Puneville: Redefining luxurious living with a dash of modern lifestyle

Pharande Vaarivana Pune

Pharande Vaarivana Pune

With the Pune real estate market now counting among the most vibrant and attractive property investment destinations in the country, the focus is now squarely on which regions and real estate typologies are in highest demand by end users and investors. West Pune has emerged as a clear winner. One of the major global industrial hubs, West Pune is a dynamic economic generator drawing power from its massive cluster of mechanical, automotive and information technology clusters.

Pharande Vaarivana Pune

Integrated townships have become the most preferred residential real estate configuration in Pune, and Punawale in West Pune is now home to what is by far the most luxurious as well as future-ready townships of its kind. Puneville, the masterpiece of luxurious township living by Pharande Spaces, has completely redefined the West Pune real estate landscape. Conceived and executed in partnership with globally acclaimed architects Aedas, this ultra-luxurious project is the culmination of Pharande Spaces’ constant quest towards perfection in township development.

Pharande Vaarivana Pune

Puneville has been created to be the penultimate statement in luxurious township living,” says Anil Pharande, Chairman – Pharande Spaces. “We have spared no effort, expense or stretch of imagination to make it the most desirable residential address in Pune, and we have succeeded. The response from end users and investors has been unprecedented. By design and intent, Puneville is a unique creation that has no peers. Here in West Pune, we have given the city its ultimate real estate destination.”

Puneville consists of 16 towers, each with 23 storeys of uniquely crafted living spaces. In keeping with its elite ethos, its 2, 3 and 4BHK apartments are equipped with highest quality fittings, fixtures and marble flooring, sourced from leading manufacturers in Europe and Asia. The outdoor perfectly complements the interiors with every conceivable luxury feature, including Olympic-sized swimming pools for every cluster of buildings, landscaped gardens, tennis courts and a jogging track.

Puneville also features a completely unique sky walkway that circumnavigates the residential towers, effectively connecting all the towers to a central green area and children play zones.

Pharande Vaarivana Pune

Is Pune ready for such a luxurious, futuristic township?

“Absolutely,” says Anil Pharande. “Luxury living in Pune is driven primarily by its burgeoning Information Technology sector – and in terms of what buyers from this segment expect from their luxury homes, the stakes are extremely high. At the same time, integrated townships have emerged as the most desirable residential real estate offering, since they offer self-contained and self-sustained infrastructure as well as all the ingredients of a modern, convenient lifestyle. Puneville is the perfect marriage of residential luxury in a full-fledged township environment in West Pune, which is now the city’s most sought-after real estate investment precinct.”

Mar 28 2015 : The Times of India (Pune)

Festive Season: Tips On Freebies And Offers On Property

– Anil Pharande, Chairman – Pharande Spaces

In Maharashtra, Diwali is definitely the time of choice for property buyers to invest in their dream home. In fact, property buyers look forward to this festival to sign the papers on their homes because this city cherishes this traditional time of investing in the future.

Pharande Vaarivana PuneObviously, builders also respond to the vastly improved market sentiments and do all they can to sustain them. During the Diwali period, property buyers will be presented with a slew of offers which developers introduce to induce sales. The Diwali period this year will see a lot of such activity, because property developers are eager to create sufficient interest in their projects. The residential property market has seen slackness over the preceding months, and Diwali is the time that developers have been looking forward to as much as property buyers.

The question here is – do such ‘freebies’ constitute real value for property buyers? The answer to this does not depend solely on what is being offered. It is a normal market phenomenon for incentives to be offered during the festive season, but property buyers should consider the actual value of the property.

They should be cautious about extravagant freebies and take a close look at the factors that add or reduce value in the case of real estate. If the project is by a developer known for sub-standard construction, or if it is located in a ‘blind spot’ of the local real estate market, no amount of freebies can compensate. The property itself will not represent a good investment, and the buyer will not benefit in the long run.

Another aspect to watch out for is freebies being offered for properties in over-priced projects. At a time when property buyers seek the best options for their money, getting a free car along with an overpriced flat does not make sense. If the flats in this project do not represent good value for money, freebies will not improve the situation. If a buyer wants to buy a flat in Pune such a project, it is best to negotiate for a better price than to accept freebies – or ask for them in addition to a discount.

