential Projects. Like integrated townships, this more compact and serviceable model offers home buyers everything they need for a comfortable and healthy lifestyle. Children have enough room to play in, and both they and their parents are free from the stress, noise and pollution of central urban life. Such projects have schools, shopping and entertainment facilities, healthcare and easy access to public transport.
Also (very importantly) they are a boon to people who wish to live in a non-urban environment while attending to their jobs in the workplace catchments of the city. They get a dream location, excellent infrastructure and a lot more.
Residential real estate investors, on their part, can capitalize on the higher demand – and therefore the higher ROI (returns on investment) that such properties offer. The higher investment potential of homes in integrated residential projects stems from the fact that they are self-sufficient and self-sustaining. A direct outcome of this is that the resale value of such properties is as good as immune to market volatility. Because of the diversified nature of such projects, they represent a very low risk to property investors, even while they benefit from the larger upside potential despite low entry costs.
Builders who cater to the demand for integrated residential projects face quite few challenges. After all, they have to provide the advantages of integrated townships while having to forgo the considerable incentives that the Indian Government offers for the development of larger townships. Therefore, the initial capital required is extremely steep – right from land acquisition to the providing of physical and social infrastructure.
The integrated residential project concept is just beginning to emerge on the Indian real estate landscape. One of the areas where it has been successfully implemented is Pune’s sister city – the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation. One of the primary reasons for the success of the integrated residential projects in the PCMC areas of Pradhikaran and Ravet is the fact that these are located very close to vital workplace hubs such as the MIDC and Hinjewadi, Pune’s software hub. This, coupled with the advantages of having ‘everything inside’, has contributed to the demand for homes in such projects.
Anil Pharande is President of CREDAI PCMC and Chairman of Pharande Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that develops ultra-modern integrated residential projects 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

Free Parking Space Norm In Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation

Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation is the first civic body in the state to come up with a decision under which buyers of residential apartments get free parking space.
On June 11, 2009, the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) declared that no building permission plans will be sanctioned if the builders refuse to provide free parking space to apartment buyers across the twin industrial township.
This was after a series of reports in Pune Newsline, highlighting the Bombay High Court which had ruled that builders cannot sell parking space and that it should be made available to the flat buyers free of cost.

Celestial City: Ravet’s Pride Is Right On Schedule

Celestial City, the unique 25-acre integrated township by Pharande Spaces and Rama Group, is now in the second phase of construction. As planned, this premium apartments complex at Ravet, PCMC is transforming the real estate topography of an area known as the Gateway to Pune.
celestial-city-ravet-roads1
Celestial City has been conceived as a completely self-sufficient residential microcosm that will offer its residents absolutely everything by way of a comfortable lifestyle.  That blueprint is now rapidly being transformed into reality as construction enters the next phase.
The location of Celestial City couldn’t be better – it was planned as both the ultimate residential destination and a sure-fire investment hotspot. Ravet is located at the confluence of the old NH4, the Dehu Road- Katraj bypass and the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.
celestial-city-phase-two
Its ready accessibility, as well as proximity to vital establishments, has earned it the distinction of being one of the most prominent growth corridors on the Pune real estate market.
Because of its unique location, invigoratingly green spaces and affordable residential property options, Celestial City is now attracting a huge demand from executives working in Hinjewadi, Pimpri-Chinchwad, the Talegaon MIDC and Chakan MIDC.
With Phase II of Celestial City now in active progress, the project is well on the way to completing the planned roster of 2000+ units at this avant-garde budget homes project.
celestial-city-sample-flat
Celestial City is backed by the experience and impeccable track record of two leading development concerns. Pharande Spaces, the residential property trendsetters in Pimpri-Chinchwad, already have several landmark projects to their credit – including the award winning Culture Crest.
To date, Pharande Spaces have completed residential projects in excess of 1.5 million square feet. Likewise, Rama Group’s professionalism and expertise have led to the completion of 23 projects that cumulatively account for 5 million square feet of construction.
The fact that Celestial City is fully underwritten by the country’s leading financial institutions ensured a smooth, seamless construction flow even during the worst of the recent recession. With Phase II on schedule, Ravet’s crowing glory has taken a decisive step towards final completion.
When two real estate giants join hands to create the City of the Future, the outcome can be nothing less than magical….

