Poor response to Mhada flats in Mumbai this year; people complain they are unaffordable | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Poor response to Mhada flats in Mumbai this year; people complain they are unaffordable

mumbai Updated: Oct 25, 2017 16:21 IST
Naresh Kamath
A Mhada housing complex in Mumbai.

A Mhada housing complex in Mumbai.(HT File)

The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority’s (Mhada) affordable housing lottery scheme has not got the huge response this year that it usually gets, with the number of applicants dropping by as much as 40 per cent compared to 2016 .

Till date, 77,937 people have applied for flats, compared to last year’s 1.36 lakh.

The extremely high price of flats, and the economic slowdown seem to have put people off from investing in Mhada’s no-frills apartments. This is the first time that Mhada has priced its flats at more than Rs1 crore. Of the total 918 flats on sale, 204 cost above Rs1 crore. Ami Patel, a media professional, said the rate is exorbitant this year. “The houses are too expensive and beyond my reach,” Patel said.

A 364 sq ft (carpet area) house in Lower Parel, for instance, is priced at Rs1.42 crore, which works out to Rs39,010 per sq ft for carpet area, and Rs23,500 for super built-up. Similarly, a 476 sq ft flat in Lower Parel is priced at Rs1.95 crore, which translates to Rs40, 966 per sq ft carpet and Rs24,800 for super built-up.

Real estate research firm Liases Foras said the poor response is because of high prices. “Mhada prices are on par with market rates this year. In fact, some builders are selling at rates lower than this. Buyers expect lower rates from Mhada,” said Pankaj Kapoor, CEO, Liases Foras.

Patel said the current slowdown has also influenced her decision. “It makes no sense to apply in such an environment with so much economic uncertainty,” she said. Mitesh Gala, a private school tutor, shares the same opinion. “After demonetisation, people have lost jobs all around, and living costs are rising by the day. I will apply only after things stabilise,” he said.

In recent years, as private builders quoted increasingly exorbitant, unaffordable rates, more and more people in the city have been trying their luck with Mhada, which is known to sell houses at affordable rates. In the last nine draws, 13.58 lakh applicants applied for the 22,923 houses that were put up for sale.

Mhada, however, claims that its rates are lower than private developers this year too. “We charge 30 to 50 per cent lesser than private builders. This time, we have got less response as we are selling fewer smaller-sized houses,” said Subhash Lakhe, vice-chairman and chief officer, Mhada (Mumbai board).

Mumbai’s realty market has seen a major slowdown in the past few years, with sales dropping as prices shot up. The inventory of unsold houses is huge - there are around 2.67 lakh unsold houses in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, of which 1.05 lakh are within Mumbai city limits.