What Lies Ahead For The Pune Property Market

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

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

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

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

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

Know what drives demand

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

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

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

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

Pune_India

Know where to invest

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

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

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

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

Know your developer

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

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

RERA Compliance – the new Gold Standard

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

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

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

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

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

About the Author

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

Pune Property: All Roads Lead to Ambegaon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About The Author

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

Pune 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.

Wait For The Real Estate Regulator Bill (RERA) Or Buy Now?

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

Across the country, aspiring property buyers are waiting for RERA – or the Real Estate Regulation Act – to be implemented by the States.

Time and again, it has been stated that the consumer must consider the reputation of the builder prior to taking a decision to buy a property/asset which is likely to remain for generations.

On implementation of RERA, only builders with sound reputations will remain in the fray – this probably its most important function in protecting consumer rights and interests.

Once RERA becomes a enforceable law, it will change the ways in which residential housing projects are planned, offered, sold and possessed across India. Property buyers will no longer need to worry about unfair contracts, delayed possessions, non-notified alterations in building plans and other risks.

The aim of RERA is to make real estate purchase simpler by bringing in better accountability and transparency. In doing so, it will also infuse a lot more confidence among buyers – who, at the end of the day, should feel as comfortable about investing in a home as they are about buying gold.

RERA lays forth several ground rules for real estate buying and selling, including:

  • Registration of every real estate project with the appointed tribunal (with some exceptions). Non-registered projects cannot be offered for sale or booked by promoters.
  • Mandatory uploading of project details by the developer on the RERA website, including layout planning and completion schedule.
  • 70% of the advance collected from buyers needs to be maintained in a separate bank account and be used only for the stipulated project construction. These funds cannot be hived off for other purposes – a practice that has contributed majorly to delayed projects in the past. The individual state governments have reserved the power to alter the amount, but the principle is very much in place.
  • Establishment of Real Estate Appellate Tribunals that will handle any issues related to property disputes, with the intention of delivering quick and unambiguous resolution.
  • Setting up of an advisory body to deal with matters related to government-sponsored real estate development.

In one of the most important addendums to RERA, real estate brokers and the way they conduct their business now also fall under its ambit. The days of unscrupulous property agents either acting solely in their own interest or in collusion with developers are now numbered.

In fact, RERA will protect both the buyer and the seller – for instance, it protects developers from non-payment. While the promoter is required to obtain necessary documentation such as the completion certificate, the buyer is liable to be fined for delays in payment. Failure to register the property or comply by other regulations of the Act will lead to hefty fines and even imprisonment in certain cases.

All this may sound too good to be true – and in fact, it is for now because RERA is likely to come into full force from May 2017. All the individual state governments need to get their ‘acts’ together to comply with its requirements and adopt it.

The good news is that they do not have the option of not doing so – the Central Government has amply demonstrated that it is determined to push the Real Estate Regulation Bill through come hail or high water.

The Indian real estate market is currently showing positive signs of revival. Even as smaller builders struggle – now also because of the recent demonetization of larger currency notes – credible developers continue to launch new projects and raise funds to meet the committed completion timelines.

With RERA in place, several not-so-credible developers will go out of business. Buyer will be protected from players with ulterior motives – in short, fly-by-night operators. This will, in turn, infuse a much-needed positive sentiment among buyers and consequently help increase demand.

Increased sales will improve the cash situations of the credible developers that remain after the weeding out, and projects will be automatically delivered in time.

real estate law

Should You Wait For RERA Or Buy Now?

At the current point in time, because of the lower demand seen over the last 2-3 years, property prices across India’s major cities have sunk to incredibly low levels. Buyers have a wide range of options in locations, budgets, amenities and – perhaps most importantly – in developers.

In previous times, buyers with budget constraints could only consider projects by builders with doubtful reputations and questionable business practices. This is no longer the case – today, a home in a quality project by a trustworthy and reputable developer is very much an option even within a modest budget.

RERA will take another year to be implemented; meanwhile, there are other dynamics which are changing on the Indian property market. Reduced pricing coupled with attractive deals in most cities, and the fact that more and more fence-sitting buyers have run out of patience and are coming onto the market with firm ‘buy’ decisions, have kick-started the modest but very real recovery we are seeing on the residential market.

In Pune, we have witnessed a 25% increase in buying activity in high-demand areas like Undri-Pisoli, Ambegaon, Bhugaon and Wagholi in the last 4-5 months alone. In Mumbai, buying activity in Navi Mumbai, Thane and some other relatively affordable areas has also picked up significantly.

What does this mean for property buyers? Very simply – any revival in buying activity eventually leads to increased prices. Such is the immutable law of demand and supply. Given that demand is increasing steadily even now, property prices will begin rising even before RERA becomes a market reality next year.

What Experts Say

Industry watchdogs unanimously agree that there is no scope for current property prices to decrease further. Whatever correction in prices could happen has happened, and developers cannot reduce prices further even if they wanted to – doing so would, in many cases, seriously impact their ability to stay on the market.

