Tag Archives: Coimbatore

Cotton belt of Coimbatore losing sheen

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Annur, Coimbatore, India real estate news, India property news, Indian realty, Track2Media Research, Track2RealtyTrack2Realty Exclusive: Once known for cotton cultivation, Annur is fast changing its outlook as cotton cultivation has taken a back seat in the last over a decade due to high cultivation cost and uneconomical operation arising out of poor marketing infrastructure. The region nevertheless holds tremendous potential to emerge as one of the key real estate hotspots in time to come.

It is losing on cotton business though and the factors that hindered cotton tract expansion are scarce labour as it is not a rewarding job for the local youth. Analysts believe the change has been visible in the last few years, and the suburb today does not look like complete industrial belt.

Annur is a suburb of Coimbatore situated north-east of the city. It is nearly 33 kilometers from central heart of the city Gandhipuram. The Coimbatore International Airport is about 27 kilometers and in terms of rail connectivity the Coimbatore Junction is about 32 kilometers from Annur. Does not it sound like a real estate goldmine in terms of its strategic locational advantage?

Annur indeed has the vantage point from property market stand point. It is located between Coimbatore City and Sathyamangalam. Annur lies on the junction of three important roads, NH 209 (Coimbatore-Bengaluru), Annur-Avinashi Road and Annur-Mettupalayam Road to north east of Coimbatore City. Annur is surrounded by other suburbs of Tennempalayam, Kanjapalli, Sarkarsamakulam (S.S. Kulam), Karumathampatti.

The name Annur is believed to have been come from ‘Vanniyur’, later transformed to Anniyur and now to Annur. The myth behind the name says that, over 1000 years ago, when a small hunter hit a stone under a ‘Vanni’ tree, it started bleeding. He was astonished and called the village people to look after this issue. Later they found a ‘Suyambu’ Lord Shiva Idol there and built a temple.

As of 2007 India Census Annur had a population of 18,242. Its gender demography has been among the best in the country. Males constitute 45 per cent of the population and females 55 per cent. In terms of its administrative status, Annur is a Taluk administered by Panchayat President through the council of Panchayat members elected by the people. Annur was earlier part of the Avinashi Taluk and now part of Coimbatore North Taluk. On 9 May 2012, Government of Tamil Nadu announced that it will bifurcate Coimbatore North Taluk to create the new Annur Taluk.

Annur is one of the fast growing suburbs in the Coimbatore Rural District with its sound business acumen, well connected roads to nearby towns like Mettupalayam, Avinashi, Tirupur, and Sathyamangalam. Diverse business opportunities made it one of the hot business centers and real estate targets.

Though there is a visible de-growth, Annur still commands a sizeable presence in the indigenous areas of cotton (textile) value chain. Annur has traditionally been a regional hub for cotton ginning and spinning industries and a major contributor to the state’s GDP.  Along with Tirupur and Coimbatore (where the other links of textile value chains are concentrated), this part of India has been a prominent player in national and international textile markets.

 Other engineering industries like high precision steel works are also adding Annur’s image as the industrial belt of the State. But what is remarkable in the last few years is the phenomenal growth of infrastructure, education, health care, and the taluk is suddenly blossoming into a sought after destination.

In terms of social infrastructure also, the region has scaled up pretty fast. Annur today has a number of basic to advanced healthcare facilities. The government hospital is located on the Coimbatore Road. Besides this, many private hospitals also exist. Most of the hospitals are on Coimbatore Road. Home for children and Adults and a Rehabilitation Home for Mentally ill people is 6 km away from Annur Srimugai Road.

What is all the more surprising is the fact that all these developments have not affected the property prices of Annur yet. Though some of the developers have spotted the goldmine that lies ahead and they are acquiring large tracts of land, the apartment culture is by and large not made inroads here.

Most of the residential options are either in the form of plots or independent villas. As per the listed properties in this market a plot of 1000 sq feet is available in the range of Rs. 4-6 lakh; while the built-up villa of 1000 sq feet is available in the range of Rs. 25-30 lakh. The future appreciation potential is manifold and Annur is yet to see the first rush of property boom.