Home buyers should especially beware of freebies being offered by investors who have put their money into properties in locations that are known to be ‘overheated’ (in other words, where rates have been artificially inflated by excessive investor activity). In such cases, freebies are meant to act as psychological encouragements to make an unwise property purchase.

There are certain incentives that buyers can definitely take seriously. These are not in the form of cars or vacations, but represent actual savings to them. Such incentives include:

  • Reduced down-payments to book flats, with balance payable on possession, resulting in an extension of the period between booking and full payment. Normally, buyers would have to pay the balance as the building progresses
  • Waiver on stamp duty, VAT and registration charges
  • Free or significantly reduced clubhouse memberships
  • Free parking, furnishing, interior decoration and smart home features (which would otherwise be charged for)
  • Waiver on premium for floor-rise

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. Woodsville in Moshi is another highly successful PCMC-based township by Pharande Spaces which is now in its 3rd phase.

Infrastructure: The Key Real Estate Investment Criterion

– Anil Pharande, CMD – Pharande Spaces

We keep hearing the term ‘market drivers’ being used in real estate. What are they? Market drivers can be defined as developments in an area that increase the value of living there. It is a well-established fact that infrastructure is by far the most important driver for real estate demand and property appreciation growth.

Infrastructure can take many forms. It includes road development to boost connectivity of a location, civic infrastructure such as dedicated water and electricity supply, public gardens, etc. that increases the quality of living in the area, and social infrastructure such as schools, colleges and healthcare, which result in shorter travelling time to such very essential services.

Pharande Vaarivana Pune

Infrastructure must be put in place either before or along with other real estate development. Attempts to put it in place retrospectively create the kind of mess that we can see in many of our cities today. The building of flyovers and road widening are attempted in highly congested areas, disrupting the flow of normal activity and taking ages to be built, causing great inconvenience and massive costs to the city because of the incessant delays.

Building infrastructure is like growing trees – in both cases, there needs to be enough space for them to grow, and sufficient opportunity for a root network to deploy. Without space and depth, neither trees nor infrastructure can grow and flourish. If we take the case of Pune as an example, we can see that building infrastructure as an afterthought to real estate development, rather than as a precursor, does not really work well.

Pune’s haphazard development in the past has not been favourable for decent infrastructure deployment to complement its rapid development on other fronts. Battling severe constraints, Pune’ development authorities are doing their best to counter the ill-effects of unregulated development which has so far been taking place.

Pharande Vaarivana Pune

We are seeing some good results in building support infrastructure, but the Pune Municipal Corporation is actually a losing battle. This is amply illustrated by the fact that the Pune Municipal Corporation is not able to provide suitable parking, traffic management solutions and utilities supply despite enormous investments.

Guidelines For Homebuyers & Investors

  • The infrastructure of a location is a major focus area for property investors for a very good reason. Real estate investors want to attract end-users, either as rental or purchase clients, to the properties. They know that an area without sufficient infrastructure will be unattractive to their clients, because the quality of living quotient is low.
  • Again, properties in areas without good infrastructure tend to have cheaper property rates for a reason. Developers with projects in such locations know that the area has little or nothing to say for itself in terms of quality of life. The only way they can hope to sell their projects is to offer very attractive rates.
  • Buyers should place infrastructure availability prominently on their checklist while scouting for suitable homes. Road and rail connectivity, water supply, proximity of schools, hospitals and shopping outlets are of paramount importance. Buying a home cheaply if the location does not offer these is meaningless, and will give cause for regret.
  • If one is buying a property purely as a long-term investment and primarily for capital appreciation, one can afford to be a bit philosophical about existing infrastructure. After all, one is not planning to live there and does not expect very fast appreciation. As long as there is a reasonable assurance that it will arrive in the foreseeable future, it makes sense to invest in a property located in an emerging area where infrastructure is in its nascent stages.
  • However, if one is buying the property in order to generate rental income, existing infrastructure is far more important than upcoming infrastructure. People looking for rental options are also looking for a certain ease and dignity of living. They are willing to put the option of buying a home aside so that they can live in a good home in a good location on rent.
  • Where the option exists, give a high preference to townships over all other options. While checking out townships, ensure that they are located in areas which have a good saturation of support infrastructure as well. Most large Indian cities now have township projects coming up.
  • In Pune, the infrastructure-rich Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation is attracting the highest number of buyers and investors of township properties. In other parts of the country, Navi Mumbai and the Kalyan-Dombivli and Vasai-Virar belts are becoming important township hubs.
  • In Delhi NCR, the areas to look at for townships are Ghaziabad, Faridabad and Greater Noida. In Bangalore, the growth hubs for townships are Yelahanka and Devanhalli, and in Chennai they include Sriperumbadur, Perambur, the OMR belt and Anna Nagar.

