What Lies Ahead For The Pune Property Market

Kishor Pate 2Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.

Pune’s real estate market is the stuff of legend, and justifiably so. All the five main verticals of the property sector – residential, commercial office space, retail and hospitality – are performing optimally in Pune.

This is by all standards an exceptional real estate market. Moreover, Pune is always growing and adding to its geographical spread, making it by far the largest and most vibrant real estate market in Maharashtra and beyond.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that investors from Mumbai, dissuaded by the high property rates and slow market conditions in the financial capital, are extremely active in Pune.

Apart from these, there is a constant flow of investments coming in from other Maharashtrian cities like Nanded, Nasik, Sangli, Kolhapur, Nagpur, Jalgaon and Amravati. As a result, the Pune property market is extremely resistant to stagnation.

Know what drives demand

The huge degree of job creation the city’s manufacturing, automobile and Infotech and services sectors is causing inward migration from almost all parts of India and very rapid absorption of commercial office spaces.

This, in turn, is constantly ramping up residential property demand as well. Additionally, thanks to its many educational institutions, Pune boasts of constantly replenishing talent pool which fuels the growth of all the sectors active in the city.

Because of the multidimensional growth drivers that the city enjoys, the Pune residential property market is quite resistant to the severe demand fluctuations being seen in a number of other cities.

However, successful investment into the Pune residential real estate sector still calls for knowledge about what works, and what doesn’t.

Pune_India

Know where to invest

Like in every other city, Pune’s residential property sector sees the most rapid impetus in pockets or locations that are still developing. It is primarily in these emerging locations that we find the most real estate activity, both its terms of development and demand from buyers.

Areas like Undri, Ambegaon, Keshavnagar and Bhugaon have already established themselves as Pune’s fastest-growing new suburbs. The growth of such locations also serves the important purpose of decreasing demand and development pressure in the central regions. However, even in these areas, there is danger lurking for uninformed property investors.

In many of the emerging residential property destinations, we have seen a huge load of housing projects where construction has either been stalled or delayed far beyond the initially committed completion timelines.

Investors and end- users who bought into such projects at the pre-launch phase to take advantage of attractively low rates have literally become stuck along with the projects.

Know your developer

In Pune, the difference between beneficial and hazardous housing investment lies primarily in the reputation and credibility of the developer. While credibility is a much-abused qualification that almost every developer lays claim to, it is actually quite simple to verify.

One merely needs to examine the builder’s track record of successfully completed housing projects. ‘Successful completion’ does not mean ‘eventual completion’, but completion within 1-1.5 years of the delivery timelines promised to buyers.

RERA Compliance – the new Gold Standard

With the Real Estate Regulatory Act (RERA) slated to finally become a nation- wide reality by mid-2017, Pune’s residential real estate market is going to become more vibrant and lucrative for property investment than ever before.

Thanks to this key reform in the real estate sector, the city is set to shed a lot of its ‘bloat’ – or burden of small-time, inexperienced builders out to make a quick buck with small, shoddily designed and executed projects which are also often of dubious legal status.

Such players will simply not be able to sustain operations post-RERA, and will vanish from the market.

What will remain are builders of good repute, market standing and track record – credible players who are able to abide by the strictures that RERA lays down to protect the interests of buyers and investors.

While this landmark is understandably a source of fear and trepidation for fly-by-night builders, it heralds the even more powerful emergence of strong, credible developers.

About the Author

Kishor  Pate, Chairman & Managing Director of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.  is the driving force behind one of the most successful real estate development firms in Pune and beyond. Apart from its signature luxury projects like Montecito in Sahakar Nagar and other premium gated townships, AEHL has also launched highly successful affordable housing projects like Astonia Classic and Colori in Undri and the Mediterranean-style township Astonia Royale in Ambegaon.

Pune Property: All Roads Lead to Ambegaon

Kishor Pate 2Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.

No discussion on Pune’s property boom locations is complete without an extensive evaluation of Ambegaon.

An increasing number of Pune’s homebuyers are opting for areas with generous natural endowments and absence of the crush of the city’s central areas.

As Ambegaon offers superb connectivity in addition to a green, hilly environment, it has naturally emerged as one of the most favoured property locations in Pune.

As a matter of fact, Ambegaon will be one of Pune’s most exciting property boom regions for several years to come during the following ten years.

Apart from its abundant greenery, the backdrop of hills and excellent connectivity, it is also an eminently affordable location.

Moreover, it offers a good spread of housing options, from multistoried apartment projects to luxury townships.

Ambegaon is also close to the new MIDC in Shirval, which is a massive employment hub which has given rise to ever-increasing demand for both budget and premium homes here.

Some of Pune’s leading developers have responded to this demand with projects that bear the brand of reliability, are very suitably priced and additionally offer tremendous investment appreciation value.

The growth of Ambegaon has been partially because of the spill-over demand from Sinhagadh Road, which has developed very rapidly and seen unattractive price growth as a consequence.

But one of the leading factors for Ambegaon’s quick rise to fame has been the fact that it gives property buyers a diversified choice of homes, ranging from premium bungalows and villas to budget flats.

