Amit Dhariwal, entrepreneur par excellence and wellknown business analyst, gives us insights into the booming realty industry of Pune.
By Parvati Bhide
What are some key trends driving the real estate market in Pune currently?
Pune’s real estate market has been witnessing positive signs. The Central Government has already implemented several proactive measures that will soon bear fruit and the emphasis on affordable and mid-income housing has already been paying off in terms of higher sales volumes and buyer interest in this category. Pune is one of the high-growth cities in India. There is strong demand for housing from first-time buyers and those looking to upgrade their living arrangements, which is likely to keep the market buoyant. Ongoing infrastructural improvements in the city and the availability of jobs are also expected to support the market. Pune has become increasingly appealing as a real estate market in recent times, and its prospects are expected to continue to rise owing to factors such as robust economic growth, a lively cosmopolitan atmosphere, and pleasant weather throughout the year.
What are the shifts in buyer preferences or demands?
Today, homes have not only become a safety and security net for people, but have also become the epicenter of all kinds of activities. Potential homebuyers will now look for bigger and more spacious homes as everyone in the house requires a dedicated space for work calls, study purposes and recreation, among others. The pandemic has accelerated the shift towards a more digital world and triggered changes in home shopping behaviour. The hybrid work model has become the ‘new normal’ and therefore geography to a large extent has become irrelevant when homebuyers go home-hunting today.
Are there specific areas in Pune that are experiencing higher demand for real estate?
The Pune real estate market is showing signs of robust growth, with demand for larger properties on the rise. Central Pune – which comprises Haveli Taluka, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), and Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) – remains the top location for residential transactions in the city. It accounted for 80% of all residential transactions in March 2023, a figure largely unchanged from the same period last year. The demanding areas in West Pune are Baner, Balewadi, Wakad, Tathawade, Punawale, Hinjewadi and Ravet. Additionally, Mundhwa and Athavadi and growing exponentially.
Could you provide insights into the types of properties (apartments, villas, plots, commercial spaces) being demanded and the factors that influence the demand?
The housing market in Pune has witnessed sizable demand for mid-range properties that are usually priced between Rs 70 lakh and Rs 90 lakh on average. Reports state that a handsome 52% of homebuyers in Pune remain inclined towards purchasing affordable/budget housing units. Properties in the sub-Rs 90 lakh categories continue to draw the highest demand in Pune as per studies. Quality of life has been going up by leaps and bounds across Pune and the growth of the office space market, fuelled by the IT and ITES boom, has generated higher residential sales volumes throughout the city and its peripheral zones. As per reports, approximately 33% of new residential projects in Pune were launched in the north-west sub region, particularly in areas like Mahalunge, Balewadi and Wakad.
Which segment – among residential, commercial, retail, and recreational – do you see as demand drivers?
Pune ranked second on the ease of living index on factors like quality of life, climate, employment opportunities, educational opportunities, public services and the automobile sector. Amongst the residential, commercial, retail and recreational segments right now, the demand driver is residential because after COVID, everyone is seeing a need in buying their own house, which is adding to the residential demand. Of course, commercial properties also have their own value, but residential properties are undoubtedly demand drivers. This briefly explains why the real estate sector of Pune is booming.
Are there any government regulations, schemes and offers that will impact the realty industry?
The regulatory reforms of the Government like GST, RERA and amendments for the Benami Properties Act and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code have brought major cheer to buyers.
What are your views on the categories of residential properties such as sustainable homes, multipurpose and luxurious living that are expected to be in demand this year?
Sustainability will drive the real estate industry in a big way. The trend of going green has been evolving and buyers have been asking for ecofriendly practices and a healthy environment, thus focusing on a holistic lifestyle. With higher purchasing power of IT professionals and young entrepreneurs who aspire to live life large, there will be huge demand for luxurious living too.
As we step into the festive period, do you feel the positive sentiment around homeownership will continue?
The real estate market of Pune is expected to see a rising graph on both residential and commercial fronts, so much so that the Festive period will surpass the average of overall residential sales in the last few years. Potential homebuyers sitting on the fence for some time can take the plunge now as this is the best time for investment in the real estate sector.
How do you foresee 2024 holding for the real estate market in Pune?
The outlook for the market is positive, with ongoing infrastructural improvements and strong demand likely to keep the market buoyant. The year 2024 is likely to break several existing records in the Pune housing market. It is all set to create newer benchmarks in terms of connectivity, infrastructure, locality, projects, neighbourhoods, amenities, configuration and more such important options that buyers look at before making the purchase decision, and developers look at before making an investment.