celestial-city-archA masterpiece in the making

celestial-city-sample-flat-livingroom
K. D. Nagarkar is a blogger and freelance journalist who specializes in real estate and environmental issues. He keenly follows the development of integrated township properties and other sustainable projects in and around Maharashtra.
You may reprint or quote this article with full credit to the author and a link back to PunePropertyBlog.com

Pimpri Chinchwad: The Evolution Of A Pune Real Estate Paradise

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If you are new to this new Pune real estate boomtown – Pimpri Chinchwad, you need to know that its a modern twin city situated South-East of Mumbai, in the North – West quadrant of Pune.
Pimpri Chinchwad also happens to be the fifth-most populated city of Maharashtra and has long been famous for being one of the most prominent industrial destinations outside Mumbai.
The twin cities of Pimpri-Chinchwad, governed by the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), are located 15 km from the Pune city centre. They form a continuous urban stretch, adding to the overall Pune Urban Agglomeration, and contain a thriving industrial belt that primarily consists of engineering and automobile industries.
In fact, PCMC and Pune, when viewed as a unified geographical unit, make up one of India’s largest industrial areas. Pimpri-Chinchwad has contributed a lot to the fact that Pune is the second-largest industrial city in Maharashtra after Mumbai. That fact alone has already spelt gold in terms of the Pune property market – but there’s a lot more.
Let me tell you a bit more about this new real estate boomtown, and why it has come so much into the limelight. As we know, location is everything in the real estate market – both in terms of connectivity to the primary city and pleasantness of environment.

Pimpri-Chinchwad: Location And Connectivity

Pimpri-Chinchwad is situated on the Deccan Plateau and is surrounded by hills.  It rises 560 meters above the mean sea level, near the confluence of Mula and Mutha rivers. Moreover, the Pavna River traverses the city, with the Indrayani River cutting through it on the north-western outskirts.
Accessibility by road is excellent, to say the least. Pimpri Chinchwad is situated on the confluence of NH-4 (the Mumbai-Bangalore highway) and NH-50 (the Pune-Nasik highway).
In fact, the PCMC area boasts of an extensive network of national highways to major cities like Mumbai (163 km), Nasik (202 km), Nagpur (880 km), Bangalore (835 km), Chennai (1166 km) and Hyderabad (548 km).
Railways are an important ingredient of economic growth, and Pimpri Chinchwad is located on the Mumbai-Pune mail line. It has broad-gauge, direct connectivity to Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad.
The Pune airport, which is just 20 km  away, has regular direct flights to New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad (not to mention direct flights to Dubai and Singapore).

Industries in Pimpri-Chinchwad

The Pimpri-Chinchwad area is home to over 4000 industrial units in the large, medium and small sectors, these include some of the most reputed industrial companies of the country. Needless to say, this makes it one of the most developed industrial belts in Maharashtra.
Where did it all begin? With the arrival of Hindustan Antibiotics in 1954. The establishment of this public sector pharmaceutical company proved to be a major catalyst, and PCMC saw rapid industrialisation over the next few years.
To prepare the region for the boom to come, the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) procured large tracts of land in 1956, and in no time at all multinationals like SKF and Phillips, and Indian giants like Tata and Bajaj set up major units here.
Today, PCMC industrial portfolio includes a large number of engineering units as well as a number of other industries such as pharmaceuticals, chemicals and telecommunications.
With such a scale of industrial development, the PCMC area emerged as a major employment treasure trove, and the population grew exponentially. Today, Pimpri- Chinchwad is a metropolis in its own right, and is rightfully considered Pune’s sister city.

Climactic Magic in Pimpri-Chinchwad

The PCMC area has invigorating climate throughout the year, thanks to it high altitude, moderate rainfall and a green cover that Pune cannot even begin to compare with. The monsoon arrives in during first week of July and extends to mid-September.
In this period, PCMC witnesses an average annual rainfall is 700-800 mm. The maximum relative humidity during the rainy season is 70-80%, and falls as low as 30% on summer afternoons.
This is as close to a perfect climactic setup as one can achieve anywhere in Maharashtra, and is one of the main reasons why so many people from various regions choose to settle down here.