This location’s natural ambience and absence of congestion and pollution lend it a distinct aura of exclusiveness, simultaneously providing homebuyers a welcome option to live and raise their families in bracing, naturally blessed surroundings.

Residential areas with the kind of abundance of trees and green open spaces available in Ambegaon are home to healthier and happier people, and have a cooler climate than the inner-city concrete jungle.

It is no accident that Pune’s core city dwellers tend to be more susceptible to suffering from conditions like asthma, bronchitis and hypertension – most of the city’s previously splendorous green cover has been eroded by real estate development.

In contrast, Ambegaon is a haven of peace, calm and greenery – the hallmarks of Pune’s glory years.

Moreover, Ambegaon is constantly seeing upgradation of its support infrastructure by the Pune Municipal Corporation – a very important factor driving property investors’ interest in this location.

Investment appetite here is also because of the accelerated development of places like Bavdhan, Sinhagad Road, Wagholi, Bhugaon and Undri.

These locations have for long been catering to the demand for quality housing coming from employees of Pune’s Information Technology sector, but Ambegaon additionally gains from its proximity to the Pune-Mumbai Expressway, the famous Sinhagad Technical Institute and the Bangalore Bypass.

In other rapidly growing locations of Pune like Baner, Wakad and Hinjewadi, the predominant demand for investment properties comes from neighbouring Mumbai.

Ambegaon, on the other hand, has unique location advantages, Ambegaon is also a hot favourite with investors from cities like Sangli, Satara, Kolhapur and Shirval.

About The Author

Kishor Pate, Chairman & Managing Director of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. is the driving force behind one of the most successful real estate development firms in Pune and beyond. Apart from its signature luxury projects like Montecito in Sahakar Nagar and other premium gated townships, AEHL has also launched highly successful affordable housing projects like Astonia Classic and Colori in Undri and the Mediterranean-style township Astonia Royale in Ambegaon.

Pune’s Real Estate Market – At The Cusp Of Revival

Kishor Pate 2Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd

It’s a much-asked question – is this the right time for first-time home buyers, or should they wait as there is another price correction expected? In a price-sensitive real estate market like Pune, this question has been asked for more than a year now, and the market’s answer has been quite consistent.

There appears to be no possibility of  further price corrections in Pune. Demand in the right locations and at the right price points has returned, which means the right kinds of properties are selling. Rather than a price correction, it appears that  it is likely to be appreciation which is on the cards once again.

First Homes Market – Returning Rationale

The prolonged market slump from which many of the Indian cities are only now beginning to recover certainly served an important purpose – that of bringing property prices down to their lowest possible levels.

As market pundits have correctly pointed out, the only way for inherently strong markets like Pune is up going forward. However, as of now, the advantage still lies squarely with the buyer. The current time is, in fact, optimal for first-time home buyers to make their play.

For a while now, property valuations in Pune have been at their lowest point. Also, there are very good value-adding offers available, especially in terms of innovative financial structuring.

The financial burden of buying a home in Pune has indeed never been easier to bear than today. Many leading developers are now proactively assisting buyers to reduce the financial implications of buying a home in their projects by way of attractive schemes.

Among the most successful offer available in Pune right now is, all-inclusive rate packages, which include all the usual add-on costs such as stamp duty, registration and VAT.

EMI holidays have also found some favour, though buyers considering such a scheme must definitely carefully study the fine print and long-term implications of the offering.

Second Home Market – Once Again Gaining Traction 

Apart from the first-home market, we are also seeing a revival in Pune’s second home market. Buyers who have been hoping to buy second properties to house their extended families or as investments are finding this the ideal time to make a decision for purchasing the second home.

However, to accurately gauge the exact nature of the revival in Pune’s second homes market, one needs to understand its exact nuances. It is a common error to equate second home with holiday homes in remote locations.

real estate development

This particular market segment, in fact, continues to languish across the country for lack of demand. It usually thrives only during periods of prolonged economic prosperity and protracted vibrancy on the primary homes market.

It is only when people have been secure in their jobs for a sufficiently long time and seen a series of salary hikes that they see any rationale at all in investing in ‘non-performing’ real estate assets like holiday homes. During any other time, they will usually focus only on buying properties which serve the primary need of accommodation or rental income generation.

Investment Advice

Regardless of whether one is looking to buy a first or second home in Pune, the basic success fundamentals remain the same. One should go for locations which are close to primary workplace areas which have a good saturation of office complexes, if one can afford it.

Other important aspects to focus on are the availability of good social and civic infrastructure like schools, hospitals, shopping, etc., and presence of public transport.

With regards to whether one should opt for under-construction or ready-to-move projects – both options have their distinct individual merits, so it is not an either-or scenario at all.

While under-construction properties cost less, one should only consider this option if the developer is reputable and has a good track-record of timely completions. Currently, some builders are offering attractive packages even for ready possession flats – serious end-users and investors should certainly not miss this chance.

Finally, a guideline to pure investors (as opposed to pure end-users) for managing expectations is in order. High capital appreciation may not be a factor in Pune at the moment, which is precisely what has led to the amenable prices prevalent on the market today.

