MUMBAI: It is a known fact that the Mumbai property market is the most expensive in the country. However,despite the exorbitant prices and premium localities, the city has, on a consistent basis, managed to nurture areas that can still be labelled as relatively affordable.
Along the central line in Mumbai, there are four such localities – Ghatkopar, Vikhroli, Bhandup and Mulund, which despite being centrally situated, have emerged as locations with a perfect blend of comfort and convenience at pocket-friendly rates.
The capital values in these localities vary between Rs 12,000 and Rs 15,000 per sq ft as compared to prices in the nearby premium localities such as Powai, where residential values are pegged atRs 18,000 per sq ft. “These localities target the mid-income segments,” says Manju Yagnik, vice-chairperson, Nahar Group, which has a functional project in Mulund. “Although Mulund is almost at par with Powai in terms of infrastructure and prices, there are still some properties which are available within the affordable price range of Rs 8,000-12,000 per sq ft. Areas such as Bhandup, which are still developing, offer properties at rates even less than those of Mulund,” she adds.
Some of these projects in Mulund are by Nirmal Builders and Developers, Nirman Group and HDIL, among others. While Kalpataru Ltd has projects in Ghatkopar and Sankalp Builders has offerings in Bhandup, Godrej Properties and Mayfair Housing have projects in Vikhroli. All these projects offer housing in a budget range of approximately Rs 35 lakhs to 1 crore.
For instance, during the quarter of March-May 2013, maximum demand was noted for 2-BHK units in Ghatkopar while 1-BHK units were the most preferred category in Bhandup. Almost equal demand for 1 and 2-BHK units was found in Vikhroli and Mulund, with more than 45 and 40 per cent buyer interest respectively for each category. Supply in the market was largely limited to 2-BHK units.
Apart from reasonable residential prices, Ghatkopar, Bhandup, Mulund and Vikhroli are all well-connected to each other as well as to other parts of the city. These are located within 15 kms of Powai and are well-connected to the western and eastern expressways. Also, these localities have easy accessibility to the domestic and international airports and the Mumbai Central area. In addition, the upcoming Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar metro corridor will make these places even more approachable, especially Ghatkopar.
All these localities have welldeveloped road and rail networks. Major roads in Ghatkopar include RB Mehta Marg which is 60-ft wide, the Bombay-Agra road and Amar Mahal road. Further, the locality has a stop for all local trains along the central line.
Similarly, Bhandup, which is the most affordable amongst the four localities, is also wellconnected. The eastern express highway, western express highway and LBS Marg connect Bhandup to Mulund, Powai, Ghatkopar and Kanjurmarg. Bhandup’s connectivity to the Bandra-Kurla Complex, Vikhroli, and the Kanjurmarg-Powai commercial belth has been crucial in its development.
“Earlier considered a downmarket area with few amenities, Bhandup has now emerged as an important residential hub. The release of industrial land along LBS Marg – a major road connection for the eastern suburbs, has enticed developers to come up with high-end residential and township projects along this transport corridor,” points out Subhankar Mitra, head, strategic consulting (west), Jones Lang LaSalle India. LBS Marg also connects Mulund to Thane. “The widened LBS Marg has been an important factor in the real estate development of these localities,” adds Mitra.
The entire stretch of Ghatkopar-Vikhroli-Bhandup-Mulund is developing at a fast pace. One can grab the opportunity and invest now for properties within a budget range of Rs 35 lakhs to 1 crore. With the kind of demand and infrastructure development being witnessed in the area, it will not be long before these localities become a distant dream for the middle-income home buyers.