Studio apartments: Easy on pocket, low on maintenance

Studio apartments: Easy on pocket, low on maintenance

Chennai

Changing tastes and preferences have led to a demand for studio apartments over the years in many parts of the city.

In the last decades, the demography of Chennai has changed drastically. There has been a steady inflow of population into the city from different parts of the country. Many of these new generation professionals are looking forward to buying their own home within the first few years of their first job. This has led to a demand for studio apartments, which comprise all the elements of a home in a single room.

Right from low cost to low maintenance, the advantages of a studio apartment are many and are preferred by bachelors and travelling executives alike. Ravi, a city based realty expert says that these studio apartments are also being used as service apartments by the corporates. “Primarily, it catered to the needs of travelling executives posted in different cities. The professionals who have offsite assignments always tend to invest in studio apartments if they are offered by the developers, which gives them flexibility to travel during a shortterm assignment.”

Often termed as one room-kitchen apartment, these apartments have an attached bathroom and have an area range of 200 to 450 sqft. A studio apartment, also known as a studio flat or self-contained apartment, efficiency apartment or bachelor apartment, is a small apartment which combines living room, bedroom, and kitchenette into a single room. It is apt for a small family area ranging around 200 to maximum up to 450 square feet. Studio apartments are the entry level in the housing spectrum and are priced between ’25 to ’30 lakh.

Prices do play an important role; if the pricing is high then the buyer would opt for a compact two-BHK apartment instead of a studio apartment. Chennai being a conservative market, the design is slightly tweaked to accommodate a separate bedroom.

Arun Nair, a marketing representative, who moved into a studio apartment two years back maintains that price was the deciding factor. He says, “The cost played a key role and getting the best deal in the heart of the city is tough. I wanted a studio apartment as it provides you a compact space which is easy to maintain and clean. Also, studio apartments are always a good option for bachelors because of the low maintenance and cost factor.”

The demand for studio apartments is big among business executives. Ravi adds, “The demand for studio apartments has been growing consistently over the last few years and this demand is here to stay. With large companies setting up their units in Chennai and emergence of IT-space, we are looking at serious numbers required in the coming years.”

Source: Times Property, The Times of India, Chennai

Google gets ‘Neighbourly’, to add more cities in India including Chennai

Bengaluru, Delhi top waitlist; Chennai, Hyderabad on cards

Google has announced the national roll-out of a new app from its ‘Next Billion Users’ team called ‘Neighbourly,’ which helps people source local information from their neighbours.

With more than 1.5 million downloads and half-a-million people on the waitlist, Google is rolling out ‘Neighbourly’ starting with Bengaluru and Delhi, which topped the waitlist.

Over the next few weeks, more cities will be added every day, including Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune. Some other cities include Kolkata, Chandigarh, Lucknow and Indore.

The ‘Neighbourly’ app has already made inroads in popular neighbourhoods in Mumbai first, followed by cities like Jaipur, Mysore, Vizag, Kochi and Coimbatore.

Ben Fohner, senior product manager on Google’s Next Billion Users team, said humans are the core part of the app as the information that users get from ‘Neighbourly’ comes from people based on their ‘experiences’ and not from a website.

Mr. Fohner said the process of creating ‘Neighbourly’ starting from research, testing, to the launch and expansion of the product was all focused on India. “But looking beyond [India] obviously this need exists everywhere and our hope is that we can take what we’ve learned from building ‘Neighbourly’ here and expand that to other countries as well. [But] it is not something we are doing immediately,” said Mr. Fohner. However, he did not share insights about how Google was planning to monetise this product.

‘From gas to jumbos’

Google said people are integrating ‘Neighbourly’ into their routines, asking just about anything from finding the source of an LPG odour to knowing “why there are elephants on the street outside?”

Each city’s distinct personality came out in the types of questions people are asking and answering. For example, Mumbai saw questions about flooded areas during the heavy rains, finding the nearest ‘Dahi Handi’ celebration and the time when a ‘vada pav’ seller comes to a particular locality.

