When Roshan Abbas, a property broker operating out of Mira Road of Western Suburb, claimed that the region would be the catalyst of housing revival in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), many thought this to be claims of a broker glorifying his catchment area. Some of the critics even dismissed it as another marketing stunt on the eve of the festive season of Navratra.
A closer look, however, confirms that the take of this property dealer has been firmly grounded with realities. Some research and birdâ€™s eye view on the property landscape of the city would suggest that no other region has as much potential at this point of time as the property markets of Western Suburbs, both prime localities as well as the extended zones of the Western Suburbs.
The point is what makes Western Suburbs the investment magnet. Analysts point out that this suburb has got something for each and every segment of the buyers. If the region is home to some of the costliest properties of Mumbai in Bandra selling over Rs. 50,000 per sq feet, then there are most affordable properties like Virar selling at Rs. 4,000 per sq feet. In between there is something for each and every aspiration to own a house.
On this festive season, the icing on the cake for the property buyers is what could be conveniently termed as triple comfort. This is how Swati Prasad describes it when she talks about the better macro-economic outlook, attractive price point and better purchasing power of the homebuyers. According to her, this festive season is much better than the last four years when even those who could afford were pretty apprehensive to make a long commitment like a home purchase.
â€śWith political stability there is better clarity of the way forward for the country which is clearly reflecting in the macro-economic outlook. Personally, I have been on a house hunt in the MMR region and today I can vouchsafe that price point is indeed attractive in many of the markets of Western Suburbs. There is better job stability in sight and that is leading to average working class like me to buy a house. Of course, what better time than on the occasion of Navratra,â€ť says Swati.
Swati is not alone who feels comfort to buy a house in the festive season of Navratra. As a matter of fact, advertising professional Sumedh Varma finds even better reason to buy a house in the Western Suburbs now. He maintains that the Reserve bank of India has also encouraged property purchase this festive season with significant rate cut. More importantly, he maintains that the role of the developers also cannot be undermined, as they are increasingly understanding the wants and needs of the customers and customising their offerings.
â€śGone are the days of unwanted freebies and symbolic discounts; today many of the developers in this region are sitting across the table with the homebuyers to understand their point of view, concerns and needs; and they are accordingly customising the offers to suit their budget. This way I think the developers in the Western Suburbs have a better understanding of their core market, compared to other markets. I personally feel that the bookings on this Navratra will be way higher than what we have seen in recent times,â€ť says Varma.
Most of the analysts active in the region agree with the homebuyers in this part of the world. They maintain that since many of the affordable buyers who came to the region as tenants and have been witness to the growth of the area are convinced that the future belongs to the region, they are ready to invest in the region.
Also, despite of the property market turmoil in the last few years, low-cost extended zones of Western Suburbs, like Mira Road, Bhayandar, Vasai, Virar, Nalla Sopara etc have either been witness to the decent growth of prices or have been stagnant, and hence there is less risk to invest in the region.
Moreover, the homebuyers in the Western Suburbs are mostly the working class expat population and they have found employment in the vicinity, this area continues to grow. The infrastructure growth in the region has fuelled the job market of the region; something that gives a facelift to the entire stretch of Western Suburbs. The festive season has only brought the pent-up demand to the fore due to multiple of factors, like the growing economy, lower inflation, interest rate cut, better job prospects and overall anticipation of growth in the future.
The developers on their part know that this is one region where there are land parcels yet available and also there is huge demand; they are also increasingly getting bullish on the region. With many of the large ticket developers operating in the suburbs now, it is quite obvious that the competition brings to the open market not only quality housing but also value addition to the homebuyers.
On the eve of the Navratra 2015, the analysts anticipate better property transactions in the Western Suburbs, compared to any other part of the city. Most of the developers also admit that the sale enquiry prior to the festive season has been four to five times more this year. This is quite striking and definitely suggests that the homebuyers this year will take a plunge. The days of fence sitting in the housing market seems to be over in this part of the world.
The moot point remains as to whether Western Suburbs will be witness to the revival of Mumbai property market. Homebuyersâ€™ optimism suggests so, analysts vouch for it, and the sales enquiry indicates that. The cost & benefit analysis suggests there are more advantages to invest in the region and the festive season is the right time to do so.
Real estate being a business that is largely guided by the sentiments, it is not surprising that the sentiments are bullish to invest in Western Suburbs this festive season. More importantly, even the critics of Mumbai property market are not complaining as property markets of Western Suburbs bridges the gap between emotional urge and rational needs.