Why Buying A Home In The Monsoons Makes Great Sense

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

Rains in India push back people into their homes. The monsoons create the perfect ambiance to partake of pakodas and sip on hot coffee while watching the drizzle freshen the trees outside.

Going outside involves braving the puddles, traffic jams and getting splashed by passing vehicles. How can this be a good time to buy a new home?

But the fact is that the monsoons are the perfect season for your house hunt. The demand tends to be lower during this season as most potential homeowners are unwilling to step out and face the weather.

This means that you are at an advantage for striking a good deal.

• An opportunity to bargain

Time is money, and sellers are always in a hurry to move their unclaimed real estate. Culturally, Indians find it inauspicious to invest in anything for the two weeks of the monsoons that coincide with pitru paksh.

Consequently, they wait for the festival season (generally in the month of October) to invest in properties. This is why sellers offer considerable ‘monsoon discounts’ to boost their sales, and this can be a good opportunity for buyers.

It is not just real estate developers who offer to sell at lower rates, but also investors and home owners hoping to upgrade to larger homes. The rate of discount varies depending upon the location and how badly it has been affected by the rains. Discounts on regular prices in cities like Kolkata (which is among the worst-affected cities) are likely to be more than in Chennai or Delhi, and even in top cities like Mumbai, home buyers can expect a discount between 10 and 20%.

Discounts on regular prices in cities like Kolkata (which is among the worst-affected cities) are likely to be more than in Chennai or Delhi, and even in top cities like Mumbai, home buyers can expect a discount between 10 and 20%.

The current real estate sale trend too opens up a larger window of opportunity for buyers.

The demand for properties has been low in the past three-quarters, and especially during the lull period of the monsoons, sellers are eager to accommodate serious customers.

In fact, property sales are likely to continue their journey along the lower end of the graph until the end of the holiday season.

• Easier loans

Apart from the discounted property rates, potential buyers are likely to encounter ‘monsoon special’ home loans by banks.

Though some banks wouldn’t offer a formal discount as RBI has recently integrated some hikes, they would be likely to negotiate the charges and interest rates according to your credit scores.

Though some banks wouldn’t offer a formal discount as RBI has recently integrated some hikes, they would be likely to negotiate the charges and interest rates according to your credit scores.

• Perfect time to scout for quality!

If you have been eyeing a property from the start of the year and waiting for the monsoon discounts, this is the time to keep a watchful eye for construction quality.

Sellers and developers find it easier to keep properties in good, saleable conditions during the summers. However, with the elements pouring down in the monsoon months, it could reveal constructional defects.

Buyers can encounter leakages and dampness in otherwise beautiful houses. This makes the monsoon the best season to judge their potential investment value.

Further, you should also look for how good or bad mobile networks and traffic on access roads are in the selected project during the rainy season, especially if you are new to a locality.

Consequently, the monsoons give home buyers several astute reasons for investment. In the same budget, you can even look for bigger and better homes!

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.

Urbanisation: Can We Reconnect Our Cities With Nature?

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

In pre-modern times, people in Indian cities still coexisted peacefully with nature. Sadly, in the current real estate development scenario, we have definitely witnessed an increasing separation between nature and individuals.

In the pursuit of their development and urbanisation agendas, our cities have seen high-rise buildings replacing backyards, parks and forested areas.

However, it is wrong to blame solely real estate developers and municipalities for this scenario. They are effective reacting to the growing demand for such buildings from people whose evolving lifestyles focus more on work and after-work entertainment and shopping.

Let us take the city of Pune as a case in point. In previous times, this city had a much smaller geographic spread and there was no real need to increase it.

Pune was supposed to be city for retired people. The city and its trade activities coexisted very well with a strong agrarian component both in the central and peripheral regions.

Population growth was relatively limited. The neighbouring city of Bombay, established by the British circa 1845 as a major port and trade hub, attracted a significant mass of migrants looking for urban-based employment.

In fact, the British viewed Pune – or Poona, as it was known in earlier times – as a region of political unrest and resistance against their rule. Pune began growing both in terms of population and geographical spread only after India attained independence in 1947.

Then came Pune’s Technological Revolution.

Pune transformed from a relatively small city to a full-fledged metropolis and was drawing a massive influx of people responding to its rapidly increasing employment opportunities – first in manufacturing, then also in software technology and information technology-enabled services (ITeS).

When Pune was still relatively small and untouched by the rampant urbanisation we see here today, there was negligible impact on the natural wealth for which it was once so famous.

Today, we see its once generous share of green open spaces eaten up by both low-rise and high-rise housing developments, landfills, commercial complexes and shopping centres.

