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Small flats are back

mumbai Updated: May 15, 2010 02:19 IST
Naresh Kamath
Naresh Kamath
Hindustan Times
Small flats are back

With real estate sales drying up due to dauntingly high prices, developers are now building compact homes priced to be within reach of middle-income homebuyers, especially the young.

A case in point is Netz Realty, which is building studio apartments at Andheri and Mahim, with 300 to 450 sq ft furnished flats priced in the range of Rs 30-Rs 40 lakh.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, Renuka Khekade, a spokesperson for Netz Realty said their target audience are young home buyers.

“We’ve seen that no one constructs smaller flats these days even though there is a huge demand for them. We intend to tap this market of middle class buyers,” she said.

She said the trend of studio apartments is picking up in various metros, driven primarily by pent-up demand for affordable mid-range housing.

While Ankur Enterprises is offering 475-sq-ft one-bedroom-hall-kitchen flats in the Rs 30 lakh range at Nahur near Mulund, two more developers, Samarth Krupa and Aditya Builders have put on the market compact houses in the

Rs 25-Rs 30 lakh range in Tilak Nagar at Chembur.

Apart from this trend, many developers who’ve acquired land at low prices to put up projects under the Slum Rehabilitation Authority scheme, or by way of redevelopment of old buildings, are also selling apartments at lower prices to mop up volume.

Omkar Developers is planning to sell its 1,200-flat project at Malad in the range of Rs 6,000 - Rs 7,000 per sq ft, with the objective simply to raise as much money as possible.

“We have several projects planned across the city and we can’t afford to keep our flats vacant,” said Babulal Verma, its chairman and managing director.

Real estate experts said given how desirable housing in the city is well out of reach of most buyers, the low-budget home is the closest they can get to a sure bet.

“Current realty rates are so high, it’s virtually impossible for homebuyers to get in the market. Any reasonably priced apartment will easily find buyers,” said Pankaj Kapoor, managing director, Liasas Foras, a real estate research firm.