Bottom Line: Kolhapur seems to be awaiting for its defining moment in 2018.
As the year 2018 heralds with suspicion and apprehension in many other cities in general and its real estate markets in particular, in Kolhapur the overtones are quite optimistic. It seems this Tier II city has its own reasons to welcome the year ahead with robust growth expected across the built environment.
The reasons of this optimism in the city property market are not misplaced. It is rather well grounded in realism where the city property market has fared well even in the worst of slowdown. This is one city where the property rates in the last 12 months have either been stagnant or have gone up, depending upon the locality and the projects on offer.
The best part of the property rally in the city has been the fact that it is an organic growth and the market has not been hyped by the investors. Even the scaling from affordable housing to affordable luxury and luxury in certain pockets of Kolhapur is end user driven momentum and quite sustainable.
Moreover, since the city centres of Kolhapur are getting saturated the focus is not shifting on the periphery locations. There are a number of quality projects coming up on the periphery locations and this is also helping the city grow to its full potential.
Some urban planners in this part of the world even maintain that there are no less than 19 villages on the outskirts of Kolhapur that could be developed as happening urban centres to capitalize on the growth demands in the city.
What is also helping the city real estate is the upcoming infrastructure projects that promise to change the urban landscape of the city. With the Regional Plan (RP) being approved by the State Government, the district is now expected to change and the growth trajectory would be upwards for the next at least 20 years. The last regional plan was drafted around four decades ago.Â
As per the plan, there are proposed business complexes around the city to attract more investment and commercial activities in Kolhapur. The district that already ranks among the top five in Maharashtra in terms of per capita income is expected to compete with Tier I cities once these developments take place on ground.
Kolhapur district is no longer considered as just rural and agrarian. Today, the demand for good quality residences has increased with improvements in jobs and other economic activities. This has also led to the increasing demand for commercial real estate. Some of the companies are increasingly evaluating the city for business establishments, as the cost of doing business per square feet in Kolhapur is much cheaper than Mumbai or Pune.
There are also plans to develop six more industrial centres for which supporting infrastructure of roads and rail routes have been planned to be developed. The efforts are also on to decongest the ring road.
This growth in Kolhapurâ€™s economy has invited many big brands to open stores in the district. As a result, today the quality retail spaces are much in demand and the rental values are increasingly going upwards.
The social infrastructure of the city has also changed in recent times. With quality schools, medical facilities and entertainment options the district has today emerged as a desirable place to live where the livability index is higher than many other Tier II cities in and around Maharashtra.
In a nutshell, at time when many other cities are grappling with multiple issues, ranging from slow real estate to infrastructure bottlenecks, and demand slowdown to policy lethargy, Kolhapur is on its way to growth. The year 2018 is hence seen as a defining year for the district.