Sahakar Nagar Pune
Sahakar Nagar Pune

As a result of this process, city dwellers become disconnected from nature. It is true that there is a lot of awareness and concern about the need to reestablish a healthy environment, and healthier cities.

However, it is also true that most real estate development taking place today is about amenities and facilities, and that any vegetation that is factored in is merely aesthetic and ornamental.

Essentially, the city has gone from green to grey, and any new thinking about and efforts towards reconnecting people to nature must indeed be trans-disciplinary and coordinated.

Construction is an inseparable element of a city – a city without buildings is inconceivable, and deforestation is inevitable. In fact, the very genesis of buildings lies in mankind’s need to protect itself from the wild animals inhabiting forest areas with strong, impregnable structures.

Today, wildlife has been more or less wiped out from our cities, but economic inequality has given rise to new threats of forced entry and loss of life and possessions. As long as mankind prevails, buildings will prevail as well – but can we bring nature back into our cities, as well?

An experiment to achieve exactly that is reaping astounding results in cities like Singapore, where a natural ecosystem is being re-introduced into the urban fabric. It is astounding what such a vision of futuristic urbanisation can achieve.

Clearly, concrete can coexist with abundant greenery and one must not necessarily negate the possibility of the other. However, it takes a magnificent town planning vision, coupled with a strong political will – and also unswerving support from a city’s population.

As long as demand for homes is skewed only towards concrete buildings with modern amenities and some token greenery, only such supply will follow.

Increased demand for urban housing where natural environment is more than just a token gesture and, in fact, available to sufficient saturation to actually have an environmental impact, such supply will surely follow.

We are seeing the return of such demand in Pune, and it is driven not only by the higher environmental consciousness of today’s young homebuyers but also their concerns about their own and their children’s’ health and wellbeing.

A city does not lose its ‘green’ identity overnight – in cities like Pune and Bangalore, the erosion of this identity took several decades.

It will take a few more decades to bring it back, but it is possible if all stakeholders – from town planning and municipal authorities to real estate developers and buyers – decide that it is worth it and must be done.

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 Real Estate: The Year That Was, And The Year Ahead

Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.

2016 did not bring as much cheer to Pune’s real estate market as previous years had. Nevertheless, Pune outperformed Mumbai by between 20 to 25% in terms of overall sales.

The highest-selling category in Pune was mid-range properties priced between Rs. 35-50 lakh within the city’s municipal limits and its nearby periphery, followed by lower budget housing on the outskirts priced between Rs. 15-30 lakh.

The latter pricing category offered on the market saw some response; however, whether it sustainable is debatable.

The questions which bothered most buyers in 2016 were:

  • What are the hidden cost?
  • Does the location serve my purpose?
  • Will the project I am interested in be completed as per promised timeline?
  • Is the developer inherently RERA-compliant?

Due to these completely understandable apprehensions, reputed builders saw the most number of serious inquiries in 2016. It would not be an exaggeration to observe that the year saw developers being examined with microscopic scrutiny.

There was clear evidence that Pune’s property buyers have become very aware of their rights, and that they can expect their interests to be protected by the upcoming RERA; promoters will not be able to dictate terms as they so far have.

However, irrespective of the potential protection that RERA will provide, buyers were more focused on the reputation of the builder than prices.

This was a significant change of temperament among Pune’s traditionally price-sensitive consumers. It indicated that long-term investment value and growth now matters more to them than short-term savings.

More than ever before, the inherent value of sticking to players with an established track-record will make itself felt in 2017.

When RERA becomes a nation-wide reality in mid-2017, Pune’s established developers with a good track record quality products and transparent dealings via official financial channels will emerge as dominant.

Once the Real Estate Regulatory Bill kicks in, fraudulent builders will be pulled off the market, and there will be more clarity than ever before about the genuine opportunities that Pune’s real estate market offers.

For the entire year of 2016, Pune remained a buyers’ market and primarily end-user driven. Developers vied with each other for customers in most locations – a ‘competition’ in which only those with projects nearing completion emerged as clear winners.

High buyer caution prevailed throughout the year with regards to pre-launches and under-construction projects in the earliest stages of development.

With many projects offering ready-to-move options to buyers and investors, the thought of having to wait for 2 to 3 years before gaining possession simply failed to entice.

The locations which scored highest with buyers in 2016 were not the overpriced central locations, but those which offer good connectivity to Pune’s various workplace hubs while circumventing the steep price points of the city’s central areas.

property investment

Most buyers had a firm list of must-haves to refer to:

  • Proximity to the city’s various workplace centers; good overall connectivity via roads and public transport
  • Rational property prices
  • Availability of good schools, affordable healthcare, shopping and entertainment
  • Market-proven reliability of developers’ brand

In terms of location, Undri-Pisoli in Pune’s south-eastern sector was a clear favourite with buyers employed in the city’s Infotech sector and manufacturing industries, as all the requirements were available as above,

Also Ambegaon in the south-western part saw a lot of conversions, thanks to its good connectivity to Mumbai as well as onward to Satara and Kolhapur.

