Home along the highway – OMR Chennai


The increasing demand for space in the city and long hours of travel from the work place has led many families and IT professionals to relocate to Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR). With numerous residential projects coming up near work and the additional amenities available at affordable prices here, apartments in OMR are finding many takers.

Suganthi Justin, a resident of Navalur, relocated from Besant Nagar to OMR as her husband’s office is closer. “Our house is now at a walkable distance from my husband’s office. It automatically reduced travel time. Buying a house in OMR was also an investment as the cost, in comparison to houses in the city, was less and developers provided more space. The houses are not clustered and there are extra amenities like a jogging track, swimming pools and gyms which played an important factor while buying this property,“ says Suganthi.

Like Suganthi, there are many families that have relocated from various parts of the city to areas like Kelambakkam, Thuraipakkam and Sholinganallur to name a few.“People from areas like Ambattur, Anna Nagar and Kilpauk are also moving south as their offices are located close by and good healthcare services, malls and educational institutes are available nearby ,“ says Chitty Babu, Chairman and Managing Director, Akshaya Homes.He adds that not only Chennaiites, but people from other places who work in the IT sector are buying houses in OMR.“While searching for apartments, people check if amenities such as multi-purpose halls, theatres, jogging, gyms and swimming, to name a few, are available and then decide,“ he adds.

Not only is the demand for property catching up in OMR, the area has witnessed a corresponding rise in demand for houses on rent. Bachelors choose to rent apartments with friends and colleagues instead of buying an apartment.“I relocated to OMR about a year back when a friend offered to share his house located near office with me. Not only did it cut down travelling time, I also got more space,“ says Nithyanandan Sunderesan, an IT professional. He says while the houses cost almost the same as in the city, there are more amenities. “I know so many people, who were staying in the city, who relocated to OMR due to the cost benefits,“ he adds.Ashok Kumar, a professional working in OMR, says finding apartments for rent is not a hard task. “Quite often people give their apartments for rent as they don’t live there. Not only are they affordable, but they also have facilities like departmental stores and hospitals close by,“ says Ashok.

Speaking about the rental trend, N Hariharan, director, Cushman, says there are many queries about rental residential properties from families and bachelors who have to relocate for jobs. “As bachelors don’t want to invest on a home, they search for a place near their office as travel time is reduced. The demand for rental residential property is mostly in Navalur and Sholinganallur as the supply is greater there and prices are affordable,“ says Hariharan.

Source: Times Property, The Times of India, Chennai

Chennai Adyar gains back buyers’ preference

Re-development and cleaner environs has brought back home buyers to Adyar, which notched up the sixth spot in the Magicbricks list of top 10 preferred localities for sale in the Jul-Sep 2014 quarter.

One of the most premium residential pockets of Chennai, Adyar had lost its sheen as a residential address largely due to unavailability of new projects and over-crowding. However, ever since the re-development wave hit Chennai, localities in the central parts of the city have been witnessing new stock in the market.

“New housing inventory in the wake of re-development has re-generated interest among buyers in Chennai, who could very well afford the location but hardly had any choice. Also, those who wanted to stay in the locality but were short of choices due to lack of smaller houses, have more options now. As older independent houses are being demolished to be converted into structures having three-four floors, comparatively compact sized apartments are also available now,” says R Srinivasan of Medsea Properties.

Those who are looking for luxury also have new options due to re-development. “The fact that some of the new projects that are coming up offer a host of amenities such as concierge services, Turkish baths and gymnasiums has sparked the buyers’ interest, who are willing to experiment with such products,” adds Naveen Nandwani, executive director, Cushman and Wakefield. Older developments in Adyar, though expensive, did not cater to the taste of the elite class. Newer developments cater to this unmet demand as well.

This increased preference for the locality was also reflected in the latest edition (Jul-Sep 2014) of PropIndex, the quarterly Apartment Index by Magicbricks. As per the report, Adyar notched up the sixth spot on the list of the top ten preferred localities in the current quarter. This was in stark contrast to the last quarter where it did not even form a part of the list.

Another factor that has contributed towards reviving interest in the locality is the recent cleaning of the Adyar River. The drive to clean the river that was initiated in the beginning of the year has certainly helped localities on the bank of the river. Adyar is one such location.

At present, the capital values in the locality varies from Rs 12,000-16,500 per sq ft, as per data with Magicbricks. This is a rise of more than 30 per cent as compared to the previous year. Considering the new developments in the locality, prices might rise further.

