Infrastructure And its Correlation to Home Buying

Pharande Vaarivana Pune

Anil Pharande, Chairman – Pharande Spaces

In India, as in other countries, it is a simple fact that localities which are as close as possible to important workplace areas will be most consistently sought out by people looking to buy homes. Therefore, projects with great connectivity by railway and road, see the highest demand for residential properties.

Property investment is always driven by the infrastructure in and around a locality. From sufficient roads to reliable water supply and drainage, infrastructure includes all the physical characteristics which contribute towards creating sustainable communities. Unsurprisingly, property costs close to infrastructure including airports, railway stations and roads are higher than in other regions.

If a location does not offer reliable electricity and water supply, connectivity, public transportation stops and sanitation by ways of good sewerage and waste disposal, it will not work as a residential destination regardless of what else it offers. All these are services that nobody living in a modern Indian city is prepared to live without.

From a property marketplace outlook, sufficient infrastructure in an area includes everything that leads to an easier, convenient lifestyle which does not have to contend with any kind of shortages, service outages and breakdown of public facilities.

Well-planned roads and public transport

Roads are required to make transport quicker and simpler. They are important right from the time when basic infrastructure and initial real estate development are being put in place, as raw materials and labour has to be able to reach the location. Once the area is established, roads let people travel to and from work, for kids to get to and from school and for access to shopping and entertainment.

Proper planning of road, rail and public transport nodes is very important. The key factor to be kept in mind during this planning is that people do not want to too close to bus depots, railway stations, shopping areas and industries businesses – but neither will they wish to be too far away from them.

Reliable supply of essential utilities

In a developing country like India, there are still many towns and suburbs of cities that do not enjoy reliable water and electricity supply, garbage management and public security features. With the income of typical Indian families constantly growing, today’s urban homeowners are willing to spend more to get access to seamless water and electricity, and adequate security.

Naturally, residential complexes that provide 24×7 water and electricity supply and round-the-clock security are far now highly favored. This is what has led to the growing momentum of township development in Pune and even more so in PCMC. Housing projects in places that don’t have reliable utilities and where security is a concern do find takers – but these are usually exceptionally budget-strung buyers who resign themselves to having to wait for everything to fall in place at some stage.

Sanitation infrastructure

In India, there has been rising awareness of the minimum levels of sanitation that a household should have access to. A new location will only start attracting real demand from homebuyers if it offers appropriate measures of sanitation such as municipal road cleaning, trash removal, sewage and waste water disposal, and other related services. Without these services, life becomes unhealthy and intolerable. A location’s score on the sanitation front is a very important criterion for homebuyers who are shortlisting housing projects in which to buy a property.

Social infrastructure: Schools, hospitals, shopping and recreation

Indian families put great onus on the availability of schools in a residential neighbourhood. This is why areas with good schools in the vicinity fetch higher property rates than most others. This is not only a question of convenience for Indian parents, but also of the safety for their children. Because of life’s uncertainties and the rise in road and domestic accidents, hospitals are another component in an area’s social infrastructure that is of critical concern for homebuyers. They expect quick access to medical facilities –  this is non-negotiable.

Recreational open spaces such as parks are also consistently in favour from city dwellers that wish to experience nature to some extent, and thereby be able to find some refuge from the urban madness that rules most of their days. A locality that offers water bodies, gardens, parks and playgrounds in the vicinity are considered premium.

Developers of large integrated townships are aware of how important the availability of good social infrastructure has become, which is why they include gardens and artificial lakes as well as schools, shopping and entertainment inside the project premises for their residents.

Infrastructure in all its facets is therefore hugely important in today’s residential property scenario, and it directly influences the buying behavior of Indians scouting around for homes. The degree to which social and civic infrastructure is available in a neighbourhood dictates how successful a residential destination is today.

This is why integrated townships have become the most important trend on the Indian property market today. Townships are not dependent on how proactive the municipality and private sector players in deploying social and physical infrastructure. They deploy it themselves in perfectly-contained microcosms that not only include residential projects but also office and retail complexes as well as educational and healthcare facilities.

Integrated townships ensure that their residents have everything they need for a modern comfortable and secure lifestyle accessible within easy reach, for instant use. The high demand for township properties in rapidly urbanizing cities like Pune and PCMC vouchsafes the fact that homebuyers are no longer willing to compromise on the advantages of sufficient infrastructure in their neighbourhoods.

