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Gera in News

Fringe areas have space, but little else

Times Of India { Property Times } Page 02 - 1 February, 2012

Ahome in Pune has always invited prestige which is one reason the city became a pensioners’ paradise. The sentiment has sustained even when affording a place in the municipal limits today is not easy on the pockets. Pune’s organic growth and influx brought on by increasing employment and business opportunities has upped the need for more residences. “Pune’s property market benefits from Mumbai’s economic activity. Its own demand drivers are IT and ITes sectors and manufacturing industries,” Sanjay Bajaj, managing director of Jones Lang LaSalle India (Pune), said. But there aren’t as many homes in the city and prices of real estate within the municipal limits are high. The asking rate is Rs 3,500 per sq ft, and any slide is unlikely, developers said. A 900 sq ft home in the city thus costs Rs 45 lakh or even more. “Input costs have risen 25 to 30 % in the last year. Newer methods such as prefabricated material will help keep costs under control,” Marvel Realtors’ chief executive Vishwajeet Jhavar said. Lalit Kumar Jain, national president of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations (Credai), said archaic Floor Space Index rules and procedural delays contribute significantly to the cost of real estate. “There are more than 50 clearances and permissions necessary before even a brick is laid. These permissions take anything between 6 to 10 months to come by, leading to cost escalation,” he said. According to CRISIL Research’s City Real(i)ty – 2009, jobs in the IT/ITeS sector in Pune are expected to increase from 8,115 in 2009-10 to 32,941 in 2013-14. “As the employment catchment areas spreads, home seekers will also rise. Residential, commercial and retail properties will be in demand,” developer Lalit Kumar Jain said. However, affordable housing is going to be available only in the city’s outskirts and even in mofussil towns in a 20-40 km radius, observers said. Land prices have pushed up realty costs. It is relatively lower outside the municipal limits, but the idea is fraught with development issues including roads, water, electricity, transport, connectivity and civic amenities. If people want homes at reasonable rates, roads will have to be made, said Rohit Gera, vice president of Confederation Of Real Estate Develop-ers Association of India (Credai) Pune. “As long as people can commute to more distant places with ease, they will be able to find affordable homes at distant locations,” he added. Neither has the increase in the interest rates, nor the fear of another economic downturn diminished the need for homes. A healthy demand for one, two and 2.5 BHK homes is driven by young home-buyers and investors. “Home buyers have recaliberated their home dreams and are opting for either marginally smaller sizes or more distant locations,” Gera said. The city’s real estate market is stable at present , he added. “On an average projects are at a comfortable sellout position. About 85% of all project stocks are sold out,” Gera said. “As per our research ending July 2011, the gross stock (under construction and ready with unsold stock) was approximately 1.75 lakh units. Of this, 78 per cent was sold in July. In January 2011, the gross stock was about 1.6 lakh units with 75 per cent being sold out,” he said.

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