With independent houses in the heart of the city now beyond the reach of middle-income groups, the outskirts have begun to offer independent house-like villas to those interested in buying sprawling homes. This, insiders in the real estate business say, is a trend set to boom.

“In the next five to seven years, the appreciation value of a villa will rise by 150-200 per cent. If an individual currently in the middle-income group buys a villa now, when it is relatively affordable, he may fall into the high-income group when the prices shoot up,” said N. Nandakumar, governing council member of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India.

 Villas have existed on East Coast Road for several years now, catering exclusively to high-income groups. But now, they come at a modest price in areas like Navalur on Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR), Singaperumal Koil, Sriperumbudur and GST Road, say experts. 

“These areas may seem far away now, but eventually as the localities develop and become economically sustainable, real estate prices there will begin to rise,” Mr. Nandakumar added. 

These houses, priced around Rs. 30-35 lakh are available at present, but are more like independent houses and do not possess all the features of a villa. If a buyer wants to purchase an ideal villa, he may have to shell out anywhere between Rs. 1.5 to 5 crore.

In India, the term ‘villa’ is often misused by builders, say experts. “Usually villas occupy at least a ground and follow a certain architectural pattern to them like Spanish, French, Californian etc. You can’t call a 1,200 sq.ft building, a villa. But only such houses are available for the middle-income group,” an agent said.

E Jayashree Kurup, of Magicbricks.com, a website that deals with property, said, “On our listings, there is a four per cent availability for villas. Most villas are end-use products whose buyers fall in two categories; one that buys for appreciation value and independent space and the other who rate it a status symbol.

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