About The Author:

Pharande Vaarivana PuneAnil 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.

More Scope For Green Development In PCMC

The PCMC is one of the pioneering regions in the country to embrace the concepts and principles of sustainable development, and I myself have always been a strong advocate for the green way of life.

Pharande Vaarivana PuneThe use of green building technology, non-conventional energy sources and sustainable waste water management does not only have a positive impact on the environment but also on the overall quality of our lives. Moreover, adoption of sustainable building and living practices reduce the strain on municipal resources, resulting in significant revenue savings which can then be used to build better infrastructure and provide even more services to the people.

I would like to touch on PCMC’s major thrust towards sustainable real estate development. It is no secret that green development is the future of real estate all over the world. In fact, many of the bigger residential townships and commercial complexes in the PCMC have already adopted the ‘green development’ mantra. Many of the developers active here have started to take sustainable real estate development seriously and begun launching Green Homes.

To date, there are around 60 registered green buildings completed or under construction in the PCMC. The new PCNTDA building itself is a resounding statement to how important sustainable development has become to the city.

Obviously, the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation is taking its mission to provide cleaner, greener homes to its citizens very seriously. But I must also add that we still have a long way to go. In my opinion, there is still not enough enthusiasm within the region about the benefits of green homes and workplaces. One of the reasons for this is lack of awareness.

And despite all the progress that has been made, there should be more determination by the PCMC to encourage and promote developers who are taking the Green cause seriously. I still see a great deal of disconnect between developers, agencies like GRIHA, the environment department and the building permissions agencies. Permissions for green buildings should be fast-tracked and be given preferential status. But this is still not to be seen, and it is quite disappointing.

Such disconnect is not worthy of a mighty and progressive municipality like the PCMC. Everything that happens here should be a benchmark for other regions to follow. The PCMC should be the most encouraging and determined of all the regions to promote and develop green real estate. There should be attractive incentives for both developers and consumers of green real estate. Only in such an environment can we hope to see PCMC become and remain the leader in sustainability.

I look forward to an era when this will happen, so that everyone associated with the PCMC can benefit and be proud of its efforts. This is my vision for a better tomorrow for the citizens and all stakeholders of PCMC, India’s most progressive municipal corporation. Jai Hind. Jai Maharashtra.

About The Author:

Pharande Vaarivana PuneAnil 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.

Punawale Now: Taking West Pune Real Estate To The Next Level

Pharande Vaarivana PuneTaking West Pune Real Estate To The Next Level

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

BRTS Premium Row: CREDAI Supports GB Resolution For Rate Reduction

(Pune Mirror, October 12, 2010)
The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has invited objections and suggestions for the reduction in the BRTS premium rates that have been passed by the general body (GB) of the municipal corporation.
More importantly, the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI) has come out in favour of the proposed reduction in premium rates effectively pitting the builder lobby against municipal commissioner.
Anil-Pharande
 