Pune’s real estate market currently stands at the cusp of revival; it is expected that it will take at least 2-3 years for substantial appreciation numbers to become a norm again across all locations.

The investment factor to zero in on currently is good rental potential, which is certainly a possibility in high-performance locations such as Undri, Ambegaon, Wagholi and Bhugaon. For optimizing rental income potential, the flat’s size, amenities, location and builder’s brand value must be considered as integral.

About The Author

Kishor Pate, Chairman & Managing Director of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. is the driving force behind one of the most successful real estate development firms in Pune and beyond. Apart from its signature luxury projects like Montecito in Sahakar Nagar and other premium gated townships, AEHL has also launched highly successful affordable housing projects like Astonia Classic and Colori in Undri and the Mediterranean-style township Astonia Royale in Ambegaon.

Should You Buy A Home In Pune This Festive Season?

Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.

There are many reasons why people decide to get off the rental housing bandwagon and buy their own homes. One of the most important ones is that a self-owned home is an investment-grade asset which appreciates and safeguards one’s financial future.

Also every family has a cherished dream of having their self-owned house, which is a lifetime shelter for them as well as for the future generations.

Having a home of their own is the fondest wish of every Indian family. Among other things, the Indian festive season celebrates wealth and prosperity, and nowhere is this spirit displayed more strongly than in Maharashtra.

woman holding diya

For realizing the cherished dream of a self-owned home, all aspire to look for property during the festive season. Even from an investment perspective, buying a home in Pune makes more sense than ever before.

Property prices on Pune’s residential real estate market saw year-on-year appreciation to the tune of 7.9% last year – and though appreciation has moderated somewhat this year, the current market readings are still between 5-6%.

Price growth has been moderate in 2016 so that buyers are not discouraged from making purchase decisions, especially during the critical festive period.

However, given the positive investment scenario and increasing demand for office spaces in Pune, residential real estate demand in the city is going to pick up tremendously in the future. This increased demand is bound to exert upward pressure on housing prices.

In the last quarter of 2016, sentiment on the Pune residential property market has seen the return of outright positivity, and areas that offer better affordability and returns on investment have been receiving healthy traction.

Most of the residential project launches in the city have been in the North-West and North-East regions, with the highest demand for housing emanating from the IT/ITeS, BFSI and manufacturing workforce. Areas like Ambegaon, Kharadi, Hadapsar, Balewadi, Hinjewadi, Nagar Road and Wagholi and Nagar Road have continued to attract good demand on the basis of improved connectivity with the key business districts.

However, it is the fringe areas of South-East Pune – specifically Undri and Pisoli – which have seen the most notable pick-up in demand, leading to a significant number of launches over the past few quarters.

Relatively lower property prices and good connectivity to central areas with their reputed schools, hospitals and other important social infrastructure has led to the strong emergence of South-East Pune as a real estate contender.

All in all, given the attractive offers and pricing schemes from developers and the continued affordability of the city’s emerging areas, this festive period brings with it a strong rationale for homeownership.

For investors, the time is right to identify the hottest growth corridors and make their play before they miss the most favourable entry point and have to contend with higher prices in the future.

About The Author

Kishor Pate, Chairman & Managing Director of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. is the driving force behind one of the most successful real estate development firms in Pune and beyond. Apart from its signature luxury projects like Montecito in Sahakar Nagar and other premium gated townships, AEHL has also launched highly successful affordable housing projects like Astonia Classic and Colori in Undri and the Mediterranean-style township Astonia Royale in Ambegaon.

Pune’s Suburban Real Estate Transformation

Kishor Pate 2Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.

One does not tend to think of Pune a Metro city, especially when compared to neighboring Mumbai. Unlike Mumbai, however, Pune has the benefit of being able to grow spatially and it has been doing so at a very rapid rate.

With the constant absorption of surrounding villages, the city will at some point overtake Mumbai in terms of developed and developing urban areas. Even today, Pune’s suburbs account for a massive geographic spread – and these suburbs are seeing the highest rate of affordable and mid-range housing development.

As of today, Pune’s suburban market includes areas like Ambegaon, Undri, Baner, Pashan, Warje, Bavdhan, Dhayari, Katraj, Mohammedwadi, Mundhwa, Manjri, Hadapsar, Daund, Kharadi, Wadgaon Sheri, Dhanori, Pirangut, Hinjewadi, Kalyani Nagar and Koregaon Park, Wagholi, Chakan, Fursungi, Saswad , Katraj, Chikhli, Kasarwadi, Kalewadi, Phugewadi, Pimple Saudagar, Pimple Nilakh, Pimple Gurav, Tathawade, Thergaon, Talawade, Sangvi, Wakad, Dapodi, Hinjewadi, Bhosari, Pimpri, Chinchwad, Dighi, Nigdi, Moshi, Charholi Budruk, Ravet and Akurdi.

Given the vast multitude of locations in Pune which can technically be classified as suburbs, we can immediately see that some of them perform better than others. Suburbs closer to the city’s IT / ITeS parks perform best, as they attract steady demand from buyers with stronger budgets.

