Do locations matter? Does good rail-road connectivity matter to the common Mumbaikar? What is on the check list of a common Mumbaikar, scouting locations for a home? Is a home only about comfort and space within the 4 walls or do amenities matter?
‘There has been a great shift in preference when buying a home. The common man is looking for a mix of ease of commute, luxury living and social infrastructure as a package. It is no longer only about home purchase but about an aspirational lifestyle for him and his family’ says Ashish Ramrakhiani, Managing Director, DGM Property Solutions (P) Ltd.
Till recently, amongst other locations in the central suburb, Thane was the most preferred choice for buying a home. Thane has great connectivity to the western suburbs, has huge number of malls, state of the art medical facilities, renowned educational institutions, great infrastructure and affordable projects that boast of premium amenities.
The high development concentration in one location has lead to the congestion of internal roads in Thane, resulting in higher commute time within the city. People with long train commutes prefer to have a single rail mode of travel to reach home rather than divide the travel between rail and road.
‘Thane is a self sustained city but travelling to locations like G B Road takes more time than to reach other suburban locations like Kalyan, Dombivli and Bhiwandi’ says Sakshi Shinde who works in the medical field with one of the leading hospitals near Dadar. ‘It is easier to travel to Kalyan directly by train than to wait for a bus or auto at Thane station to reach G B Road’ she adds.
Many of the daily train commuters share this sentiment. Train journeys are time bound journeys and most Mumbaikars prefer buying homes near the railway station or within walking distance from the railway station. Properties in suburbs that are located near railway stations hence demand a slight premium over other properties in that area.
Municipal bodies and the local real estate developers have taken initiatives to develop other locations in the suburbs with strong infrastructure support and develop projects with amenities at par with projects in Thane and other popular locations in Mumbai.
Bhiwandi, near Kalyan, garnered a lot interest from end users and investors in a recently held property exhibition. This was due to the large scale development that has been planned for the place in the coming few years. With the proposed plans to develop a logistics hub by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, an elevated road between Bhiwandi and Kalyan by the Maharashtra Road Development Corporation and the proposed Metro services, Bhiwandi is looking at the same pace and quality of development as Thane in early 2000. The railway station is also a huge positive for the real estate development in that area.
‘Bhiwandi has garnered great interest from other reputed builders in Mumbai who have started large scale developments mirroring lifestyle and amenities with projects that are associated with premium projects in Mumbai’ says Ankit Wadhwa, Director Wadhwa Group.
‘Our project Rhodesia in Bhiwandi is one such project that has homes with terraces and equipped with a range of lifestyle amenities and is within walking distance from the railway station’ he adds signifying the importance of rail commute for Mumbaikars.
Bhiwandi is still one of the affordable locations that has the potential to become the next preferred destination after Thane and is more affordable compared to next door locations like Dombivli and Kalyan.
‘Bhiwandi has good schools, hospitals and recreational areas and has the potential for further planned development compared to its neighbours like Kalyan and Dombivli which have reached their peak development point’ adds Mr. Ramrakhiani.
With the concept of affordable luxury residences that boast of premium amenities, Mumbaikars are clearly opting for comfortable lifestyle, lesser commute time and quality living.