If you are an apartment owner in a good location in city areas, then you can feel proud that you are a crorepati today at least in notional values. But if you are the one due to invest in housing for a specific city location, you will have to cough up not less than Rs 1 crore. Soaring land values, lack of clear title properties, fierce competition among developers and demand exceeding supply have all made buying an apartment a virtually impossible task for the common man.
Yet another factor is the archaic development control rules which have throttled the housing development for decades in key locations across the city. Restrictions on FSI have made housing a costly exercise for Chennaiites over the years without rhyme or reason. The worst affected sector is the middle class for whom the question of acquiring their dream home in city areas will be a Herculean task hereafter. The Tamil Nadu Housing Board apartment owners in key city locations are sitting pretty as the redevelopment exercise on their existing units would fetch a windfall besides cash incentives in the years ahead.
Just visualise the apartment prices for select ongoing projects across city locations and for a 1200 sqft apartment the price is over Rs 1.25 crore: Alwarpet (Rs17,500-Rs20,000), Anna Nagar (East) (Rs 12,000-Rs12,500), Besant Nagar (Rs 12,500-Rs 13,750), Adyar (Rs 13,500), Kalakshetra colony (Rs 15,000), Kilpauk (Rs 12,800-Rs15,000), MRC Nagar (Rs 10,500-Rs15,000), Kasturi Ranga Iyenger road (Rs 28,000), Nungambakkam (Rs 13,000 – Rs15,000), R.A. Puram (Rs 13,500), Sri Nagar Colony (Rs 14,000-Rs16,000), T Nagar (Rs 12,700-Rs15,000) and Valmiki Nagar (Rs 11,000-Rs12,000).
Even the resale apartments in key city locations are quoted at rigid prices due to which the transactions are taking much longer time nowadays, say realtors monitoring secondary market price movements in the city.
At the same time not all city properties can fetch fancy prices. There are road restrictions and access issues that have made even prime properties lying idle for several years as buyers do not evince keen interest at such prices. Even property developers are shying away from joint development in such areas due to lesser ratio for development. Some developers are keen to even accept 55:45 (developer) as the sale value compensates them with higher revenue and the lead time is short besides there is a ready market for such units.
For the younger generation this is a timely lesson to start investing in homes much earlier than later. They can pursue their costly higher education without any institutional commitment while pursuing their initial careers. They can mortgage, rent and raise resources from housing finance companies and banks to pursue their academic interest without the need to depend on their parents.