Families and housewives in Coimbatore sought advice on shopping for festivals. Jaipur’s student community, which is active on the app, asked questions relevant to their studies such as finding information about “good accounting coaching.” Recent shifters in Mysore use ‘Neighbourly’ to help them find information about their new routines such as “getting a water purifier service,” according to the company.

The Hindu

Plot summary: Constructing your own house

Plot summary: Constructing your own house

Chennai

V S Rajasekaran talks about how buying a plot near Medavakkam in 1994 and building a house on it, has benefitted him.

While buyers today mostly have the option of apartments or villa to choose from, not many will have the luxury of choosing a plot to build their house upon. But for those who bought homes in Chennai a few decades back, they had the option of buying an empty land and constructing their house on it.

V S Rajasekaran, a government employee, is one among those who bought a plot. “I bought a 2,178 square feet of land near Medavakkam, in 1994. And in 1995, we constructed a 2-BHK house there and moved into it. We have been living there ever since,” he says. The fear of buying a plot or its encroachment always existed. Recounting this struggle, he further adds, “We ensured that the land came with proper patta (legal document for land ownership). Besides, we immediately started construction, which also helped. So, there was no fear.”

Having lived in Chintadripet, as a tenant in a rented house, he was glad to have moved into his own independent house. Medavakkam was far away from the bustle of the city. “It was considered a back of beyond area. There was just one bus-51H, which would ply between Saidapet and Tambaram, which would stop at a bus stop in Medavakkam. Travelling to other parts of the city was difficult. Thankfully, there are innumerable buses today, which help the residents here commute to many parts of Chennai. Also, there are good amenities that have come up in the area, like good hospitals, schools and shopping malls,” he says.

The plot and the construction together did not exceed Rs 3 lakh. Overall, he is glad to have made the investment.

Ranjitha G, Times Property, The Times of India, Chennai

Imported sand from Malaysia selling briskly in Tamil Nadu

Imported sand from Malaysia selling briskly in Tamil Nadu

Chennai

River sand imported by the state government from Malaysia is selling briskly at the Ennore Port, with 30% of the stock being sold in two weeks. In the wake of rising demand for the construction material, the government has placed an order for a second consignment from the Southeast Asian nation.

Officials at the Kamarajar Port at Ennore said about 15,000 tonnes of river sand had been sold. The sand has been stocked at the port premises where lorry operators who have made bookings arrive to take the loads.

“About 50,000 tonnes of sand have been imported from Malaysia. The number of trucks transporting sand from the port has increased in the last three days,” a port official said.

While 195 lorries carried nearly 460 units of sand on October 19, 182 trucks ferried sand out of the port. On an average, about 2,000 to 2,500 tonnes of sand are being sold per day. “If the sale continues at the same pace, the sand will get exhausted in the next 20 days,” the port official added.

The Public Works Department (PWD) has fixed a price of Rs 10,350 per unit of imported sand weighing 4.5 tonnes.

Apart from sand lorry owners, members of the public can also purchase sand through the web portal of the PWD’s sand operation wing.

Tamil Nadu State Sand Lorry Owner’s Federation S Yuvaraj said the market for river sand sourced from abroad is growing in the city. “There is a strong demand for such sand. The waiting period for getting the imported river sand is just one day,” he said. While the state government’s first consignment of imported sand arrived at the Ennore Port on September 23, the distribution was kick-started on October 8.

PWD officials said around 225 to 275 bookings are made every day to buy the imported sand. “The order for the next consignment of river sand has been made,” a senior PWD official told TOI, adding that it was expected to arrive at the port from Malaysia in the next two to three weeks.

Yogesh Kabirdoss, Economic Times, Chennai

Over 800 properties identified for land acquisition to construct Chennai metro phase-2

Over 800 properties identified for land acquisition to construct Chennai metro phase-2

Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) has listed more than 800 property owners to whom notices will be issued for acquisition of land required to build 48 stations planned in the ambitious 107.55km phase-2.

Notices have been issued to nearly 410 owners who have properties along the alignment planned for 19 stations.

They include people living close to Madhavaram, Perumbur, Otteri, Sembium, Chetpet, Sterling Road, Nungambakkam, Gemini and Purasaiwalkam. The land required in these areas will be used for building the stations as well as a maintenance yard at Madhavaram.

