Green Home Certification: The Requirements And Benefits

Kishor PateKishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. & Hon. Secretary – CREDAI (Maharashtra)

The concept of green homes – meaning environmentally sustainable residential spaces – is still an emerging trend in India, but awareness about this exciting new way of life is rapidly gaining ground.

Buildings account for almost 40% of the country’s overall energy consumption, and more than 60% of all buildings being developed in India are residential projects.

It certainly requires a leap of intelligence to understand where we are headed at this rate, but the Indian market response for green residential buildings is increasing with every passing year.

Not surprisingly, Pune – the Oxford of the East – has become one of the leaders of this new movement. Thanks to the city’s high intellectual acceptance quotient, it is fast emerging as Maharashtra’s primary ‘green living’ city.

This is a proud fact for Pune, since accepting green homes as a way of life is not something that is geared to come naturally to Indian home buyers One reason for this is lack of a clearer understanding of green homes; another is the fact that such homes are perceived to be a lot more expensive.

The fact is that green homes – both in terms of their construction and their use – are one of the clearest and most available means to reducing environmentally harmful waste, tackling water and energy insufficiency, reducing the consumption of fossil fuels by lowered commuting and improving health.

As a matter of fact, building sustainable residential projects is the only real way forward for ushering Indian real estate into a new Era of Sustainability.

More and more Indian developers are now looking for official green certification of their projects via the IGBC (Indian Green Building Council) Green Homes Rating System.

What Is IGBC Certification And How Is It Obtained?

This unique rating programme for Indian residential sector has been developed in accordance with well-defined principles of environmental preservation and increased energy efficiency.

Contrary to common belief, IGBC certification is not a Draconian system which is next to impossible to obtain. However, it does demand a highly disciplined development approach that is aimed towards delivering environmentally sustainable projects.

Green Home

To get IGBC certification, a developer of a multi-storey residential project needs to meet certain mandatory requirements and obtain a certain amount of ‘green’ credits. Projects can qualify for precertification once the developers in question have incorporated IGBC requirements in the project’s design and submitted the relevant documents to IGBC.

The final IGBC certification is awarded once the project is complete. The process is fairly simple and straightforward, but it is also very thorough.

When a developer registers his project under the IGBC Green Homes Rating System, he is making a commitment to ensure that the project will conform to all IGBC requirements.

At every step of project completion, he is required to submit all supporting documents. In fact, IGBC stipulates that documentation must be submitted both at the design stage and at every phase of construction.

Basically, the documentation that needs to be made available to IGBC for pre-certification of a residential project must include information on how and to what degree the developer intends to adhere to the prescribed certification norms.

According to the degree of compliance, IGBC awards a rating. This rating may differ from the rating given at the stage of completion, since the developer needs to offer clear proof that the rating norm he initially committed to have indeed been followed.

Once a developer applies for pre-certification with IGBC, the agency will review the project’s conformance to the certification requirements every six months.

Green Home Certification for Sereno, Baner

Is it worth it? We certainly think so, and we are not alone. It is true that there is a premium of around 5% attached to certified green homes which buyers are required to pay.

However, this premium is not proving to be a big deterrent to Pune’s new and highly informed home buyers. The extra cost is recovered by the end user in as little as three years.

In fact, there are immediate, sustained and very tangible benefits in terms of the savings generated by reduced water and energy consumption, lower medical costs due to significantly healthier living environment and an overall improved life experience for the whole family.

One also needs to factor in the added appreciation value – ten years from now, green homes will have the highest resale value on the residential property market.

Those who invest in green homes today are going to see the value of their investments multiplied by a factor which normal projects will not be able to match.

About Amit Enterprises:

Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. is a ISO 9001:2008 certified residential development company based in Pune. Two of AEHL’s latest projects in Pune are well on the way for final Platinum certification by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC).

Pune Developers: Ushering In The New Generation

Kishor PateKishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. & Hon. Secretary – CREDAI (Maharashtra)

Pune’s real estate market has been transformed in less a decade, and the credit goes largely to the infusion of fresh talent into the industry. There can be no progress without change, and it is change that the new generation of developers have brought with them.