 
Anil Pharande, president, CREDAI Pimpri Chinchwad unit, said, “The premium rates decided earlier are very high and not practical. It will increase the cost of construction. Suppose, the rate for TDR is Rs 700 per sq ft and then PCMC asks us to pay a premium of Rs 900 per sq ft.
This itself adds up to Rs 1600 per sq feet to the overall cost. Hence, it is necessary to reduce the premium rates. The current proposal to charge 25 per cent of the ready reckoner rate is appropriate.”
In August, the PCMC GB passed a resolution to reduce the premium charges to 25 per cent of the ready reckoner rate for allowing extra FSI. The ready reckoner rate is the rate of the land decided by the government, which is generally very less as compared to the market rate of the land in that area. So, the premium cost would also come down substantially.
After the suggestions and objections have been tabled, the proposal would be sent to the State government for approval. The issue had created quite a furore, after Opposition members alleged that the reduction in premium would cause loss of thousands of crores of rupees in revenue to PCMC. Sharma had remarked then that the GB is asking for a drastic reduction in premium rates, which, in his view, should not be done.
The PCMC had planned eight BRTS corridors in PCMC and would be spending in excess of Rs 2,100 crore for consructing these. The PCMC would be spending around 30 to 40 per cent of this amount, while the rest would be funded under JNNURM by the Central and the State governments.
So, to recover to construction cost of these roads, PCMC is allowing 0.8 extra FSI upto 100 metres on each side of the BRTS roads. For giving this extra FSI, PCMC would charge premium rates of 300,600,900 per sq. ft in A,B,C zones in PCMC. The state government also approved the proposal.
“PCMC had earlier given the powers of deciding the rates of BRTS premium to the municipal commisioner and the administration. But they made a blunder and proposed very high premium rates, which would make construction costs unviable.
The rates that have been passed by the general body now are appropriate. We expect the State government to give approval to the same in the next two to three months.”
Current Development Control Rule
TDR generated from any of the zone, from the sanctioned development plan (DP) of old and extended limit shall be allowed in the BRT corridor on payment of premium charges, which should not be less than what is decided by the general body (GB).
These premium charges are to be decided by the PCMC Commisioner from time to time. Premium shall not be charged for the 0.4 FSI of road widening area of the receiving plot
Modification Proposed
TDR generated from any of the zone, from the sanctioned DP of old and extended limit shall be allowed in the BRT corridor on payment of premium charges, and the said premium shall not be charged as per the policy sanctioned by the govt but shall be charged at the rate of 25 per cent of the govt ready reckoner rate of the receiving plot. Premium shall not be charged for the 0.40 FSI of road widening area of the receiving plot.

Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) Launches Unique Health Smart Card Scheme

(Indian Express, Oct 12 2010)
The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) on Monday launched its unique health smart card scheme. The first health card was issued for Mayor Yogesh Behl.
Municipal Commissioner Asheesh Sharma said health smart cards are aimed at doing away with tedious paper work. “Once the registration process and issue of health cards to patients gather momentum, we will gradually stop issuing case papers. The era of paperless hospitals is dawning in town,” he said.
Health cards, he said, would save a lot of time for patients who had to queue up for getting case papers and then lining up before the doctor. Sharma said every member of a family would get a health card.
The civic chief said the health smart cards are web-based which means the patients’ history can be obtained even by a doctor sitting in the US or UK. “Any doctor in the country or outside would be able to get the history of the patient from Pimpri-Chinchwad through Internet,” said Sharma. Pimpri-Chinchwad has a population of 15 lakh.
PCMC health chief Dr Nagkumar Kunachgi said the software for the health cards have been designed by Amruta Technology. “This year, we have a budget of Rs 3.75 crore for the health smart cards, including software and hardware,” he said.
Dr Anand Jagdale, medical superintendent of Yeshwantrao Chavan Medical Hospital, where the registration of patients and other details began, said, “The health smart cards would initially be issued only at YCM Hospital for Rs 20,” he said. Dr Jagdale said a patient coming with a health card will have also his details stored on the computer.
“If the doctor asks him to go for an X-ray, he won’t require a case paper. He will simply have to go to the X-ray depatment and the doctor will forward the details to the department,” he said. Dr Jagdale said initially the doctors will find a little more work load, but in the course of time, they will get used to it.
Dr Nagkumar said after YCM Hospital, the health smart cards will be issued at all other seven PCMC hospitals.

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.
woodsville-1-1478
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.
location1-150x150
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

