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The changing face of India's property market
May 2010

Anuj Puri is the chairman and Indian head of the property services company Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj.

India faces a chronic housing shortage. A large number of Indiaís urban poor aspire to own a house but are deterred by high property prices. Is affordable housing a likely saviour?

The definition of affordable would means different things for different people, depending on their income levels and socio-economic status. As of now, affordable housing projects are seen only on the outskirts of large cities. We do not see such efforts being launched in more central locations. In large cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kolkata and smaller towns like Ludhiana and Nasik, there is a growing demand for two-bedroom format houses, which are scarcely available at affordable prices.

Affordable housing became the mainstay of property developers during the economic crisis. Does the same hold true now that Indiaís economy is swiftly recovering?

It seemed so two quarters ago, but the scenario has changed since then. Firstly, middle-income homes are selling again and developers are once again focusing on this segment, which offers higher profit margins. Secondly, it is difficult for builders to develop affordable housing within larger cities due to high land prices. Developers wonít build such projects compromising on profit margins.

This yearís national budget offered plenty of fiscal incentives to the developers to focus on building homes for low-income groups. Does the governmentís thrust on affordable housing help developers?

The government must promote redevelopment of old buildings within cities or provide world-class infrastructure in suburban locations where people can reside and still commute to cities for work with ease. It can decongest large cities by developing large land parcels located outside them.

Source : The National
 
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RICS INDIA CONFERENCE
Levvel were chosen as International Knowledge Partner by the RICS India. Stuart Woodward, Managing Director of Levvel attended the conference titled 'Practical Solutions for Delivery of Affordable Housing' which took place in New Delhi.

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