They have a fresh outlook on the real estate business, and the vision and zeal of youth on their side. They come from various backgrounds – some are the scions of existing real estate concerns, and some are absolutely new to the field.

In my opinion, those who have the benefit of continuing in established family businesses have had a greater advantage. They have the benefit of an existing business foundation and a loyal clientele.

In India, the reputation and credibility of a development firm is built up over many years, and customers learn to trust certain brands for their proven adherence to quality locations, construction and after-sales service.

However, even brand-new entrants in the field are making a mark and we are seeing a lot of good work happening from them. They have the advantage of entirely breaking the mould and starting out, from the ground up, with fresh concepts and innovations.

They can build their businesses to their own specifications, pick their own staff to maintain and build upon their own youthful edge and incorporate business practices which may sometimes meet with some opposition in older firms.

No matter what background they come from, the new generation of developers today have invariably had opportunities to a more cutting-edge education, and more exposure to the world markets. Many of them have travelled extensively and have seen new, modern concepts in housing in more advanced countries.

They are able to bring these concepts to the table back home and adapt them to Indian requirements. For instance, the ‘green homes’ and ‘smart homes’ revolution in India is largely thanks to the fact that the new generation of developers have recognized the importance of these new concepts in India.

Young minds think alike. It is sometimes difficult for the older generation of developers to completely grasp the requirements of the current age. Pune is a city where youth drives everything in terms of growth – from the IT and IT enabled services sector to retail and car manufacturing.

We find that the spirit of youth needs to be effectively interpreted and translated into today’s home designs, and the new generation is helping us to do this very effectively.

Meanwhile, thanks to the infusion of youthful talent into the business, the older generation of builders is learning to change with the times when it comes to the designing of homes, to market their products to the right customer segment and to bring better efficiency to overall business operations.

This matters a lot in a very individualistic market like Pune, where these younger developers have already made a huge difference. If we look at what Pune’s residential market offers today and compare it with what existed only ten years ago, there is visible and profound change in almost every aspect.

We now have sleeker, more efficient designs, better construction techniques and the introduction of green and smart homes. These homes are designed and built for a younger, more aware generation of buyers who know what it means to want more out of life.

Amit Enterprises Brings Sachin Tendulkar’s Thunder To Nasik

Master Blaster Meets 200 Flat Owners At Amit Eka

Master blaster, Sachin Tendulkar, recently made an extended appearance in Nasik, much to the delight of this city’s ardent cricket fans.

He met up with 200 flat owners of Amit Eka, a luxurious residential project by Pune’s leading housing developers Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. which was launched six months ago.
Shoot with Flat holders

Sachin let his legendary charisma flow freely as he interacted with proud new flat owners and their children. He recounted his childhood visit to Nasik, when he and his parents had gone to Trimbakeshwar when he was just seven years old. Subsequently, Sachin was in Nasik in 1983-84 for a cricket tournament.

“Home is where you get peace of mind and a peaceful sleep at night,” he said during the interaction at Amit Eka, which is already redefining luxurious living in the Pathardi area in South Nasik. Within easy travel distance from all the city’s focal points, Amit Eka is nevertheless comfortably removed from the more crowded areas and indeed offers a serene lifestyle to its residents.

Shoot with Flat holders-1

Sachin also attended an interactive session moderated by cricket journalist Sunandan Lele, during which he felicitated Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal. He was forthcoming with interesting snippets about his life and values when he answered an avalanche of questions from the attending audience. Afterwards, he met up with Nasik’s topmost dignitaries.

“We are gratified that Sachin agreed to join us at Nasik,” says Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. & Hon. Secretary, CREDAI (Maharashtra). “His visit coincided with the 29th anniversary of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd., and having him cut the cake was the perfect finishing touch.”

Deep Prajwalan-by SRT

Kishor Pate says AEHL chose Nasik as the venue for Amit Eka because this is a city whose time has come.

“It has several advantages, not the least being that it is equidistant from both Mumbai and Pune,” he says. “The fact that it is also an important religious destination makes it an ideal second-home destination for people from both these cities. Nasik also has excellent year-round climate. This city is gearing up to become an extended suburb of Mumbai.”

