Mysore is poised to break into the list of ‘million-plus' cities, and qualify for ‘metropolitan city' status. A look by R. Krishna Kumar

The shifting demographic pattern in Mysore, which is fast going through a phase of urbanisation, is bound to have an impact on real estate trends in future.

The ongoing census exercise which will establish the population of the city will have a bearing on the property market scenario as Mysore is poised to break into the list of nearly 50 “million-plus” cities in India, and thus qualify for the tag of ‘metropolitan city.'

The city's population is projected to be pegged at nearly 1.2 million and this is based on the population growth index of 22.2 per cent. Given the present growth rate, the population is expected to cross the 15.7 lakh mark by 2020 and 22 lakh by 2030, which will only add to the pressure on land and demand for housing.

Long-term impact

While the population growth coupled with urbanisation will increase the demand on property services and add to the pressure on the real estate market, the long-term impact of this unfolding scenario on the character of the city is not studied.

Will the horizontal sprawl of Mysore, preferred by many, continue or will there be a shift to vertical growth that will make apartments a more viable proposition in the absence of land to sustain the demand for housing in Mysore?

Will the near scarcity of land within the city limits lead to an exodus to purchase land on the outskirts, leading to proliferation of satellite centres? The current trends seem to indicate so as land value within the city limits has shot up beyond the reach of the salaried class and hence the focus is on development on the outskirts.

The City Development Plan submitted to the Central Government under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) anticipated the emerging scenario and the land use pattern and analysis projected an increase in the size of the city. As per the CDP submitted in 2005, Mysore was expected to have a spread of around 15,600 hectares by 2011-12 or nearly 156 sq. km., up from the 105 sq. km. in 1991. Of this, the total area to be used for residential purpose was expected to be around 6,098 hectares, an increase of 114 per cent over the 2001 figure of 2,850 hectares.

Again, the slow but gradual industrialisation of Tier-2 cities like Mysore has brought in its wake a change in the demographic pattern and there are more number of people in the 35-year plus to 50-year plus category which is when a decision on housing is made by individuals, which will add to the demand for housing and real estate services.

Shift in profile

This gradual shift in the population profile of Mysore and the decline in the median age when investment on housing is seriously considered by individuals will continue to propel the growth in future. Studies by professional bodies such as ASSOCHAM and inputs from major players in real estate and property developers have proved that the average age of first-time home buyers across India is declining due to rise in salary and easy availability of housing finance. The same factors are at work in Mysore.

The demographic profile of Mysore is set to alter further with better connectivity to Bangalore by way of track doubling work between the two cities, likely to be completed by 2013. This is expected to reduce the commuting time to less than two hours and observers forecast more investment in Mysore, resulting in creation of jobs that will usher in the service sector as well.

This will add to the size of the salaried and the middle class in Mysore and increase the demand on the housing front as well as the retail market segment in the medium and long term.