Expats critical to price appreciation in Coimbatore

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Gandhipuram, Coimbatore, India real estate news, Indian realty news, Property new, Home, Policy Advocacy, Activism, Mall, Retail, Office space, SEZ, IT/ITeS, Residential, Commercial, Hospitality, Project, Location, Regulation, FDI, Taxation, Investment, Banking, Property Management, Ravi Sinha, Track2Media, Track2RealtyTrack2Realty Exclusive: Analysts have been wondering in the last couple of years that when the property market across the country had been witness to slowdown, how come Coimbatore market kept its momentum up with no visible signs of stress. As a matter of fact, the property prices in the city across the asset class noticed upward movement in the range of 10-15 per cent, thus bucking the trend of slowdown.

Many thought it is an end user driven market where the local economy and local demand has been the main driver and hence the market remain unaffected. However, one of the most critical components that flushed in the buyers’ money into the property market of Coimbatore has been the ever increasing demand from the expat community.

Expats have been the key demand driver in many of the property markets across India, most notably in the cities where IT/ITeS has been growing. As a matter of fact, increasing urbanisation is changing the urban demography of these cities completely. The expats who are flocking to Coimbatore not only from other parts of Tamil Nadu but across the country are fuelling the local economy in general and property market in particular. They are the one who don’t hail from the city inheriting parental property but need to buy houses.

That also explains why the difference between the rental yield and capital value is not as high in Coimbatore as in many other cities. On the contrary, the rental market in some of the pockets of Coimbatore has grown up to 30 per cent in recent times. With most of the expats being young professionals, the demand for property and its affordability is reasonably higher in this segment of buyers. More importantly, expats fuel the consumption cycle of the city’s economy which has a chain effect in the growth of the property market, including retail outlets, malls and office spaces.

Analysts though noticed the trend a bit late but are not surprised either. They maintain Coimbatore is the second largest city (in terms of population) of Tamil Nadu after Chennai. Coimbatore is also known for its various industries, engineering goods, health care facilities, friendly culture, good climatic conditions and hospitality. The city is the second largest software producer in Tamil Nadu, next only to Chennai. IT and BPO industry in the city has grown significantly with the launch of TIDEL Park and other planned IT parks in and around the city promises to change the professional landscape of the city completely.

Due to such strong economic fundamentals there has been paradigm shift of demand from independent houses to apartments. The housing market demand has been lately triggered by the growth of IT/ITeS and manufacturing industries with the demand arising from employees working in these companies, including migrants. It is also paving way for lot of townships and hence there are a number of townships in the city which are under construction.

On a broader level, the Coimbatore residential market can be divided into five micro markets. These are North, South, East, West and Central. The anticipation is that people would demand for affordable housing which would be majorly in the price range of Rs 20-30 lakh, comprising of 1 and 2 BHK apartments and Rs 30-50 lakh for 2 and 3 BHK apartments. This is the segment that caters to the large workforce migrating to Coimbatore in search of employment.

With opening of IT parks and manufacturing industries there has been an influx of population demanding for houses within the affordable budget segment. This has initiated series of new developments throughout the city. Thus, the city is emerging as one of the top destinations in South India for real estate development with residential and commercial real estate of the city expected to grow manifolds in the years to come. The city is also witnessing demand for retirement homes in peripheral areas of the city.

Revati Kasture, CGM & Head–Research and Grading with CARE Ratings says with increasing demand for new units, the prices in the city have increased by 10-15 per cent for new launches. Also, rental values have soared by 25-30 per cent in last couple of years. The absorption trend in Coimbatore is expected to remain stable and will follow last year’s trail and the prices are expected to rise at 6-9 per cent year-on-year basis depicting a healthy overall growth of real estate demand in and around Coimbatore city.

“The current demand is from IT/ ITeS employees who demand for good facilities and amenities, infrastructure and thus there is heightened activity in construction of integrated townships and residential projects. With IT offices and commercial complexes demand too rising, it will lead to overall demand for better infrastructure in Coimbatore. Areas like Avinashi Road, Saravanampatty, Trichy Road, and Vadvalli are prime areas for real estate development. The Coimbatore Municipal Corporation has proposed various infrastructure developments across the city like an integrated bus stand at Gandhipuram (Central Coimbatore), etc. Also the State Government has proposed to construct a flyover at Gandhipuram and Ukkadam to ease traffic significantly,” says Kasture.

