Manju Yagnik, the vice chairperson at Nahar Group, a developer based in Mumbai, talks about the city’s property market and her expectations for the sector this year.
What are some of the main trends you have noticed?
There has been a tremendous increase in the earning capacities and change in lifestyle aspirations of the inhabitants of Mumbai. It is a quintessential combination of overall economic development, increase in expendable incomes, exposure to international lifestyles and rising lifestyle aspirations that has created a demand for luxury and mid-luxury housing which is not restricted to southern Mumbai alone, but spread across the suburbs. This considerable increase in demand for luxury housing has created opportunity for developers. Similarly, the demand has also opened the doors for international expertise to create residences that are on par with the homes in developed countries.
Are prices likely to rise?
The real estate prices are influenced by multiple factors including cost of raw material, interest rates, land prices and others. If the prices of raw materials and interest rates go up, we cannot avoid a rise in property prices. There is a need to contain these prices so that real estate prices remain stable in future. We completely rule out the possibility of real estate prices going down today or in the future.
What factors are likely to impact the property market?
Infrastructure will be a prime component that will impact the property market in 2015. The development of any area is directly connected with the infrastructure development in that area. Improved infrastructure will always raise the bar of that location.
What are likely to be the biggest challenges for the industry?
The biggest challenge for Mumbai developers is the availability of limited space for development. The island city is covered by sea on its three sides and its geographical position is such that it allows growth in only direction.
The limited availability of land has also resulted in high prices of land. The other operational challenges include delay in receiving approvals for projects, high interest rates, lack of industry status and limited sources of funding.
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