About The Author:

Pharande Vaarivana Pune

Anil Pharande is Chairman of Pharande Spaces, a leading construction and development firm that develops township properties in West 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.

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.

Home And Personal Loans To Cost More

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday hiked policy interest rates, sending a message to banks that they need to do the same for their loans. The silver lining is that interest rates on fixed deposits will also rise from the current 7-8% levels.
The RBI increased the repo rate (the rate at which it lends money to banks) by 25 basis points to 6% and the reverse repo rate (the rate at which the RBI takes out excess cash in the banking system) by 50 basis points to 5% with immediate effect.
The central bank did this primarily to contain inflation and to ‘normalise’ policy rates, considering the speed at which India’s economy is growing. Interest rate is a monetary tool used by central banks to ensure that a fast-growing economy doesn’t get out of hand — primarily, that prices of goods, or inflation, don’t spiral out of control due to excessive demand, the hallmark of fast-growing economies.
This is done essentially by controlling the amount of money floating in the economy by raising or lowering interest rates. When an economy declines, the opposite happens — central banks lower interest rates so that people are persuaded to buy goods and thereby generate demand.
“The RBI believes inflation has plateaued (and the declining trajectory inline with its projection), but it highlights that it will remain at ‘unacceptably’ high levels for a few more months.
It hence believes that there is a need for continued policy response to contain inflation and anchor inflation expectations,” said Ashutosh Datar, economist with the brokerage IIFL.
“The broad indication of the RBI action on Thursday is that lending rates will rise. We will take a call in a few days on increasing our personal and home loan rates because the impact of this rate hike will have to be passed on to consumers,” said Kamlesh Rao, executive vice president (personal loans and home finance), Kotak Mahindra Bank.
The timing of the hike will vary from bank to bank, depending on the cost of their money.
“On the interest rate scenario there is definitely an upward bias. But the hike may not be immediate. It will depend upon the credit pickup. Initially, it may be a hike of 25 basis points,” said MD Mallya, chairman and managing director, Bank of Baroda.
It seems both the RBI and the government want fixed deposit rates to rise.
“If bank credit is not to become a constraint on growth, real interest rates need to move in the direction of encouraging bank deposits,” the RBI said on Thursday.
On Wednesday, the government raised the employees provident fund rate by 100 basis points to 9.5%.
Banks had already resorted to hiking their benchmark prime lending rate, or BPLR, in August, citing reasons that their costs were going up. In the near future, they may hike it further and may even hike the base rate, which came into existence from July 1 this year.
“The BPLR may be hiked further as most of the lendings happen through it, and there is also the likelihood that the base rate may be hiked in the next quarter since banks have the option to change the base rate every quarter for the first year,” said Deepak Tiwari, banking analyst at KR Choksey Shares & Securities.
“Borrowing rates will go up for both consumers and developers,” said Shobhit Agarwal, Joint Managing Director (Capital Markets), Jones Lang LaSalle India, a real estate consultancy. Conversely, this could mean demand for homes, and therefore their prices, may decline.
“The projects that are already priced high, the impact in terms of demand erosion will be higher. We don’t see much impact on low-cost housing, that is Rs25-50 lakh purchases,” said Agarwal.
But teaser home loan rate — where you pay a low interest rate in the first year and more later — won’t be discontinued as they are a hot favourite among borrowers.
“I expect teaser loans to continue as they are so popular with people. But I think banks may continue those schemes with a slight increase in rates, said Harsh Roongta, CEO of apnapaisa.com, a personal finance advisory. The State Bank of India (SBI) is offering teaser home loans till September 30 and the committee will take a decision on whether to extend it further or not on September 28, said a senior SBI official.