Source: Times of India / Sruthi Kailas, Magicbricks.com Bureau

The ‘must-haves’ that Chennai super rich enjoy

When an average person hears wine cellar, movie theater or gym, and the must have is `lotus/lily pond’ they may think we’re discussing a mall or a resort. But for those willing to spend big bucks in Chennai, these are some of the ‘must-haves’.

Magicbricks takes a look at some of the `luxury indispensables’ and even the absolute deal breakers, when it comes to Uber luxury Chennai style.

“The list of wants has changed and new design trends are emerging in the luxury home market,” says Maithili Krishnan, who recently returned from Thailand, after a six month course in Indo-Siamese architecture, to create a `Pooja room’ incorporating this unique fusion of culture.” For those willing to spend big bucks, wine-rooms and private movie theatre rooms are just part of the package that comes with luxury home ownership.”

They may live in RA Puram, Poes Garden, Boat Club Road, Rutland Gate and have second homes in some of the fast upcoming OMR areas next to resorts. Entering their homes is like coming to a new world that leaves the developing areas around the city far behind.

So what do the Chennai rich have today?

Wine rooms (not cellars)

“Wine cellars are passé,’ says Reuben Mougan, who specialises in developing theme-based interiors, his specialty being South European themes. Today, with increased export oriented businesses, the new rich want an entire room dedicated to their love for wine. Whether they want an ample supply on hand for entertaining or they simply like to collect an assortment of the cabernet or the sauvignon blanc, is irrelevant.”

Mougan has done several interiors of these wine rooms, each of them different from the other. “The essential ingredient of luxury is exclusivity, so you need to be on your toes when catering to their demands and come up with innovative designs, each more unique than the other,” says Mougan.

Golf Croquet beyond tennis court

“A new favored amenity for luxury home buyers is Golf Croquet, which requires less space. It is less strenuous and above all, can be played at home to entertain guests, who are not active outdoor people,” says Prem Solemen, who specialises in outdoor spaces for luxury homes.

“Outdoor games need to be fun and easy to play to cater as pure alternate entertainment, without being too strenuous. This is what Golf Croquet addresses,” says Solemen.

Golf Croquet to the uninitiated is a cross between golf and tennis with simpler rules and is more interactive (each turn is just a single stroke). The players follow a course contesting each hoop in turn. As soon as one hoop is scored all players move on to the next – a simple idea that can include rich tactical thinking, depending on the players.

The much hyped ‘pooja’ room

‘Pooja’ rooms which are a replica of your favourite temple, from Tirupti to the Meenakshi temple or the Srirangam temple, you can have it at home, thanks to R Selvakumar. Along with his team of special sculptors, he will create it for you in your home, provided you have the money.

“I used to hang outside the work place of sculptors, to hear the `clink-clink’ sound that their chisel and hammer made, that is how I got interested in this art. After I finished my B-arch, I adopted this as my main offering and have been able to make a name for myself in this niche area,” says Selvakumar.

The most expensive Pooja room he has designed so far?

“A smaller version of the Tirupati Venkateshwara temple for a devotee, in which he had gold plating done for the wood carvings in the traditional pillars inside his prayer room,” says Selvakumar.

The staff rooms

Not only do the rich live big, they also like to give their staff the comfort and hygiene that the rest of the family experiences.

“Today, no super luxury home is complete without the well planned and designed staff quarters,” says Krishnan. “At the least there are rooms where the staff changes into their uniforms (they are all in the same printed sarees or trousers and shirts). They are provided with western style bathrooms with vitrified tiles, naturally lit staff eating areas with tables and chairs, cupboards for hanging their clothes and other washroom amenities including full length, separate for ladies and men.,”

Clearly, when it comes to luxury real estate, the stakes are really high.

Source: Times of India /Kanchana Dwarakanath, magicbricks.com Bureau/

Apartment prices up a fraction over Q2


Residential apartment prices have increased marginally in most micro-markets in Chennai between the first and second quarters of this calendar year, the latest residential price index (Residex) released by the National Housing Bank shows.

The growth ranges from 0.75% to 9.4%. The lowest rise in prices was recorded in Mylapore, Adyar, Velachery and Thiruvanmiyur and the highest in Virugambakkam, Anna Nagar, Kilpauk and Nungambakkam.

