Realty firms focus on ‘affordable’ homes to boost sales, profits

Realty firms focus on ‘affordable’ homes to boost sales, profits
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First Published: Wed, Jun 10 2009. 01 19 AM IST
New Delhi: To boost slowing demand in the realty sector and tap the growing market for affordable housing, realty firm Unitech Ltd will build 20,000 homes this year, priced between Rs10 lakh and Rs30 lakh, launching its first such project in Chennai this month.
India’s second largest property developer by market value on Tuesday launched its new initiative branded Uni Homes, which will have apartment sizes starting at 660 sq. ft.
The realty firm said its second such project will be constructed in Manesar in Haryana, on the outskirts of New Delhi. The apartments in Chennai would cost around Rs10 lakh and those at Manesar around Rs15 lakh, it said.
Faced with falling sales on the back of an economic slowdown, India’s realty companies have been launching what they call affordable housing because they say there is robust demand in this segment.
Earlier this year, Unitech had launched a project in Gurgaon, south-east of New Delhi, where apartments are priced between Rs28 lakh and Rs40 lakh. All 750 homes were sold in 45 days, the firm said. Encouraged by the response, it launched another project, also in Gurgaon, with prices at Rs35-45 lakh. It has so far sold 180 of the 200 flats in that project.
In May, Mumbai-based Tata Housing Development Co. Ltd launched a low-cost housing project branded Shubh Griha in Boisar, around 50km north of Mumbai. The apartments of 283 sq. ft, 360 sq. ft and 465 sq. ft would cost between Rs3.9 lakh and Rs6.7 lakh, the company said.
In March, Mumbai-based developer Lodha Group launched Casa Bella, an integrated township project in Dombivalli, a Mumbai suburb, where apartments would cost between Rs11.7 lakh and Rs24.3 lakh.
In August, Bangalore-based realtor Puravankara Projects Ltd launched a unit called Provident Housing and Infrastructure Ltd to construct apartments priced at Rs10-20 lakh in cities such as Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Coimbatore and Mysore.
In May last year, Omaxe Ltd, another New Delhi-based developer, set up a subsidiary called National Affordable Housing and Infrastructure Ltd to build homes in the Rs3-15 lakh category in smaller cities such as Sonepat in Haryana, and Nimrana and Bhiwadi in Rajasthan.
“There is a demand in the affordable housing segment. Interest rates have come down and that helps because people can take loan at a cheaper cost,” said Anshuman Magazine, managing director of CB Richard Ellis, a real estate consultancy firm. “There is also a renewal of confidence among buyers.”
Unitech expects to start its Uni Homes projects in Hyderabad, Bangalore, Kolkata and Lucknow.
The company said these projects will all be well located. “The project in Chennai will not be very far away from the city.”
Unitech plans to invest Rs1,700 crore this year to build these homes.
“This is just the construction cost,” the spokesperson said. “Land for the projects has already been paid for,” the spokesperson said.
The real estate company says it owns around 8,000 acres of land in various cities, on which it can develop some 500 million sq. ft of residential and commercial space.
shabana.h@livemint.com
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First Published: Wed, Jun 10 2009. 01 19 AM IST