Pune Realty Sector Welcomes RERA Implementation

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

The real estate regulatory bill has been long pending implementation, and homebuyers have been eagerly awaiting its nation-wide deployment so that they can finally invest in residential real estate with confidence and assurance.

Industry stakeholders had been divided in their stance towards this vital regulator, resulting in massive delays for its implementation as a firm law. Now, the May 1 deadline is finally here and RERA is all set to usher in a new era of transparency in the Indian realty market.

No doubt, there are still ambiguities and not all States have announced their RERA rules as per the deadline. However, there is now very real pressure on the laggards, and the ambiguities will get ironed out in the near future.

What is important is that RERA is now finally here to empower and protect consumers. RERA imposes stringent regulations on developers as well as property brokers with regards to how they conduct their business. It is very encouraging that the bill is now a reality.

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.

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.

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.

The Philosophy Behind Residential Project Names

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

The naming of residential projects can play a significant role in how much attention they garner on the market. While the name-selection process may sometimes seem random (and it sometimes is), there is more often than not a great deal of psychology and marketing thought behind it.

The idea is to create a certain impression and aspiration in the minds of the target clientele, and when this is done with enough research and sound marketing advice, this objective can definitely be fulfilled.

The philosophy behind naming a project is guided by the specific nature of a particular market in terms of overall ethos, social configuration and mind-set, and the type of clientele that the developer is targeting.

The developer will seek to find a name that ‘speaks’ the local language and also conveys the image or impression that he is trying to create. Usually, the developer will employ an advertisement agency to come up with a suitable name, and the shortlisting and confirmation of the final pick can be quite a drawn-out process.

For instance, project names with a Mediterranean image evoke visions of such countries and the ethos they represent. This ethos would include a lot of things, including a sense of chilled-out global ambiance, exclusiveness and social ‘arrival’.

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

Such names are usually given to themed gated projects and townships wherein the developer has gone to considerable pains to recreate the identified cultural ethos in the project with its specifications, amenities and design, including the interior decor of individual units.

With yet another category of project names such as those that evoke a certain cultural ethos, the intention will be to attract buyers from a certain community within a city.

Such names may seek to speak to buyers from the traditional ‘core’ sector of the city, which would like the thought of being able to include such a name in their address.

However, this is by no means a given. The name selection may also be completely random and based on no such particular intention. At times, the name may have absolutely no bearing on anything that the project actually is, and this phenomenon is often seen in the case with mid-income housing projects.

In today’s market scenario, there is no shortage of highly imaginative and well-researched project names. By the same coin, there is also no shortage of bizarre project names where one tends to wonder what exactly the developer was thinking.

In the past, the process of naming a project was a lot simpler and less meditated. Previously, a number of good names were up for grabs – today, there is high competition among developers to find the best possible names.

Developers will seek to keep the names of their projects a secret until they are ready to unleash the complete marketing campaign, to reduce the chances of competitors plagiarizing these names for their own projects. As of now, there is no well-defined ‘copyrighting’ mechanism available.

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.

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.