Infrastructure Status For Affordable Housing

Kishor PateKishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd

In February of this year, Union Housing Minister Ajay Maken had indicated that the Centre is considering the possibility of according infrastructure status to affordable housing. While we have still not been given greater clarity on the progress of this initiative, it is certainly a great need of the hour for India’s larger cities.

As a real estate segment, affordable housing has been languishing for a long time, even though it is the very segment in which the highest demand exists.

The constant hype about the rising fortunes of India’s fast-growing affluent class has ignores the fact that most Indians still cannot afford to buy their own homes. This is true even for the original inhabitants of rural areas that have been added to city limits.

So far, infrastructure status was given only to industries and companies active in building highways, ports, airports, Metro rail systems, etc. Real estate in any form has so far not been extended these benefits.

When an industry is given infrastructure status, it basically means that the Government has recognized it as a necessary sector which caters to the general good of the nation.

By virtue of this, it becomes eligible for various incentives and subsidies at the Central and State level. When a segment of housing gets infrastructure status, the Government provides tax benefits, and institutional lending to that segment also eases.

amit-eka

Banks are directed to increase lending to the sector, and companies engaged in the segment can also raise bonds to generate funding for their projects.

However, it should also be noted that companies enjoying the benefits of infrastructure status eventually wind up paying more taxes. This is because the incentives that make the creation of affordable housing more viable for them also lead to higher earnings, which are naturally taxable.

Nevertheless, the good news is that this initiative – when implemented – will boost investments flows both from domestic and foreign investors, thereby increasing supply. Increased supply results in higher competitiveness and helps keep prices down.

Pune’s New ‘Green Living’ Communities

Kishor PateKishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.

Over the last decade, lifestyle has evolved as an important and often decisive factor in the Indian real estate industry. With the increasing presence of the IT / ITeS sector in many cities of the country, a large segment of Indian home buyers have entered a higher level of affordability and therefore tastes in homes.

This has led to a greater emphasis on larger sizes, evolved ambience and interior décor in the choice of properties. India is now seeing a strong trend in ‘smart’ and ‘green’ homes, which have high levels of lifestyle quotient attached to them.

For an increasing number of Indians, the focus of home buying has now shifted from functionality and inflexible budgets to lifestyle homes. Comfort, convenience and environmental awareness and responsibility play an important part in home buying today. Likewise, privacy and self-sufficiency are also part of the new mantra.

Home buyers in India who have been exposed to residential real estate trends in countries such as the US, UK, Singapore, Australia and Canada now wish to emulate the developed world’s focus on sustainable living.

Among other things, this has resulted in an increasing demand for green homes. Many developers now focus on bringing the world’s contemporary residential concepts to India – and projects with green living features are in increasing demand.

green home buyerGreen homes are more than just a prestige tag. Residential projects that have been designed and constructed on such lines ensure the lowest possible environmental impact of the building and its premises during the entire project’s life-cycle. The result is reduced energy consumption, pollution and waste generation.

Interestingly, the fast-emerging concept of green homes is having a visible socio-economic impact on the neighbourhoods which are thus created. Inhabitants of environmentally sustainable residential projects are aware that the onus of maintaining the overall sustainability quotient of the project is not solely on the developers and the infrastructure and facilitation provided. They are aware that true green living requires a new mind-set and a new lifestyle, as well.

The whole concept of green homes is admittedly still in its infancy in India. However, if we take the city of Pune as a case in point, it actually emerges that there is now an annual increase of 10-15% increase in home buyers who will not settle for anything less.

These homebuyers are committed to the health of their families, exercising their option of wasting less energy and towards preserving the city’s environment for the future generations.

As a result, more and more green home projects in Pune are now actually populated by inhabitants who passionately believe in and adhere to sustainable living concepts.

In a market where many of Pune’s neighbourhoods were previously tailored according to professions, income brackets and social status, today we are talking about an entirely new and highly progressive selection process wherein entire residential communities take up the cause of environmental sustainability.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Consider Your Children’s Needs While Buying A Home In Pune

Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.

There are several good reasons why your children should be a major factor to consider while buying a home in Pune. It is no secret that everything that transpires within a family is directly or indirectly concerned with its children.

The psychology involved in this dynamic is quite interesting – to some extent or the other, we do base our sense of personal worth on what we can offer our children.

This is why we strive to provide them with everything we possibly can – good clothes, the latest and largest toys, a good school, and so on. Providing them with a good home is a natural extension of this. In fact, even young couples who do not yet have children will still consider this as an important factor while choosing a residential property.

Fortunately, residential property in Pune tends to more than meet the needs of parents who are determined to see that their kids grow up in a suitable environment. This can certainly not be said for homes of comparable size and price in some of the larger cities.

Despite the massive Pune residential real estate boom, most developers in this city continue to honour the larger needs of the family by providing appropriate amenities and facilities.

Keeping the needs of children firmly in mind, listed below are some of the aspects that should be taken into account while choosing a residential property in Pune:

  • Access To Good Schools

Access to the best possible schools is of great importance. Even if a residential project delivers on every other point on one’s wish-list, it will fall short if it does offer convenient access to at least a couple of good schools.

  • Reliable Public Transport

Apart from the obvious need of adults to have convenient access to their places of work, means of getting children to and from school is obviously important.

Amit's Eka

Even though many schools offer ‘winger’ buses, this is by no means a fail-safe system – and it not always feasible for parents themselves to drop their children off at school and pick them up again afterwards. While choosing a home in Pune, one therefore needs to ensure that suitable public transport is available.

  • Means To Keep Children Safely Occupied

It is no accident that most residential developers’ brochures make emphatic mention of children’s parks and playgrounds. However, depending on the age of your children, you should also look for crèches, play schools and day-care facilities near to the project.

Also remember that children need green open spaces, both for their health and as a means to expend their excess energies in safe and convivial surroundings.

While checking out the project’s clubhouse, ensure that it offers enough entertaining activities for your children. If the residential project offers a swimming pool, be sure to ascertain that there are enough safety measures such as shallow zone, a wading pool and non-slip tiles around the circumference.

  • Safety Beyond The Obvious

In a city where frequent power-cuts are more or less a norm, the need for electricity backup cannot be over-emphasized – both in common areas and within the units themselves.

This is not only because children are inherently more accident prone than adults. A prospective buyer must be satisfied that the lifts in the building as well as lighting within the home and in key common areas such as hallways and stair wells have 24/7 power backup.

It is also important to verify whether there is a properly equipped hospital with an emergency room in the vicinity. Other factors to consider in this respect are the security features provided in the project and the inherent safety of the neighborhood itself.