Nasik is popular for its climate and mid-to-long-term real estate investment potential, thanks to the increasing presence of IT/ITES companies there. Until 2008, the residential property market in Nasik grew at a sedate pace and thereafter took off with unprecedented annual appreciation rates.

Gaikwad hall event-SRT with KGP sir

Nasik had already become a realistic alternative destination for home buyers who find the property rates in Mumbai and Pune beyond their budgets.

“Nasik still offers relatively low residential property prices, and the appreciation rates are excellent,” says Kishor Pate. “As a second home destination, the city’s pleasant climate adds another level of attractiveness to buyers who may not necessarily be interested just for religious reasons. Nasik’s infrastructure and connectivity with Mumbai and other key cities and towns are constantly being upgraded. This makes it a very credible and promising real estate market. The areas along Pathardi Link Road are major developing residential destinations that are in high demand by second home buyers.”

Should You Buy A Ready Possession Or Under Construction Flat?

Kishor PateKishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. & Hon. Secretary – CREDAI (Maharashtra)

In most aspects of life, we tend to prefer a finished product to one which is incomplete. Nowhere is this more true than in buying a home. It seems to be a perfectly obvious choice. Instant gratification ranks very high on most people’s priority list.

The main reason why a majority of home buyers prefer ready flats is that a ‘ready possession’ flat allows the owner to move in immediately, arrange and modify things according to personal taste and get on with the business of living. However, there is also a negative aspect to instantly preferring a ready flat:

  • Increased Cost

Because of the high demand for ready flats, such units are also priced much higher than those in a project which is under construction. This means that the overall investment benefit of a under construction property is lower, since it has been bought at a higher price.

  • Higher EMIs

Buyers who are purchasing with a home loan lose out on the benefit of lower EMIs which are applicable during the construction process. This is because financial institutions release payments on the basis of phase-wise completion

  • Limits On Modification

A finished flat offers very little scope for personal touches. For instance, one may have certain desired specification for the kitchen. Modifications in a finished flat are expensive and disrupt day-to-day functioning

  • Lack Of Choice

Buyers lose out on choice. Because of the high demand for ready flats, there is pressure on buyers to make fast decisions, which they may regret later on. Many areas have projects under construction which are superior to available ready ones

  • No Payment Flexibility

Builders have no reason to offer flexible payment terms to buyers who are only considering ready flats.

Astonia Royale under construction

The fact is, investing in an under-construction flat often a lot of sense. Apart from the cost savings and higher investment benefits, buyers of such flats are also at greater liberty to ask for certain design specifications such as improved Vaastu compliance and more customized internal layouts.

Since the building is still at the developmental stage, the builder will be willing to incorporate certain changes in the original layout as long as they do not compromise the overall structural integrity or unreasonably increase his costs.

The new trend of ‘group buying’ also provides another advantage to those who are considering under construction properties. In this system, a group of serious buyers make a consolidated offer to the developer to buy a certain number of units in his project in one go at a discounted rate. This can result in considerable savings.

Of course, buying a property which is still under construction has certain elements of risk. For instance, there could be problems if the developer does not have a rock-solid reputation for completing his projects on time. Such builders may:

• Not have the professionalism to obtain all necessary permits and clearances for the project before beginning construction
• Not be financially sound enough to fund the project through to the point of completion

The best way to avoid such problems is to deal only with an established developer with a number of successful projects in the same city.

Amit’s Sereno: What Green Homes Were Meant To Be

Rajendra PateRajendra Pate, Director – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.

Amit’s Sereno, the latest ‘green living’ project at Baner by Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd, is Pune’s most resounding response to the increasing demand for sustainable homes so far.

Nothing is ordinary about this avant-garde and exclusive condominium project, which will feature 468 units spread over eight 15-16 storeyed blocks.

The provision of two levels of covered car parking, the swimming pools and floating clubhouse are only the beginning. The true magic at Amit’s Sereno lies in the detailed attention that was given to this project’s design. Everything about Sereno whispers freshness, rejuvenation and vitality.

