By Kishor Pate
The Pune real estate market is a highly price-sensitive one, and affordable housing is in perennial demand in this city. The bulk of the demand for affordable housing in Pune stems from the steady stream of manpower from other parts of the country, most of which belong to the working middle class. While these home seekers invariably operate with a tight budget, they are still looking for decent homes that meet an acceptable threshold of lifestyle requirements.
While the premium and ultra-luxury housing categories continue to witness stability rather than any real growth, the affordable homes segment shows healthy demand and uptake. However, not everything that is affordable shares this demand. Customers are primarily on the lookout for homes that fall within the city limits, are of decent sizes and have good amenities.
Of course, the price tag must be right – in the mid-income category, flats that fall within the price range of Rs. 35-50 lakh are the hottest sellers. Many developers who cater to this demand and are sensitized to the price-sensitiveness of their target clientele are offering all-inclusive packages that cover all the usual add-on costs to buying a home – VAT, stamp duty, registration fees, etc.
There is obviously a lot of investor demand as well – but again, this demand is squarely focused on the budget segment of homes in well-connected locations. For both end-user and investor demand, the target properties are 1 BHK and 2 BHK flats in localities like Manjri, Wagholi, Ambegaon, Bhugaon and Undri. These have been identified as the growth corridors for Pune that are seeing development in all aspects – and, importantly, boasting of property prices that are still favorable for the middle class.
How To Choose An Affordable Home In Pune
Since the affordable homes segment is the primary hunting zone for predatory fly-by-night builders who specialize in cheating their customers, the first thing that a budget home buyer in Pune must verify is the reputation of the project’s developer. Buyers in Pune need to do thorough research among the multitude of projects in the budget homes segment. By focusing on reputed builders, the search becomes faster and easier.
Apart from delivering on the promised project features, reputed builders will ensure that their projects meet the construction quality standard that are expected of them. The search gets further narrowed down and simplified if the buyer differentiates between meaningful and meaningless offers. Meaningless offers include most freebies which several new builders tend to roll out in an attempt to hide or compensate for the flaws in their projects, in the location or in the documentation. Meaningful offers are those that translate into actual, significant savings on the cost price of the property, result in increased value of the investment and provide convenient payment options.
Generally, it is advisable to:
Be somewhat flexible with your budget and not limit yourself to a set figure. The budget should be the second of third focus area – location and amenities ensure that the price you pay for a flat today will get multiplied several times in the near future.
Not be tempted by unrealistic promises from unknown developers working on the outskirts of the city. Many misinformed budget home buyers in Pune have fallen prey to illegally constructed projects in the past and lost out on their entire investment.
Deal only with well-known branded builders, especially if you are booking into an under-construction project. Such developers can be relied on to adhere to ethical business practices, and to deliver quality projects which will stand the test of time and yield good resale value in the future.
Not neglect the factor of appreciation potential. Pune is a rapidly-growing city and property prices will appreciate, but only in good locations and quality projects.
Negotiate with the builder on the price. Pune has always been a buyer’s market, and builders who see serious intent from a buyer will usually be somewhat flexible in their pricing. However, know where to draw the line on bargaining, so as not to lose out on a good opportunity.
Know What Amounts To A Good Location
The hallmarks of a good location for buying a budget home are safety, convenience and appreciation potential. All three variables derive from a single word – infrastructure. The development of roads, hospitals, shopping complexes, schools and avenues of entertainment all result in quality neighborhoods. Appreciation and convenience are also a factor of accessibility from the city’s primary and secondary workplace areas, meaning areas where large numbers of people go to work daily. The more accessible a location is from such areas, the more attractive it is to buyers and investors and this drives up property price appreciation.
Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.