‘Large-scale projects in northern suburbs account for 40-45 per cent of building activity’

The north Chennai skyline is beginning to change with a number of large-scale properties setting up base there.

As a result, areas such as Kolathur and Madhavaram are witnessing a boom in the housing sector.

With opportunities to develop property and construct multi-storey buildings getting fast exhausted in south and central Chennai, major industry players are now eyeing north and northwest parts of the city.

Congested areas such as Tondiarpet and Korrukupet are home to high-rise apartments that dot the skyline.

Until three years ago, large-scale construction in north Chennai accounted for 20 per cent of building activity in the city.

Now, it has increased to 40-45 per cent, said P. Manishankar, president of Federation of Flats and Housing Promoters Association.

The price of land is cheaper by 20 per cent in the north prompting several builders to develop properties in far flung areas such as Red Hills. Residents do not mind the distance for the sake of affordable housing, said Mr. Manishankar.

R. Kumar, managing director of Navin Housing and Properties, said the trend of luxury apartments was catching up in areas such as Sembium and Tondiarpet. Better connectivity and improved infrastructure are attracting more people to the northern suburbs.

“In north Chennai, people can buy flats at two-third of the rates prevailing in south Chennai,” he said.

At least 15 large-scale projects are being developed across one lakh square feet in areas such as Tiruvottiyur and Perambur.

The price of an apartment ranges from Rs. 3,500 per sq. ft. to Rs. 6,500 per sq. ft. depending on the location. A majority of the customers are first-time buyers. However, there is no re-development of properties, said S. Senthil Kumar, former president of North Chennai Flat Promoters Association.

M.R. Nazeerudeen, immediate past president of Chennai Real Estate Agents Association, said: “One of the most popular areas for builders now is Kolathur. Though the number of high-rise apartments is much lesser, budget homes are available.”

Proximity of Kolathur and Madhavaram to Inner Ring Road, easy access to areas like Anna Nagar and infrastructure development such as new bus termini and grade separators have acted in favour of these areas.

For buyers like K.S. Gopal, a resident of Perambur, it is a dream come true to own an apartment in a gated community.

“I wanted to spend my retired life in the comfort of amenities such as walking tracks, clubs and swimming pool. So, I booked a 1,600 sq. ft. flat in Kolathur, four years ago, for Rs. 3,000 per sq. ft.,” he said.

D. Viswanathan, a builder, who has two ongoing projects, entered Madhavaram five years ago because the area had quality groundwater and was close to areas such as Parry’s Corner and Perambur.

“More builders are coming to north Chennai as several of these areas have been merged with the Chennai Corporation. The demand for houses has been increasing, and now the number of houses actually exceeds the demand,” he said.

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