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Affordable Living Solutions for Economic Longevity From connectivity and facilities to affordable cost here's what modern buyers can get their dream house

By Rohit Poddar

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The gap between the demand and the supply of affordable housing units has been increasing due to imitated land availability and huge growth in population in the major urban areas. These factors have had a huge impact on changing the development landscape – influencing the types of product on offer as well as the locations that are being focused upon.

Who is the Affordable Housing Customer and What Does he/she Want?

Against the backdrop of forthcoming large scale urbanization in India over the next few decades, it becomes crucial to identify, evaluate the needs and address the challenges faced by a large number of urban housing consumers with pressing needs, i.e. the Affordable Housing customer. Considering the buying pattern of property buyers in the Indian market, it is appropriate to define affordability in housing as a function of 3 broad parameters - the monthly income, the size of the housing units and the affordability of the home buyer. The very first thing a customer looks for in Affordable Housing projects is a strong value proposition which must be understood. Restricted income sources and difficulty in access to credit are challenges that must be addressed. The basic facilities like uninterrupted water and electricity with adequate sanitation, security, and privacy hold significant aspirational value for customers in the affordable segment. Connectivity to places of work in urban centres and the presence of good social infrastructures such as schools and hospitals are added drivers.

Urbanization Challenges – a Global Phenomenon

Globally, examples thrive of how fast-growing and dynamic cities have successfully addressed the various challenges of impending urbanization. Compact and highly dense neighbourhoods have been strategically promoted, typically around railway stations, and are served by efficient public transit service. Similarly, it is important for the high-density housing estates in its new towns to be well-connected to the central business districts and industrial estates. The integration of land use with transport networks should form the backbone for a sustainable urban development framework. Also, measures have been taken to encourage the redevelopment of run-down housing areas, to be replaced with high-density residential developments and, wherever possible, appropriate Affordable Housing solutions.

The Politics of Property

A political tug of war seems to exist; the need to create more affordable housing is matched by the governments' desire to raise revenues as India's urbanization picks up speed, the traditionally-preferred investment locations for a property in most of the main cities are getting flooded and becoming expensive. This is affecting many other residential sub-markets across leading Indian cities. Even as more and more locations go out of the reach of a certain cross-segment of buyers that preferred it previously, other emerging outskirts come to the rescue. The land availability has enabled the expansion of business districts and different office space occupier categories in the proximity of the major urban cities. The residential sub-markets in the primary cities have been finding a good turn from an increasing number of buyers - and, consequently, property investors. Such sub-markets tend to offer a marked price advantage vis-à-vis the more established locations - and the residential projects coming up there are compliant with the latest development laws and tend to have more contemporary amenities. All these factors have led such locations seeing good sales traction independent of the rate at which sales are taking place at the city level.

New Pin-Codes are Gaining Preference

Peripheries of Mumbai is now giving an opportunity to first time home buyers to have their own home and start their own legacy giving them the superior quality of construction coupled with best in the class architecture. Rapid urbanization has led to the mushrooming of residential hubs, hence localities are gaining prominence, offering best in class amenities for the first time home buyers who are new to the city to build up their overall quality of life. Prospective home buyers are grouping towards Mumbai peripheries for world class interior and exterior design without deteriorating structural sustainability.

What Makes a Desirable Destination for First-Time Home-Buyers

The location has houses that are designed in a way that it maximizes open spaces and minimizes the footprint of building for the people to have more open space. It is a well-built township to have a good life with a multi-speciality hospital, international school, located 200 meters from the expressway, and 3kms from the station. With fully equipped provisions like earthquake-resistant structures, rainwater harvesting, horticulture, new construction is gaining preference.

Rohit Poddar

Managing Director, Poddar Housing and Development Ltd

Mr. Rohit Poddar is the Managing Director of Poddar Housing and Development Ltd., a Bombay Stock Exchange listed Public Limited Company promoted by the Poddar family of The Poddar Group. Mr. Poddar is also a fellow of the Aspen Institute India for the India Leadership Initiative focusing on business ethics and was also voted one of the 200 Global Young Leaders by Asia Society in 2010. He has been a part of the Poddar Group since 1995 handling various businesses such as automobile tyre manufacturing, textile and apparel manufacturing and organic farming. He co-founded the Organically Grown brand in the USA in 2005 which is an organic lifestyle brand. Mr. Poddar is the visionary behind the affordable housing venture for the Poddar Group which was flagged off in 2009.
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