Builders in the city have been ruing the state of the real estate market, saying that no buyers are coming forward to buy flats. However, this logic has been defied by the Maharashtra Housing and Development Authority (MHADA), which received applications from over 1.65 lakh buyers in the last 20 days. More than 1.22 lakh applicants have even paid the deposit, for a mere 4,275 homes.

Also Read: MHADA lottery: Pay for full flat but get only half

3,755 of the flats are located in Virar, in MHADA housing complexes like this one. File pic
3,755 of the flats are located in Virar, in MHADA housing complexes like this one. File pic

A senior official from MHADA said, “The rates of MHADA flats are lower than the open market and hence, people are coming forward to buy flats from us. Also the important thing is that our lands are clear. The biggest issue with private developers is that they cannot guarantee whether they have clearance for the land.”

Read Story: 2016 MHADA lottery: 4275 affordable homes up for grabs in February

Housing experts claim that buyers never left the market. They have been there and are investing only in the prices that they feel is right. “The number of applicants for MHADA homes is 40 times more than the number of homes available. This shows that buyers are willing to buy, if they are offered a home at affordable rates. Also, investors have left the market; now the market is only for end users,” said Pankaj Kapoor, managing director of Liases Foras, a real estate rating and research firm.

However, allegations have been made against MHADA for supposedly selling homes on a higher built-up area, which is higher than other developers. Responding to this, Minister of State for Housing Ravindra Waikar said, “I have called for a meeting of the secretary and the vice president of MHADA to discuss this issue. We will come out with a solution on the same.”

Meanwhile, even Waikar said that the real estate market is not booming and, hence, they will not be increasing the ready reckoner rates. “I am going to oppose any hike in the ready reckoner rates, the sentiment of the market is not very good,” said Waikar.

The lottery
MHADA’s Konkan board will hold a lottery for the 4,275 homes on February 24 at Rangsharda auditorium in Bandra (west). The homes are located in Virar, Thane, Mira Road and Vengurla. 3,755 flats are in Virar, 19 in Thane’s Balkum, 310 in Mira Road, 164 in Kavesar, Thane and 27 in Vengurla.

Almost all of the houses are for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), except for 1,315 homes that are for the Middle Income Group (MIG) and Higher Income Group (HIG). The number of houses in the HIG section is six, in Vengurla. The categories are divided on the applicant’s salary. For eligibility to apply in EWS, the person’s salary should be up to Rs 16,000. For LIG, the bracket is Rs 16,001 to Rs 40,000, for MIG it is Rs 40,001 to Rs 70,000 and HIG is at Rs 70,001 and above.