Realty Bubble To Escape Action

An extraordinary sharp rise in property prices and robust growth in banks’ housing loans portfolio is drawing attention of policymakers, economists and bankers said this week.
It is not clear whether the Reserve Bank of India, in its mid-quarter policy review on Thursday, will take more than cognisance of these developments that have impact on the effectiveness of its battle against inflation. Some economists believe RBI won’t impose curbs on bank credit to realty sector although housing inflation is fed by easy availability of banks loans.
Not that it has ignored this development.
Late August, the central bank’s annual report noted, “Although housing prices witnessed correction during the global financial crisis, there was a sharp rebound in the subsequent period.”
“Greater pace of rise in asset prices continued to remain a concern from the standpoint of macroeconomic management,” the report said.
Realty bubble
Rising property prices in past one year have raised fears an asset bubble may be forming in real estate sector.
Reliable data on housing prices is limited. According to Makaan.com, a website on real estate, property prices in Mumbai and Pune rose 10-14% in the year to July 31. In Delhi’s National Capital Region, prices were up 30%. An official indicator of housing prices is the consumer price index for urban non-manual employees (CPI-UNME). This puts housing inflation at 33% from a year ago in June.
The escalation in property prices “is somewhat out of sync from fundamental viewpoint”, said Abheek Barua, chief economist at HDFC Bank. In the past, RBI has increased risk-weights on banks’ loans to real estate to limit lending to the sector. RBI hiked risk-weight on advances to commercial real estate sector to 1% from 0.4% in October 9. Rating agency Crisil’s economist dismissed ideas the banking regulator would impose stricter sanctions on real estate loans in Thursday’s policy.
“Real estate prices have been on RBI’s radar for some time,” acknowledged Dharmakirti Joshi, chief economist of Crisil. But “I don’t think there will be any major changes (in real estate lending norms) on September 16,” he said, noting, “There are still downside risks to the economy.” For some, spike in home prices mirrors growth in economy, and therefore there is no need for RBI to up the ante on housing.
“I don’t think there is any bubble in property prices at this point of time,” said Madan Sabnavis, the chief economist of Credit Analysis & Research, also a credit rating agency.
“Overall, if one takes a sanguine view of the Indian economy, things are looking positive. So it is natural realty prices will also go up,” he said. “I don’t think RBI needs to act or will act immediately. But if this upswing (in property prices) persists, RBI may act accordingly,” he said.

Finolex Industries Selling Pune Land To Raise 4 Billion Rupees

Finolex Industries Ltd., India’s biggest maker of pipes made of polyvinyl chloride, surged to its highest in almost three years after the company said it expects to raise about 4 billion rupees ($86 million) selling land.
The company revived its plan to sell 78 acres (31 hectares) of industrial land after an increase in real estate prices, said P. Subramaniam, chief financial officer, said in an interview. Finolex had in 2008 proposed selling the property, he said.
The land sale will help Finolex improve its cash flow, said Tejas Doshi, vice president of equity research at Sushil Financial Services Pvt. The company, which reported a 67 percent drop in profit in the three months through June, also plans to spend 800 million rupees to build a new factory, Subramaniam said by phone today.
The land sale will help “improve the balance sheet,” Mumbai-based Doshi said. “It will also help their expansion plans.”
Finolex will raise 500 million rupees by selling non- convertible bonds to build the plant and will fund the balance from its profit, Subramaniam said. The company hasn’t “finalized” the land sale yet, he said.
Source

Pune Property Tax Rates May Rise With New System

Based on the directions of the state government, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to introduce the capital value system (CVS) for computing the Annual Rateable Value of a property, for fixing the property taxes in the city. The civic administration has tabled a proposal before the standing committee regarding the move.
The move has been designed to bring uniformity in the taxation system in all the municipal corporations across the state. As a result, if the proposal is cleared, the property tax charges might go up.
At present, the ARV is fixed on the standard rents fixed by the Rent Control Act. Under the ARV system, the probable gross rent of a property is taken into account. For domestic buildings, 20 percent of the amount is calculated. For commercial buildings 25 percent of the amount is calculated.
Under the new CVS, the calculation of tax is based on the value of the land as well as that of the building. It takes into account the capital value of the building, which is in turn based on the cost of the land as well as the cost of the building, net of depreciation.
The proposal says: “In different municipal corporations in the state, there are different methods of fixing the ARV of a particular property. But, in order to bring uniformity, transparency and introduce simplicity, the new method of CVS is being considered.” The ARV fixed under the capital value system, will be updated every five years.
Source
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/New-system-on-anvil-to-evaluate-property-tax-likely-to-push-up-rates/677588

