By, Akash Pharande, Managing Director – Pharande Spaces
The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (or PCMC) needs no introduction – this infrastructure-first region is one of the best-planned and meticulously executed real estate regions in the country. Recipient of various national and global awards and recognitions for superior town planning, PCMC is a trend-setter among property markets in India. Previously known only as an industrial region living in Pune’s shadow, PCMC now houses very prominent real estate markets like Moshi, Ravet, Punawale, Pradhikaran, Spine Road, Pimple Gurav, Pimple Nilakh, Talawade, and Wakad among others.
With its consistent focus on superior town planning and sustainability, PCMC is no longer just Pune’s sister city – it has its own identity, and is now considered a perfect alternative to the overcrowded, infrastructure-poor localities of the Pune Municipal Corporation. PCMC was formed with the objective to decongest the parent city of Pune. Over the years, it has not only managed this but has, in many important ways, become a superior alternative for homebuyers.
PCMC’s USPs as an Investment Hotspot
PCMC has seen significant real estate growth over the years, both in terms of demand and supply. Its primary advantage is superior infrastructure with wide roads, good connectivity to other major areas, highly-advanced transportation networks, a broad mix of employment opportunities, and modern housing and township properties. All this, amidst a natural and serene ambience for a stress-free lifestyle. Not surprisingly, PCMC has become a major employment hub.
“When companies are trying to find a state to locate a new business or factory, they look at a number of factors – including tax structure, employment base, infrastructure, education system, etc.” This quote by Ronnie Musgrove, Governor of the US state of Mississippi from 2000-2004, amply illustrates the philosophy behind PCMC’s rise.
Its unerring focus on civic and social infrastructure and overall enablement of its citizens have made it the best place in Maharashtra to live and work in. As a result, PCMC has attracted some of the biggest global businesses. As a destination for property investors, PCMC is in a class of its own.
Many localities within PCMC have witnessed especially vigorous real estate growth over the last few years. Home to hundreds of thousands of manufacturing and InfoTech employees, these areas have been seeing the most vibrant property price appreciation. For instance, Moshi witnessed nearly 20% growth in average property prices between 2013 to 2020 – from INR 4,150 per sq. ft. in 2013 to INR 5,000 sq. ft. in 2020. Similarly, Ravet and Punawale saw prices appreciate by 18% and 20% respectively.
One of the most important factors driving these areas’ real estate potential is the relatively affordable property prices. Current average prices here range anywhere between INR 5,000 – INR 5,800 per sq. ft. In contrast, the nearby areas of Baner, Kondhwa and Bavdhan have prices ranging between INR 6,600 to INR 7,300 per sq. ft. This also suggests that the PCMC areas have a higher scope of growth in the future.
Optimal Real Estate Investment Conditions
PCMC has seen rapid real estate development in the last seven years, particularly in the affordable and mid-income housing segments. Branded developers have also launched many large township projects with state-of-art amenities. As many as 92,000 housing units have been launched in the PCMC region between 2013 till date. Of these, 92% were priced within Rs. 80 lakh and come in various sizes and configurations.
The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly wreaked havoc across industries – but for real estate investors looking at PCMC, it could not be a better time. Developers have curtailed prices to maintain demand, but Indians’ renewed appetite for homeownership will eventually cause prices to go northward. However, as of now, property prices in PCMC are still relatively low and developers are extending many attractive offers and even hard discounts to serious buyers.
Also, rental demand in some of the prominent localities in the PCMC region has risen significantly after the pandemic lockdowns eased up. PCMC has captured a lot of the housing demand which is leaving the congested Pune city region because of the new work-from-home (WFH) possibilities. Countless residents of Pune and its closest suburbs are looking for cleaner, greener areas with assured and rapid access to schools, hospitals and daily shopping. For this reason, the leading integrated townships in PCMC rank high on their wish-list.
In areas like Punawale, Moshi and Ravet, rental demand in townships has skyrocketed. The dampening effect of the first months of the pandemic has given way to steady rentals and rental housing vacancy is reducing rapidly. For real estate investors keen to capture steady rental income, the time is optimal.
Many recent reports by various property consultants confirm that people who prefer to buy instead of rent homes are now most interested in ready-to-move homes, or homes in projects which are almost complete. PCMC is the perfect destination for them – more than 43% of the homes which were launched in the last 7 years are ready-to-move-in. Another 20% will get completed within 12 months or less.
Steady Focus on Infrastructure
Aside from all these positive market drivers, infrastructure – PCMC’s biggest USP – stays very much on track. The Pimpri-Chinchwad New Town Development Authority- PCNTDA – has remained steadfast in its objective to deliver world-class infrastructure in PCMC. The ongoing Metro, which will further connect PCMC to the Pune Metropolitan Region, will be a gamechanger for the region.
Drawing a parallel with MMR’s Navi Mumbai region, PCMC clearly reflects how a satellite town can surpass the parent city in terms of lifestyle quotient and investment potential. PCMC remains what it was designed to be – a meticulously-planned property real estate destination that creates its own economic growth, and where all three property segments – commercial, retail and residential – work symbiotically to create a winning proposition.