Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Rs10 lakh for a flat in Pune (Assetventures)

When was the last time you heard about a Rs10-lakh flat in the city limits?

President of the Pune chapter of Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (Credai) said that a Rs10-lakh flat was probably sold in the late 1990s, while a few others said it was early 2000.

Forced by the slump in the real estate sector, many builders in the city have turned their focus into affordable housing projects in the price range of Rs10 lakh to Rs13.5 lakh.

Credai vice-president Rohit Gera said builders are just reacting to what the market demands at this moment. "Even a year back, nobody would have thought of a flat in the range of Rs10-12 lakh," he said, adding that with the client base now changing because of the slowdown, the demand for the smaller-sized homes is on the rise.

A recent analysis by property consultant Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj revealed that the buyers have adopted a conservative approach and prefer budget-friendly homes.

Mohammed Aslam, the Pune head of Meghraj, said while the demand for luxury units is extremely curtailed, there is still a market for I BHK flats in the range of Rs12-16 lakh and 2BHKs to some extent.

Kolte-Patil Developers, known for its high-end projects, is among the constructors entering the affordable housing project. 

"With the recession, we realised the need to concentrate on the lower segment as well," said Gayatri Kunte, manager (corporate communications), at Kolte-Patil Developers. The company plans to begin work on 'Umang Homes' at Wagholi, where flats are being sold Rs11.22 lakh for a 1BHK to Rs14.22 lakh for a one-and-a-half BHK.

Other builders have followed suit. Darode-Jog Properties has launched 'Greenland County', priced at Rs12 lakh and above on the Simhagad Road. "We have always been associated with premium segment and up-market areas in housing in the past," said Sudhir Darode, director of Darode-Jog Properties.

Tricon Builders is launching a 1BHK apartment project at Undric called Sunshine Hills and with 1BHK houses are priced at Rs13 lakh and onwards. "There is a good response for these flats as not many developers were catering to this segment earlier," said Rinku Shewani, partner at Tricon Developers.

Others like Bhandari Associates and Suyog Development Corporation, who have also entered into the affordable housing projects, said the current market situation has forced them to cut rates as well as size.

Magar and other builders explained that most of these projects are coming up on the land banks, located in the fringe areas.

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