June Pune Real Estate Prices Went Up By 12.5 %

As per a recent survey of the Property Index (MPI) by a real estate business website, real estate prices in Pune have grown by 12.5 per cent in June compared with the same month last year.
The index for the month of June stood at 1094 vis- a- vis 972 a year ago. The increase in the Pune index can be attributed to the hardening of property prices in the underlining markets of Aundh, Pimple Saudagar, Chinchwad, Karegaon Park, Wakad, Wanowarie, Hadapsar, Viman Nagar and Talegaon, found a study by Makaan.com.
Aditya Verma, COO, Makaan.com, the organisation which conducted the survey, said “Pune property prices have moved up at a rapid pace keeping many home buyers at bay. The un-expected fast run-up has lead to a mood of caution in the near term. The home buyers seem to be in a wait and watch approach. The price movement over the next few months will determine the next definitive trend”
“The trend for June’10 deserves a special mention as it was around this time last year that the property prices started to look up after nine months period of continues decline caused by global slowdown,” said the report.
Other popular markets like Baner, Kalyani Nagar, Kharadi, Kothrud, Magarpatta and Vishrantwadi saw an appreciation lower than the city average. If one looks at the short term (quarterly) trend and compare the price index for June’10 with that of March’10, one would observe softening in property prices.
The Pune index during this period has moved from 1197 in March’10 to 1094 in June’10 signifying a fall of 8.6 per cent. This indicates a short term fatigue in the property prices after an upturn seen earlier in the year.
Read the rest of this article here.

Twin Levies Hit Home Sales, Registrations In Maharashtra

It’s turning into a battle between property developers and home buyers in Maharashtra, as the two argue over who will pay the service tax and the recently-imposed value added tax. The twin blow is holding up a large number of property registrations across the state, say top realty brokers and developers.
In Pune, the auto and information technology hub, property sales have come down by half because of this issue, says Pankaj Kapoor, managing director of Liases Foras, a real estate research and ratings firm. “The Pune market was doing well in the last quarter, now with the imposition (of the levies), it is badly hit. Even the sales have been hit in the peripheral areas of Mumbai [ Images ],” Kapoor says.
According to Kapoor, home sales in Mumbai have been impacted to the extent of 15 to 20 per cent due to the problem. Recently, the state government imposed one per cent VAT on the contract price of the houses mentioned in the sale agreement registered on or after April 1 this year.
With the Centre’s imposition of 2.38 per cent service tax on under-construction properties, which came into effect at the start of July, the additional burden (excluding the five per cent stamp duty and registration charges) comes to 3.38 per cent of the property value.
Suppose, if a person buys a house of Rs 1 crore in Mumbai, he has to now shell out an additional Rs 338,000 as VAT and service tax, which effectively translates into an equated monthly installment of around Rs 4,000.
What has made matters worse for buyers is that the additional burden is coming on top of the sharp rise in home prices. According to a report from brokerage house IIFL, residential prices in Mumbai and the National Capital Region of Delhi have increased 20-30 per cent since March and have reached new highs.
“Any additional cost is going to impact sales,” says Mrunal Duggar, vice-president, Homebay Residential, a unit of Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj. Already home sales in Mumbai went below 6,000 units in May after 11 months of 6,000-plus a month, the IIFL report says.
Developers say the state government might also impose one per cent of the cost of construction as labour charges, which will increase burden further. Duggar of JLLM say developers should look out for the any additional burden on the potential customer in the reviving market.
Read the rest of the article here.

Pimpri-Chinchwad: Pune’s Last Hope For Planned Residential Development

woodsville
Pimpri-Chinchwad, the twin city located south-east of Mumbai, is the fifth most populated city of Maharashtra and also one of the most prominent industrial destinations outside Mumbai. In fact, Pimpri-Chinchwad is the decisive factor in making Pune the second largest industrial city in Maharashtra after Mumbai.

Industrial Utopia

Over 4000 industrial units in the large, medium and small sectors dot its landscape, among these some of the most reputed industrial companies in the country. If one includes Bhosari and Dapodi in its purview, Pimpri-Chinchwad’s repertoire reads like a regular industrial Who’s Who. Among the major names are:

  • Bajaj Auto Ltd.
  • Force Motors
  • Sandvik Asia
  • Alfa Laval
  • Forbes Marshall
  • Atlas Copco
  • Kirloskar Filters
  • Kalyani Sharp
  • Mahindra and Mahindra
  • Hindustan Antibiotics
  • Kirloskar Pneumatics
  • Tata Motors
  • Indian Card Clothing
  • Finolex
  • SKF Bearings
  • Greaves Cotton

… and many more
Pimpri-Chinchwad’s status as a power-driven property destination also derives from its matchless connectivity. Its strong road network encompasses major transportation corridors – the Mumbai–Pune Road, the NH-4 Bypass, NH-50 (Pune-Nashik Highway) and the roads connecting Aundh to Kalewadi and the Mumbai–Pune Road to Bhosari.

