In December 2012, Ulwe in Navi Mumbai witnessed a realty deal where a plot was sold for nearly Rs 8,000 per square foot. (Realty high: Plot in Ulwe sold for Rs 92 crore, MiD DAY, dated: December 18, 2012). Today, however, the condition is very different with homes being available for Rs 3,000 per square foot.
Realty sources blamed the fall in price to a number of reasons -- builders went on a construction overdrive, something with which the government infrastructure projects could not keep up with. Moreover, the much hyped Navi Mumbai airport is still a pie in the sky and most large building projects in the area have missed their deadlines.
According to Manohar Shroff, secretary of the apex real estate body MCHI-Navi Mumbai, there has been an infrastructural lag of at least four to five years. “Clearly, the builders have outperformed the government. The flats are ready for possession, but there’s no proper infrastructure available. There are no flyovers, schools, promised offices and definitely no airport,” adds Shroff. As a result, investors sold their flats at whatever rate was offered to them due to a fear that prices will go even lower.
Prakash Rohera, of Kkarma Realtors, claims Ulwe is an example of how the future was sold by government agencies and how it all eventually flopped. “We have people who want to sell their homes for Rs 3,000 per square foot, even though the ongoing market price is Rs 4,000 per square foot, which once even crossed the Rs 5,000 mark. This is because once the builders constructed homes, the government failed to provide them with infrastructure. People now fear to stay here and even though it is time to deliver homes, projects remain delayed,” he said.
The projects that affected Ulwe’s growth are the international airport, the two railway stations and the trans-harbour link. None of the three are ready yet.
“The delay in infrastructure is worrying, in spite of builders paying development charges worth Rs 100 crore to City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra Maharashtra Limited (CIDCO). The prices are not appreciating here and builders are holding back on inventories and absorbing the increased construction cost. The other worry is the increase in stamp duty charges,” explained Arvind Goel, president of MCHI Navi Mumbai. Goel added that around 1000 buildings are getting ready in the area.