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Data Nov 20, 2012

Why Chembur, Wadala, Ulwe are hot investments in Mumbai

By Sunainaa Chadha

Mumbai has once again pipped NCR as the biggest residential market in India.

According to an investment advisory report by real estate consultancy firm Knight Frank, Ulwe, Chembur and Wadala in the Mumbai Metropolitan region have emerged as the top three investment destinations in India, with forecasts price appreciation by 145%, 133% and 125%, respectively in five years.

The research firm has in total identified thirteen destinations across Mumbai, the national capital region (NCR), Bangalore, Chennai and Pune where residential prices are expected to appreciate by 145, 133 and 125% respectively.

The list is based on assessment of real estate drivers namely employment, physical infrastructure, connectivity to important locations, access to social infrastructure, planned development, proximity to premium office spaces and land availability.

List provided by Knight Frank

Samantak Das, director, research & advisory services, Knight Frank India says, this report will give guidance to those interested in buying properties.

Ulwe: With a budget of up to Rs 25 lakh, Ulwe which is located to the south of the Panvel creek, is likely to see a price appreciation of 145 percent in the next five years and is the ideal investment choice for the aam admi once the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link is in place as it will provide the much-needed link between South Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.

Already, of the 6,606 residential units launched in the region since 2009, 4,805 units are already sold.

Chart

"Ulwe will benefit on account of the corollary commercial activity arising from the upcoming International airport and the SEZ land. The region has access to the zone's five major office markets within a distance of 22 km. The upcoming Seawood-Uran suburban train network will enhance this access through a mass rapid transport system," said Das in the report.

The Mumbai Trans Harbour Link promises to decongest traffic and localities of Mumbai as people will think of shifting their bases towards Navi Mumbai and Raigad due to their proximity to South Mumbai. Once the link is built it will bring mainland and peninsular Mumbai much closer.

Against Vashi, which is already a self-sustained, where property prices command Rs 10,000 a square foot, price in Ulwe is around Rs 4,000 a square foot, which is a 60 percent discount. However, Knight Frank expects this discount factor to reduce to 38% by 2017.

Second on the list is Chembur, where prices are forecast to appreciate by 125% over the next 5 years because of its proximity to the Eastern Express Highway and the Santacruz Chembur Link Road, which significantly enhances its connectivity with island city and western zone respectively.

Secondly, the Chembur-Wadala phase of monorail project is in an advanced stage of construction and is expected to be operational by early 2013. This project wil directly link Chembur to Mumbai's prime office area- Lower Parel.

The monorail project has already triggered an increase in real estate prices in corridors through which the Metro will run.

Third, prominent office markets of BKC and Lower Parel are located within a distance of 12 km from Chembur, which will only increase its attractiveness going ahead.

Chart two

Of the 3,518 residential units launched in Chembur since 2007, 2,625 units are sold. Against Prabhadevi, a prime area in Mumbai where average property prices are in the range of Rs 34,000-36,000 a square foot, the average price in Chembur is Rs 12,000 a square foot, a discount of 67 percent. Knight Frank expects this to narrow to 51 percent by 2017.

The third most lucrative location in India is again Mumbai's Wadala, which has remained hot property since the last two years. A decade ago, real estate prices at Wadala were Rs 1,800 per sq. ft. which went up to Rs 9,000 a few years ago. Now, though, they hover at Rs 15,000 per sq. ft. With the announcement of development projects, many people from South Mumbai are slowly shifting to Wadala.

In comparison to Prabhadevi, Knight Frank expects the discount to narrow down from 70 percent in 2012 to 58 percent in 2017.

Knight Frank predicts that the Wadala residential property will appreciate by 133% during the next 5 years. Of the 1,871 residential units launched in Wadala since 2007, 1,387 units were launched in 2011 alone.

With the the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority's (MMRDA) plans to divert the metro rail to Wadala, connecting it to monorail and the Eastern Freeway, it is not surprising to hear that most people are predicting that prices would rise.

Secondly, with a slew of launches in the premium segment, the perception of Wadala as a residential market has significantly improved. Take Lodha's new cuffe project in Wadala for example which comprises four 63-storey towers with over 15 acres dedicated for lush green landscape.

"Being strategically located, Wadala will benefit from its connectivity with employment hubs across the MMR. The region development authority's intention of developing Wadala in a similar manner as BKC will further increase the appeal of this destination," added Das.

Moreover, Wadala has provided a lifestyle shift by facilitating the construction of high- rise premium buildings with plush amenities like swimming pool, parks, gyms etc in projects developed on large land parcels as seen in Bhakti Park and Dosti Acres.

Even the area facing the truck terminus is now being developed with residential towers, malls and recreational centres.

by Sunainaa Chadha

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