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.

PMC Survey: Half Of Pune Food Business Illegal

A survey conducted by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has found that around 7,737 of 15,449 eateries in the city, including shops selling food products, are running without the permission of the civic body and not following the norms set up by the administration. The civic body has initiated a drive to take legal action against the errant owners.
It is mandatory for people selling food products in any form to take permission from the civic body. The civic body has set up norms for the joints that include restaurants, beer bars, bakery, ice-cream parlour, dairy, grocery shops and paan shop.
Among the various norms, the civic health department issues licences only if there is a clearance from the building permission department, no objection certificate from the fire department, regular payment of property tax, commercial use of water supply. However, ward medical officers and the food inspectors are finding it difficult in executing the action against illegal business at their respective wards.
Read the rest of the article here.

Lonavala, Tourist Destination Near Pune, To Get 1.5 Lakh Sq Ft Mall

Now malls appear to be tracking tourists. A 1.5 lakh sq.ft mall at a cost of Rs 100 crore is coming up in Lonavala, a hilltop tourist destination that is an hour’s drive from Mumbai.
A ‘mall mechanic’ is in the forefront of this development, who says that the research has it that on an average 62,000 visitors come to Lonavala during weekends — Friday through Sunday — annually.
Beyond Squarefeet, a boutique mall advisory company, has bagged the project being developed by Dhanlaxmi Builders and Developers.
“Hill towns like Darjeeling, Mussoorie, Shimla, Nainital, all have a ‘mall road’, while Lonavala, in spite of being frequented by people from Pune and Mumbai, does not have it. We wanted to create a mall which will cater to the local population and also generate business opportunity for the locals,” says Mr Sunil Sangoi, Managing Partner of Dhanlaxmi Developers.
Read the rest of the article here.

Ravet: PCNTDA Delivers The Ultimate Real Estate Investment Destination

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With many tempting locations featuring properties for sale in Pune, what does it take to make a new one stand out? Aundh, Wakad, Baner, Pimple Nilakh, Pimple Saudagar and similar areas have had their heyday.
Now, it is the turn of Ravet, which lies on the North-West side of Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation and Pune. This location is set to become the new paradigm of investment property in Pune. Various significant real estate market drivers have combined to make Ravet the most promising destinations for Pune residential property.
Superior Location
With its development masterminded by the Pradhikaran-Pimpri Chinchwad New Township Development Authority (PCNTDA), Ravet enjoys the benefit of an extremely strategic location on the Pimpri Chinchwad map. It is, in fact, the first town that appears on leaving the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.
This has resulted in it becoming known as the Gateway to Pune; but that is not all there is to it. Ravet is a junction of the old NH4, the Katraj-Dehu Road bypass and the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and is placed advantageously close to the Hinjewadi IT hub and Pimpri-Chinchwad industrial belt.
The residential property investment potential at Ravet is further enhanced by the fact that J.N.N.U.R.M has begun construction of a 45-metre, grade-separated, non-signaled four-lane BRT (Bus Rapid Transport) road at this point. This road, with 40% of the work already completed, will ensure that key area such as Aundh, Pimpri, Chinchwad, Chakan and Talegaon are in easy access from Ravet.
Developer Activity Picking Up
Pharande Spaces and the Rama Group have joined hands at Ravet in launching an integrated residential township called Celestial City. In Pune, township properties are definitely the lifestyle wave of the future. This integrated township, spread over 2.5 million square feet, features futuristic facilities aimed at making it entirely self-sufficient and is going to be developed in three phases.
Since the highest demand in Pune is currently for affordable housing, the first phase targets the middle-income group with 2/3BHK flats ranging in size from 800 to 1200 square feet. These flats are currently priced between Rs. 24 to 34 lakh at the initial offering phase. Taking a cue from this pioneering project, other developers have also acquired land in Ravet, although their projects are yet to be announced.
The Trappings Of A Pune Real Estate Legend
While Ravet’s accessibility is certainly one of its biggest real estate market drivers, it also has a number of very important establishments in its immediate vicinity. These establishments will ensure that any township properties in this area will thrive.
Among them are the famous Aditya Birla Hospital, industrial giants such as the Bajaj Auto manufacturing plant, SKF and Telco, as well as important education establishments like the Indira Institute of Business Management, D.Y. Patil College and Mercedes Benz School.
Of course, the fact that Ravet is so close to the Hinjewadi IT hub is a major factor in terms of real estate investment potential. Ravet, with its upcoming integrated township, will now offer affordable residential property options for software employees from this software hub, as well as to those from the Talegaon MIDC and Chakan MIDC.
As of now, property rates at Ravet are still extremely rational. Rates at township properties tend to be slightly higher owing to the fact that they provide their own infrastructure. Because of this, the appreciation potential for properties in such townships is also much higher than in other projects.
Anil Pharande is President of CREDAI PCMC and Chairman of Pharande Spaces, a leading construction and development firm operating in the PCMC area of Pune, India.
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Commercial Property Booms Again

The commercial property market is finally on an upswing, according to an article in ET Real Estate. Here are some excerpts:

The spell cast by the global meltdown in 2008-09 is finally wearing off, as both office and retail space are back in demand. However, most of the development in 2010 is expected to happen in tier-I cities of NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai, thanks to a new generation of companies that are considering offshoring for the first time in these destinations.
According to global real-estate consultant, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj (JLLM) about 60.9 million square feet (sq ft) of office space is expected to become operational in seven Indian cities — including NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Hyderabad — during 2010. The tier-I cities of NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai are expected to contribute around 74% to this supply.