What has led to Pune’s affordable housing crunch?
No discussion about the hottest real estate markets in India today is complete without a generous reference to Pune. In fact, Pune is one of the most-talked-about and desirable places in India to live and work in today. People are attracted to this city because of its vibrant job market, the much more clement climate and environment when compared to the neighboring financial capital Mumbai, and – very importantly – the superior quality and spread of options in housing.
However, there are some important factors that property buyers who are not familiar with Pune should be aware of so that they can make the right choice while buying their homes here. Pune is doubtlessly a marvelous place to live in, but this has over the recent years actually become a problem.
The areas closest to Pune’s business district and Information Technology hubs have gained attention for being the most desirable places to buy or rent a home in. However, as the popularity of these areas increased, so did the cost of living. Because these areas are seen as high profile and naturally attract people from the higher income brackets, most of the housing supply there is now in the premium segment. The property rates of such housing also drive those of non-premium housing upward.
It is not only real estate prices which are affected in these locations, but the overall cost of living. The high property prices in these areas mean that shopping outlets, entertainment centers, restaurants and healthcare facilities all have to pay much higher rents. The higher costs are directly passed on to the customers in these catchments. Moreover, because of the overall premium ethos of these locations, they tend to attract retail, hospitals and F&B outlets which cater primarily to high-income customers.
True, Pune is one of the most vibrant cities because of its high lifestyle quotient, spunky neighborhoods and Information Technology hubs. Unfortunately, the very residents who made the city this upscale, happening place where everyone wants to live and work are now challenged by the increased property prices and cost of living. In Pune, affordable housing options are becoming fewer and far between.
As a result of the rapidly increasing capital values, housing rents in the most popular areas have also been rising inexorably, and this trend shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. Right-priced housing is decreasing because of the swanky new apartment buildings in the more happening locations. Pune’s inner locations and those closest to its IT hubs now have no affordable housing left for people to buy, even as the influx of new renters in these limited areas drives up demand and prices for a limited amount of units available for rent.
The only solutions would appear to lie in Pune’s far-flung outskirts, where land is still cheap and developers can keep their prices low. However, these areas are also very far from most of the city’s workplace hubs, and also lack the kind of support infrastructure that makes decent living possible. Fortunately, Pune still has a small handful of locations which are neither too remote not too costly for budget home buyers.
Among these, Undri in the Southeast of the city and Ambegaon in the Southwest are two of the best-connected areas which are still receiving a decent supply of affordable housing and also rapid infrastructure deployment. Keshavnagar and Manjri in the East are also still quite affordable, though relatively less enabled in terms of infrastructure. These locations offer home buyers the benefits of rational housing prices as well as very good connectivity in terms of road network, public transport and proximity to good schools, shopping, entertainment and affordable healthcare.