The moot point here is whether the expats are the prime demand drivers of Coimbatore property market? Have they outnumbered the demand from local population and hence expected to change the market dynamics? Well, the expats may not be the project riders as of now, but they have certainly emerged as one of the key demand drivers of city property market. Increased economic activity will lead to more urbanization and hence expats will continue to be a major demand driver in future.

It may not have changed the market dynamics completely in a city where the spending pattern has been relatively conservative and per capita expenditure not as high as in other major cities, but what can be vouchsafed is the fact that the expats have surely made their presence felt in the city property market and the developers have taken notice of that. With the proposed infrastructure upgradation and economic revival ahead, Coimbatore property market promises to change the market dynamics more in favour of expat professionals.

Coimbatore office space coming out of the shadow of IT/ITeS

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Gandhipuram, Coimbatore, India real estate news, Indian realty news, Property new, Home, Policy Advocacy, Activism, Mall, Retail, Office space, SEZ, IT/ITeS, Residential, Commercial, Hospitality, Project, Location, Regulation, FDI, Taxation, Investment, Banking, Property Management, Ravi Sinha, Track2Media, Track2RealtyTrack2Realty Exclusive: The occupier report of office space is often seen as the barometer of the vibrancy of the given property market since it indicates the level of economic activity that sustains all other segment of real estate, residential and commercial in particular. However, in downtown Coimbatore market this premise was never considered for critical evaluation since the market had multiple demand drivers and office uptake was not necessary criterion for any of these demand drivers.

As a matter of fact, since the Coimbatore was by and large catering to the end-users and not investors who were local buyers, the economy of the city was not office driven in the traditional sense of the term.

The Coimbatore property market has been by and large catering to the local demand and the buyers’ economic activity has been inter-woven with the economic activity and tradition that have given the city a unique identity. Other than agriculture, what has been driving the economy of the city is the industries in general and textile in particular. And hence, the demand of real estate has by and large been residential and industrial. What then changed the outlook of the city that office uptake became one of the significant demand drivers?

Facts speak for themselves. In the first three quarters of 2013 when the overall net absorption of office space across the country registered a downward trend, Coimbatore has been slowly but surely scaling up in its demand of the office space. The net absorption of spaces till Q3 2013 has been registering a positive 3 per cent growth on year-on-year basis.

While the major office markets like Delhi and Mumbai registered a negative growth of 7 per cent on a year-on-year basis due to slower economic growth that led to decline in expansion by companies, it seems Coimbatore market that is predominantly known for cautious sentiments have bucked the slowdown trend. Coimbatore has been among the rare Indian markets where the office uptake has been in the positive zone.

Analysts tracking the property market in this part of the world maintain that the very nature of the local economy is increasingly changing.  According to them, in the past few quarters there has been an increasing trend of relocation of companies to bigger spaces. Though majority of such relocations are noticed in the CBDs and off-CBDs in other major markets, in Coimbatore the proliferating Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) has led to emerging locations command a higher increase in rental than the established locations.

The areas in and around the proposed Coimbatore-Tirupur-Erode Industrial Corridor is commanding a significant interest among the companies based in the city. To add to it, many new companies from other markets are also eyeing this future high economic zone for business. Collectively, this is proving to be a happy hunting ground for the developers of office spaces.

However, what has probably been the most significant change in the office uptake of Coimbatore is the fact that it is no more IT/ITeS driven growth. Of course, these IT/ITeS companies are increasingly relocating from one building to the other in the same micro market due to cost advantages, but the real demand has started coming from the SMEs.

For the economists looking for under-currents of economic revival, it is quite an interesting study in this property market that even in the tough economic conditions many of these companies have consolidated their multiple offices, spread across the city, to a single large office. The idea is to maximise operational expenses and efficiencies. This indicates the increasing bias of office occupiers towards Grade A office developments in future to generate more demand. Coimbatore till recently has been known for moderate office uptake and that too in the Grade B and Grade C spaces.

Analysts feel the focus is increasingly shifting on the quality office space across the city. They believe very soon this market will scale up to be compared with the office market of other major cities. This also raises a fundamental question as to whether the next boom is expected in the office space of Coimbatore realty.

Raj Kuneru, Regional Head, RE/MAX Rest of the Tamil Nadu maintains Coimbatore, as office space market is doing really well. With many companies opening their operations in the city Coimbatore is anticipated as a next big corporate hub. Due to this tremendous growth many big players in real estate market are keen to invest in this place.

