Chennai: “Pent-up Housing Demand to Drive Sector’s Recovery"

Chennai: “Pent-up Housing Demand to Drive Sector’s Recovery”

After the second wave of Covid-19 hit the residential sales in Chennai, real estate developers are pinning hopes on pent-up demand for the sector’s recovery.

“During the pandemic, prospective buyers had ample time to do their research and shortlist properties. Now, as the restrictions are gradually being lifted, we are seeing a good number of enquiries. Lower interest rates and discounted prices are also encouraging buyers to enter the market in the current times,” said Suresh Babu, GM, VGN Projects Estates. 

In an exclusive interview with Sudha Parimala Pradeep of RoofandFloor, he spoke at length about the current market scenario, ongoing infrastructure projects, VGN’s upcoming projects, and much more.

Here are the excerpts. 

How has the pandemic changed the way real estate operates in Chennai? 

The impact of Covid-19 on Indian real estate has been unprecedented and has exposed the entire fraternity to some unique challenges. However, despite these challenges, the realty sector bounced back after the first wave. Thanks to the pent-up demand for homes due to the pandemic. 

Chennai: “Pent-up Housing Demand to Drive Sector’s Recovery"

Demand is, in fact, higher than ever as people are realising the value of owning a home in a bleak global scenario such as the current pandemic. Many existing homeowners are entering the market to upgrade to larger homes. People who have deeper pockets are looking for independent homes where they can live and work comfortably.

What are some ongoing infrastructure projects that are likely to impact residential real estate in the city?

To enhance the connectivity quotient of the city, the State Government has announced several projects. One of the major projects is the Chennai Metro Rail Phase II, which is expected to link all four corners of the city. Phase II will have 128 stations across three corridors:

  • Corridor 3: From Madhavaram to Sipcot 
  • Corridor 4: From Lighthouse to Poonamalle Bypass 
  • Corridor 5: From Madhavaram to Sholinganallur 

The development of new infrastructure projects such as the Chennai Metro Rail has led to the emergence of new residential property growth corridors. I believe such projects can be a game-changer for the city’s real estate market. 

Do you see any changes in homebuyers’ preferences post-Covid?

Well, not really. Home seekers in Chennai are still looking for properties in the affordable segment. A good percentage of enquiries, that we get, are for properties priced between Rs 30-35 Lakh. 

What is your market differentiator?

Established in 1942, VGN has been making progress in real estate for more than 79 years and so far developed over 20 million square feet in Chennai. Starting with affordable housing and spreading our wings to the ultra-luxury segment, we have catered to all sections of society. Hence, there is that trust factor. Besides, all our properties are located strategically with access to social and physical infrastructure. Lastly, at VGN, we always maintain high-quality standards in construction and deliver on time with the required amenities.  

How do you expect the second half of 2021 to be? Tell us about your upcoming projects.

With the vaccination drive picking momentum, most cities have started to unlock. We are already receiving good interest from home seekers. We are hopeful that both new launches and sales will be back on track in the second half of 2021. 

For us, at VGN, the second half of the year is looking quite positive. Our four projects are nearing completion, namely Notting Hill at Nungambakkam, VGN Coasta at Muttukadu ECR, VGN Stafford at Ambattur, and VGN Temple Town at Thiruverkadu.

We are also planning to launch new projects in the coming months. A 10-acre plotted development at Ambattur, an apartment project along the ECR, and another plotted development at Padapi are in the pipeline.

Do you think this is the right time for homebuyers to take the plunge? 

Real estate is a great asset class for investment. Additionally, due to the pandemic, many developers in the city have reduced prices. With low home loan interest rates, benefits available to first-time homebuyers, and offers and discounts doled out by developers, it is the right time to take the plunge. Buyers stand to get a higher value for their money if they invest now.

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