Development Potential

Until fairly recently, Pimpri-Chinchwad was perceived primarily as an industrial hub and not a residential destination. However, with industrial development on ascend the population has grown exponentially there. Today, Pimpri-Chinchwad has emerged as a as a metropolis in its own right, with a thriving residential market on par with the best-planned cities and towns in India.
The residential market has multiple market drivers. The proximity to Hinjewadi IT Park apart, there is no doubt that this area’s future development will now be driven by the industrial clusters which are heavily concentrated in the PCMC area. Many landmark developments such as the International Convention Centre are coming up here, which clearly indicates that the PCMC area has a high potential for development. These projects are all part of the PCMC master plan laid down three decades ago.
Residential real estate development in Pimpri-Chinchwad has picked up rapidly in the last three years, and this area’s tag of an ‘Industrial City’ has vanished forever. The first wave of housing projects was driven primarily by the redevelopment of industrial campuses and plots into residential projects that catered to the workforce at the MIDC/industrial areas in Pimpri-Chinchwad and Talegaon.
Today, however, the fact that the PCMC area is, in fact, a meticulously planned area is making a truly decisive play on its real estate fortunes. Government-planned cities have various advantages over cities that have expanded via organic growth.
Planned development such as witnessed in Chandigarh and Gurgaon are the wave of the future in Indian real estate. PCNTDA — the Pimpri-Chinchwad New Township Development Authority — is a model closely based on that followed by Chandigarh, Gurgaon and Navi Mumbai.
Pune has witnessed organic growth, and the deficits in proper town planning have resulted in much of its infrastructure problems and shortfall in residential developments. In contrast, the properly planned Pimpri Chinchwad area – especially industry-intense areas like Chakan – should be able to avoid the mistakes done in central Pune.
PCMC has the advantage of proper town planning and the resultant infrastructure. However, there are areas of concern about how adequately development is being addressed in this vital growth area.

Residential Space Shortfall

The PCMC MIDC area encompasses approximately 3000 acres. The Chakan and Talegaon belt comprises about 11000 acres, which means that Chakan will need about 50,000 acres of planned residential development.
This kind of development will happen in a periphery of around 50 sq km. However, the magnitude of actual development today is lamentable. This is a major lacuna. 50% of Chakan’s industrial era is already developed and occupied. Major industrial giants like Volkswagen, Bajaj and Mercedes Benz have already started production.
The key area of Pradhikaran is the logical location for absorbing the residential demand of this industrial belt; however planning for the residential requirements of employees in these industries in Pradhikaran is completely inadequate. This needs to be done soon. To boost the residential sector in Pradhikaran, proper road connectivity between Pradhikaran, PCMC and Chakan must be established.
Pradhikaran has the potential of becoming the latest real estate growth area – not only for PCMC, but in terms of Pune as well. Pune is, in geographic terms, a small city typified by haphazard development of its real estate market. The PCMC area is a diametric opposite – it is 100% planned, with the groundwork for the planning in place since 1965.
Pune’s growth boosters are education and IT / ITES. In PCMC, and particularly in the Pradhikaran area, there is a plethora of factors to amplify economic and real estate market growth, including IT, automobile and various other industries.
The result is that a huge magnitude of residential and utility space needs to be developed in Pradhikaran alone. However, this has not been addressed by developers.
Three years back, the average property rates in the PCMC area were below Rs. 1000/sq.ft. Now, the average rate throughout the region is between 2500-3000/sq.ft. – a growth rate that Pune has been able to replicate only in certain IT-centric or high-profile residential areas.
At the current time, it is still possible to locate residential projects to commercial projects in Pradhikaran. This allows for maximum appreciation potential, since the demand for either of these two segments feeds the other. In another five years, the area will have reached such a high level of development that such juxtaposition will no longer be feasible.
Developers still have an opportunity to take advantage of this fact and develop residential and commercial projects close to each other. While this makes excellent business sense, it will also ensure that Pradhikaran will attain a balanced real estate profile that dovetails perfectly with the PCMC master plan.
Currently, the residential property rates in Pradhikaran range between 2500-3000/sq.ft. Once the International Convention Centre and the new International airport are launched, these rates have the potential of doubling. Until then, the minimum appreciation potential for Pradhikaran will remain at a steady 15-20% year-on-year.
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

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.