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Now,rental dip threatens sales

With almost no deals happening in the residential property segment and new commercial properties coming into the market...

Written by Ranjani Raghavan | Pune |
March 6, 2009 12:48:08 am

With almost no deals happening in the residential property segment and new commercial properties coming into the market,the city rental segment has witnessed a downturn. This has put further pressure on the sales,making it a vicious cycle.

Real estate agents say rents have come down by at least 10 per cent,and even 30 per cent for commercial properties. The reason for the fall in the commercial rent segment is that most of the space that was under construction during the boom years is now complete or is on the verge of completion. Income-tax breaks to builders under section 80 I (B) and Foreign Direct Investments had seen many real estate projects being taken up and these projects have now led to an increase in supply.

“On an average,the commercial rents have come down to Rs 80 a sq ft from around Rs 100 a sq ft. In the fringe areas,the rent for commercial properties has gone down by 10 per cent. In the main areas,like Kalyani Nagar and Senapati Bapat Road,the dip is over 20 per cent,” said Ravi Varma,president of the Estate Agents Association of Pune.

According to Varma,this has led to a re-negotiation of rents in the recent months. Clients who have booked space in a mall in Camp,which is yet to be completed,have re-negotiated their rent prices,he said.

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In the next two years,commercial space to the extent of 60 lakh sq ft is likely to open up,increasing supply. The story is not much different in the residential segment either.

According to Varma,this is especially true about high-price apartments along Airport Road,Viman Nagar,Kalyani Nagar,Koregaon Park,Boat Club road,Mundwa,Wanowrie and Kondhwa.

Realty agents say low rentals will put pressure on builders to reduce prices further. “Potential property buyers will continue to live on rent. Nobody will want an upgrade now as they are looking at every opportunity to cut costs,” an agent said.

“Many 3 BHK fully-furnished apartments that were earlier priced Rs 80,000-90,000 a month have now been renegotiated at Rs 60,000-Rs 70,000,” said Vivek Seth,a real estate agent in Koregaon Park.

Three weeks ago,IT professional Unnati Katarkar had moved out of her Shivaji Nagar BHK apartment when she realised that rental rates in the area were falling. “We were paying Rs 13,000 a month but couldn’t re-negotiate the agreement as only six months had gone by. Now we have moved near SNDT,where we are paying Rs 11,500 for a fully-furnished apartment,” she said.

Katarkar also found out later that her old landlord is now offering several perks for the same price. “When we were there,we got no additional facilities,but the broker told us that the new tenants are getting a fully-furnished apartment for Rs 13,000,” she said.

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