Ready For A Home In PCMC?

Pimpri-Chinchwad is now an extremely popular residential destination, which is why real estate development here has picked up rapidly over the last three to four years.
One of the most important features of the PCMC residential property market is the fact that it features large and amazingly modern integrated residential projects. Homes in these projects offer everything required for a comfortable lifestyle within them – often at half the property rates prevailing in Pune.

Anil 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

Criminal Cases Against Those Poaching On PCNTDA Land

PUNE: The Pimpri-Chinchwad New Township Development Authority (PCNTDA) has decided to lodge criminal cases against those encroaching on its land. The action is primarily aimed at building contractors.
Suhas Divse, chief executive officer of the PCNTDA, said the authority will demolish such constructions and the cost for such action will be recovered from encroachers.
Notices have already been sent to 22 property owners, who have illegally built structures after August 1, 2009. “We will give them time to wind up, but if they fail to do so, the PCNTDA will remove them. So far, very few cases have been registered. But now onwards we will lodge criminal cases against all such people,” Divse said.
A joint drive will soon be initiated with help from the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation. Divse said the PCNTDA is planning to strengthen its anti-encroachment squad. “At present, there are 50 guards in the squad. We will hire 50 more. Two engineers on deputation have been attached to the squad. A deputy collector level official will head the squad,” he said.
The PCNTDA was constituted by the state to provide affordable housing to industrial workers and the poor. For the purpose, land was acquired from 10 villages namely Nigdi, Bhosari, Chikhli, Akurdi, Ravet, Kalewadi, Chinchwad, Thergaon, Rahatni and Wakad.
The state was to acquire 4,323 hectare of land, but the PCNTDA has only 1,627 hectare in its possession. It did not take quick possession of land in villages of Chinchwad, Kalewadi, Thergaon, Rahatni and Wakad. As a result, farmers sold off their land to migrant workers who have constructed their houses on it.
Authorities say nearly 15,000 such constructions have been identified. “We have sent a proposal to regularise all unauthorised constructions made on PCNTDA land before August 1, 2009. The state government has to take a decision on it,” he said.
Incidentally, owners of houses in Yamunanagar area of Nigdi-Pradhikaran have extended their buildings on open spaces.
Read the rest of this article here.

Affordable Housing: The New Buzzword In India’s Real Estate Industry

The new buzzword in the country’s real estate industry today is ‘affordable housing’. Developers stung by a credit crunch, besides the drop in demand for commercial spaces and premium residences in recent times, have turned their focus to the middle-class segment.
Due to weak demand in commercial and retail segments, most developers have started looking at the affordable residential segment to maintain cash flow in order to meet their contractual obligations. Further, with buyers being extremely price conscious, the demand for affordable housing is on the rise.
A Relative Term
A simple definition for affordability can be — the consumers’ ability to purchase. However, this is a relative term. The idea of affordability may vary from individual to individual as well as from place to place. For example, what is considered affordable to a home seeker in Pune may not be affordable to someone else in Mumbai.
With the common man (read middle-class segment) constituting nearly 70 per cent of the demand for housing, we shall keep our understanding of ‘affordability’ limited to that which is deduced by the aam aadmi.
Affordable housing refers to residential units offered by developers at prices that are within the budget of low- and middle-income groups of a society. The housing units should also have all the basic amenities to cater to the daily needs of the household.
Monthly carrying costs of an affordable home should not exceed 30 per cent of the household gross income. Affordability is quantified by household income and price of the product.
Demand Growth
With the ever-increasing urban population, demand for affordable housing is witnessing a constant rise. According to recent a Planning Commission report, the shortage in urban housing as on March 2007 was estimated ar around 24.71 million.
The report went on to say that this shortage would to 26.5 million by 2012. Ninety nine per cent of this shortfall comes from the economically weaker sections (EWS) and low-income groups (LIG).
With real estate players witnessing a credit crisis, several of their big projects have come to a halt. Considering the huge demand in the affordable housing segment — which is relatively insulated — developers have now increased their focus on the fortune at the bottom of the pyramid.
An estimated 450 new projects have been launched, or are expected to be launched, in the affordable housing sector from big and small developers across the country.
Read the rest of the article here.