On a year-on-year basis, the increase in apartment prices ranges between 10% and 43%. Ayanavaram and Purasawalkam registered a 10% increase in April-June 2014, compared to the corresponding period last year and Mylapore, Adyar, Velachery and Thiruvanmiyur recorded a 43% increase.

The indices also show a slide in prices in the five micro markets of Egmore, Chetpet, Ashok Nagar, T Nagar and Saligramam, where the cost of apartments dipped by 1.4% to 7.7% between the first and second quarters this year. On a year-on-year basis, Egmore and Chetpet registered a 13% drop in prices, during which time Ashok Nagar, T Nagar and Saligramam recorded an appreciation of 24%, showing that the cost of apartments increased in these three locations for some time but fell in April-June 2014. Read more

Chennai Outer Ring Road (ORR) – Changing Face


With the first 30 km stretch of Outer Ring Road (ORR) connecting Vandalur and Nemilicheri becoming operational recently, commuters are enjoying swift connectivity from South Chennai. Phase II, currently under-construction, will connect Nemilicheri to the northern suburbs.

This improved connectivity of the Arakkonam section to the Northern suburbs has significantly impacted the residents on the entire stretch.

“Not only can one avoid traffic snarls and congestion on the Chennai bypass road, but it is also decongesting roads within the localities. Thus, also impacting the real estate sector along and across the road,” says Shirish Reddy, owner, SRA Real Estate Solutions.

Vandalur, the closest point to the Oragadam-Sriperumbudur Industrial belt, opens into the ORR, has witnessed ample development. The demand was ensured by the commercial development along the manufacturing belt which reported a boost with automobile and IT companies coming up on the road from Oragadam to Vandalur.

Other areas along the ORR such as Mudichur, Perangathlur and Dharkast previously faced slow realty development. With the ORR fully operational experts believe will unlock the potential here.

Nazarathpeth will be an important junction along the road in future, as it connects destinations along the National Highway-4, (going towards Bangalore) to the ORR. This plays a crucial role in transforming the realty as off-shore investors from Bangalore will be able to travel without entering the main city areas.

Poonamallee, is already buzzing with real estate development. Property options available here are in the budget range of Rs 35-40 lakh, while plots are available for a price tag of Rs 10-20 lakh. Another factor working in its favor is its direct connectivity to commercial offices in the Mahindra World City. Previously, it took up to two hours to reach but now takes just 40-45 minutes through the ORR.

“Avadi and Nemilicheri are also anticipated to show growth in real estate in future. Nemilicheri has ample land banks for new projects, while Avadi is already witnessing the coming up of new projects,” says Reddy.

Lower property prices compared to Anna Nagar and Ambattur and proximity to the Ambattur Industrial Area attracts home buyers here. As per Magicbricks data, a 2BHK builder-floor apartment is priced between Rs 20-30 lakh, with areas varying from 700-850 sq ft. Property prices have increased by approximately 12 per cent in the last one year.

The real estate fraternity also predicts commercial development on the stretch. “The 50 m land along the ORR rests with Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority which will soon be open for public use,” says Rajesh Dave, president, Chennai Real Estate Agents Association.

As the construction of ORR Phase II has gone beyond Nemilicheri, property markets of Attanthangal, Pattabiram, Cholavaram and Minjur are also expected to improve.

Once the entire stretch gets operational, swift connectivity from the southern suburbs to other parts of the city will push up real estate prices in all these regions in the future. This will lessen the vehicular movement in localities such as Anna Nagar West, Koyambedu, Vadapalani, Guindy and Alandur.

The Chennai real estate market is clearly anticipating a revival, with smooth inter and intra city connectivity attracting investors from in and around the city.

Source: Times Property, Chennai/MagicBricks.com Bureau

Why people are opting to buy in apartment complexes in Coimbatore?

Coimbatore, the largest industrial centre after Chennai, is currently going through an excellent phase of development. The interesting part is the increasing popularity of apartment complexes.

“In the last six months alone, we have noticed a marked increase in enquiries for apartments in areas along RS Puram, Avinashi Road and even Race Course,” says Radha Seshagiri, of Illam Property Consultants.

According to PropIndex (Jul-Sep 2014), a quarterly India Apartment Index report on 11 cities by Magicbricks, the Rs 40-70 lakh budget range was most preferred in the city with 40 per cent buyers showing interest. Properties priced in this range were also the most supplied with 28 per cent availability.

This is an interesting trend and industry players attribute a very unique reason for this.