Because of this, such locations also see better civic and social infrastructure being put into place. Other suburbs have large integrated townships being developed. Many of the extended suburbs are currently seeing only budget housing being developed; however, as these suburbs see infrastructure creation and pick up on the back of spill-over demand from saturating areas close by, they see corresponding improvements in their profiling.

Contrary to popular belief the suburbs are, in fact, where the actual real estate action lies. In a growing city like Pune, the common misconception is that the most valuable real estate locations are in the city center. Of course, housing options in and around the center of the city will always see demand thanks to the proximity to the Central Business District and Secondary Business District.

However, many of the central locations are also unaffordable and congested. Developers are usually able to acquire only very small land parcels in central areas – plots which will accommodate only a limited number of flats in the housing projects.

astonia classic_night

Since the available space on such plots is very restricted, these developers offer very limited amenities or no amenities in these projects. As a result, residents have few of the benefits which a modern urban life should provide.

At the end of the day, what one sees is minuscule strangulated residential areas that offer little or no lifestyle accoutrements while simultaneously adding to the urban issues which defines almost all inner-city living in Pune today.

As a result, Pune’s peripheral suburbs and newly emerging real estate markets are the hottest residential property destinations, drawing considerable interest from residential property investors who are attracted by the high demand in these markets as well as the fact that property valuations have sufficient potential for healthy growth.

Some of the best-performing suburbs which host well-facilitated projects by reputed developers are Ambegaon, Undri, Hadapsar, Baner, Wakad and Hinjewadi. These suburbs are more or less driven by Pune’s burgeoning IT/ITeS sector which has proved to be the single-largest booster for residential and commercial real estate in the city.

While properties in and around the IT hubs tend to be too expensive to attract the bulk of end-user and investor demand, areas that are well connected to these employment generators while at the same time offering lower property prices are very hot tickets indeed.

About The Author

Kishor Pate, Chairman & Managing Director of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. is the driving force behind one of the most successful real estate development firms in Pune and beyond. Apart from its signature luxury projects like Montecito in Sahakar Nagar and other premium gated townships, AEHL has also launched highly successful affordable housing projects like Astonia Classic and Colori in Undri and the Mediterranean-style township Astonia Royale in Ambegaon.

What Drives Housing Demand In Pune’s Kothrud?

 Kishor Pate 2Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.

Quality of life was once a defining characteristic of Pune, but thanks to the lag in infrastructure to support the rapid development in the city, this characteristic has become rare in most areas.

In previous times, it was of no real consequence where one purchased a home in Pune – all areas which saw real estate development offered a good quality of life. Today, while scoping the market for flats for sale in Pune, it is necessary to factor in a number of variables.

The most important aspects to consider are traffic congestion and pollution levels, whether the area offers a good availability of basic facilities and, of course, the overall ambience and quality of the neighborhood.

Kothrud, a western suburb of Pune, is one area which has always offered residents a very high quality of life. It is one of the core traditional areas of Pune from very early times. In fact, it features prominently in the recent Hindi blockbuster film ‘Bajirao Mastani‘ because it is in Kothrud that Mastani’s resided.

In the era of the Peshwas in which ‘Bajirao Mastani‘ takes place, the area was called Kothrud Baug. It still boasts of several high-profile landmarks such as the Dashabhuja temple and Mrityunjaya temple, which date back to the glorious times of the Peshwas.

Kothrud has always been a highly progressive area, seeing many ground-breaking infrastructure projects far ahead of the rest of the city to make living here more convenient and comfortable. In fact, the city’s very first flyover connecting Karve Road to Paud Road, was erected in Kothrud. It also has superlative connectivity to various parts of the central city via Karve Road.

Situated in the veritable nerve centre of Pune, Kothrud has witnessed rapid growth in its housing sector and was, in fact, identified among the fastest developing suburbs in Asia in the 1980s.

Considered one of the most upscale neighbourhoods in Pune, Kothrud has also seen rapid growth in its real estate prices. Kothrud was among the first of Pune’s suburbs to be developed, with its latter-day development beginning in the late 90s. In those years, Pune still held fast to its tag as Pensioner’s Paradise.

There was little economic activity happening in the city in those years, until Pune’s IT/ITES boom began to take hold in 2000-02. Even then, Kothrud was already a fully-developed residential location. This is why this area did not suffer from the over-development that beset areas like Aundh and Baner in the West and Viman Nagar in the East when they got on the IT/ITES bandwagon.

Throughout, Kothrud has been seeing a lot of demand from real estate buyers from both within the city and neighbouring Mumbai. Given the massive amount of interest from both end-users and investors, developers in Kothrud have always been offering progressive housing formats and succeeded in making it one the most desirable core area to live in.

Source: Google Maps
Source: Google Maps

Real estate buyers and investors are attracted to Kothrud both for its superior housing options and the convenience of living there. The civic infrastructure is top-grade, and the social infrastructure in terms of shopping, educational institutions and hospitals is matchless.