CMRL would issue 400 more notices to property owners in the coming days, officials said.

‘As a start, land acquisition work is underway for corridor 3 and 5. Paperwork for corridor 4 will begin next month,” the official said.

Phase-2 project has three corridors. Corridor 3 will link Madhavaram to Siruseri SIPCOT via the IT hub along the OMR and corridor 5 will connect Madhavaram to Sholinganallur through localities on the western part of the city. Corridor-4, which will link the core areas of the city from Light House to CMBT, will be extended to Poonamallee.

U Tejonmayam, Economic Times, Chennai

Chennai district likely to expand to 426 sqkm

Chennai district likely to expand to 426 sqkm mid-July

More than seven months after the state announced the expansion of Chennai district, the city’s boundaries are set to get wider by mid July. Areas falling under the purview of Greater Chennai Corporation would be part of the expanded Chennai district to facilitate better coordination between the civic body and district administration for executing various administrative activities.

Revenue department sources said that the procedure to elicit the view of officials on choice of district has been completed in Kancheepuram district. “Government servants have provided their preferred option to either work in Chennai or stick to Kancheepuram district,” a revenue official said. But, the process is still under way in Tiruvallur district. According to plan, 67 revenue villages from Alandur and Sholinganallur Taluks in Kancheepuram and Ambattur, Madavaram, Maduravoyal and Tiruvottiyur taluks in Tiruvallur district would be merged with Chennai district, taking the total number of revenue villages in the expanded city to 122.

Official sources said that the state is expected to make a notification regarding the merger of the urbanised neighbourhood revenue villages mid-July. “It is likely to be on July 15,” a senior revenue department official said.

This expansion would increase the size of Chennai from 176sqkm to 426sqkm covering all 15 zones of Greater Chennai Corporation. The city will have an additional revenue divisional officer from the existing two. The state had missed its April 1 target for issuing the notification due to delay in completing the task of getting the views of government staff working in these taluks on their preferred place of work.

Yogesh Kabirdoss, The Times of India, Chennai

After 20 years Chennai Corporation increases property tax rates

After two decades, Corporation increases property tax rates

After two decades, Corporation increases property tax rates

Civic body expected to mop up ₹1,160 crore after hike

After years of inertia, the Chennai Corporation and other urban local bodies in Tamil Nadu have revised the property tax rates. The new rates will be effective from this half-year period i.e., April-September 2018. The increase will not be more than 100% for commercial and rented residential buildings, and not more than 50% for residential buildings.

While the Chennai Corporation last revised property tax in 1998, other local bodies in the State revised it in 2008.

Accepting the proposals of the Chennai Corporation Commissioner, the Commissioner of Municipal Administration and the Director of Town Panchayats, the State government has issued an order paving the way for the hike in tax rate.

Following the revision, the Chennai Corporation is expected to collect ₹180 crore every half-year from 10.5 lakh residential building owners and ₹400 crore from 1.5 lakh non-residential building owners. Property tax collection in Chennai is expected to increase to ₹1,160 crore a year.

Last week, a Division Bench of the Madras High Court directed the Municipal Administration and Water Supply Principal Secretary Harmander Singh to take a decision with regard to the proposal submitted by the Chennai Corporation Commissioner D. Karthikeyan within two weeks regarding the revision of property tax and report to the court during the next hearing on August 3.

Assessees who have already paid property tax for this half-year will have to pay the arrears. “We will issue guidelines for general revision this week,” said an official.

In Chennai, all the 12 lakh property tax assessees will be asked to file property tax returns with the Chennai Corporation Revenue Department, with details on the extent of the building and the usage of the building. While the revision will impact all assessees, those whose nature of usage as changed from residential to commercial will find the hike particularly steep. During the previous revision in 1998, the civic body processed the property tax returns of assessees manually. So it required more manpower and at least six months to process the returns. Now, with advancement of technology, the civic bodies may encourage online submission. Currently, the Chennai Corporation has less than 80 property tax assessors to scrutinise the tax returns.

“Unlike Bengaluru, we do not impose any penalty on assessees who fail to file property tax returns on time. So the collection of property tax returns will be a challenge,” said an official.

Source The Hindu