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Gera in News


Times Property - 15 November, 2014

Living up to the recognition as one of the most bankable realty markets, Pune hasn't let its homebuyers down. While realty market in other cities is being a little sluggish, this Peshwa City continues to raise the bar. Growing job opportunities and changing market dynamics have made Pune a hot investment destination.

Gone are the days when the city's sole claim to fame was its proximity Mumbai, IT and education. With other industries and international corporates setting their bases here, there has been an escalating demand for commercial and residential properties in Pune.

Beating the reverse real estate trend in major Indian cities, Pune continues to witness a rise in new project launches amid positive housing sentiments. Realtors attribute it to rationalisation of property prices. A Cushman and Wakefield report says new launches were down 54 per cent in the national capital region, 27 per cent in Bangalore and 11 per cent in Mumbai during July-September 2014, as compared to the same period last year. The country as a whole saw a decline of 21 per cent in new projects.The drop was steeper more than 50 per cent in the affordable housing segment. However, relatively smaller markets such as Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata witnessed an increase in new launches. Pune's new launches increased by 18 per cent.

Pune has always been steady going with developers waiting for the right opportunity , says Sumeet Bhatia, head, Pune, Cushman and Wakefield. "Pune's prices have been competent so far. Again, it coincided with the festive period when the city records a high number of new launches. There has been a remarkable increase in township projects as well. The city offers a nice blend of industries and hence, there has been a rising demand for housing. Pune is a stable market and the demand to be steady ."

Bhaita adds that areas like Ambegaon, Katraj, Kondhwa, Sinhagad Road, Hinjewadi, Pashan on the western along with many locales in eastern and PCMC markets have witnessed a high number of new project launches in the residential segment.

Another survey, the IIMB Mag icbricks Housing Senti ment Index (HSI) for the second quarter of 2014-15, reveals that Pune was the only other city, besides Ahmedabad, to register higher sentiments this quarter. HSI rose by five per cent to 131, making Pune the highest sentiment scorer. Infrastructure developments across the city led to Pune becoming an attractive residential market.

Pune remained one of the most consistent real estate markets in the country, says Sudhir Pai, Business Head, "In the last six



months, the market remained stable with a marginal increase of one per cent in the Pune City Index value and two per cent in the Listed Price Monitor. The city recorded over 10 per cent increase in the active stock available for sale."

The city is gradually moving beyond its comfort zone of education and realty being the game-changer to manufacturing and retail, which are becoming the growth-drivers of Pune's economy, Pai adds."Prices in fringe areas are set to double themselves in the next three years. With election results and the PM's positive stand, the real estate sector in the city is expected to increase by 11 per cent. With higher salary growth in IT sector and new government's efforts to push economy, residential market is expected to be on the upswing. Now, Pune residents are ready to travel 15 to 20 km if they are able to get residences of their linking's and fitting their budgets in the outskirts," he points out. The HSI report further states that the concept of a home away from home, popular among people migrating to Pune, signifies luxury. The demand for accommodations with swimming pools, self-contained gyms and modular kitchens is on the rise.The processing time for bank loans has also come down and with dual salaries running into lakhs, buying a luxury home is no more an difficult dream for Pune's upwardly mobile young buyers.

However, Pune buyers don't usually respond to overtly ambitious price tags because the city is still conservative to an extent and alert to and price sensitivity. The demand for residential projects is huge and more and more buyers are looking for genuinely affordable houses in the band-width of Rs 30 lakh. If this divide is bridged, real estate would certainly come full circle.

City realtors uphold the trend. Shashank Paranjape, Managing Director, Paranjape Schemes (Constructions) Ltd, says, "IT in Pune keeps the city going. Not only do new IT com panies prefer Pune to set up their centres but existing companies also give preference to Pune for expansion, primarily because of the stable social condition of Pune and availability of talent pool. Thus, this IT growth is helping the real estate sector in Pune. Again, the Prime Minister's 'Make in India' cam paign is sure to push Pune's growth in other sectors."

The city didn't get affected as much as other cities did even during the slowdown, says, Rohit Gera, managing director, Gera Developments and vicepresident, CREDAI. "Pune is a price sensitive market. It's doing better than other cities as the property prices have always been in keeping with people's affordability. This rationalisation of prices has helped the realty industry immensely. Also, increasing expanse of job opportunities will keep Pune going. However, the city needs a sustainable plan for its development," he says.

Pune has always been a 'value' sensitive real estate market, says Aditya Javdekar, CEO and managing director, Vilas Javdekar Developers. "The buyers have never subscribed to unrealistic prices in any of its micro-markets. Hence, the rise in property prices has always been steady and sustained. With the IT sector doing well consistently in Pune and the automotive sector doing better gradually but surely, the city has witnessed a definitive surge in buyer interest. Specifically, areas like Baner in the west of Pune have witnessed a high buyer activity and many markets on the eastern side are also emerging."

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