Making a dream home a reality
Everyone wants a house, and fortunately, in Goa, there are still builders, who are able to provide affordable housing to people. But, it’s not that easy. While, aspirations are rising, people are becoming more and more conscious of spending their money. Amidst all this, rationalising taxes will go a long way in making real-estate affordable.
The Goan Network
Rajendra Talak, owner of Talak Constructions, started his journey in real-estate more than three decades back. Talak reminisced, “I started off in 1984 by selling two-bedroom-hall-kitchen (BHK) flats for Rs 1.5 lakhs. My client is a common man, and in most cases from Goa. Knowing that, I have always kept my focus on providing affordable housing to needy people”
Goa, being a popular tourist destination, attracts lot of real-estate buyers from all-across India. Such buyers mostly buy a flat or a house for investment purpose and not to really stay in it. This segment pushes up the price for even common people from the state, who need a flat or a house to stay in it.
This is where few developers like Talak step in. Talak said, “I focus on affordable housing, but I provide modern amenities like swimming pool and play-area as well because I think children these days are well-exposed to these trends”
Talak continued, “Right now, I am undertaking two projects – Aleesha Residency and Silva Jewel – in Aquem. We have priced 2 BHKs for a reasonable amount of Rs 50 lakhs, excluding stamp duty and other taxes. And, both these complexes have a swimming pool and badminton court. In fact, I have even made a provision for a gymnasium at Aleesha Residency as well”
Talak has till date focussed only on Margao for his projects and that has helped him in keeping the price affordable, as real-estate in places like Panaji and Dona Paula is expensive. When asked if he has plans to start projects in other parts of Goa too, Talak replied, “I may start a project in Ponda sometime.”
There is a huge market for affordable housing in Goa because a number of Goans are employed in the government sector. Most people employed with the government fall in middle-income category and for this segment, affordability is the key.
Interestingly, salaries of people in the government sector too have increased considerably over last decade or so after several pay commissions. Talak added, “Salaries of government employees have gone up now. On an average, a couple, both husband and wife working in government sector, also makes Rs 70,000 per month these days and they aspire for a 2 BHK as opposed to 1 BHK earlier. Therefore, we have increased focus on 2 BHKs”
The market for affordable housing is clearly changing in Goa. A builder said, “Sometime back, I had planned a swimming pool in an affordable housing project, which I had to drop later from plan as my customers thought a swimming pool was a luxury. But, today, that’s not the case as even middle-income people ask for swimming pool in their complex”
It is true that aspiration levels have changed with growing income levels. And, what is affordable is actually very subjective. For a middle-income family in Goa, a 2 BHK at around Rs 40-50 lakhs is affordable. But, there is a richer segment of locals, who would like to go for a bigger real estate at a price affordable to them.
“In Goa, we have seen that a villa costs anywhere from upwards of Rs 1 crore to even Rs 20 crores. For locals, it has become unaffordable to buy villas. We are about to launch a project, wherein we are going to provide villas at less than Rs 1 crore to customers. In nutshell, we are going to provide affordable luxury” said Chinmay Borkar, director, Akar Realty
Focusing on large-scale projects has also helped Akar Realty in providing real-estate at reasonable price to customers. Borkar added, “We have a project behind BITS Pilani where we have close to 300 apartments. Because of such a large project, we could bring economies of scale and provide a 2 BHK to customers at Rs 25-30 lakhs.”
Like in the case of Talak, even Borkar said that it is possible to provide amenities like a swimming pool and a gym in affordable housing projects. Borkar continued, “We did a project, which is around a kilometre distance from Margao municipality. Around two years back, we sold 2-BHKs in that project for Rs 30 lakhs. And, we have provided a gym and a swimming pool as well in that”