In fact, RERA will mean that promoters will be bound by more procedures, and this may increase the cost of their projects – costs which are likely to be passed on to the consumer. In other words, RERA could be instrumental in inducing cost escalations in many cities.

It should be noted that while RERA will ensure that unscrupulous developers and their business practices will be driven off the market, it will simultaneously ensure that builders with sound reputations and impeccable track records will become stronger.

One of the most important intentions of the new law is to support such developers so that they can continue to serve the needs of property buyers in the wholesome and transparent manner which they are known for.

In short, for buyers who have no intention of dealing with any but the most reputed developers, there is no real advantage in waiting for RERA to kick in. If one is working with a reputed developer, the privileges, benefits and safeguards that it will bring already apply today.

Another valid argument against waiting for RERA before buying a property is that that once the Act is in place, it will become mandatory for builders to invest extra time with regulatory bodies to work along the extensive details of construction plans, clearances, approvals and other details related to their new projects. Paradoxically, this will in fact result in delayed deliveries where the opposite effect was actually intended.

Even though many buyers feel that they should wait for RERA to be implemented before buying a flat, the fact remains that there are already many builders with strong reputations and credible market practices.

Buying a property from such a player now instead of later can turn out to be wise decision if RERA results in upward pressure on prices. Also, if one is looking to make the most of current attractive pricing and offers, there is actually no better time than now.

The time and effort spent in taking advantage of the favorable market dynamics existing today will prove to be the soundest investment. The sole proviso is that one should only patronize a reputed developer with a good track record for delivery and construction quality.

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 Education Influences Pune’s Property Market

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

Jawaharlal Nehru named Pune the Oxford of the East, and this title is more than well-deserved on account of the many schools, colleges and management institutes that the city boasts of. Each year, Pune attracts tens of thousands of students not only from India but all over the world.

A lesser-known fact is that Pune’s real estate market is a direct beneficiary of its highly developed educational environment. People in Pune are willing to invest considerably in their children’s education, and this includes a willingness to pay more for a home located close to a good school or college.

In fact, if we study the check-lists of features that most homebuyers in Pune consider important, more than 35% list proximity to good schools and colleges non-negotiable.

Also most of the migrants from other states generally fall in love with Pune and settle here. This also leads to demand for more houses  near the proximity of the schools as this is a most logical step for anyone to raise a family.

Not only that, but a significant number of homebuyers – predominantly young working couples – are willing to compromise on other aspects such as proximity to entertainment and even workplaces in order to secure a home close to a good school.

For these people, the welfare of their children ranks higher than their own convenience. What is even more interesting is that not all of these homebuyers are married or have children. Why do such buyers consider proximity to good educational institutions important while selecting a property?

The answer is as simple as it is profound. On the one hand, married homebuyers with children are definitely interested in quality schools and colleges because of the educational opportunities they offer. Such homebuyers have either just starting a family or are planning to do so soon.

Either way, they are considering the future of their children and are even ready to pay more for smaller homes in order to secure their chances of a good education.

In the larger context, however, most property buyers and investors in Pune understand that the availability of good schools in a neighborhood contributes directly to the overall value of the locality’s real estate.

Obviously, Pune’s educational districts rank very high as property investment destinations. This is underscored by another very interesting fact – namely, the resilience of the property values in areas of Pune which are close to the good schools, colleges and management institutions.

child in school

In the past, these areas did not see any drop in property prices even when other localities were seeing price corrections.

Historically, homebuyers focused on these areas of Pune were willing to make all kinds of compromises in order to secure the education advantage. They were ready to settle for smaller homes in projects without clubhouses and swimming pools, in congested areas without malls or any kind of organized shopping nearby.

Over time, these constraints have given way to some extent. Developers who were able to secure redevelopment rights in some of the core areas of the city were able to build more modern residential complexes which have a decent share of lifestyle amenities.

While examining the correlation of Pune’s educational institutions and the property pricing in the areas around them, some may argue that good schools and colleges have led to the higher appreciation of these areas.

The rationale would appear sound – homebuyers in Pune will always prefer residential projects located near an educational district and are ready to pay higher rates for them. So have Pune’s good schools, in fact, helped drive up the property prices in these localities?

Maybe so, but this is an incomplete argument at best. The fact remains these areas are also defined by higher historic affluence and that this affluence has triggered the development of high-quality schools there. There is no doubt that in Pune, the best schools and colleges are in localities defined by a higher standard of living.

In the final analysis, what perhaps matters most from a property market perspective is not the nature of the relationship between education and property values in Pune, but the simple fact that the relationship definitely exists.

Developers with projects in and around Pune’s educational institutions are able to ask for higher prices, and homebuyers are generally willing to pay them.

About The Author

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

Should You Buy A Home In Pune This Festive Season?

Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.

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

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

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

woman holding diya

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About The Author

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

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.

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.