A downturn that houses hopes of small families Realty Check

Aloysius Xavier Lopez

CHENNAI: The downturn in the realty sector has provided an opportunity for single men/women and small families to realise their dream of acquiring an apartment. It is also helping the builders rediscover the importance of single-bedroom and studio apartments. Increasingly, new projects coming on the outskirts of Chennai include a sizeable number of both these types of apartments.

Studio apartment is not similar to one-bedroom apartment even though it may have the same carpet area. A studio apartment is a self-contained, tiny apartment, which combines living room, bedroom and kitchenette into a single room.

“Around 10-15 per cent of the total number of apartments coming up in and around the city is studio apartments,” said Prakash Chella, president (Tamil Nadu), Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India. It is a concept that is catching up fast.

“It is like a typical bachelor’s apartment,” said M. K. Sundaram, Chairman of Builders’ Association of India (South Centre).

Builders say such studio apartments are coming up in the outlying areas of the city with better connectivity and relatively higher cosmopolitan influence. However, they are yet to gain momentum in the central areas of the city.

As transport connectivity is crucial for studio apartments, builders are locating the projects near major roads such as GST road where floating population of youth will be higher in a sustainable manner.

“We are constructing studio apartments as part of our project in Maraimalainagar near Mahindra city and Urapakkam as we expect the demand to increase,” said T. Chitty Babu, CMD Akshaya Builders.

“In future there will be a growth in the cosmopolitan nature of the city with more influx of youth from other parts of the country and the world. We want to cater for this segment,” he said.

Those who migrated recently from other cosmopolitan cities prefer this kind of arrangement, he said.

“As these apartments are well furnished, compact and very posh with maintenance assurance, it may suit elderly people also,” said Suresh Jain, managing director of Vijayshanti Builders. “Usually, studio apartments are around 350 sqft in area,” he added.

Not all studio apartments will be in the affordable category; much depends on the inputs.

“The price depends on the technological inputs, the location and the class of the apartments,” said R.Kumar, managing director of Naveen’s. Studio apartments will become increasingly common in the CBD of the city in future. When it happens, it will be priced on a par with the prevailing rates in these areas and may not become cheaper.

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