Today, because of lack of developable plots and new housing projects largely happening in the form of redevelopment, new housing options in Kothrud are scarce on the ground even while demand continues to be enormous.

In the midst of this crunch for living spaces that befit the expectations of buyers considering Kothrud, Amit Enterprises Housing has launched its high-end project Ved Vihar. The project consists of four towers exclusively offering 2 and 3 BHK luxury flats, and is therefore perfectly aligned with the demand profile of this happening location.

With quality of life ranking as the top consideration for home buyers in Kothrud, housing projects must deliver on all fronts. Even as compromised infrastructure, air pollution and traffic congestions plague most of the other parts of the city, Kothrud is still a haven from the mounting humdrum and chaos.

However, this alone is not enough in real estate market terms. Given the premium pricing of this location, home buyers also expect the very best in amenities and facilities. Developers who provide these in their housing projects are seeing the highest demand.

About The Author

Kishor Pate, Chairman & Managing Director of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. is the driving force behind one of the most successful real estate development firms in Pune and beyond. Apart from its signature luxury projects like Montecito in Sahakar Nagar and other premium gated townships, AEHL has also launched highly successful affordable housing projects like Astonia Classic and Colori in Undri and the Mediterranean-style township Astonia Royale in Ambegaon.

How Ultra Luxury Housing Defies All Market Trends

Kishor Pate 2Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.

In India, the definition of luxury housing varies from city to city, and the demand for luxury homes in each city also differs. A plush 2 BHK flat in a central location or in an area near to corporate or IT employment hubs would qualify as a luxury home in Mumbai, Pune or Bangalore solely on the basis of location.

However, the classic Indian concept of a luxury home also involves generous size – so a 3 or 4 BHK apartment is definitely defined as luxury. As a rule, such luxury flats are built only by developers who have specific expertise in this genre, as apart from large size, customers look for highly evolved amenities and facilities to create the necessary luxury ethos.

What Drives The Demand For Luxury Homes

It is a mistake to club the demand for ultra-luxury housing with that of the rest of the property market, because the dynamics are very different. In the first place, the luxury homes market tends to be quite end-user centric in many cities.

The higher ticket sizes mean that only investors with considerable capital at their disposal are active in the luxury segment. The end-users who largely patronize the luxury housing segment generally do not need housing loans but buy such properties from their own capital, being from the affluent class.

Cities like Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai and Delhi have their well-established high-value luxury homes locations. The people who live there have often been residents for several generations and are not open to relocating elsewhere.

These locations tend to have a rich share of natural ambience due to limited development norms being enforced there, and at the same time a high degree of social infrastructure which ensures that life there is trouble-free and convenient.

Among this location-driven buyer set, the demand for genuine luxury homes is considerable. Due to very limited supply in these areas, such properties often tend to change hands among this specific buyer segment.

Prices for such ultra-luxury homes are a function of both the high-value vanity addresses and the size and configuration. Rarely, a large family-owned property will be sold and redeveloped into limited-edition boutique homes which are immediately snapped up.

We can see this dynamic actively at play in areas like Cuffe Parade, Nepean Sea Road, Worli, Juhu and Lower Parel in Mumbai. In Pune, the specific areas for such luxury housing are Sahakar Nagar, Boat Club Road, Kalyani Nagar and Koregaon Park.

Since they are meant to function as family estates, luxury homes in such areas doubtlessly need to get the size factor right. Such extra-large ultra luxury living spaces are naturally expected to offer ultra-modern luxurious amenities which can be upgraded as technological advancements push the luxury envelope further up the value chain. These addresses may or may not be centrally located, but that factor does not, in any case, play a big role.

Montecito 3

Why Core Luxury Addresses Never Change

Spatial expansion of cities like Pune, Bangalore, Chennai and Delhi is constantly pushing the city boundaries further and in different directions. Simultaneously, new workplace hubs geared to the booming Information Technology sector spring up in the emerging locations, which IT companies prefer because of the lower property costs.

Residential catchments form around these IT hubs to respond to the demand for homes from their employees. These new residential areas usually see high demand for homes of all ticket sizes, including the more expensive ‘green homes.’

While these higher-end homes definitely fall in the category of premium housing, the locations themselves do not spell luxury. The same dynamic can be seen around large manufacturing hubs, where premium housing can be found in locations which have essentially have an industrial, blue-collar image.

Through all this expansion, a city’s core luxury address locations remain static and continue to hold sway even as the city itself grows in all directions.

These addresses have very little to do with Indian real estate’s primary growth driver, which is employment generation. They are the home of the city’s landed gentry – its long-established core of wealth.

Though property owners in these locations are often owners of very large businesses, they themselves are not dependent on quick access to workplace hubs. They have earned a far more leisurely life long ago, and their main objective and prerogative is to dwell among their peers in an environment untouched by the mass development in every other part of the city.

Immune To General Market Dynamics

The demand for luxury housing in these elite locations is therefore always steady. Developers who have the rare opportunity to create new luxury housing projects there will invariably have a dedicated inner circle of HNI buyers and investors who will snap up their limited-edition offerings.

