Now, Central suburbs become unaffordable

Builders in Kalyan-Dombivli are charging extra for basic amenities such as grills, solar heater among others; prices in the region have shot up by at least 50 per cent, say experts

If you thought that the Central suburbs were a cheaper option to buy your dream house, then think again. It's time to wake up to the reality of the realty sector. At the recently inaugurated Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry property exhibition in Kalyan, it was observed that real estate prices in the Central suburbs have gone beyond common man's reach. 

The home story: Dignitaries inaugurating the MCHI's Kalyan-Dombivli 
property exhibition. Pic/Atul Kamble

In Areas like Dombivli and Kalyan, builders are charging as high as Rs 7,000 per sq ft, while areas such Badlapur, Titwala, Ambivali and other, are commanding a jaw-dropping price of Rs 3,000 per sq ft. Besides, builders are charging exorbitant prices for day-to-day amenities such as grills, solar heater and society charges among others.

Budget-projects rare 
To make matters worse, there were only a couple of projects at the exhibition that were offering flats for below Rs 20 lakh, but at faraway destinations like Shahpur and Badlapur, while rates for upcoming projects in Ambivali were as high as Rs 4,000 per sq ft. "The construction cost in our area has gone up by Rs 1,400 per sq ft, so have the land prices by Rs 1,000 per sq ft. This directly escalates the final cost," said Manoj Rai, vice president, MCHI (Kalyan-Dombivli unit).

Another builder added, "People have no choice but to buy properties here, as Mumbai has become an unaffordable option. It's not the actual property rates that are making this place expensive, but the amenities offered by the builders. We have no option except for charging the buyers for the amenities."

Bandish Ajmera, president, MCHI (Kalyan-Dombivli unit) said, "The prices offered by the builders are reasonable. Land prices have gone up, so has the cost of construction. These are the best possible rates one can offer."

According to a housing expert, the builders seems to have forgotten that in the last three years, the prices of real estate in the extended suburbs have gone up by more than 60 per cent. However, a buyer's income is more or less the same. "The buyers who had a budget of Rs 20 lakh two years ago still have the same budget. However, the prices for the locations they had selected last year have escalated by a minimum of 50 per cent. If builders are serious about selling flats, they have to rework the current prices being offered to prospective buyers."

Rs 7,000
Rate per sq ft in Kalyan

Rs 3,000
Rate per sq ft in Badlapur, Titwala, Ambivali

How prices go up
A one BHK flat in Badlapur admeasuring 695 sq ft (saleable) that is priced at Rs 2,925 per sq ft costs Rs 20 lakh. However, the extras that include, society charges, club charges, grills, escalate the cost by another 2 lakh. Adding to the cost is the whopping stamp duty (Rs 1.5 lakh). Thus, escalating a buyer's budget by another Rs 3.5 lakh. Similarly, in Kalyan, for a 667 sq ft (saleable), the builder charges Rs 3,519 per sq ft, which makes the flat cost Rs 31.17 lakh. To this, add Rs 2.35 lakh for common amenities, Rs 50,000 for grills and Rs 1.78 lakh stamp duty, costing a buyer an additional Rs 4.63 lakh. Apart for the escalated cost, a buyer has to bare taxes, such as service tax, value additional tax and several others.

Costly Clauses
> Once a flat is booked, it shall not change hands, and if so, builders are charging transfer fees as high as Rs 2 lakh
> In case of cancellation, buyers have to forfeit the entire amount paid till the date of cancellation
> Failure in clearing payment shall attract interest at a whopping 24 per cent per annum 
> Rates may increase as per subject to company policy without any prior notice 

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