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Realtors chant affordable mantra

N V Vijayakumar and Umesh M Avvannavar, Bangalore, Deccan Herald

September 29, 2011

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Termed ‘affordable housing’, such projects have become attractive mainly because thousands of buyers from middle class families buy their first home early in their career.
Provident Housing Limited, wholly-owned subsidiary of Puravankara Projects Limited, MD V Madhu said: “Thanks to economic growth in Bangalore there are large number of buyers from lower and middle class. So it is time to provide apartments which cost Rs 16 lakh to Rs 36 lakh.”

He opined the government should come out with a policy to attract investments in affordable housing projects because housing shortage in urban areas is more than 25 million units. According to Knight Frank, the demand from middle income population in Bangalore in the segment will reach approximately 3.27 lakh housing units by 2011, with average unit size of 800 sq ft translating into approximately 262 million sq ft of residential space. “Long clearance and high land cost for setting up low-cost housing projects are forcing developers to revisit their projects,” points Knight Frank India Regional Director Shreenath Shastry.

Prestige Group’s 38-acre residential project — ‘Prestige Tranquility’ on the old Madras road, Budigeri with 2,321 units would be a mix of one, two and three-bedroom units in the 664-1,991 sq ft size range. “The price would range from Rs 21 lakh (1BHK unit) to Rs 62.19 lakh (three-bedroom unit) depending on the unit size,” said CMD Irfan Razack.

Brigade group has also launched — ‘Brigade Meadows’ next to Art of Living, Kanakapura road, a 60 acre township with a launch price of Rs 19 lakh for 1 BHK (700 sq ft) and Rs 24 lakh for 2BHK (900 sq ft).

Even more affordable is the project of Value & Budget Housing Corporation  where studio apartments start at Rs 7 lakh. Said Marketing Manager Pradeep Karumbiah: “We are enthused by the overwhelming response from consumers as we have sold out first and second stage of our ongoing project in Anekal.” 

State Bank of Mysore MD Dilip Mavinkurve said the bank charges only 11 per cent interest for loans up to 30 lakh and processing charge as low as 0.25 per cent for loans up to 25 per cent.

The market for affordable housing is booming as Tata Housing Development Company CEO & MD Brotin Banerjee observes demand and supply gap between housing segment in India is widening with a strong GDP growth year-on-year and rising middle class.

“The main bottleneck though is the increase in land prices due to scarcity of non-agricultural land for construction and extended delays in obtaining sanctions and approvals from government agencies,” he said. Most states do not provide sufficient infrastructure to bring a higher FSI (floor space index) level that makes affordable housing viable for builders,” he said.

With the regional unrest in Gurgaon and Telengana boiling further, there is likelihood of more players coming to Bangalore, where employees of the process driven export industries are unlikely to be hit by any rupee spiral.
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