The design layout concept itself was derived from the shape of a living organism cell, because this shape signifies the perfection of Nature’s design for all life. And though the entire project is embellished with lush greenery, the ‘green’ concept itself is incorporated into every aspect of the basic design.

Amit’s Sereno is not just a mere nod to the growing trend of sustainable real estate – it is the personification of this progressive trend towards a better, cleaner, greener way of life.

Amit’s Sereno has been scientifically planned to meet the most stringent parameters of sustainable design, construction and operations. Throughout, the objective was to achieve the most optimal levels of energy efficiency possible in a residential project.

These eco-friendly features ensure that Sereno is supremely site sensitive, water efficient, energy efficient and eco-friendly. In short, everything that a project of green homes in Pune can hope to be.

Site Responsiveness:

This is a technical term that needs to be explained in plainer words. At Sereno, the entire plot’s existing fertile soil has been preserved and re-used during construction process.

Moreover, native trees are being planted all around the project to ensure that Sereno’s landscaping stays in perfect balance with its natural surroundings on plot as part of landscaping.

All exposed surfaces have been designed with a reflective finish to minimize the ‘heat island’ effect. To further reduce environmental impact by motor vehicle use, the project has been designed in such a manner that all basic amenities are within walking distance.

Electric cars are becoming increasingly popular, and they are certainly the most sustainable option for shorter distances. The parking facilities at Sereno have therefore been equipped with electric charging points will be provided in the parking.

Finally, peripheral lighting will be kept to minimum so that the splendour of Baner’s night sky remains untainted by artificial illumination.

Water Efficiency:

All roof surfaces at Amit’s Sereno are being provided with modern rainwater harvesting equipment, and lawn areas have been optimized to reduce water consumption.

The residential units themselves are provided with water efficient flush and flow fittings, and 100% of the generated waste water will be treated for reuse in toilet flushes, landscaping and project maintenance.

Sereno at BanerEnergy Efficiency:

The project is being designed with the most modern computerized energy simulation tools, and the air conditioning, plumbing and electric system will stringently follow the national energy consumption code.

Moreover, the project will feature air conditioning units that do not require harmful chemicals like CFC and HCFC.

To eliminate wasteful and energy leakage, the walls, roofs and glazed surfaces at Sereno are completely insulated with state-of-the-art materials and construction techniques.

Photo voltaic cells are being incorporated to handle a part of connected building load, and the entire project is further enabled with a non-polluting and highly efficient electric backup system.

Eco-friendly Construction:

At Sereno, all construction materials will be fully used on site, thereby vastly reducing the landfill load on the city.

Recycled material will be used wherever possible, and local/ regional materials are being given preference during the construction process. During the process itself, organic and inorganic waste will be collected and treated separately.

Significantly, Amit’s Sereno is being constructed with the ultra-modern Aluform process, which has the advantages of being recyclable, highly versatile and eminently durable.

Normal construction uses wooden panels which can be used to a maximum of 25 times before being turned into scrap, while aluminium panels can be reused up to 200 times.

This construction technique is a major leap forward for sustainable real estate development, and the final word in green construction. Finally, the use of harmful asbestos has been completely eliminated.

These and many more features combine to make Amit’s Sereno the final word for green homes in Pune. The creation of such a project is always a labour of love, because no cost and effort is spared in presenting buyers with healthy, cost-efficient homes that are truly in harmony with the environment.

In the end, green homes are symbolic of mankind’s eternal quest to get back to Nature – to stop fighting against the forces that created and sustain us. At Amit’s Sereno, this conflict finally ends and harmony is fully restored.

As featured on

Real Estate And Corporate Social Responsibility

In India, we tend to look at CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) as a new concept. In fact, it is as old as the concept of business itself. It is only in the last fifty years or so that it has become a matter of social debate and public opinion. However, socially aware and responsible companies have been engaged in some form of CSR or the other for much longer than that.

India is a country in which companies have always been expected to give back to society. This principle is firmly rooted in our ancient history and dates back to the days of Chanakya – India’s very own ancient business guru.

Society in India is very symbiotic and inter-dependent, as opposed to the silo mentality often seen in the West. It is only during the days of the east India Company that an exploitative element was introduced to doing business in India. When the British left the country, they also left behind a twisted concept of profiteering and empire-building which we have never really lost.

