Real estate in India has been going through patches for the last few years. So, for developers, it is safer to operate in the present state/region where they feel comfortable and strong, feels Sandeep Mehta, Managing Director, Jain Housing and Construction Ltd.
You have been one of the leading construction firms in this region. What is your USP of success?
In South, we were the first among the few developers who had brought in the concept of ‘amenities’. We had introduced swimming pool, club house, gym and large sized complexes more than 15 years ago. From that point to till date, we have been doing projects of that size and volume providing full of facilities and amenities. We have always tried to give customers home within their budget with all the required amenities. That has been our Unique Selling Proposition (USP) — ‘all amenities within the affordable level.’
Any plan to venture into other markets in future?
There is enough scope in south itself, which we want to explore fully. Having said so, we definitely have plans to go pan-India, when we realize that the market is conducive to do so. Real estate has been going through patches for the last few years. So, I don’t think this is the right time for any developers to look out for other markets. It is safer to operate in the present state where they feel comfortable as they know the market fairly well.
According to you, which are the emerging real estate markets in South India?
I would continue to say that Chennai has been very strong and still offers a lot of opportunity for real estate growth. Apart from Chennai, there are Tier II and Tier III cities coming up like Coimbatore, Madurai, Salem, Trichi etc. where the real estate growth has been reasonably good for the last few years. Though when compared to Chennai, these cities may not have such growth, still they are fast catching up the bigger cities. In Karnataka, Bangalore has been doing extremely well and has become a beautiful cosmopolitan city. We also could see reasonable development in Mangalore, Mysore etc. This is applicable for Hyderabad, Vizag, etc. So, tier II and tier III cities have more potential for growth in future. If you call these are the emerging markets then I think, these cities are opening up for bigger growth in the coming years.
What about Chennai and surrounding areas?
Chennai has been expanding rapidly. There was the time, when Tambaram was considered to be the city limit, now it has become part of city’s most developed areas. Today we have gone beyond the areas of Maraimalai Nagar and even Chengalpet, were people are commuting to city daily. Areas like Sriperumbudur, Kancheepuram or from OMR, Padur and Thiruporur are witnessing rapid real estate growth. As the land prices keep going up, people do not have option but to look for areas away from city where they can afford a house.
What is the impact of the present slowdown on Jain Housing?
Honestly, Jain Housing has not been affected due to slowdown in the market. As for as Chennai, we have been pretty strong so far, doing reasonably good sales. Hopefully, we will not be affected in the coming days too.
There are reports that property prices in Mumbai and NCR regions are overheated and look to go down in the coming days. What is the position in Chennai?
In Chennai, the prices have been fairly steady for the last four years. This is due to continuous supply of new stocks in the market matching to the growing demand. When the supply of stocks comes down, there will be a possibility of price correction to clear the inventory. But, I think that situation may not arise now. Areas like OMR and Sriperumbudur have adequate stocks and sales are pretty good there. So, according to me, as of now, Chennai real estate has not reached the stage of overheating.