“The focus is increasingly shifting on the quality office space. But then Coimbatore is a growing market in office space and hence many players are investing in it with innovative and modernized architectures compared to other cities. I strongly feel that the next boom is expected in the office space of Coimbatore realty,” says Kuneru.

It is generally believed that till very recently the fundamentals of Coimbatore real estate market were not dependant on the office spaces. Moreover, the uptake in the office space has been by and large IT/ITeS driven. However, the trend has changed in the last 18-24 months, something that makes the analysts extremely curious about the future of the commercial real estate in general and the office market in particular. They believe if one more demand driver has come up so well even in the wake of overall economic slowdown, the indications are pretty positive for the city property market once there is some stability in the economy.

What next? Can Coimbatore scale up in the top eight to ten cities in terms of higher occupiers of Grade A office spaces? Well begun is half done, and only by the end of 2014 it will be evident as to whether Coimbatore has truly arrived as a key city for office space absorption. Till then, Coimbatore continues to attract the realtors for developing office space, while analysts would be busy with their own cost-benefit analysis. But what can be vouchsafed as of now is that Coimbatore office property is definitely stepping out of the shadow of only IT/ITeS driven growth; something that is making everyone smile in anticipation of future growth.

Where real(ty) developments transform city as bi-functional

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Gobichettipalayam, Coimbatore, Indian real estate news. realty news, property news, Track2RealtyTrack2Realty Exclusive: If you want to know how the growth of the real estate can make a city bi-functional, visit Gobichettipalayam (also known as Gobi). It is a town and municipality in Tamil Nadu which happens to be the second largest city and urban agglomeration in Erode district and is the administrative headquarters of Gobichettipalayam taluka, revenue and educational districts. It is located at the center of the South Indian peninsula, about 400 kilometres (249 miles) southwest of the state capital Chennai and about 80 kilometres (50 miles) east of Coimbatore.

Not very long ago the place was primarily known for agriculture and textile industries that contribute majorly to the economy of the city. Gobichettipalayam is one of the leading producers of silk cocoon, turmeric, coconut and plantain in the state. However, the increasing urbanisation and the resultant real estate activity has made the city fast develop and has been described by the government as “bi-functional”, with 31 per cent of the work force engaged in agriculture, 56 per cent in trading and other activities and 13 per cent in industry. A number of banks have been established in the town in recent years, testimony to the growth and prosperity of the local economy.

The economy of Gobichettipalayam centers on agriculture, with paddy, sugarcane, plantain, tobacco and turmeric being the principal crops. The taluk is known for its lush green paddy fields which attracts south Indian film industry. Gobichettipalayam is well known for its plantain cultivation and the production of coconuts. There are regulated market places run by the Government of India for the trade of agricultural products mainly turmeric, copra and bananas.

A large number of spinning mills have come up in the city to support to the weaving and Knitwear to supplement Tirupur market. IT, ITeS and BPO sector is also developing with a few start up companies based out of the city. Other industries include cotton textiles, motors, pumps, automobile spares, textile machinery manufacturing, castings and machined parts.

Though the population is still dominated by the Kongu Vellalar community, the urbanisation in this part of the world is fast changing the demography. Due to increased economic activity there are a significant numbers of people from other cultures like North Indians, Gorkhas, Malayalis, and people from north eastern part of India. As a result, Kongu Tamil, the dialect spoken by the natives is also giving way to English and Tamil. Other languages spoken include Malayalam, Kannada and Telugu.

With the rise and growth of the city as a real estate market what is all the more striking here is the fact that the social infrastructure is also keeping pace with the physical infrastructure. Erode district has several facilities for higher education including a Medical College at Perundurai and many engineering, arts and science colleges. The district is divided into two educational districts, Gobichettipalayam and Erode. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center of Research and Laboratory for Rapid urbanization and Architecture is located at Erode.

The property rates in the city have naturally been affected. As a matter of fact, the property rates are way ahead as per the Coimbatore or Chennai standards. Though row houses are still the norm, but apartment culture has stepped into the city with a 2BHK flat recently been sold at Rs. 75 lakhs which became a talking point in the city. But that is a reflection of the scheme of things to come ahead.

