PUNE: The western side of Pune is advantageously connected to the expressway which allows easy and speedy access to Mumbai. It also has the major Information Technology (IT) Parks of Hinjewadi, Baner and Aundh in the neighbourhood, while also offering great connectivity to the industrial pockets of Chakan, Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation and Talegaon. Apart from these economic drivers, Pune's western side is high on serenity and natural beauty, which obviously contributes to its popularity among home buyers.
Pune's western corridor has a very healthy demand for housing. This demand is driven both by the local industries and investors from Mumbai who are purchasing residential housing in this corridor. The key industries which have witnessed consistent and accelerating growth in the western parts of Pune are IT, education and manufacturing. Retail is also beginning to take off convincingly. The growth of IT and manufacturing industries is robust in the western region and demand for housing will continue to be very healthy.
Baner, tagged as Pune's "queen of the suburbs", is located on the northwest side and has emerged as a high-growth location in terms of real estate development. Most of the demand for homes in this area stems from IT/ITeS employees. Since this is a very significant growth driver, Baner has emerged as one of Pune's hottest residential real estate locations.
Its proximity to the Hinjewadi IT Park has resulted in this location becoming the cynosure of fast-tracked infrastructure. Also, it is extremely well connected to Bangalore by virtue of the highway.
Baner is catching a lot of the spillover housing demand from Aundh, which was at one time the logical residential location for IT employees in Hinjewadi. Aundh's residential real estate potential has by now been almost fully exploited.
Moreover, Aundh has a lower availability of 'smart' homes than Baner - a rising preference among home buyers who work for IT companies. These buyers have a greater appreciation for technologically-enabled residences and also draw salaries allowing them to buy such homes. This demand is being catered to in Baner by developers such as Amit Enterprises Housing, which has launched a smart homes project, 'Sereno', in this area.
A home in Baner is considered a lifestyle statement. Apart from being in the immediate neighbourhood of Hinjewadi, it also has all the necessary social infrastructure such as schools, colleges, hospitals and malls at hand. This area was one of the star performers of 2012 in terms of residential property price appreciation. All these factors combine to make Baner an extremely lucrative residential real estate investment hotspot in Pune. Property rates are between Rs 6,000 and Rs 8,500 a sq ft, depending on the type of project and facilities offered.