Even so, many Indian companies are engaged in hands-on CSR activity which does not necessarily get spoken about, but is still very real. For instance, the social responsibility efforts of many real estate developers goes unnoticed simply because it is not highlighted as CSR at all.

Real estate is a very local business. In the first place, it takes place in localities and locations, with ‘location, location, location’ being the foremost mantra of what gives value to property.

However, there are no ‘new locations’ – only areas that have not been developed as yet. These areas are usually already inhabited. It is a logical but often overlooked fact that real estate development does indeed benefit the original dwellers in an area in many ways:

It provides immediate and future employment to locals in an area. Shops and other commercial establishments crop up around new residential buildings, and these are invariably run by locals.

The infrastructure improves, raising property values and benefiting the original land and property owners of the area. Doctors and health care facilities arrive. The area is connected to municipal water and electricity supply. These factors have a direct bearing on the quality of life of the local inhabitants.

These are direct benefits, but of course they do not originate from a developer’s sense of social responsibility. When CSR does occur in context with actual real estate development, it must essentially be directed at those who contribute to the process development.

This is a maxim that Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd believes in very firmly. For example, we provide schooling to the children of the construction workers at all our sites. We have tied up with ‘Door Step School‘ – an NGO which addresses the need to educate the marginalized sections of society.

Door Step SchoolDoor Step School provides education and support to the often-forgotten children of pavement dwellers, slum dwellers, construction site families and many other underprivileged families.

Many of these children are not enrolled in schools and have limited access to books and places to study. Also, many children drop out of school to work or care for younger children. With neither support nor resources at home, such children tend to have no opportunities for education.

Door Step School was established in Mumbai in 1988 and later expanded to Pune in 1992. Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd saw the potential of contributing positively to the lives of the construction workers it employs and has been working together with Door Step School ever since.

In keeping with this program, AEHL provides school structures and meals to the children of construction workers, so that their education can take place free of cost even as their parents earn a living at our sites.

Construction worker's children studying on siteWe are very proud of the fact that many of these children have gone on to higher education, thereby enabling their families to achieve higher standards of living.

As featured on

Pune Builders Inspired By Planned Growth In Gujarat

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

MBVA Mission To Gujarat – An Inspiration And Vision For The Future Of Pune And Maharashtra

The MBVA (Marathi Bandhkam Vyavsayik Association) is a body of prominent local real estate developers in Pune that has a membership of over 250, and has become a vital knowledge and resource-sharing platform for all of them.

MBVA has been a boon to the booming construction industry in Pune, providing its members a means to adopt standardized industry practices and technologies. MBVA also serves the function on giving its members a forum from which they can voice their issues to the relevant authorities.

Another major function of this body is to conduct study tours for the members so that they can obtain knowledge of innovative industry practices. There are a number of ground-breaking systems being used elsewhere in the country, and of course abroad.

Since the Pune real estate industry caters to a rich cross-section of the global market, there is a huge interest in projects which follow international construction norms. As such, there is a lot to be learned from countries like China, Israel and many of the Western countries.

The MBVA has, in fact, visited Dubai, South Africa, China and Germany in the recent past so that its members can see such progressive trends and technologies being implemented first-hand. However, one of the most instructional tours we have had so far was much closer home – to neighbouring Gujarat.

Members of the MBVA had the privilege of interacting with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and learning from him about the success strategies being used to drive real estate and infrastructure planning and development in this progressive state.

Rajendra-Pate-Narendra-ModiUnder his administration, Gujarat has seen the arrival of the Dholera Special Investment Region (SIR) and the finalization of the world’s largest artificial fresh water lake – a Rs. 100,000 crore undertaking at Kalpsar which will address the state’s water requirements for an entire century to come.

The Sabarmati Riverfront Development project, the Janmarg Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS), GIFT City, Kids City and the ultra-modern Metro Rail project have all taken shape under the current administration.

The State Government has provided an extremely conducive environment for overall development. This, coupled with the availability of skilled manpower, has resulted in massive external investments into the state and made Gujarat a prime SEZ and industrial destination.

