A piece of paradise: Where will Pune middle-class stay?
Pune is becoming a goldmine slowly. Has the IT ushered in an era of gold rush here? The prices are exorbitant and nothing gives you a pinch like the real estate prices here. It’s amazing how while paying rents, they (these houses) seem slightly affordable at least. A 2BHK flat for rent in a good Pune locality would set you back by 12-18,000. M’eh! I can grumpily shell out that much and have been doing it for the past three years I have been in Pune. The societies are great, amenities don’t hurt and you get used to living in the lap of false luxury.
What happens when a middle-class commoner decided to own a piece of this paradise? You nearly die of an heart-attack. You will seriously question your life’s accomplishments or well bury yourself under the recurring debt of an E.M.I so large that buying life’s other necessities take a backseat for the next 28 years. The plight is universal. Most of the youngsters or the young-guns who have recently found their footing in the world, got married and want an abode in this city are left dizzying as they start investigating the prices.
The prevalent rates in some of the first-choice areas are approximately as follows:
Aundh: 7300/sq ft
Baner: 6500/sq ft
Boat Club Road: 13,500/sq ft
Camp: 8400/sq ft
Chinchwad: 5,000/sq ft
Hadapsar: 5,400/sq ft
Hinjewadi: 4,800/sq ft
Koregaon Park: 9,000/sq ft
Pashan: 5,700/sq ft
Senapati Bapat Road: 13,000+/sq ft
Sinhgad Road: 5,400/sq ft
Viman Nagar: 6,500+/sq ft
While the demand is maximum in the price-range of 35-40 lakhs which is still a substantial-yet-affordable amount for a middle-class family to shell out, I am appalled at the lack of supply in this price-bracket. The options are limited to considering a locality which borders on the outskirts of the city or curbing your needs and throwing out a bedroom or half of it from your 2 BHK aspirations. Then there’s the difference between the carpet and saleable area which only adds to the plight. Pune’s residential market is enjoying its day in the sun. Compared to other Indian cities, Pune fared very well last year with prices of properties here appreciating at a rate (approximately 12%) higher than elsewhere. The trend has continued this year. The IT and manufacturing hub is continuing to sell dream homes at constant overbought levels.
If the buyers were to be classified according to their budgets, the highest number of buyers are clustered around the mid-budget (Rs 40-70 lacs). We are pushed to dig deeper in our pockets and shell out the extra 10-15 lakhs for getting a home now. People opting for homes over a crore and beyond in the luxury segment are centered around the Boat Club Road, KP, Vimanagar and such pockets in the Eastern corridor. Oh, did I tell you about the segregation in Pune into East, West and Central? The buying behaviors are different in these regions. West Pune with its IT populates in Hinjewadi are taking refuge in the 100+ acre schemes like Megapolis and Paranjape Blue Ridge. Central Pune like Deccan and Model Colony is a premium address that you will attain by splurging over than a crore usually in a stand-alone luxurious buildings. The eastern region with the Magarpatta City, Kharadi and Wagholi it’s a hybrid of manufacturing company, BFSI and ITES employees taking up the available accommodations.
The statistics and the buying behavior of the residents in Pune aside, I have given up the idea of buying a slice of this paradise for now. I guess, I will spend my coming years in this lovely city moving from one apartment to another, eleven months at a time. Well, on the bright side, I will be seeing more localities and meeting new neighbors this way and on the downhill, I will be booted out in a year, will have to say bye-bye to some tax savings and miss a place to call my home. Compared to 50-70 lacs, my pride is a small price to pay. For now, does anyone of you have a 2 BHK to spare for a fellow Punekar?