V Arumugham, a well known social worker for women’s education and empowerment for over a decade, blames it on the freebee culture that each government has propagated and which has been successfully implemented in the city.

“The labour section has not been empowered, instead it has been the recipient of several rebates and concessions,” says Arumugham. “They get rice that is extremely subsidised, EWS homes that are state funded, in addition to TV, idli-dosa grinders, electricity and even water connections at every 20-25 feet. This makes it extremely difficult to get the men to work, especially for a prolonged period.”

This is reiterated by others who are in the construction industry.

“It is extremely difficult to find reliable local carpenters, electricians or plumbers who are capable of undertaking work for an entire home,’ says Vineetha Balakrishnan, the co-founder of Dursham architects, an architecture and interior firm in Coimbatore. “After struggling with labour related issues for a long time, today, we prefer to get people from outside the city to do these jobs. But this increases our overheads enormously and consequently, the expenditure for our clients.”

This, many believe, is one of the reasons for the increase in popularity of apartment complexes.

“While the demand is driven by local population, the city witnessed mediocre growth. But with the increased presence of R&D healthcare units, the expanding export oriented textile and auto manufacturing units along with a few IT majors, the city reported an increase in the presence of white collar jobs. This has given Coimbatore realty the much needed impetus in the last six months,” says Seshagiri.

“Initially this segment prefers to buy or rent an independent house. But when faced with the lack of trained manpower to make even minor modifications to the house and the high price of `housing, food and payment for work’ when hiring help from outside the city, they are quick to opt for apartment complexes, where all this is taken care of by the developers,” she adds.

Thus, prime areas along the RS Puram, Avinashi Road, Saravanampatti and Race Course have a large number of upcoming apartment complexes, today. There is demand for smaller apartments from professionals and for the Rs 70 lakh to Rs 1 crore from NRIs and retirees. Prices for a multi-storey apartment in Avinashi Road could cost anything between Rs 4,000-5,700 per sq ft, while in RS Puram prices are in the range of Rs 6,000-7,000 per sq ft.

Whatever reason being quoted for this trend, there is no denying that increased growth in the apartment culture seems to be catching on in Coimbatore.

Source: Times of India / Kanchana Dwarakanath, Magicbricks.com Bureau

How much do you pay for your house?

Magicbricks gives you details of properties across the country with their listed prices. While some owners choose to give an all inclusive listed price, others do not mention the additional charges. Depending on market conditions, every buyer has a fair chance to negotiate and developers or home owners may be willing to give a discount.

If you are a prospective buyer, here are a few things you should reserve a little extra for-

Inherent values – Most values are usually estimated, as the common practice among home owners is to estimate the value at par with a house sold for the highest price. Sunder Ahuja, a businessman in North Delhi says, “It is believed that if my neighbour could get Rs 1.5 crore for his house which was two years older than mine, I am better placed to ask for this sum.” Consequently, Ahuja’s home in Roop Nagar is listed for Rs 1.6 crore. If you are a buyer make sure you are up to date with trends. PropIndex, the India Apartment Index by Magcibricsk, points out trends in the market with analysis of data along with inputs from financial experts, city managers and trend watchers.

As per experts on Magicbricks, “While listed and transacted values may vary, the role of listed values is significant in the absence of actual transacted values. Hence, it is a reliable indicator.”

TDS on property – As per the Tax Information Network, the Finance Bill 2013 has proposed that purchaser of an immovable property (other than rural agricultural land) worth Rs 50 lakh or more is required to pay withholding tax at the rate of 1% from the consideration payable to a resident transferor. For example, if the property is sold for Rs 70 lakh, would TDS be calculated on the excess (over Rs 50 lakh) or on the actual amount, which is Rs 20 lakh or Rs 70 lakh? TDS is to be deducted on the amount paid/credited to the seller. Thus, in this case the deduction will be on the total amount i.e. Rs 70 lakh.

Stamp duty and registration charges – Stamp duty charges are not included in most listed values. While working on a budget, you might slip on calculating it. In actuality, stamp duty charges are obvious and not exactly ‘hidden costs’. Respective state governments have stamp duty and registration charges on the declared value or the circle rate, whichever is on the higher side. The percentage varies across states. In some states women buyers benefit because of a concession. Advocate Rajesh Sharma of Rajesh Sharma and Associates says, “In Maharashtra, women do not have the benefit of stamp duty concession unlike in Uttar Pradesh.” Registration charges are usually 1 per cent of the property’s value.