Such housing is more or less impervious to the influence of recession, as the buyers are not dependent on home loans but largely use their own capital to buy such housing. The demand from investors and HNI end-users for luxury housing in the traditional core areas of the city is therefore always present.

When the opportunity to acquire properties in a new luxury project in such an area presents itself, such buyers will enter the project at the pre-launch or under construction stage to avail of the best rates.

The marketing strategy for homes in a city’s core luxury areas also differs significantly from the kind of campaigns developers use to promote mid-income housing projects. The marketing approach focuses more on the aspiration for exclusiveness and status among people who can afford to avail of it.

While word-of-mouth communication among core investors usually suffices to draw massive inquiries, developers will also advertise these offerings in prestigious lifestyle magazines, airport lounges and similar platforms.

About The Author

Kishor Pate, Chairman & Managing Director of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. is the driving force behind one of the most successful real estate development firms in Pune and beyond. Apart from its signature luxury projects like Montecito in Sahakar Nagar and other premium gated townships, AEHL has also launched highly successful affordable housing projects like Astonia Classic and Colori in Undri and the Mediterranean-style township Astonia Royale in Ambegaon.

Sahakar Nagar – Pune’s Most Aspirational Neighbourhood

Kishor Pate 2Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.

Pune is witnessing a very high rate of cross-border cultural exchange, with an increasing number of its citizens traveling abroad even as more and more international tourists explore the city each year.

The IT culture, glitzy shopping malls boutiques offering the latest in global fashion trends and international schools are all part of this process of cultural homogenization. Pune has become a truly cosmopolitan city, thanks largely to the influence of its burgeoning IT sector.

Nevertheless, the historical Pune – the city which holds on to its traditional values and outlook – continues to exist. Because of the mass-scale development happening all of the city, it is less visible today than it was just ten years ago, but the spirit of Punyanagari lives on in its core areas.

Sahakar Nagar is perhaps the most prominent of these strongholds of Pune’s traditions.

Sahakar Nagar needs no introduction to citizens of Pune. This elite residential area is one of the oldest, greenest and most respectable addresses in the city. The area was developed after the 1961 floods in Pune, and has become a prominent location today.

Sahakar Nagar is home to some of Pune’s most established businesspersons, politicians and movers and shakers, and has been a very exclusive and largely closed real estate market for decades.

Simultaneously, Sahakar Nagar represents a unique balance because it has retained the city’s traditional Marathi culture while at the same time evolving to keep pace with the times.

Aerial view of Sahakar Nagar, Pune
Aerial view of Sahakar Nagar, Pune

From the outside, the tranquil dignity and old-world charm of this venerable residential location gives no visible indication of change. However, Sahakar Nagar has been seeing a constant process of reinvention which has resulted in excellent civil infrastructure.

This area is unique in yet another aspect. Because of the fact that the residents of Sahakar Nagar will never want to move anywhere else, getting a resale home here is a huge challenge. Also, since it is fully developed and occupied for several years now, there is next to no new residential supply.

Sahakar Nagar is one of the last predominantly end-user driven locations in Pune, though investors are always keen to make a play in this distinguished luxury neighbourhood. It is a genuine stronghold of the city’s elite and affluent families that has never been open to investors.

The past few years have seen no new projects at Sahakar Nagar because of the lack of land. The primary residential configuration at Sahakar Nagar is bungalows and villas, which comprise most of the housing landscape of this high-profile location.

The resident profile primarily reflects Pune’s orthodox Hindu Brahmin community, which has helped preserve Sahakar Nagar’s reputation as one of the last outposts of the city’s traditional roots.

The location itself is perfect. At a high elevation, it offers a breath-taking view of the Parvati/Taljai hill area as well as thick reserved forest lands. Bharati Vidyapeeth, one of Pune’s most upscale educational institutions, has its campus close by.

The Pune-Satara road provides ready access to Swargate Bus Terminus, a vital transit hub in the heart of the city, as well as other key areas of Central Pune. The Mumbai-Pune Expressway is within easy commuting distance via the Katraj Bypass. Sahakar Nagar is also within a stone’s throw from City Pride Cineplex, and has its own integrated high street shopping area which most of the local residents patronize.

Thanks to its unmatched locational advantages and also its unique profile, Sahakar Nagar is a highly aspirational luxury address. Due to scarcity of developable space, top-class projects in the area are a focal point for high-end investors as well as families looking for prestigious permanent residences.

With next to no availability of residential units of any kind, Sahakar Nagar’s status as a stronghold of Pune’s elite stands unassailable.

Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. established its foothold in Sahakar Nagar back in 2007 with the launch of the luxury apartment project 9 Green Park. This project was completed in 2012 and is, not surprisingly, completely sold out and occupied. However, another luxury apartment project by AEHL now offers the hope of home ownership in Sahakar Nagar to Pune’s discerning few.

Montecito Entrance Lounge small

Montecito – located adjacent to 9 Green Park – enjoys the most spectacular view yet of Sahakar Nagar’s legendary natural splendour. This ultra-luxurious apartments project, spread over 4.3 acres of Sahakar Nagar’s most breathtakingly beautiful hilltop location, consist of two 16-storied towers that offer 64 apartments backed by five levels of reserved parking. This unique project is designed by none other than renowned architects Talathi & Panthaki.

