The Rise of Baner, Queen Of Pune’s Suburbs

Kishor PateKishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd & Hon. Secretary, CREDAI (Maharashtra).

Pune’s real estate sector has many growth locations, but few today are as prominently on the radar of developers and property buyers as Baner.

This area began its climb to fame as one of the city’s last outposts of scenic environs. It went on to become one of Pune’s most coveted residential destination by the city’s software and IT-enabled services professionals.

By this yardstick and by all measures, Baner is an oustanding real estate success story. This article by Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd & Hon. Secretary, CREDAI (Maharashtra), outlines how it got there.

Baner is located in the north-west quadrant of Pune, which also encompasses Aundh and Balewadi. Today, it is known as a high-growth location in terms of real estate development with demand for housing coming primarily form the IT/ITES industry.

However, while Baner has been on the Pune real estate scanner for quite a while, it was first known mostly for its natural splendour. Its backdrop of gently undulating hills and verdant greenery were sufficient to embellish it with the name ‘Queen of the suburbs’.

Today, it has become known as one of the most desirable to Pune’s residential real estate locations.

Baner Real Estate’s ‘System Upgrade’

Baner has come into force mainly because of the rapid evolution of the Knowledge corridor concept. The Government of Maharashtra, not slow in recognizing Pune’s unique potential, developed this innovative infrastructure concept in order to catalyse the synergetic economic relationship between Pune and Mumbai.

Among other things, the Knowledge Corridor initiative gave rise to the six-lane, dual-carriage Mumbai-Pune expressway, which was the first of its kind in India. The Mumbai-Pune Expressway was fortified with optic fibre cable links along its entire expanse and thereby linked the major IT parks of these two cities.

Thanks to its proximity to the Hinjewadi IT Park, Baner immediately benefited from this and became the most definitive location in Pune for IT infrastructure, housing, transport and power provision. Additionally, it is connected to Bangalore – India’s Silicon Valley – by the Pune-Bangalore Highway.

Aundh, which was one of the first areas to come up in terms of residential property demand because of the Hinjewadi IT Park, soon reached saturation point in terms of development potential. Baner, which has now become the penultimate residential destination for Pune’s IT/ITES-centric home buyers, began to see rapid development in terms of overall lifestyle quotient.

Thanks to its proximity to some of the city’s best education institutes, shopping and recreation outlets and healthcare facilities at Aundh, Pune University and Balewadi, this location is a natural choice for employees of the Rajiv Gandhi InfoTech Park at Hinjewadi. This massive information technology nexus, currently spread across approximately 1500 acres, is being developed in four phases and has emerged as one of Pune’s primary white-collar employment generators ever since its launch.

Sereno at Baner
Hinjewadi IT Park – An Outstanding Success Story

In fact, this IT Park is a success story in its own right and has single-handedly boosted Pune’s profile on the national and global business map. The first phase, covering 198 acres, enjoys 100% occupancy, with companies such as Infosys, Wipro, Persistent, Cognizant, Tata Technology, Geometrics, KPIT and the Blueridge Township / SEZ in place.

Phase 2 covers 470 acres and stands at 80% occupancy with names like Infosys, Wipro, the DLF SEZ, the Embassy SEZ and the International Biotech Park on the credits roll. Phase 3 is a 985-acre spread which stands at 60% occupancy with companies like Tech Mahindra, Microsoft, Hexaware, KPIT and the Acendas SEZ.

The upcoming 1100-acre phase 4 is poised to be a comparable chapter of commercial real estate triumph. The effect it has had on the type of demand for residential spaces in the adjoining areas – in terms of configurations, amenities and facilities – is a text-book case of an avant-garde industry and its accompanying culture dictating the shape and form of a market.

An Evolved Homebuyer Profile

Proximity to such giants would in spell success in any location, but Baner is itself now home to a number of important InfoTech companies, ensuring that the IT employment market there has come into even sharper focus. Because of the IT-orientation and the often significant salary packages attached to it, Baner is also home to some of Pune’s most selective home buyers.

