You may need to rethink your traditional way of home shopping, says Sonal Sachdev

The political winds are gushing fast and furious. The prospective Prime Ministerial candidates are promising more developments, new corridors and new cities. Will any of these come to pass in the not so distant future? That’s the big question. But what if these do?

Can you imagine what will happen to our big cities if the hundreds of projects in limbo suddenly get a green signal and the developers of these projects time-bound execution orders? Infrastructure will change the way we live and commute. Travel time will come down, accessibility will improve, people won’t think twice about venturing to another end of the city. In other words the distance between the central business districts and the satellite areas will be bridged.

A scenario like this can have significant implications for the real estate market. If it is easier to commute within the city and people can get from one point to another in a reasonable time and without much discomfort, the big gap in realty values between plush city localities and suburbs with modern amenities will narrow.

If you can get into the city centre in 25 minutes from where you live, will you pay 3-4 times the square foot rate to live in the city centre? Unlikely! What this will lead to is a moderation in realty prices in the city centre and/or an uptick in realty prices in parts distant from the heart of the city.

Some indication of this phenomenon can be gauged from past developments on the infrastructure front in our cities. In Mumbai, the Worli Sea Link and the new Freeway to Chembur have tremendously improved connectivity to Bandra and Chembur and Wadala, respectively, from town. And this has led to faster appreciation in these areas. Conversely, in Delhi, Chandni Chowk is regaining its lure as a shopping destination among the middle and upper-middle class citizens, who, till before the Metro started, had been avoiding visiting the area due to high congestion, traffic snarls and vehicle parking challenges.

If development does take place at a faster pace, if projects start getting off the ground and completed in record time, you may need to rethink your traditional way of home shopping. And that will be a good thing, as you’ll likely get more value for your money.

Formerly Editor, Outlook Business and Executive Editor, NDTV-Profit, the writer is now an entrepreneur and takes keen interest in personal finance. Contact him at hinduhabitat@gmail.com.