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Buying a house in Mumbai is a dream for many, but only a few are able to make it a reality. A dearth of real estate in the ever-expanding city and sky-high property rates leave most to compromise on space and some resigned to alternative living situations such as co-living. As a result, Mumbai residents are often called the matchbox dwellers because for them, staying near the city line is more important than living in a spacious house.
However now, because of better connectivity and access, more and more people are looking for properties beyond traditional popular neighborhoods - in the suburbs and micro-markets of the city which are well-connected and have all the basic amenities including hospitals and schools, as well as offices.
Micro-markets in real estate are subdivisions between neighborhoods that have their own unique defining characteristics. These areas usually have properties at a much reasonable price which makes it easy on the pocket for the majority of city residents who aren’t looking for exorbitant investments.
In a city like Mumbai where property prices are incredibly high, micro-markets have become rather popular among people because of their affordable prices and their return on investment - not to mention proximity to convenient amenities which are constantly on the rise.
Additionally, since most of the population tends to spend hours in traffic for their office commute, satellite towns have seen notable growth. These mini-townships are being developed around the city and are becoming increasingly popular among the average working-class due to shorter commutes and easy connectivity.
Here are some of the major up-and-coming micro-markets in Mumbai:
Girgaon has long been sought-after for its coastal views and coveted zip code, but it is also growing rapidly in the areas of residential buildings and lifestyle sectors. This division of South Mumbai has been a nucleus for a number of social hubs and tops the list of elite-living while retaining cultural pockets and an ‘Old Bombay’ feel. Because Girgaon has a perfect balance of social ‘bragging rights’ and cultural phenomena, its market value remains one of the highest in the city.
Due to the wide-ranging employment opportunities, civic amenities, and connectivity, Kandivali is quickly emerging as a major micro-market. It is well-connected through the Western Express Highway, the airport is just a 30-minute ride away, and the Borivali railway station, which is a major hub, is close enough for daily access. The under-construction Coastal Road is an 8-lane, 29.2-km long freeway that would run along Mumbai's western coastline connecting Marine Lines in the south to Kandivali, pre-empting potential buyers to consider Kandivali as a viable investment option.
There are also many schools and hospitals nearby, making it a good area for families to move. In 2017, there were as many as 2,300 units launched in Kandivali with an average size of 390 sq ft. and an average price of Rs 20,000 per square feet.
Navi Mumbai is preferred as the ideal new market and has emerged as a realty hub with a lot of appreciation potential. In 2017-18, the Rasayani region alone in Navi Mumbai saw the launch of over 2,410 units, with an average property size of 450 square feet and an average price of Rs 5,100 per square feet. With several industries and corporate offices moving into the area, it has made this a prime choice for those seeking to purchase an affordable property close to where they work.
Similarly, Panvel in Navi Mumbai saw the launch of over 1,510 units with an average property size of 380 feet and an average price of Rs 6,700 square feet.
Dahisar has become a notable location since the micro-markets have emerged. With the advent of the new Metro 2 line, Dahisar is set to emerge from obscurity to achieve better connectivity to prime parts of the city. In addition, this location has easy access to all major roads, hospitals, schools, and other modern lifestyle amenities. Dahisar has remained considerably low in prices and a prime location for families, and it saw the launch of nearly 710 units with average prices at Rs 18,000 per sq ft and size at 470 sq ft.
Wadala has seen significant infrastructural development and has emerged as a prime micro-market. Wadala not only offers affordable housing but also connects well to the Eastern Freeway. Its transformation from a primarily industrial zone to a prime residential hub makes it a uniquely attractive market - not only does it have Metro 4 and Monorail connectivity, but it has also been in the forefront as a favorite in terms of entertainment options available. With a favorable investment landscape and positive predictions, Wadala has attracted many people to invest in the micro-markets surrounding this region.
With the total new housing supply of around 50,100 units in Q2 2018 across the top cities with locations like Wadala, the MMR saw the highest number of new launches, with nearly 13,600 new units – a 59 percent increase against the preceding quarter.
Micro-markets tackle the obvious problem of expensive housing. The houses in these markets are much more affordable than the ones in prime locations - the average prices are about one-third of the property prices in their prime counterparts.
In a bustling and ever-expanding city like Mumbai, access to facilities and ease of transport is a major determinant in choosing a neighborhood to live in. The Metro connectivity is a game-changer with the potential to redefine Mumbai’s property market. With the onset of the Monorail and the Coastal Road, the micro-markets are no longer far-flung options for those not looking to spend hours on the road getting from point A to point B.
The space-crunch in Mumbai is nudging schools and colleges to move to micro-markets, which is a great advantage for families looking to relocate with their children. For senior citizens, the advantage includes medical facilities such as hospitals, diagnostic centers, and laboratories that are moving into these pockets. With most of these amenities being newer constructions, the facilities have the benefit of being well-built with the latest safety codes.
With space in Mumbai dwindling as a whole, corporates can no longer accommodate sprawling campuses or spacious office branches in prime city locations. With no space-crunch in micro-markets and cheaper leases and outright rates, there are many established and up-and-coming companies investing in real estate spaces looking to set up hubs for their new ventures.
Often dubbed ‘the city of dreams’, Mumbai stands at the top of the property pyramid of India. With a population of 12.9 million and thousands added daily, the city is ever-expanding and so is the residential market. Emerging micro markets are a housing solution that caters to various socio-economic groups in Mumbai and collectively, this makes Mumbai an attractive investment choice - for those wanting to appreciate their capital or make the city their home.
All, Miscellaneous, Realty