Developers say there is a good demand for affordable houses in the city

If owning a home was a lifetime opportunity for which one carefully saved up to repay the loan amount, today, the options for a second one seems to have got easier and better.

A number of affordable housing projects from developers, reduced interest rates offered by banks and increasing salaries post the economic downturn have encouraged many families to buy a second home.

Never mind, the ticket size of these budget apartments priced between Rs. 15 lakh and Rs. 30 lakh are not within the city limits. Some are built as townships with a host of value-added features and promise assured return for an investment made now.

P.V.K. Rao, working in the power sector, had no intention of buying a property as he continues to repay a home loan. But he changed his mind after he came across a couple of affordable apartments that offered a good price for the locality while looking for a plot for his friend.

“Currently I have no intention of staying there; I might resell it after the entire project is complete or rent it out, but the deal made me go for it,” says Mr. Rao about the 3-BHK flat he bought from Provident Housing's upcoming project near Kelambakkam. “I am going to put in Rs. 3 lakh for the Rs. 20 lakh-flat, and the rest will be taken care of through a bank loan,” he says.

Property developers say there is a good demand for affordable houses in the city, and with many players entering the segment, the buyer has a range of options to choose from.

The ticket size of budget housing varies from area to area and developers say in the last six-eight months, the prices have gone up. OMR, GST Road, Potheri, Thandalam, Manapakkam, Medavakkam, Ayapakkam, Padur, Sriperumbudur and Oragadam are some of sough-after options for a second home.

“Location and developer are important factors that bring in more buyers. IT, banking and automobile sectors are driving in this demand,” says Jayant Hemdev, Business Director, Hemdev's International Realty Services.

Of the 559 flat projects coming up opposite Siruseri IT Park of Real Value Promoters, over 300 are booked with 30 per cent investing in their second home.

Marg's Swarnabhoomi's project, that is coming up off East Coast Road, has 50 per cent of the flats booked by second home buyers, in the age group of 35 to 45 years.

If the proximity of the property to the city is a factor, owners are sceptical whether they would find a tenant. But developers assure them of a tenant and a fixed rental.

For instance, Hallmark Infrastructure's ‘Golden County' project at Maraimalai Nagar is booked by a majority of NRIs who want an assured return for their investment, which the developer undertakes as part of a corporate agreement.

Affordable housing taking a longer time to deliver is one complaint some voice, but R. Balamurugan feels it is better if the delivery time is extended as he plans to accumulate money. Last October, the employee of a telecommunication company bought his first home and recently he booked his second, priced at Rs. 20 lakh.

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Liffy ThomasJune 28, 2012

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