There is a great deal of investor faith for Gujarat, since the economy there is very evidently driven by policy rather than by people. Also, the development mantra in this state is based on Skills, Scale and Speed – a formula which has worked exceedingly well for its economy.

We visited a number of large projects in Gujarat’s major cities. At every point, we were impressed by the intelligent urban development policies that drive growth in this state.

MVBA Visits GujaratThere is perfect transparency and governance being employed in all aspects of urban and rural planning, resulting in a win-win situation for land-owners, real estate developers, property buyers as well as the Government. Around Rs. 7000 crores worth of urban projects are being implemented, resulting in extremely modern civic amenities and infrastructure throughout the state.

We came away from the experience with a distinct impression that other states should also consider adopting Gujarat’s development policies. For example, the Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA) has introduced a number of infrastructure reforms which do not require massive investment by the Government.

The model that AUDA follows is to acquire large pockets of land, providing the required infrastructure to make the areas viable for real estate development, and then giving back a part of this developed land to the owners. The land has naturally acquired a much higher value, so they are definitely winners. AUDA retains the remaining part for further development of its own projects.

Historically, Gujarat has a highly defined entrepreneurial spirit and has provided India with some of its most outstanding business icons. There is no doubt that Gujarat’s State Government is one of the most progressive and proactive in India.

There is a massive effort going on to provide modern infrastructure. In fact, Gujarat is probably the only Indian state that focuses on providing infrastructure first and then implementing planned real estate development in the newly enabled areas.

Following our visit, to Gujarat, there has been a lot of discussion and debate among the members of MBVA on how such reforms and development initiatives could be replicated in Pune, as well. We are also working on putting some of the innovative technologies and concepts we witnessed there into practice for projects in this city.

As featured on

Pune Real Estate: Fast-Track Growth

Kishor PateKishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. And Hon. Secretary – CREDAI (Maharashtra)

The city of Pune is now a sparkling jewel on the crown of Indian real estate. It has undergone a constant transformation over the past few decades – from a simple, rural community to a military base, and on to one of the most sought-after cities for property.

Industrialization and Expansion

Pune was radically transformed when the effects of rapid industrialization took hold. The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) paved the way for this advancement; real estate development followed, with residential properties gaining more and more demand even as the groundwork of business offices was put in place.

A city’s progress involves ever-increasing workforce, which in turn requires housing. Residential property development brings with it the need for commercial establishments where people can buy their supplies or spend time in leisure activities. As Pune became more industrialized, the market for residential, business and retail property grew simultaneously. The die had been cast, and the city’s growth curve was ascending constantly.

Business prospects and job opportunities increasingly abounded in Pune, causing more people to move in from other cities and rural areas. It became a city where people could find work, earn their living, educate their children and retire in peace and prosperity.

The Role of the IT Industry

Property development in Pune quickly increased with the increasing presnece of IT/ITES busineses. There was an upsurge in the demand for commercial real estate, since IT companies needed places of business. As this industry was established in Pune, economic advancement came rapidly.Various IT companies – both from the country and from around the globe – began to set up their offices in the city.

Prominent IT-related commercial projects and catchments  soon became part of the cityscape, with some of the most prominent being the Hinjewadi IT and Software Park, Magarpatta CyberCity and the EON IT Park in Kharadi. This evolution also brought with it  an evolution in the demographics of property buyers in Pune.

The Information Technology industry attracts and grooms ambitious, technologically-inclined young adults who invariably end up drawing sizeable salaries. More and more NextGen people could afford better housing options, leading to increased demand for upscale residences in Pune.

Astonia RoyaleBurgeoning Residential Development

Pune’s territory expanded in order to deal with the rising demand for more residential areas and commercial centers. A number of the adjacent towns and settlements such as Baner, Kharadi, Wakad, Warje and others were included within its city limits and became legitimate parts of the city.

These previously insignificant parcels of land, particularly in sites along the Solapur-Nagar Road Bypass, soon turned into real estate goldmines to which property development made a beeline.

Today, Pune’s progress has made it an ideal location for local property developers and construction companies. HOwever, it has also attracted national and international builders who are keen on catering to the ever-growing demand for quality housing in Pune.