Developers smiling in buyers’ market of Coimbatore

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By: Ravi Sinha

Gandhipuram, Coimbatore, India real estate news, Indian realty news, Property new, Home, Policy Advocacy, Activism, Mall, Retail, Office space, SEZ, IT/ITeS, Residential, Commercial, Hospitality, Project, Location, Regulation, FDI, Taxation, Investment, Banking, Property Management, Ravi Sinha, Track2Media, Track2RealtyTrack2Realty Exclusive: If you think buyers’ market is a myth in Indian real estate, probably you have not been exposed to Coimbatore real estate. Furthermore, if you feel buyers’ market is an off shoot of crisis in the property market where the developers have gone belly up to go for distress sale, again experience this as a myth and not reality in Coimbatore property.

As a matter of fact, Coimbatore realty market is so different from many other over-heated and over-glorified real estate markets in the country that an outside view may not do justice to anticipate or understand the dynamics and inherent reality of the real estate market of the city in general and housing market in particular.

Interestingly, Coimbatore property market is a buyers’ market and what makes its positioning all the more unique is the fact that that this realism has been maintained so by none other than the developers themselves. It is debatable how far this has been kept a realistic market by default of market dynamics and to what extent it has evolved by conscious design of the developers.

What can be vouchsafed in Coimbatore market is the fact that understanding the geographical market, its sociology, key demand drivers, spending pattern and many other realistic fundamentals, the developers in Coimbatore have neither gone into speculative appreciation of the property nor there seem to be greedy investors on prowl to create artificial demand and hence artificial appreciation.

One of the reasons of such a realistic assessment of the local market is that most of the developers have deep roots in the respective micro markets of the city, and have not ventured into this market for expansion. This makes even the developers from the neighbouring market cautious here and since the market across South India is not driven by speculation, the balancing act has not been very tough here.

Facts speak for themselves. Even at a time when the property market across the country was at its peak during 2002-07, leading to unrealistic appreciation of more than 100 per cent, Coimbatore property was appreciating at a healthy yet stable rate of 20-40 per cent on year-on-year basis. This appreciation again was subject to the pockets of economic activity and hence very realistic. The supply was fuelled in right proportion of demand throughout the bull phase that made the market resilient during the bear phase.

And hence, when the property markets in other parts of the country nosedived following slowdown looming large post 2008, Coimbatore property only cooled down a bit without any visible sign of unrest or distress. Data from National Housing Board’s Residex show that the city’s index has risen from its base value of January 2007 to 184 in January-March 2013. This has been quite moderate compared to a rise to 310 for Chennai during the same period. This only reflects the realistic level of demand-supply cycle even from non-speculative standpoint of the South Indian property markets.

Purvankara which has launched a couple of projects in Coimbatore market maintains very much like all the South Indian markets Coimbatore is a realistic market that carries lot of potential and there is no speculation over here. Purvankara Group CEO, Jackbastian K Nazareth says prices are very much affordable here and since the affordability has not gone beyond the aspiration level it remains a buyers’ market.

“Our experience with the two projects in the Coimbatore market has made us believe that it is genuine end-user driven market. Land supply is though limited, yet land cost is also affordable. There is no mad rush to launch more and more projects here. The average projects are selling between Rs. 2000-4000 per sq feet. The developers are also conscious of the fact that the moment they increase the price beyond Rs. 5000 per sq feet, that will deter the buyers,” says Nazareth.

Since the peak cycle of property appreciation the momentum has not lost in the city’s property market which is quite stable by any economic fundamentals, be it capital appreciation or the rental yield. At the same time, the growth of property market has also been at par with the growth of economic activity in the city. How many property markets in India can claim this at a time when lopsided demand-supply cycle has brought the inventory level all time high everywhere? And that makes Coimbatore a unique property market.

Arvind Nandan, Executive Director, Cushman & Wakefield agrees that Coimbatore is a realistic market. According to him, the supply is so restricted and demand so real that there is hardly any scope for speculation. And hence, Coimbatore is an equal opportunity market, very much like the rest of South India but distinctly different in the sense that it is catering to neighbouring markets as well due to thriving IT/ITeS and senior living due to better climatic conditions.

“The moment you flood the market with inventory and then to make the business cycle moving you start luring the speculative buying, the property market loses momentum. It may suit some of the developers in the short term, but pinches all of them in the long term. That is a missing element in Coimbatore market and hence I would not even call it a completely buyers’ market. The fact is that it is an equal opportunity market that is reasonably rewarding for developers as well,” says Nandan.

