Offering some relief to aspiring home buyers, the Mumbai Board of the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) on Wednesday decided to slash the rates for its projects that will be allotted through its annual lottery next month. The prices have now been reduced in the range of two to 10 per cent.
MHADA’s Mumbai Board chairman Yusuf Abrahani said for its 2015 lottery, the housing body will release 5,000 houses in the city. Of these, 2,000 houses will be available through its own annual work. It is also expected to get a huge housing stock through the joint venture redevelopment of two of its existing colonies, including 2,000 homes in Siddharth Nagar Goregaon and 1,000 apartments in Mulund. While the housing board has released just 814 houses in Mumbai this year, as many as 1,716 houses are available in Virar.
The maximum reduction in prices, as announced on Wednesday, have been in places in Virar and Shailendra Nagar in Dahisar, where the cost of MHADA’s apartments were at par with market rates. In Virar, the 662 sq ft low-income group apartments, that were previously priced at Rs 26 lakh, are now available for Rs 24 lakh, while the cost of the middle-income group houses have been reduced from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 47 lakh. The price of the 1,345 sq ft high-income group apartments in Dahisar is now down to Rs 77 lakh from Rs 80 lakh.
“MHADA doesn’t make any profit, while selling its houses, barring the interest of 14 per cent that is charged on investment made on acquiring land. At the authority meeting, it was decided that we will cut down on this interest. Only ten per cent will be charged this year, bringing down the prices of houses,” said Abrahani.
The Board has also extended the last date to submit applications by ten days, from May 28 to June 7, following the tepid response for the lottery this year. The date of the lottery too has been postponed to June 25. The housing board usually receives at least 100 applications for each of its houses on sale. As on May 28, which until now was supposed to be the last date for applications, it has received just 72,000 applications for the 2,461 houses in Mumbai, Virar and Vengurla, bringing the ratio down to 30 applicants per house.
Abrahani added that departing from the norm over the last few years, where even under-construction houses were released through annual lottery, this year only houses in those buildings that have been completed and have been granted an occupation certificate will be released. This, he said, had been done in order to reduce the inconvenience caused to buyers, who had to run from pillar to post for years after winning the lottery.