Mumbai had for long held the title of being the most desirable city in India to live in. This had nothing to do with ease of living and everything to do with its economy. Despite the fact that life in Mumbai is hard for everyone but the richest of the rich, it trumped all other cities in the quality and availability of jobs.
However, this perception has now changed forever. Just 200 kilometers away, Pune has emerged as the more preferred destination on every count – lifestyle, job opportunities and real estate investment. It all began with the Mumbai-Pune expressway, which reduced the distance between the two cities. Today, people can actually work in Mumbai and live in Pune.
Pune is still seeing a very healthy demand for property. While neighbouring Mumbai is now being seen a largely unaffordable, real estate investors are now flocking to Pune in order to participate in the real estate boom in this city. According to Magicbricks’ Housing Sentiment Index, Pune saw only a marginal correction in sentiment while Mumbai, which was already looking at subdued sentiments for over a year now, is still in the grips of a prolonged slowdown in its real estate markets.
Thanks to the massive growth in Information Technology industry and rapidly improving connectivity, West and East Pune are now the most preferred real estate destinations.
Pune property market has been even more noticeable over the last two years. The steady momentum has been the key to healthy growth in real estate demand in Pune. In terms of appreciation too, investment in the Pune market is far superior when compared to Mumbai. According to real estate property consultancy Cushman & Wakefield, Mumbai saw only 16% appreciation in 2014 while Pune recorded the highest national increase in capital values at 39%.
Cost of real estate
Real estate in Mumbai is getting more and more expensive every day. For someone looking to buy a small apartment (600 sq. ft. of space) in Mumbai, the minimum required corpus should be nothing short of INR 1 crore. As a result, more and more Mumbaikars are moving to the outskirts and fringes of the city including places like Thane and Navi Mumbai, where property prices are lower. On the other hand, Pune provides a variety of options within the city at prices between Rs. 30-70 lakh.
An easier lifestyle
More and more Mumbaikars finding it hard to maintain any kind of lifestyle at all in their parent city within their incomes are moving to Pune. Though Pune is not yet a metro, it offers property choices and a lifestyle that completely matches that of any metropolitan city in India, with a cosmopolitan lifestyle which is still very much affordable. According to the data aggregator site Numbeo.com, the cost of living in Pune is decidedly lower than in Mumbai.
According to Numbeo.com:
- Consumer Prices in Pune are 6.91% lower than in Mumbai
- Rent Prices in Pune are 59.70% lower than in Mumbai
- Restaurant Prices in Pune are 16.48% lower than in Mumbai, and
- Local Purchasing Power in Pune is 4.25% higher than in Mumbai
The higher purchasing power in Pune is not without reason. Apart from the fact that almost everything is cheaper in Pune, the city is also the fastest-growing IT hub in India, which means that it is generating several thousands of well-paid jobs every year. This fact is drawing people from all parts of the country to Pune.
Today, even celebrities are moving to Pune – not because of the cheaper residential rates but because it is a less crowded and far more pleasant city with much better weather than Mumbai. Also, Pune’s property market offers larger and better-planned homes.