Pune Real Estate: Back On Track

Mohammed-Aslam-102x150
 
Mohammed Aslam
Around this time last year, I remember sitting at this very desk and wondering just where we were headed. When July 2009 rolled by, it would have taken a long stretch of imagination to claim that Pune’s real estate market still had its previous potential. I was looking down at the figures and recall feeling quite worried.
I didn’t have to be an economist to know what had happened. Because of the recession, America had put a stranglehold on the IT industry. Software professionals were returning from Silicon Valley by the planefuls, not sure of what to do next. Pune’s real estate market is not a one-trick pony, and it doesn’t rely only on IT expansion and software salaries, but the market was still hurting. More people than ever before were choosing to stay in rental accommodation rather than buy homes, and the corporate sector seemed to be doing little more than holding its breath and doing damage control.
One of my greatest worries was the slew of malls that was going to hit the market at a time when it was probably at its lowest ever. Who were we going to populate them with, both in terms of retailers and customers?
I won’t say that the market is back with all guns blazing, but matters have improved considerably now. The residential sales and retail lease figures for the month of July 2010 look astonishingly different than from this time last year. I always tend to look at retail leasing first, because the health of the retail sector is a rather accurate barometer of what is happening to a city’s economy. On that count, Pune has had an almost miraculous turnaround. The malls I mentioned are opening on schedule, and all have an almost full complement of anchor and vanilla brands, and shoppers are back in force.
It’s not all because of the economic revival, either. Pune’s real estate market may not be in the same league as Mumbai’s, but it does have one advantage over its glamorous neighbor – its players think faster on their feet. Last year, mall developers were keeping afloat by offering hefty discounts to retailers; this year, the entire leasing roadmap seems to have changed. I recall one conversation between a major retailer and a mall developer just last year. The retailer was stating that a pure rental model did not make sense, since he would not make enough business in a downturn to justify it. The mall developer simply said, “That is your problem.”
The terms ‘minimum guarantee’ and ‘revenue sharing’ were alien to Pune’s mall developers a couple of years ago – today, they are an accepted norm, and the primary reason why none of the new malls are standing empty. There are obviously some traditionalists among our developers who refuse to give in to such ‘New Age’ concepts, but I can clearly see that the tide has turned in the favor of progressive pricing models now. Retail real estate in Pune will live to fight another decade.
As far as residential properties are concerned – the sector is moving again since the last six months. We had previously thought that the returning demand would fizzle out by April, but that has not been the case. The impression I get from my discussions with our Homebay Residential team is that Pune’s home buyers are once again convinced of the long-term potential of their investments.
For mid-income homes, the hottest-selling locations are now in western Pune. For one, 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. 3200/sq.ft. and hover around 4000/sq.ft. The most popular price tags for homes in these areas are between Rs. 30-40 lakh.
Pune’s more central eastern side still commands premium rates because the IT parks, airport, malls and overall level of development give higher value in terms of investment. The rates in highly developed areas like Viman Nagar, Kalyani Nagar and Korageon Park range can go as high as Rs. 15000/sq.ft. In developing Kharadi and upcoming Wagholi, they now range from Rs. 3800-6000/sq.ft.
In fact, Wagholi is a good example of how yesterday’s obscure locations can rise to real estate superstardom within a short time. Last year, Wagholi was still a relative non-entity, but that changed with the six-laning of Nagar Road and the arrival of some of the newest malls (like Ruia’s Market City and Raheja’s In Orbit) in the area.
When viewed against residential, nobody is pouring champagne over the complete return of Pune’s commercial real estate segment yet. Like the rest of the country, Pune’s office space sector awaits the return of greater stability on the global economic front. Over the last one year, only some of the larger multinational companies have started expanding once again.
Most of the real estate deals currently come from local corporates, but the IT sector is also dusting off its keyboards and getting into the act once more. Obviously, Pune has not lost its flavor as one of the hottest outsourcing destinations in the country; we are currently in discussions with two biggies who are looking for some rather impressive seating capacities, but I’d rather not jinx those deals by talking about them now.
There’s money in the system, too – quite a lot of it, going by the manner in which our Capital Markets departments activity has stepped up over the last six months. A healthy number of Private Equity funds are hopping on the Pune real estate bandwagon once again, eager to be part of its success story via joint ventures and buying pre-leased property.
All said and done, a quick look at the crystal ball tells me that Pune will continue to rock in residential and retail real estate. The city is seeing a bigger influx of new residents from cities like Nasik, Sholapur and Kolhapur with every passing year. With the strengthening of the IT sector, commercial real estate will firm up before too long – and, as I already stated, I’m really bullish about Pune’s retail sector.
Prices will move up both in residential and commercial real estate, because supply is going to decrease. This is because quite a few developers had delayed construction during the all-too-recent slowdown, and will therefore not be able to deliver their projects in time for rates to remain where they are now.
Mohammed Aslam is Head – Pune, Jones Lang LaSalle India
(Republished with permission from the Jones Lang Lasalle India blog India Real Estate Compass)