Realtors take advantage of ambitious Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro Rail system

मुंबई Mumbai: Taking advantage of the ambitious Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar system, builders had hiked property rates of projects in the periphery of the infrastructure, citing the fast commute afforded by the location and the time and energy saved. Realty experts remain divided over the move.

The construction of the Metro rail in the Versova-Ghatkopar corridor is a godsend for builders, who had lost the opportunity to increase property rates of their projects that are adjacent to suburban local lines.

Builders had chosen to cash in on the Metro by hiking the rates of the projects near the corridor at regular intervals, citing the fast commute afforded by the location and the time and energy saved. This trend of hiking rates ended when the commercial run of the Metro started and by then builders had hiked the rate by 12-15 per cent. In the non-Metro corridor, however, the increased rate was upped by eight to 10 per cent in the last year.

After the opening of Eastern Freeway, Monorail and Santa Cruz–Chembur Link Road, the Mumbai Metro is the fourth infrastructure project which has become a reason to increase the rates in the name of the benefits reaped by residents.

All builders keep mum when it comes to speaking about it officially, but experts and market analyses speak in volumes.

Comparative data of ready reckoner of residential properties of the year 2012 and 2014 shows that the areas around Metro stations witnessed price rise of 30 to 44 per cent in the year 2014 in comparison to the year 2012. The rate of increment is as follows: Versova (32 per cent), D.N. Nagar (36 per cent), Andheri (44 per cent), Azad Nagar (32 per cent), Chakala (38 per cent), Marol Naka (37 per cent), Saki Naka (26 per cent), among others. This was also the case with commercial and industrial properties in the same period.

However, in the non-Metro corridor, the rate of increment went up by 15-20 per cent from 2012 to 2014. The rate of increment in areas in the non-Metro corridor were as follows: Yogi Nagar-Borivali (20 per cent), Bhandup (16 per cent), Nehru Nagar-Kurla (21 per cent), Mulund Colony (14 per cent) and Shailendra Nagar-Dahisar (15 per cent).

Confirming the trend, an expert in housing issues and spokesperson of Builder Association of India, Dr Anand Gupta said, “Marol, Saki Naka, Chakala, J.B.Nagar, D.N.Nagar, Azad Nagar are some of the places where the rates were increased in the name of Metro benefits.”

He added, “No doubt, the Metro would save time, energy, hardship and the money of the people, which is a win-win situation for both flat buyers and builders.”

According to an internal study by a reputed developer, there are almost two-dozen branded and big-size builders who joined the bandwagon of hiking property rates within the periphery of the Metro, and 90 per cent of them upped their rates, citing the Metro’s opening as a prominent reason.

Vinod Sampat, president of the Registration Fees and Stamp Duty Payers Association, said, “Builders never miss a chance to squeeze money from the buyers and they started mulling over hiking the rates the day the Metro’s foundation stone was laid. And not only this, builders across the city are having a feasibility study across the lines of Metro-2 and Metro-3, for which physical work has not started yet.”

An international property consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj (JLLM) has also found that the areas that have received the benefits of Metro connectivity have seen price rises of 400 per cent over the past eight years. Issuing a statement, Ramesh Nair, chief operating officer of JLLM said, “The Monorail, Metro, Santa Cruz–Chembur Link Road, and the Eastern Freeway have had a tonic effect on the adjoining realty micro markets. It’s our prediction that the residential and retail markets in Andheri, Jogeshwari and Ghatkopar will witness tremendous growth, especially those near the Metro stations.”