Prashant Thakur, Head – Research, ANAROCK Property Consultants
shares his insight with Sandeep Sharma
about the latest real estate trends in MMR, demand scenario in Thane and how RERA has benefited so far.
What are the latest real estate trends in MMR?
MMR seems to be currently re-orienting to the prevailing market conditions. The days of pre-launches and soft launches have faded away and the developers are now approaching the market with their new avatar of financial discipline, accountability and transparency. It clearly seems to have migrated from an investor-driven to an end-user friendly market. While the overall supply has dropped by around 30% between 2016 and 2017, the absorption has declined only by around 25% or so during the same period. With restricted new supply and improving demand, the unsold inventory seems to be on a decline in MMR.
How far the demand scenario has improved in the Thane region post GST implementation?
With massive inherent demand and plethora of residential property options suiting various budgets, Thane has been a key contributor in the MMR’s real estate growth. Thane has incessantly contributed around 15-20% to MMR’s annual new supply. GST implementation has been tough on all cities, especially due to the uncertainty of pass over of Input Tax Credit (ITC). While GST is supposed to be tax neutral and the Government has given a clear anti-profiteering directive to the developers, the end-users seem to be perplexed over the complexity of this new taxation regime. Nonetheless, Thane continued to be a key region and accounted for 15% of overall MMR sales in 2017. With unsold inventory of around 33,000 units, the lowest in MMR, Thane continues to grow on an upward trajectory.
Could you enlist the benefits derived from RERA so far?
RERA has ushered an era of financial discipline, accountability and transparency in the Indian real estate sector. With the developers now being expected to adhere to stringent norms set forth by RERA, the possible benefits are humongous. Right from ensuring that the customer advances are used in the right manner and only for the particular project under consideration to confirming timely execution of projects, RERA has been a boon to the home buyers. The home buyers are no longer under the mercy of the developers and the market has now tilted in the favour of end-users. All-in-all, it seems to be the right time to ‘seal the deal’.
Thane’s Vartak Nagar - A New Real Estate Hotspot Emerges in MMR
Vartak Nagar is a residential suburb in Thane once known largely for its tapered roads and deplorable infrastructure. The residential market was predominantly defined by low-rise developments that housed industrial workers from the nearby manufacturing units.
Today, with the rapid urbanization of Thane and its surrounding precincts, Vartak Nagar has witnessed a significant upgrade in terms of both civic and social infrastructure, and its revamped market profiling has turned it into a promising real estate destination in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). It now has excellent road connectivity to the central and western suburbs via the Eastern Expressway and Western Express highway (via Ghodbunder road) respectively. Vartak Nagar is also well-connected through an established rail network.
Its proximity to the serene Upvan lake and exquisite view of the scenic Yeoor hills have become the major drivers of consistent real estate growth in Vartak Nagar. Moreover, it still has an abundant supply of land parcels (primarily through the redevelopment model) available at competitive prices. This is a major draw for developers of residential projects since the lower land prices allow them to sell their properties at attractive rates.
Vartak Nagar’s USPs
- A well-developed region, strategically located in the core areas of Thane (4.5 km from Thane railway station)
- Direct access to the Eastern Expressway and Ghodbunder Road
- Proximity to the commercial establishments of Wagle Estate
- Numerous office and commercial developments in the adjoining areas
- Excellent social infrastructure with malls, schools and hospitals close at hand
- A planned Metro station (Line 4) at Cadbury Junction (1.7 km away)
- Various residential projects offering a plethora of options to homebuyers
- The Thane civic body’s ‘Vision 2031’ focuses on infrastructure and capacity-building, along with the Smart City mission, will boost Vartak Nagar’s growth.
- Continuous infrastructure upgrades in the region
Between 2012 and 2017, around 2,500 housing units have been added in Vartak Nagar. Notably, 41% of these have been launched in the past one year itself, emphasizing this region’s bona fides as a rapidly emerging real estate investment hotspot with tremendous future growth potential. More than 70% of these launches fell in the mid-segment price bracket (INR 60 lakh - INR 1.2 crore), which is indubitably the ‘sweet spot’ budget range for mid-income homebuyers in the MMR.
While the average quoted prices of properties in Vartak Nagar are gradually rising on the back of sustained demand from budget home seekers, they currently still range quite affordably between INR 9,000 - INR 13,000/sft. Puranik Builders’ landmark project ‘Grand Central’, enticingly juxtaposed to the Eastern Expressway, is one of the prominent ongoing housing projects in Vartak Nagar. Besides Puranik, developers such as Jagdale Group, Puneet Group, Hubtown and Saaga Infra Projects also have ongoing projects in Vartak Nagar.
Considering the rapid infrastructural developments and presence of advanced healthcare facilities, educational institutions and entertainment hubs, the demand for residential properties in Vartak Nagar is on a steady acceleration path. Since the region is in its early stages of growth and has considerable untapped real estate market potential, Vartak Nagar has a promising future as one of the most popular new housing destinations in Mumbai.
The views expressed by the author in this feature are entirely his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Project Reporter.