Poor response to afforable houses in Pune civic body’s limits – ET RealEstate

PUNE: Only 1,200 of the 2,918 winners of the online lottery conducted by the Pune Municipal Corporation for allotment of apartments under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana have so far paid the 10% advance, necessary for the purchase of flats.

The civic administration on Monday issued a public notice, urging the remaining beneficiaries to complete the formalities in a week’s time.

“The citizens who were selected in the lottery should complete the process. The civic administration will sell the flats on first-come, first-serve basis if the remaining beneficiaries don’t come forward in a week’s time,” PMC additional commissioner Rubal Agarwal said.

The civic administration officials said the lack of required documents and non-availability of loans for the beneficiaries were impeding what should have been a good response. The administration will now partner with the financial institutions to speed-up the loan disbursement, the officials said.

The houses under the PMAY are built in areas like Kharadi, Hadapsar and Wadgaon. As many as 2,918 people had qualified during the online draw conducted in October.



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Pune: Tenants struggle with rent hike owing to pay cuts – ET RealEstate

PUNE: People living in rented accommodation in the city are finding it difficult to deal with the hike in rent owing to pay cuts faced by many for most part of the year.

In March, the government had announced no increase in rent and other protection against tenancy termination for six months till September 25. Now that life is returning to normal, landlords are demanding an increase in rent.

“The owner of our flat had been patient with us throughout the lockdown. But according to our two-year contract, our rent was supposed to increase from August. Due to the pandemic, we have had a tough year financially. We have requested him to delay the hike by a few more months till January or February when, hopefully, our pay will be restored, but he is getting anxious now,” said Sumit Patel, a resident of Undri.

Suhail Ahmed, who lives in a rented apartment in Kharadi, said, “We are making ends meet somehow. To add an increase of rent to the budget will be an extra burden for us. There is no job security nowadays and people are being given pink slip left, right and centre, so I cannot afford the increase in rent and have requested my landlord to renew the contract with the current rent amount.”

While some landlords have relaxed the clause of a 10% increase in rental contracts, others find themselves in a financial bind. “Just like businessmen are dealing with losses, we are, too. The rent we collect is our only source of income, and the 10 % increase can make a world of a difference to us,” said Pratibha Kamble, property owner who has rented her flat in Kharadi.

Vaidhehi Bhede, a real estate agent, said, “Pune is a city with a high concentration of population which has come for work or study from other states, and most of them live in rented houses. Landlords have also suffered losses and their income has taken a hit due to tenants not being able to pay rent during the lockdown. While I have negotiated with many of them to be patient, there is no excuse now for tenants not to pay what they had agreed upon as things have slowly returned to normal.”



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Pune civic body mulls long-term leasing instead of sale of 117 amenity spaces – ET RealEstate

PUNE: Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has finally decided to give up the plan to sell its 117 amenity spaces, which may be leased out for a longer period of time. After building department officials submitted an opinion that the plots — 34 acres in all at Baner, Balewadi and other areas — should be leased for a longer period of time, the authorities have now started considering this new option. Citizens have, however, stated that they will still continue to oppose this as longer lease in a way means handing over the ownership just like the sale bid.

As per the original plan, PMC had decided to sell its amenity spaces for generating revenue while ensuring zero encroachment. The only condition for the development was that the developer would have to construct one of the designated amenities — schools, gymnasiums, sports complexes, markets, hospitals, etc. — for the utilisation of the citizens.

Concerned citizens had sent multiple letters to the civic body, stating that these amenity spaces are public properties and need to be used for the benefit and well-being of residents.

They had said the public is not convinced about this plan, and the civic body should not proceed with its implementation, and also requested a detailed presentation on the roadmap.

Now, the PMC building department has submitted an opinion, stating that the spaces should not be sold. Prashant Waghmare, city engineer, building department, said, “We have identified a list of amenity spaces except for essential ones. We have stated that all these properties should be leased for a longer period of time instead of selling them off.”

Rajendra Muthe, head of land and estates department of PMC, added, “Based on the city engineer’s opinion, we are considering leasing of the amenity spaces. PMC doesn’t have the authority to put the properties on lease for 90 years. So, we are trying to figure out if we can split this period. A final proposal will be prepared accordingly.”

And yet, citizens have still opposed the move. Ravindra Sinha, one of the citizen activists leading the movement against this proposal, said, “This is public land. We have given their share of property. So, we are not comfortable with any mode of transfer to private parties. We want these lands to be developed by the government authorities. If private agencies want to develop it, then it should be done through corporate social responsibility (CSR). Any lease beyond five years is a form of sale only.”

Kharadi residents, too, opposed the step. Stating that there are 19 amenity spaces in their area, Nitin Memane, president of the Kharadi Residents’ Association, said, “If they want it to be leased out, then it should be given to the society that had parted with it. Bringing it to a private person doesn’t make sense. Leasing in a way means selling the properties. Hence, we are still opposing the move.”



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Pune office absorption gains momentum; July-Oct leasing tops 1 million sq ft – ET RealEstate

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MUMBAI: Commercial real estate activity in Pune, one of the key information technology and IT-enabled service hubs in the country, has started picking up after witnessing sluggish activity during the lockdown and the ongoing Covid-19 disruption.

The market has recorded absorption of over 1 million sq ft during July to October compared to a 1 million sq ft absorption in the first half of the year until June, showed data from JLL India.

The city witnessed large corporate occupiers renewing their existing office leases as a part of their long term corporate real estate strategies during July to October.

The leasing has been primarily led by financial services and insurance, fintech, Indian and global technology services firms, and co-working space operators.

“Most sectors continue to expand their footprint in the city owing to the diverse and quality talent base, large world class campuses offering competitive rents and the city’s vibrant and cosmopolitan lifestyle. Due to these factors, Pune remains a favorite among occupiers, developers and investors. The deal pipeline for 2021 looks strong,” said Sanjay Bajaj, Managing Director – Pune, JLL.

Average vacancy in Pune during the last three quarters remained range bound and stands at 4.7%–one of the lowest in the country, at the end of third quarter.

Around 7 million sq ft of new supply is scheduled for completion by the end of 2021.

“The initial part of the financial year saw occupiers focusing on business continuity and seamless delivery of services for their global clients, following a cautious approach to committing to larger areas, although, there have been small spurts of demand from multinationals seeking spaces for their immediate needs,” said Vinod Rohira, CEO, Mindspace Business Parks REIT.

According to him, the reduced supply of grade A offices, sub dollar rentals, skilled human capital, increased preference for high quality and safe office spaces, has augured well for key developers like Mindspace, in several markets, including Pune.

Among key transactions in October, global alternative legal services provider DWF Mindcrest leased over 280,000 sq ft of office space at Mindspace Business Parks REIT in Pune‘s Kharadi locality, while flexible office space operator Simpliwork Offices also inked a long-term lease for 230,000 sq ft office space at Sky One Corporate Park in Pune.

The rentals are plateauing in the Pune market offering value driven propositions and opportunities to occupiers.

Moreover, the landlords across the city are more flexible now and open to innovative deal structuring, including incurring capital expenditure towards fit outs on behalf of occupiers. These factors are helping occupiers achieve a more cost-effective cash outflow.

Pune has been attracting large institutional funds and developers as nearly 47% of the city’s grade A office stock is directly or indirectly under the ambit of institutional funds or developers. And an additional 25 million sq. ft. is projected to be added in the next five years.



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