Answering the call for luxury living in Pune’s most treasured and highly exclusive residential addresses, Montecito is AEHL’s final brush-stroke on a priceless masterpiece called Sahakar Nagar – a location that always has, and always will, capture the very essence of all that is truly Pune.

About The Author

Kishor Pate, Chairman & Managing Director of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. is the driving force behind one of the most successful real estate development firms in Pune and beyond. Apart from its signature luxury homes towers and premium gated townships, AEHL has also launched highly successful affordable housing projects like Astonia Classic and Colori in Undri and the Mediterranean-style township Astonia Royale in Ambegaon.

Should You Invest In Property In Another City? 

Kishor Pate 2Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. 

The understandable tendency of most property investors in India is to focus on the cities that they actually live in.

This is because they are already familiar with which locations see the highest demand and who the reliable and reputed developers are. Also, most people will have a fairly broad network of others people within their city who can advise them on potential property investments.

Yet, the Internet has opened the larger real estate playing field in India up more than ever before. A simple online search involving the keywords ‘buy home’ or ‘buy property’ will yield thousands of results from across the country.

And the trend is no longer limited to people who own computers – rapid smartphone penetration has opened up the Internet to a staggering number of people today.

According to a survey by Indiaproperty.com, the availability of user-friendly app’s and improved website designs have led to mobile-based property searches growing three times faster than PC-based searches.

This survey also established that real estate searches in Tier II cities, which have seen very fast smart phone penetration over the last few years, have grown 1.3 times over the national average.

The real estate data available for these cities is obviously available to all ‘netizens’. In other words, a larger number of geographies than ever before are drawing the attention of property investors.

For instance, Pune is a high focus area for real estate investors from Mumbai and Bangalore because of its amenable property prices, favourable appreciation statistics and the fact that properties in all budget ranges are available.

But how advisable or even safe is it for a non-resident to make a real estate investment in a city that he or she is not familiar with?

This question becomes even more important when one considers that the best prospects in terms of lower property prices and better appreciation are in such a city’s emerging corridors rather than its established real estate precincts. The first thing such a prospective investor needs to do is establish what kind of demand is driving such a location.

The primary driver for residential demand is job creation – if an identified city, town or periphery is seeing a lot of demand for homes from people who are attracted by a good job market, then it can be said to be a good residential property investment bet.

The other important variable is affordability. Quite a few non-metros as well as peripheral areas of larger cities currently qualify on these parameters.

Again taking the example of Pune – this city is classified as Tier II, but has a remarkable configuration as far as economic drivers are concerned. Pune’s economy and job market are driven by Information Technology and BPO firms, its vast manufacturing belt and a thriving services sector.

The steadily increasing demand for budget homes from employees working in all these sectors has resulted in a veritable real estate boom in fast-developing locations like Undri, Ambegaon, Wagholi and Bhugaon.

Amit's Astonia Royale in Undri
Amit’s Astonia Royale in Undri

However, these areas are being developed by both large organized builders with a strong market reputation and unknown small-time players with no verifiable track record. The question that any investor needs to ask in such a scenario is who to trust. This brings up the second important factor for an investor to focus on – namely which projects to invest in.

One of the aspects to be fully investigated is the reliability and market standing of developers active in such a market. Though the recently announced Real Estate Regulation bill will eventually weed out all fly-by-night operators, the fact is that many unscrupulous developers have historically been active in emerging locations.

Such developers may not have obtained all necessary clearances for their projects or even have clear ownership of their plots. They may also engage in shoddy construction, and often lack the capitalization to see their projects to timely completion. Buyers are attracted by the lower property rates they offer in order to attract demand.

However, due to the high demand driving the real estate market in such locations, many reputed developers who have been delivering quality projects on time for a long time are invariably also active there. Investors should only patronize such developers so that they can avoid unforeseen risks to their investments.

It definitely makes sense to consider cities other than one’s cities of residence for property investment, especially if one’s own city does not yield very attractive returns on investment.

Investors from Mumbai are so active on the Pune real estate market because while property price appreciation all over the financial capital has been next to flat for over three years, neighbouring Pune has been seeing property price growth of at least 15-18% in many of its emerging areas, and rental demand in the city is also very high and increasing constantly.

Property investments in other cities should be done after a lot of research and preparation, but they can definitely be extremely profitable for those who do their homework.

About The Author

Kishor Pate, Chairman & Managing Director of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. is the driving force behind one of the most successful real estate development firms in Pune and beyond. Apart from its signature luxury homes towers and premium gated townships, AEHL has also launched highly successful affordable housing projects like Astonia Classic and Colori in Undri and the Mediterranean-style township Astonia Royale in Ambegaon.

5 Reasons Why Rainwater Harvesting Is Essential For Pune

Kishor Pate 2Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.

Pune’s landlocked topography has made water a ultimately precious resource. The water crisis is becoming a serious issue both at the national and global levels, and in cities like Pune, the situation has reached a flash point. The city is seeing a constant influx of migrant population seeking employment in the city’s several industries.

