Mumbai: Apartment sizes shrinking to suit homebuyers’ budget

  • Naresh Kamath, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: May 11, 2015 20:36 IST

Faced by the slowdown in realty sector, builders have started reducing the apartment sizes to suit the pockets of the homebuyers.

Reducing the size of the houses translates to reduction in overall apartment prices, which the builders contend would help boost sales.

In Mumbai, a one bedroom, hall and kitchen (BHK) apartment is being reduced to 550 sqft from the previous 650sqft. A 2-BHK apartment now starts from 800sqft from 950sqft.

A 3-BHK has also shrunk to 1,250sqft from 1,400sqft.

Manju Yagnik, vice-chairperson, Nahar Group, said this is a step towards providing affordable housing. “The current market is price sensitive and we are making efforts to reduce the prices by such means,” said Yagnik. “People are responding positively,” she added.

According to architects, people are going for compact houses owing to strain on their budget.

“We are seeing a lot of innovations like we provide two bathroom even in 1-BHK houses now,” said Baba Dalvi, proprietor, SG Dalvi and Associates. “Here, we make facilities to house two families in a 1 BHK apartment,” he added.

In the past few years, the realty market has been hit by a massive slowdown, resulting in downslide in sales. The builders jacked their rates to unaffordable levels, forcing many homebuyers to postpone their purchase plans.

Despite these circumstances, the builders are reluctant to reduce prices, citing high taxation as well as huge premiums imposed by the government. In addition, as the banks hesitate to lend money, builders depend on private lenders, who charge huge interests.

According to real estate analysts, though the sizes have reduced, the sales have not picked up considerably.

“The buyer should get the sense of up-gradation and adequate space or else he will not buy the property,” said Pankaj Kapoor, chief executive officer, Liases Foras, a real estate research firm.

He said the overall per square feet price remains the same. “The real sales will take place when the per square feet price decreases,” he added.

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