Apart from the fact that these locations are extremely well-connected, they also drew demand because they have a good supply of completed projects by reputable developers.

Fast-paced infrastructure deployment also helped bring these two locations to the top of the charts in 2016, and will continue to sustain their desirability in 2017.

Bhugaon, Keshavnagar and Manjri in the city’s eastern quadrant saw a lot of absorption because of overall access they provide to various key areas of the city. Though they are still emerging in terms of general infrastructure deployment, these are certainly locations to watch in the future.

In terms of general pricing, Pune saw a correction of 3 to 6% in property prices in most markets. Most developers rolled out additional schemes to attract buyers to their projects, with varying degrees of success.

Construction-linked plans drew some interest, but the clear winners among such schemes were all-inclusive packages which included all statutory costs such as VAT, stamp duty and registration fees.

Buyers showed a lot of preference for transparency in pricing, a decent saturation of in-project amenities and facilities, and developers whose trustworthiness was not in question.

2017 will be a year of significant and much-needed change for Pune’s property market. The Government’s demonetisation initiative has kick-started a process of elimination of fly-by-night developers and the cash components in the transactions will come to an end- a process which the final implementation of RERA will bring to culmination.

There will be a lot of consolidation throughout the year, with such players yielding whatever marketable land parcels and incomplete projects they hold to more established players.

2017 will not bring any further correction in Pune’s residential property prices, as demand is already returning in force to the city’s property market. Also, the fact that RERA will bring with it a significant additional financial burden on developers with regards to various statutory compliances, prices may go up towards mid-year.

Nevertheless, the year ahead will be favourable for property buyers in Pune. It will continue to be a buyers’ market, and the relationship between developers and buyers will see a major upgrade because buyers’ rights and interests will be well-defined and well-protected by the new Real Estate Regulatory bill. This is what the Government wants to achieve.

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.

Concrete: A Highly Sustainable Building Material

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

With the term ‘concrete jungle’ having become so popular and widely used, it is easy to overlook that this building material has been around for so long for very good reasons.

Also, that it has some excellent attributes which make it very important in today’s context.

Yes, it is easy to produce and use, but the fact is that concrete is an eminently environmentally friendly building material during the entire span of its life cycle, beginning from its production as a  raw material right until it is demolished.

This renders it the perfect and obvious building option for the construction of sustainable homes.

The cement utilized in concrete is sourced from limestone, which is an abundantly available mineral that will literally never deplete.

However, one can also manufacture concrete from materials such as slag cement and fly ash, both of which are generated by industries like steel mills and power plants as waste byproducts.

From the point of recycling of existing resources, concrete is therefore a real boon to the planet.

Concrete is also highly durable, and is used in erecting buildings which are not subject to rust, do not burn or otherwise degrade.

In fact, buildings built with concrete have twice or even thrice the life- span of buildings erected with many other construction material.

The life-spans for concrete building products can be double or triple those of other common building materials.

Concreting Work Construction Worker

What is equally important from a sustainability perspective is that the use of concrete in forming the foundation, floors and walls of a building renders it extremely energy-efficient.

One of the benefits of this building material is its ability to absorb and retain heat. In other words, people who live in homes built of concrete save significantly on both cooling and heating bills.

In a concrete building, one can install air conditioners of lower capacity, resulting in significant electricity savings. Also, concrete reduces the incidence of processes that result in urban heat islands.

When concrete, which is inherently light in colour, is used to build pavements and roofs, the end result is that less heat is absorbed and more incoming solar radiation is deflected.

Finally, concrete as a building material, results in the least waste of raw building materials, as it can be manufactured and used in the actual quantities required to build a building or other project.

Once a building or structure built of concrete has completed its life-cycle or fulfilled the purpose for which it was erected, the concrete can be recycled into aggregate which can then be used to lay concrete pavements or provide an underlying base for roads.

About The Author

 Kishor Pate, Chairman & Managing Director ofAmit 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.

The Legacy Of Bungalows In Pune Real Estate

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

Pune’s residential real estate market has come a long way – especially in formats. From huts to ‘wadas’, and from there on from individual, owner-built units to modern apartments, the landscape has been changing constantly.

Today, tall, modern apartment buildings reach for the skies all over Pune, jostling for space with commercial developments and older, smaller buildings.

