Dream City, Dream Home: Mumbai

Updated: Aug 4

Mahendra Tanaji Rane, a 38-year-old employee of Tata Steel, thought it was too tiresome to spend five hours travelling to and from his workplace in Boisar, an industrial town in Thane district close to Mumbai. He had no time left over for his family. In 2010, after searching for a location close to Boisar, he settled on a Tata Housing project. He spent Rs. 6 lakh, or Rs. 1,500 per square foot, for a 1 BHK apartment. Rane is happy he purchased the apartment even though the project was years behind schedule."I now live on my own. My five-year-old son will be able to attend an international school when it opens in a few months "He claims. Another attraction in the region is a new mall that is being built.

As a result of travel, thousands of people are looking for similar properties because they have little time for themselves or their family. Affordable housing activity is booming in suburbs like Boisar, Asangaon, the Thane-Kalyan and Vasai-Virar belts, among others. City and suburban rates are different.

While it is possible to get a one-bedroom apartment for under ten lakh rupees in Asangaon, Boisar, or Panvel, closer to the city it may cost between fifty and sixty lakh rupees.

The commercial real estate market in the city has changed over the last five to six years. As old mill sites were made available for construction, commercial activity that had previously been centred around Nariman Point, Fort, and Ballard Estate began to shift first to the Bandra Kurla Complex, then to Parel, Lower Parel, Elphinstone, and Currey Road. While this has also resulted in the development of new luxury homes closer to the city centre, it has also increased demand for housing among middle-class individuals who work in these workplaces.

Many developers, including those from HDIL, Tata Housing, and Poddar Developers, are interested in this new prospect. In order to concentrate on value and affordable homes, Tata Housing established a 100% subsidiary, Tata Value Homes Limited, in 2009–2010. It has initiatives like Shubh Griha in Vasind and Boisar, as well as New Haven in Boisar. Similar to how commerce fuels housing, its absence depresses demand. The growth of Panvel has been hampered by delays in major projects. The IT corridor and planned SEZS haven't taken off, which has hurt employment generation, claims Gulam M. Zia, executive director of real estate consultancy Knight Frank. The nearby airport will only result in price increases.

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