At a time when inflation is ruling the roost, Mumbai-based developer Matheran Realty has unveiled an integrated township at Karjat, 80 kms from Mumbai, where a basic one-room flat could cost as little as Rs 3 lakh.
The cost of construction, at Rs 999 per square feet, is a fraction of the Rs 2,500-3,500 prevailing in other parts of the city as well as other major metros. At this rate, the bigger flats in the township, in the size of 500 sq ft and 700 sq ft, are priced at Rs 5 lakh and 7 lakh respectively.
Matheran is a joint venture between Sterling Construction System and Eredene Capital, a London-based investment company, listed on the alternative investment market (AIM). Eredene has invested Rs 100 crore into the project. The project has been conceptualised by Sinclair Knight Mertz, an Australian firm with expertise in urban infrastructure planning.
“While we are subsidising the cost by selling a portion of the 100 acres township to commercial users at a premium, our main objective is to elevate the lifestyles of the low income groups by enabling them to own a house they can afford,” said Pravin Banavalikar, CEO, Matheran Realty. The project primarily targets families with Rs 10,000 a month income. For a housing loan of Rs 2 lakh for 20 years, the Equated Monthly Installment (EMI) would work out about Rs 2,000 — well within the budget of such a household.
“Even if construction cost would be Rs 650 per sq ft, the developer would make a profit of Rs 250 per sq ft,” said Anuj Puri, chairman and country head, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj (JLLM), a global real estate consultancy. The main challenge for this township, he said, would be to provide quick transport facility to Mumbai. “You cannot expect the residents to wake up at 4 a.m. and be in office at 8 a.m.”
Despite the rise in steel and other input costs, the company claims that it is using prefabricated fibre cement boards which would keep construction costs down. According to officials, construction has already started for this new city.
The booking has already been started for the project and 3,000 flats will be handed over in the first phase between January and June 2009. The project is named is called Tanaji Mulsure City (TMC) and is named after a Maratha.