For this reason, the residential projects that work best at Baner are those that feature excellent construction incorporating sustainable features and smart-home facilities. The software generation is directly wired into the latest global housing trends, and awareness about the benefits of green construction is generally high.

Short on time and high on tech-savvy, home buyers from this segment also prefer properties that incorporate smart security and lifestyle features. They prefer two and three bedroom apartment configurations which must often include sufficient parking for two cars. This definitely sets them apart from the norm, and residential projects in Baner must necessarily cater to this evolved demand.

Kishor Pate Quoted On RBI Credit Policy

Kishor Pate, Hon. Secretary – CREDAI (Maharashtra) and CMD of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. says,

In a real way, the home loan is the driving force behind the residential real estate market. Without home loan, a large portion of the population would be forced to live in rental houses.

Because of this facility, one can own a home without having to have enormous amounts of ready cash. Because of the vital role they play in sustaining the real estate market, it is not only home buyers who depend on home loans, but developers as well.

There is no mystery attached to the fact that home loan interest rates play an important role in determining the level of demand for housing in India, especially in the smaller cities. We are disappointed by the fact that the RBI has retained its hard stance on the key lending rates.

Developers are suffering under the high costs of borrowing, rendering them unable to come down on their rates. At the same time, home loan interest rates have hit an all-time high and are not coming down.

Owning a home should not be an option only for the creamy layer of the Indian middle-class who can pay the high interest rates currently prevailing. The country is making no progress at all in addressing the dire need of housing for all.


Read the rest of ths story on Property News

The Importance Of Estate Planning

Kishor PateKishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.

Estate planning is not only about property, but about all assets that one has secured in one’s lifetime.

Technically, the concept of estate planning includes assets such as automobiles, insurance policies, bank accounts and fixed deposits, stock market shares and mutual funds, pension plans and anything that can be considered an asset.

However, it is also true that in most cases, property constitutes the largest investment that we will make in a lifetime.

Planning all aspects of one’s property holdings is therefore of utmost importance. Regardless of whether an individual owns only a single residential property or a multi-property investment portfolio, estate planning cannot be ignored.

There needs to be complete clarity on:

• Who will eventually inherit one’s property
• What the tax implications to those who inherit it will be
• Whether the property will be free of financial encumbrances after it is inherited
• Where funds to pay off any outstanding debts on the property will come from.

Estate planning is no longer just for the wealthy. Today, most middle-class people have made significant investments and live in fully owned or mortgaged properties. This means that estate planning is a pertinent consideration which touches more lives than ever before.

Estate planning with regards to property does not end with making a will. Leaving property to one’s spouse or offspring without any provision for meeting the implied tax burdens will not help the beneficiary much. Moreover, one needs to make sure that the will is not at odds with the existing laws.

Obviously, one would wish to avoid the possibility of legal confusion between family members when the will becomes effective. However, there are now specific laws which come into force with regards to property – for instance, when a married couple decides to part ways.

Estate Planning

One needs to make sure that the law does not dilute the intended effect of a will when it comes to residential property. Also, the effectiveness of a will will depend on whether or not the property in question was inherited or purchased during the owner’s lifetime. It is very important to discuss the contents of one’s will with a competent lawyer.

Also, any existing debts on the property owner could cause the creditors to contest the will after his or her demise. In such a case, the beneficiary of the will may become responsible for covering this debt. The debt may even be greater than the value of the property.

This can happen if the property owner had taken business loans for which his or her personal assets can be attached in case of default. These aspects needs to be carefully scrutinized by an experienced chartered accountant.

For mid-income home owners who have purchased their property with a home loan, proper estate planning would include a term insurance policy. The proceeds of this policy should be sufficient to cover any outstanding payments on the home loan, and also all other outstanding debts. Also, a property owner must make all family members aware of the contents of his or her will. This can go a long way in reducing the possibility of legal confusion at a later stage.

Image courtesy of