Kishor Pate, CMD – Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd.
One does not tend to think of Pune a Metro city, especially when compared to neighboring Mumbai. Unlike Mumbai, however, Pune has the benefit of being able to grow spatially and it has been doing so at a very rapid rate. With the constant absorption of surrounding villages, the city will at some point overtake Mumbai in terms of developed and developing urban areas. Even today, Pune’s suburbs account for a massive geographic spread – and these suburbs are seeing the highest rate of affordable and mid-range housing development.
As of today, Pune’s suburban market includes areas like Ambegaon, Undri, Baner, Pashan, Warje, Bavdhan, Dhayari, Katraj, Mohammedwadi, Mundhwa, Manjri, Hadapsar, Daund, Kharadi, Wadgaon Sheri, Dhanori, Pirangut, Hinjewadi, Kalyani Nagar and Koregaon Park, Wagholi, Chakan, Fursungi, Saswad , Katraj, Chikhli, Kasarwadi, Kalewadi, Phugewadi, Pimple Saudagar, Pimple Nilakh, Pimple Gurav, Tathawade, Thergaon, Talawade, Sangvi, Wakad, Dapodi, Hinjewadi, Bhosari, Pimpri, Chinchwad, Dighi, Nigdi, Moshi, Charholi Budruk, Ravet and Akurdi.
Given the vast multitude of locations in Pune which can technically be classified as suburbs, we can immediately see that some of them perform better than others. Suburbs closer to the city’s IT / ITeS parks perform best, as they attract steady demand from buyers with stronger budgets. Because of this, such locations also see better civic and social infrastructure being put into place. Other suburbs have large integrated townships being developed. Many of the extended suburbs are currently seeing only budget housing being developed; however, as these suburbs see infrastructure creation and pick up on the back of spill-over demand from saturating areas close by, they see corresponding improvements in their profiling.
Contrary to popular belief the suburbs are, in fact, where the actual real estate action lies. In a growing city like Pune, the common misconception is that the most valuable real estate locations are in the city center. Of course, housing options in and around the center of the city will always see demand thanks to the proximity to the Central Business District and Secondary Business District. However, many of the central locations are also unaffordable and congested. Developers are usually able to acquire only very small land parcels in central areas – plots which will accommodate only a limited number of flats in the housing projects.
Since the available space on such plots is very restricted, these developers offer very limited amenities or no amenities in these projects. As a result, residents have few of the benefits which a modern urban life should provide. At the end of the day, what one sees is minuscule strangulated residential areas that offer little or no lifestyle accoutrements while simultaneously adding to the urban issues which defines almost all inner-city living in Pune today.
As a result, Pune’s peripheral suburbs and newly emerging real estate markets are the hottest residential property destinations, drawing considerable interest from residential property investors who are attracted by the high demand in these markets as well as the fact that property valuations have sufficient potential for healthy growth.
Some of the best-performing suburbs which host well-facilitated projects by reputed developers are Ambegaon, Undri, Hadapsar, Baner, Wakad and Hinjewadi. These suburbs are more or less driven by Pune’s burgeoning IT/ITeS sector which has proved to be the single-largest booster for residential and commercial real estate in the city. While properties in and around the IT hubs tend to be too expensive to attract the bulk of end-user and investor demand, areas that are well connected to these employment generators while at the same time offering lower property prices are very hot tickets indeed.