BHUBANESWAR: Construction of multi-storied residential apartments has gained pace in small towns, which boasted only of standalone houses built by individual owners till recently.
Contrary to real estate development centered around the Cuttack-Puri-Bhubaneswar triangle alone earlier, several residential projects are coming up in Angul, Jharsuguda, Sambalpur, Bargarh, Balasore, Bhadrak, and Berhampur, among other towns. Apart from individual merits of certain towns because of industrial activities around them and their strategic locations, apartment culture is picking up across Odisha towns, industry insiders said.
Around 50 apartments with a total of 10,000 dwelling units are under different stages of construction in Berhampur alone. "People prefer apartments and planned constructions to buying land these days. Salaried employees have disposable money but don't have time to construct a house by employing a contractor on their own. They are the large clientele here," said P K Rajeev, a developer in the south Odisha town.
Berhampur with its good road and rail connectivity is a gateway to south Odisha, making it a preferred destination for people from neighbouring districts to invest and own a house here. The real estate price here is now as high as Rs 2,000 to Rs 4,000 per sq ft, only a little less than the price in Bhubaneswar.
Jharsuguda, an emerging industrial town, where the government is planning the state's second airport, is coming up as another real estate hub. "Besides apartments, simplex and duplex houses, there are huge takers for plot schemes here," said Sajid Hussain, a developer there. With per sq ft price of Rs 1,350 to Rs 2,500, buyers are finding two bedroom houses below Rs 20,000, which is very cheap for them, he added.
Sambalpur is witnessing similar vertical and horizontal expansion with multiple developers undertaking huge projects. "Local residents staying outside the city for their jobs are the largest section of buyers in Sambalpur. This may be their post-retirement settlement plans," said Sambalpur Development Authority (SDA) chairman Bijay Mohanty.
In Bargarh, rice millers who had to down their shutters after the government decided to shift them outside the town some years ago, are using the available land to develop residential projects. Besides, apartments are also coming up on virgin land close to the upcoming bypass road of the NH. "Because of affordable land cost, our pricing is far lower compared to cities like Bhubaneswar, giving a chance to the low middle income groups to own a house here," said Jay Prakash Agarwal, a developer in Bargarh. The per square feet price of house starts from Rs 1,300 here with two bedroom flat available at Rs 13 lakh to Rs 15 lakh.
Developers said with land price skyrocketing in Bhubaneswar, housing cost in the city is exceptionally high. "This is ruling out a substantial section of low middle class families from buying a house in Bhubaneswar. These people can easily afford houses in the district towns. Many others who have money tend to own houses both in the state capital and in their native towns," said Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India state president D S Tripathy. Development of ports and industrialization in coastal districts has helped real estate activities in towns like Bhadrak and Balasore, he said.