Homebuyers hoping to get lucky with the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) lottery this year will have to be prepared to shell out a lot more for the flats. The housing authority has decided to hike the price of all new flats by at least 50%.
Mhada officials have defended the hike.
"We have increased the size of the flats and are also providing high quality construction. The hike is inevitable," said a senior Mhada official on the condition of anonymity.
The hike will be applicable from the next lottery, in July, where the housing body will put up around 5,000 houses for sale.
In case of the middle-income group (MIG), with a monthly salary of Rs 20,000-Rs 40,000, the flat rates have increased to Rs 25-Rs 30 lakh from Rs 20 lakh.
In the case of the economically weaker section (EWS), with a monthly salary of less than Rs 8,000, the price will be Rs 7.50 lakh, up from the current of Rs 4 lakh.
To the EWS, Mhada will offer 225 square feet flats at Mankhurd against the earlier 180 square feet flats that used to cost Rs 3.95 lakh.
In the case of the lower income group (LIG) with a monthly salary of Rs 8,000-Rs 20,000, the flat will now cost up to Rs 15 lakh against the earlier Rs 7.70 lakh.
In the case of the higher income group (HIG), with a salary of more than Rs 40,000 onwards, the flat price has been hiked to Rs 33 lakh from the current Rs 20 lakh onwards.
Housing activists have denounced the move. "Mhada was the only hope for the poor and now even this has gone," said Chandrashekar Deshpande, trustee, Aadhar Pratisthan, an NGO working in the housing sector.
He said private builders never build smaller houses and now Mhada was following their example.
Analysts, too, have expressed displeasure at the move. "It is an ill-timed move as loan conditions have become stricter and interest rates are rising," said Prakkash Nichanii, CEO, Anchor Property Consultants.