However, none of the residential formats available now and in the past have had such enduring appeal as bungalows. There are good reasons for this. To begin with, Pune is a city with a unique blend of individualism and solidarity.

This is evidenced by the properties being maintained by the city’s more prominent families – private and beautiful, they provide a safe haven for the inhabiting families within while sending out a clear message of their social status.

Secondly, a bungalow is the only residential format which offers complete and unequivocal ownership – no part of it is part of anyone else’s property. As such, a bungalow owner is a true ‘lord of the manor’.

There are no society rules to crimp one’s lifestyle, and every part of a bungalow is a firm possession. This factor was aptly brought out by a renowned spiritual master from Coimbatore who held a discourse in Pune several years ago.

A man who had grown up in and among the highly individualistic homes that defined many South Indian cities back then, he had been invited to dwell in the home of one of his disciples in the city. This, he recalled, was his first encounter with the modern ‘flat system’.

He quizzed his disciple about the flat format, and was perplexed to discover that no part of the flat was really wholly owned. The walls were common to other flats, the ceiling was somebody else’s floor and the floor was somebody else’s ceiling.

Simplistic though it may seem, this evaluation is actually quite accurate. A bungalow is the only format of built residential real estate that is an owned asset in the truest sense.

Thirdly, a bungalow offers the ultimate work-life balance option for those who have made it in life. The bungalows of most of Pune’s elite function as homes as well as workplaces for their owners. With enough space to separate work from family life without overlap, bungalows offer the highest form of luxury and convenience to business owners.

Alpine Twin Bungalow in Bloomfield, Ambegaon
Alpine Twin Bungalow in Bloomfield, Ambegaon

Fourthly, the security of a bungalow is matchless if it is part of a modern township in Pune. While isolated bungalows on the outskirts definitely face security threats, bungalows in avant-garde townships such as Bloomfield – a luxury residential project based on the Singapore theme – have the advantage of the highly efficient, yet non-intrusive security of the project.

This unique blend of security, privacy and autonomy in bungalows is the result of Pune’s rapid progress towards Western living concepts.

Finally, a bungalow offers the ultimate bridge between generations, allowing large families with members of all ages to cohabit is a perfect harmony of space, privacy and safety.

Despite their unique characteristics, bungalows are becoming very scarce in a city that treasures individuality as a tradition and a life value.

Because of the economy of scale that residential developers in Pune must pursue as a business model, most available plots are now being used for the development of apartment buildings.

However, Pune still offers a limited number of exclusive bungalows to those who will not compromise on the right to privacy, total ownership and a lifestyle above and beyond the common denominators.

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.

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.

How Long Does A Modern Concrete Building Last?

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

Needless to say, the world is gradually becoming one big concrete jungle. Innumerable concrete buildings are being constructed for residential as well as commercial purposes globally. Given that people pay a lot of money for them, a natural question to ask is how long these concrete structures or buildings will last.

Building materials play a big role in deciding the longevity of a concrete structure. There have been instances where concrete buildings not more than 20 to 30 years old have collapsed. However, there are cases where concrete buildings that were constructed 100-150 years back are still going strong without any kinds of damage or problems. Unfortunately, the fact that housing projects are being mass-produced today has resulted in countless buildings being constructed with inferior quality materials.

Since all concrete buildings look the same to the untrained eye, it is very difficult to ascertain how long any one will last without needing serious structural repairs. While some buildings will last for more than 50 to 60 years without problems, some will start developing problems after few years of construction.

The designs used in concrete buildings also play a part in how long they will last. If we examine some old structures, it becomes apparent that they have thick columns, beams and slabs that provide superior support to the building. In many of today’s concrete buildings being raised by developers who are more concerned with cost-cutting than delivering quality products, the slabs that are used are merely few inches thick.

Concreting Work Construction Worker

Other than building materials and design, the longevity of a concrete building is also decided by the foundation. In concrete buildings that have lasted for 100 years or more, the foundation is deep and strong, set in ground soil that had been tested and confirmed for its ability to support heavy structures If the soil in a particular site is not strong enough, the foundation needs to go deeper so as to provide adequate anchorage and support.

Assuming that the developer has used a good building design by a qualified architect, that he has used good quality cement and steel, and that the foundation is adequate for the type of soil in the plot, a multi-storey apartment building will provide problem-free service for anything between 70 to 80 years or even longer. Within this period, regular maintenance of the building’s structure will need to be carried out, which a responsible developer who considers himself accountable for his products will undertake as a matter of course.

A badly constructed building which falls into neglect after all the units are sold may not last for more than 35 to 40 years before developing serious faults, along with all related dangers to the occupants.

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.