Friday, July 11, 2014

Affordable Housing Projects on a Rise in India

In the recent past, affordable housing projects are on the rise in India. The government has also taken several measures in order to promote affordable housing. The following post explores the same.


  • Introduction

India has been a land of stark contrasts when it comes to the real estate and property market. At one side, impenetrable metro areas have witnessed some of the highest property rate increases and have attracted new dwellers from all over the country; on the other side, the overall property trends for the country have experienced a much lower uniform growth and investors have been complaining that they are not getting expected returns on the money that they put in the real estate market.

Despite the apparent slump in the property market for high-end housing projects, builders and development companies working in the low income housing sector have reported great sales and returns. Through special packages, attractive pricing, and targeted focus on mid-level income groups, these developers have ensured high sales and have created so many great options for investors pan India that they are at times confused over which package would offer them the best deal. The initiatives by the central government have also considerably aided these changes and made affordable housing more popular.

  • An urge by the central government for increased focus on affordable housing

The market may have become saturated for luxury and high end segments, but the affordable housing segment is not just on a high, it is experiencing a boom. Simply designed, high quality homes that are aimed at low income groups, and offer buyers a lot of flexibility when deciding a payment plan are a huge hit and have made the builders in this segment very happy. For example, in Chennai, with an advance payment of as little as INR 1.25 lakh some builders will offer you a  new home.

M Venkaiah Naidu, the Minister of Urban Development and Housing and Poverty Alleviation, has asked banks across the country to make it easier for people with low income to get financing for home loans in a simpler manner. He also issued an expeditious completion order to the various builders involved in affordable housing projects, and made it their top priority.


  • Affordable Homes on the Rise
The push by the central government towards an increase in affordable housing is not just for a few cities, but for the country as a whole. The urban poor in particular, slum dwellers and people living on rent should have increased access to cheaper homes, and the government is trying to make sure that this happens.

Of late, the Bangalore property market has also witnessed the launching of affordable homes. Several builders are investing in new projects that belong to the affordable category. Needless to say, an increased demand has been witnessed in this particular segment. Real estate developers like Tata Housing Group and Provident Builders have already forayed into this segment. Welworth City at Doddaballapur, is the first flagship affordable housing project in Bangalore.

On the other hand, Tata Housing is all set to launch its maiden affordable housing project under the banner New Haven. Managing director and chief executive officer Brotin Banerjee, of Tata Housing said in a statement, “Envisaging a rising demand for affordable homes with premium facilities in the Silicon Valley of India, we are pleased to bring this iconic and successful affordable housing brand for the people of Bangalore”.

Localities in Bangalore where affordable homes are on the rise are Mysore Road, Hosur Road, Kanakpura Road. Investors are targeting these areas to build affordable housings.

Kerala has sanctioned a sum of INR 14.59 crore for the development of homes intended for the individuals and families belonging to low income groups. Tamil Nadu is also experiencing a high, with the Chennai-Vizag industrial corridor, and that will bring in a new wave of affordable housing projects. Chennai in particular has already several such projects underway, with some builders offering homes at prices as low as INR 18 lakh.

Industrial development schemes are also expected to close the gap between the number of people living in the low income bracket, and the affordable housing projects that are available to them.  With thousands of workers who will need affordable homes close to the new factory and plants that will open up, the demands for homes that offer quality at a low price will also rise exponentially.


  • Schemes available for individuals falling in the low income bracket
M Venkaiah Naidu,  has asked the banks to make it more attractive for individuals belonging to the low income bracket to apply for home loans. He also requested that the process be made simpler. A central bank that governs property development across India is needed, and Naidu says that either the NABARD will need to have its jurisdiction extended, or an alternate organization like the SIDBI will have to take up this new role. Schemes that encourage builders to use new technologies have also been discussed, and construction tools like gypsum boards are expected to be used to make these homes, ensuring the quality in the construction work, while bringing down the overall costs even more:

  1. Banks to make home loans more attractive for low income groups
  2. A central body to be put in place for managing development of affordable housing pan India
  3. Use of newer technology in construction to be encouraged in order to reduce costs

  • Price trend for affordable housing projects
Low income houses across India are becoming even more affordable. Newer construction technologies reduce the cost of building a home, sometimes by as much as half. The average cost of building a house will now be closer to Rs 900 per square foot, as opposed to the normal Rs 1500 per sq foot. Combined with the government plans that will provide builders, land at subsidized rates, affordable housing is expected to become a lot more affordable.


This is a guest post by Puspashree Mohanty


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