Housing Trends in Pune

Pune was once a city in which most of the demand was for single-family detached houses. As the city’s population expanded, apartments and duplexes became increasingly common. With the proliferation of the nuclear family concept, two, three four bedroom apartments are now extremely popular.

The city has come a long way from its traditional residential configuration – the multi-family ‘wada’ (several individual residential units built around a common courtyard.) Today, most of these have been replaced by apartment blocks – though many of Pune’s more traditional area still have’wadas’.

Today, Pune’s citizens have greater purchasing power than ever before, and their requirements and demands have risen proportionately. Also, the easy availability of home loans has made the goal of buying property much more accessible.

There is definitely a growing market for affordable apartments as well as upscale residences. An increasing number of people aspire to own their own homes these days rather than taking the rental housing option.

Amit Astonia Royale AmbegaonResidential Property Markets

Today, Pune’s major residential property markets include Kalyani Nagar, Viman Nagar, Kharadi, Wanowrie, Baner and Undri. While Kalyani Nagar and Viman Nagar are quickly reaching saturation point, areas like Wanowrie, Baner and Undri still have a lot of development potential.

Baner has quickly become one of the primary hotspots for growth, since it offers several location benefits. It has a perfect blend of residential demand influencers. In the first place, it is close to the IT Park at Hinjewadi, which generates a lot of demand for quality housing from IT/ITES professionals.

Baner’s proximity to the Mumbai-Pune Expressway as well as the Mumbai-Bangalore highway is very significant. Aundh, University Road and Deccan Gymkhana are within easy commuting distance, which ensures that buyers into this project have easy access to entertainment, healthcare and shopping facilities.

Upscale residences can be primarily found in Koregaon Park, Boat Club Road, Kalyani Nagar, BT Kawade Road and Sopan Baug. Homes located in Kothrud, Warje, Undri, Wanowrie, Mundhwa, Baner and Hadapsar are the preferred destinations for middle-income home seekers. However, many of these areas now also have premium housing options available.

Investor Profile

Pune’s investor market for residential property is steady and growing constantly. Compared to Mumbai, demand for residential property in Pune has remained quite robust. In fact, property prices in the city have risen by at least 12% in most locations with good infrastructure over the last six months.

There is a lot of investor activity, but Pune’s residential property market is still riding primarily on genuine homebuyer demand, with sales in this segment amounting for almost 62% of the overall sales. The rest comes from investor sales.

The investor profile is quite interesting because of how it changes according to location. In areas like Baner, Wakad and Hinjewadi, most of the investor enquiries come from Mumbai.

However, we noted that in the case of Astonia Royale and Bloomfield – our projects in Ambegaon – the highest investor demand comes from cities like Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur and Shirval.

The Rise of Baner, Queen Of Pune’s Suburbs

Kishor PateKishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd & Hon. Secretary, CREDAI (Maharashtra).

Pune’s real estate sector has many growth locations, but few today are as prominently on the radar of developers and property buyers as Baner.

This area began its climb to fame as one of the city’s last outposts of scenic environs. It went on to become one of Pune’s most coveted residential destination by the city’s software and IT-enabled services professionals.

By this yardstick and by all measures, Baner is an oustanding real estate success story. This article by Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd & Hon. Secretary, CREDAI (Maharashtra), outlines how it got there.

Baner is located in the north-west quadrant of Pune, which also encompasses Aundh and Balewadi. Today, it is known as a high-growth location in terms of real estate development with demand for housing coming primarily form the IT/ITES industry.

However, while Baner has been on the Pune real estate scanner for quite a while, it was first known mostly for its natural splendour. Its backdrop of gently undulating hills and verdant greenery were sufficient to embellish it with the name ‘Queen of the suburbs’.

Today, it has become known as one of the most desirable to Pune’s residential real estate locations.

Baner Real Estate’s ‘System Upgrade’

Baner has come into force mainly because of the rapid evolution of the Knowledge corridor concept. The Government of Maharashtra, not slow in recognizing Pune’s unique potential, developed this innovative infrastructure concept in order to catalyse the synergetic economic relationship between Pune and Mumbai.

