"I feel that the Indian real estate sector should ideally have introduced proper self regulation long ago, as is seen in more developed countries. In the absence of this, the sector does need a regulator, but this mechanism should take a balanced view and factor in the interests and requirements of both buyers and developers so that the sector can grow properly."
Anil Pharande, Chairman, Pharande Spaces and Vice President - CREDAI (Pune Metro) shares his views with Sandeep Sharma about his company, realty projects in Pune/PCMC region, real estate regulator, shortage of labour, increase in construction cost and recommendations to solve housing shortage in India. Edited Excerpts…
Could you tell us about your company, mission and objectives?
Pharande Spaces is a leading construction and development firm that develops township properties in the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation area of Pune. Our objective is to create residential projects for all income groups - projects that take the best advantage of the benefits that the PCMC offers in terms of superior infrastructure and phased real estate growth.
Which are your upcoming and ongoing projects in Maharashtra?
Woodsville in Moshi and Celestial City in Ravet are hugely successful project and are being developed phase-wise. We also recently launched L-axis on the Spine Road in PCMC and are soon going to launch Puneville, a one-of- its-kind ultra-luxurious residential project at Punavale. In contrast to our other projects, which cater mainly to the middle-income group, these are luxury project which will have no rivals in Pimpri-Chinchwad.
How far Pharande Spaces is successful in meeting the real estate requirements of the PCMC region?
Pune is a powerhouse of potential when it comes to real estate. It is a city of learning and entrepreneurship, and there is a distinctly progressive flavour to everything that happens there. Thanks to the fact that it has become a magnet for IT/ITES and manufacturing companies, the real estate market in Pune is not likely to lose its forward momentum. That said, I always had misgivings about the opportunistic manner in which property development was taking place within the PMC limits, and was far more interested in the holistic approach being adopted in Pimpri- Chinchwad.
At Pharande Spaces, we have succeeded in catering to the housing requirements of every income group in the most vital locations in the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation.
What kind of demand do you expect in CY2013?
In short, it will continue to be massive. The demand trend of Pune residential property is slowly but surely changing to township properties. A growing segment of Pune property buyers now says that nothing less than the autonomy, independence and convenience of a township property will do. The main demand comes from employees working at the Hinjewadi Infotech Park, which is a very important economic driver for Pune as wellas PCMC. Professionals from the IT and manufacturing sectors need homes close to their offices, and also relative privacy in their time away from work. This will continue to be a heavy driving factor behind the demand for township properties in the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation
Out of residential and commercial, which segment is likely to outperform in CY2013?
Undoubtledly, residential will rule the roost.
What’s your take on the need for real estate regulator in India?
I feel that the Indian real estate sector should ideally have introduced proper self regulation long ago, as is seen in more developed countries. In the absence of this, the sector does need a regulator, but this mechanism should take a balanced view and factor in the interests and requirements of both buyers and developers so that the sector can grow properly.
Would you like to comment on the shortage of skilled and unskilled labour in the construction sector?
This is definitely a real problem, which comes on top of the ever-increasing construction costs.
In the last one year, how much the construction cost has increased in percentage terms? What are the reasons for such increase?
Construction costs have increased by over 25% and are directly related to the cost of construction materials, delays in project approvals and the higher cost of borrowing.
What’s your recommendation for solving the growing housing shortage in urban areas of India?
The Government needs to make centrally located land parcels that it holds available to developers at reasonable costs and provide incentives for the development of budget housing in these areas. It also needs to consider the creation of Special Residential Zones, with incentives on the lines of the SEZ model.