Since the supply is restricted in Coimbatore, so is the inventory which is a major challenge in other markets. But that is not an issue over here, nor any major issue of delay in delivery. Moreover, the developers are well grounded to launch the custom fit apartments that get absorbed. There are no high-end or super luxury launches and the residex movement is in sync with the overall consumer spending in the city.

In conclusion, Coimbatore property is an intelligent investors’ market that keeps speculators away. Analysts, therefore, call it more of an equal opportunity market than a buyers’ or sellers’ market. Reasons: it is neither a market that will give unreasonable appreciation, nor will crash or correct to pinch the buyers.

Now that may not be music to the ears of those greedy investors who believe in high risk and high return business cycle, but is definitely a signature of authority to the end-users who part with their hard-earned lifetime money.

The resilience of Coimbatore property against the cycle of boom and bust makes it one of the most realistic property markets across the country. The question is whether other markets sitting over huge inventory will follow Coimbatore property trends to create a realistic market?

Gandhipuram commands higher rental yields by Coimbatore standards

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Gandhipuram, Coimbatore, India real estate news, Indian realty news, Property new, Home, Policy Advocacy, Activism, Mall, Retail, Office space, SEZ, IT/ITeS, Residential, Commercial, Hospitality, Project, Location, Regulation, FDI, Taxation, Investment, Banking, Property Management, Ravi Sinha, Track2Media, Track2RealtyTrack2Realty Exclusive: Any commercial property with a rental value of Rs. 70-80 per square feet may be an ideal place to do business with. That, however, is not a reality in Gandhipuram of Coimbatore. Reason: the destination known as the commercial belly of Coimbatore was till recently offering the rental yields in the range of Rs. 30-40 per square feet. Critics even term the recent appreciation as not sustainable in commercial property rally in this micro market.

Obviously much of the criticism is coming from those businesses who till only recently were operating from here at a modest rent. Take for instance, the grouse of V Sreedhar, who was on a lease of Rs. 30 per square feet till last year. Now he finds it pinching to pay Rs. 80 per square feet for the same property in the market. Wondering whether to continue with his graphics agency from the same locality or move to any other reasonable location, he is consulting the property brokers in the market.

Market analysts advise this owner of creative agency to continue his operations from Gandhipuram only. Their reasons of being bullish on this micro market has less to do with the Return on Investments (ROI) per square feet, but more to do with the fact that it is a well connected marketplace with ideal eco system to carry on the business with easy accessibility to the client.

Gandhipuram is located about 14 km from the Coimbatore Airport and about 5 km from city Railway Station, 3 km from Coimbatore North Junction and 15 km from Podanur Railway Station. It is also very well connected to local bus services to various parts of the city. The nerve centre of Gandhipuram is Dr. Nanjappa Road which passes through the centre point of Gandhipuram.

Gandhipuram shares a border with Ram Nagar, Tatabad, Sivananda Colony, Rathinapuri, Sidhapudur and PN Palayam. Gandhipuram has over a period of time emerged as one of the major commercial centers in Coimbatore. Many industries in and around Coimbatore operate their corporate offices from Gandhipuram.

Cross Cut Road in Gandhipuram is one of the major shopping areas of Coimbatore city. Coimbatore District Central Jail is in located in Gandhipuram. On the negative side, traffic congestion has been an issue in this location, of late. This has been proving to be the biggest dampener for the businesses operating from here. Now to ease the traffic congestion, a flyover has been announced at the cost of INR 148 crores.

The largest stadium of the city, Nehru Stadium, is about 3 km from Gandhipuram. While there are several gardens and park in Coimbatore City, the largest garden and play area is VOC Park and zoo.

Many believe in the wake of the slowdown while many of the commercial properties across the business locations of the city had lost sheen, Gandhipuram had maintained its reputation of being resilient. There was no sign of softening of prices in commercial segment here even during 2008-10 and post 2011 the prices have slowly but steadily picked up.

It is therefore advised by many analysts tracking the property movement in this market that it is better to continue the business from this location. They rather advise to buy out the commercial spaces or the a few available plots since the location is poised to grow as one of the prime business centres of Coimbatore.