Pune Real Estate On A High Trajectory

(TOI, Oct 13, 2010)
PUNE: Prices of the city’s residential property are witnessing a rise, if market observations of leading realty research firms are an indication. Rentals of commercial space are also witnessing an upward movement, though the market cannot yet be called a heated one, the firms have said.
Rates in different parts of the city have recorded anything between 15 to 25 per cent rise in the past one year or so, rising customer interest being one of the factors, the observers added.
“As far residential properties are concerned, the sector is moving again for the last six months or so. Previously, we had thought the returning demand will fizzle out by April, but that has not been the case. The impression one gets is that Pune’s home buyers are once again convinced of the long-term potential of their investments,” Mohammed Aslam, Pune head for real estate advisory Jones Lang LaSalle India told TOI.
“I won’t say that the market is back with all guns blazing, but matters have improved considerably. Residential sales and retail lease figures for the month of July 2010 look astonishingly different than from this time last year, Aslam of JLL said.
For mid-income homes, the hottest-selling locations are now in western Pune, he observes. Buyers have the widest choice there because of the large number of projects popping up all over Hinjewadi, Wakad, Pimple Nilakh, Pimple Saudagar, Aundh and Balewadi. Secondly, this influx of projects is serving to keep prices affordable. In western Pune, average residential property rates start at around Rs. 3,200 per sq.ft. and hover around Rs 4,000 per sq.ft. The most popular price tags for homes in these areas are between Rs. 30 to 40 lakh.
Manish Aggarwal, executive director, investment services, Cushman & Wakefield India (C&W), said, “With India’s economic environment showing signs of stability and buoyant growth, coupled with improvement in affordability and access to finance, housing demand in the country is expected to witness a revival in the near future.”
According to the C&W report, Pune is expected to witness the highest demand in residential sector after National Capital Region (NCR) and Mumbai. Pune is estimated to witness a demand of 2,70,000 housing units by 2014, the report says. “The growth in demand for residential units in Pune can be attributed to rapidly growing city population (both migratory & local), coupled with improvement in economic environment with stimulate growth of both IT and manufacturing sectors in this city,” the report adds.
Real estate advisor Ravi Verma, a former official of the National Association of Realtors, said, “The residential market is moving briskly and both high-end and economy segments within the residential sector are doing well. There is however a warning here, that the prices are rising slowly but definitely.”
Offices segment, on the other hand, has yet to pick up speed, as there is a sizeable overhang of stock created or planned prior to the economic slowdown of 2008-09. Verma said the information technology sector which drove most of the deals in the early part of the decade is still slow in absorption of space and so are the retail and commercial spaces.
Aggarwal said, “The overall demand for commercial office space is subdued in comparison to the supply which is estimated to be approximately 400 million sq.ft during 2010 to 2014, implying caution and the need for quality supply at the right prices.” According to him, the demand for retail space across the country is estimated to be 55 million sq.ft; of which the top seven cities will witness approximately 53 per cent.
The total mall supply expected between the period under review is approximately 93 million sq.ft. NCR, followed by Pune, is likely to witness the highest demand-supply gap over the next five years, with supply overshooting demand.

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