Among other things, the Knowledge Corridor initiative gave rise to the six-lane, dual-carriage Mumbai-Pune expressway, which was the first of its kind in India. The Mumbai-Pune Expressway was fortified with optic fibre cable links along its entire expanse and thereby linked the major IT parks of these two cities.

Thanks to its proximity to the Hinjewadi IT Park, Baner immediately benefited from this and became the most definitive location in Pune for IT infrastructure, housing, transport and power provision. Additionally, it is connected to Bangalore – India’s Silicon Valley – by the Pune-Bangalore Highway.

Aundh, which was one of the first areas to come up in terms of residential property demand because of the Hinjewadi IT Park, soon reached saturation point in terms of development potential. Baner, which has now become the penultimate residential destination for Pune’s IT/ITES-centric home buyers, began to see rapid development in terms of overall lifestyle quotient.

Thanks to its proximity to some of the city’s best education institutes, shopping and recreation outlets and healthcare facilities at Aundh, Pune University and Balewadi, this location is a natural choice for employees of the Rajiv Gandhi InfoTech Park at Hinjewadi. This massive information technology nexus, currently spread across approximately 1500 acres, is being developed in four phases and has emerged as one of Pune’s primary white-collar employment generators ever since its launch.

Sereno at Baner
Hinjewadi IT Park – An Outstanding Success Story

In fact, this IT Park is a success story in its own right and has single-handedly boosted Pune’s profile on the national and global business map. The first phase, covering 198 acres, enjoys 100% occupancy, with companies such as Infosys, Wipro, Persistent, Cognizant, Tata Technology, Geometrics, KPIT and the Blueridge Township / SEZ in place.

Phase 2 covers 470 acres and stands at 80% occupancy with names like Infosys, Wipro, the DLF SEZ, the Embassy SEZ and the International Biotech Park on the credits roll. Phase 3 is a 985-acre spread which stands at 60% occupancy with companies like Tech Mahindra, Microsoft, Hexaware, KPIT and the Acendas SEZ.

The upcoming 1100-acre phase 4 is poised to be a comparable chapter of commercial real estate triumph. The effect it has had on the type of demand for residential spaces in the adjoining areas – in terms of configurations, amenities and facilities – is a text-book case of an avant-garde industry and its accompanying culture dictating the shape and form of a market.

An Evolved Homebuyer Profile

Proximity to such giants would in spell success in any location, but Baner is itself now home to a number of important InfoTech companies, ensuring that the IT employment market there has come into even sharper focus. Because of the IT-orientation and the often significant salary packages attached to it, Baner is also home to some of Pune’s most selective home buyers.

For this reason, the residential projects that work best at Baner are those that feature excellent construction incorporating sustainable features and smart-home facilities. The software generation is directly wired into the latest global housing trends, and awareness about the benefits of green construction is generally high.

Short on time and high on tech-savvy, home buyers from this segment also prefer properties that incorporate smart security and lifestyle features. They prefer two and three bedroom apartment configurations which must often include sufficient parking for two cars. This definitely sets them apart from the norm, and residential projects in Baner must necessarily cater to this evolved demand.

Kishor Pate Quoted On RBI Credit Policy

Kishor Pate, Hon. Secretary – CREDAI (Maharashtra) and CMD of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. says,

In a real way, the home loan is the driving force behind the residential real estate market. Without home loan, a large portion of the population would be forced to live in rental houses.

Because of this facility, one can own a home without having to have enormous amounts of ready cash. Because of the vital role they play in sustaining the real estate market, it is not only home buyers who depend on home loans, but developers as well.

There is no mystery attached to the fact that home loan interest rates play an important role in determining the level of demand for housing in India, especially in the smaller cities. We are disappointed by the fact that the RBI has retained its hard stance on the key lending rates.

Developers are suffering under the high costs of borrowing, rendering them unable to come down on their rates. At the same time, home loan interest rates have hit an all-time high and are not coming down.

Owning a home should not be an option only for the creamy layer of the Indian middle-class who can pay the high interest rates currently prevailing. The country is making no progress at all in addressing the dire need of housing for all.


Read the rest of ths story on Property News