Simultaneously, shallow lands are fast getting covered with landfills, and this has been reducing the number of water bodies available to the city’s residents. Deforestation has been another prime reason for the compounded water scarcity. While forests are being rapidly leveled for new avenues of construction, rainfall patterns too are shifting and getting unpredictable.

In the coming years, the bulk of the global population will be shifting to urban locations. This calls for a rapid development in real estate, and will also bring with it a high demand for natural resources like water.

Limited land necessitates the development of multi-storied residential buildings, and water is required for both the construction and maintenance of these building apart from providing for the daily necessities.

We know that the earth’s surface is 70% water. However, only a small portion of it is drinkable and mostly comes from fresh water sources like lakes, rivers and our underground water table. Rapid urban growth and rise in population will usher in a severely parched future in a scenario where water is needed for everything, ranging from farming to drinking to construction.

The only real solution available for regions like Pune is rainwater harvesting. Rainwater harvesting is getting more popular as a means to fight resource scarcity and is being increasingly practiced in both rural and urban areas.

The process involves collecting, filtering and storing rainwater to meet many residential and industrial needs. The equipment too is simple and includes collection funnels, filter units and storage tanks.

Rainwater is the cleanest source of freely available potable water. Practiced in urban residential projects, rainwater harvesting will be able to meet almost 50% of the city’s water needs. Households as well as commercial buildings can save a lot on their water bills.

Harvesting rainwater is not just about maximum utilization of a freely available resource but also about minimizing the impact of urban development on our natural surroundings. In fact, failure to harvest rainwater results not only in the obvious loss of a precious resource but also in heavy soil erosion.

The several advantages associated with rainwater harvesting include:

  1. Reduced demand for ground water

The water supply in urban homes comes from reservoirs that are fed by lakes and rivers. Treatment plants and pumping station also pump out the ground water, gradually reducing the available amount. In several Indian cities, the ground water table has already exhausted itself and rainwater is the only available solution.

For a city like Pune that is seeing tremendous residential and industrial growth, water for non-drinking purposes can readily come from rainwater. Large volumes of it can be used for cleaning, washing, toilet flushing and gardening. Similarly, industries can use rainwater to meet their production needs.

2. Backup water supply

Rainwater harvesting can be insurance for times when the regular water supply has been compromised. With climate change taking a major toll on the availability of naturally available water, rainwater can be of use during times of drought. Pune and Mumbai, in particular, must resort to rainwater harvesting on a war footing to minimize their dependency on reservoirs.

rainwater harvesting

3. Environment friendly

When a neighborhood starts using rainwater, the community as a whole will be able to fight the problems associated with runoffs, soil erosion and pressure on the drainage systems. Collecting rainwater would also mean reducing the chances of contamination that flows into our rivers and lakes.

Low-lying areas like Pune and Mumbai can also fight the chances of flooding by harvesting large volumes of rainwater. Rainwater harvesting, therefore, meets the needs of the environment and ensures that the city is less affected by chemicals that run off from our farms into our rivers.

4. Ease of implementation

A rainwater harvesting setup is easy to install and maintenance is not a big challenge. The purest form of water, rainwater also does not need very complicated purifying devices to meet our primary needs. Based on basic technologies of collection, filtering and storage, rainwater harvesting setups are worth the minimal initial expense and effort required to set them up in every way.

While the tools for rainwater harvesting can be used by anyone, there are some important facts to remember:

  • Identification of catchment areas that include terraces, car parking, roads and other concrete surfaces
  • Installation of gutters with filtration system that blocks debris on the outside
  • Channels that ensure a smooth flow to the storage system
  • Safety precautions against any kind of contamination, including the breeding of mosquitoes

5. Increasing support from the government

The incumbent Indian government has been rightly focusing on the water scarcity problem, and as a result has been facilitating several plans for rainwater harvesting. New apartment projects are now by law required to have rainwater harvesting systems in place and in several regions.

With rainfall getting scarcer every year, the government is looking to initiate special installations in residential societies, commercial buildings, educational institutions and other buildings. The increasing road coverage in the country also opens up an excellent avenue of rainwater collection for better use.

India’s Center for Science and Environment (CSE) is also creating programs to raise awareness for maximizing the use of rainwater harvesting across the country. It has been supporting several NGOs, consultancies and companies to educate people on what has been a traditional means of collecting and using rainwater for future purposes.

Today, rainwater harvesting should come automatically as a building standard. While builders are already getting aware, customers too should start asking for the same. In several areas, old building which were not integrated with harvesting systems should be reconstructed or retrofitted to support rainwater harvesting. This is by all means a vital measure that cannot wait longer.

About The Author

Kishor Pate, Chairman & Managing Director of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. is the driving force behind one of the most successful real estate development firms in Pune and beyond. Apart from its signature luxury homes towers and premium gated townships, AEHL has also launched highly successful affordable housing projects like Astonia Classic and Colori in Undri and the Mediterranean-style township Astonia Royale in Ambegaon.