Brokerage – Be it rental or capital market, brokers always ask for a share. Pankaj Jha, realtor at Sree Lakshmi Properties says, “Normally, it does not exceed 1 to 2 per cent of the total transacted cost. Most buyers are good at bargain in the property market.”

Preferential Location Charges – Do you want to choose which side of the apartment you want to live in? Whether facing the park, or the sea or a holistic view? Be prepared for the Preferential Location Charges (PLC). Multiply the super area with the charges mentioned in the builder’s rate card – that is the PLC.

Miscellaneous – Experts at Jones Lang LaSalle indicate that there might be a service tax at a rate of 12.36 per cent on certain services like insurance, real estate and stock broking, pipeline transport of goods, site formation or demolition, club memberships, legal consultancy services, electricity exchange and related internal or external developments. Do not fail to account a home loan processing charge that may account to 0.05 per cent of your loan amount.


The expenses incurred during the initial period of a property transaction can amount for as much as 10-12 per cent of the overall cost of the property or of the total amount of the home loan – 5 per cent towards stamp duty and 5-7 per cent for additional charges. There is little scope for an uninitiated buyer to be aware of all the costs. The only reliable method of judging the overall initial financial outlay is to engage the services of an experienced property consultant, says Ramesh Nair, COO – Business and National Director, Jones Lang LaSalle.

Source: Times of India / Sneha Sharon Mammen, Magicbricks.com Bureau

Property Tips for small first time investors in Chennai

With the Chennai market showing steady growth, the market has witnessed several small and first time investors in the residential real estate market.

If you are looking to buy property with an eye to grow your net worth one way or other there are certain factors that investors in Chennai need to keep in mind. While the thumb rule may seem to be invest close to upcoming metro lines, outskirts or in proximity to core IT areas for best appreciation, there are a few aspects to remember before zooming in on a project.

Investing close to infrastructure developments

Along the metro or the mono rail or an upcoming SEZ may seem attractive areas to invest in, but they come with a certain degree of risk. “Planned infrastructure can be cancelled and planned routes can also change. In case your property is in the way, chances are the government may takeover the land and give you the approved compensation, which may be way below your expectation, “says Girish Ponnuswami, regional head, Bhoumi Development Consultancy, a property advisory firm. “A better option would be to invest after the plans are approved and the work has started and has gone on for some time. Looking for property in localities close to these developments is a smarter option. It may fetch relatively less appreciation but it would be far better than running the risk of `on the route of the metro’ option.”

Any infrastructure developments typically also have a long term impact, so investing here with plan to wait as long as it takes, is a more practical option.

Investing in outskirts

While South Chennai is developing fast, many investors are looking at the Northern corridor, as the prices are cheaper. “Yes, the Northern corridor is the focus area, but way into the future. The central government has just announced several industrial corridors in the area and investors need to remember that it can take about a decade, before effects of these plans can be seen at the ground level,” says Munish Ganapathy, proprietor, Srilakshmi Real Estates. “Outskirts investment is not just a long term plan, but often a future generational plan. It is mainly because the outskirts are really need-based customised and often unplanned developments, especially when it comes to residential development.”

A reliable developer who undertakes the responsibility for basic civic facilities and continued maintenance is the best option according to experts.

Investing in IT areas

The hope of the investor when investing in IT core areas is to earn high rental returns compared to other localities due to the establishment of IT/ITeS companies where there will be a boost in employment opportunities.
“When investing in newly developed or partially developed areas a different approach to investment is required. Here prices are already high and the future tenants often have more options for renting. So you need to strike a balance between the amenities provided at the project, the proximity to the access roads and other social infrastructure issues, to attract the best rental value,” says Ponnuswami.

Summing it all is R Senthil Kumar, a real estate investment advisor with a renowned real estate consultancy firm, “The small investor must realise that investing in real estate is really a marathon for him, this is also his best bet as he does not have the money power to balance-out a bad investment.”

Source: Times of India  / Kanchana Dwarakanath, Magicbricks.com Bureau

Latest Real Estate Trends in Chennai


The worst seems to be over for the Chennai real estate sector with the residential and office markets showing signs of a recovery due to a combination of policy reforms and sops for buyers and sellers, finds the recently released PropIndex report by Magicbricks on Indian real estate markets.

Here is a quick glance on the real estate market of Chennai


Source: Times Of India, Chennai & Magic Bricks