Kolkata - the quintessential city of the peace-loving Bengali Babus of the East India Company era had been the seat of culture and heritage in the Eastern slice of the country, known perpetually for its rich heritage, intellect, valued traditions and strong family bonds. Contrary with the popular belief that the city is rather laid back compared to the other metropolises of the country, Kolkata in the recent years has had a surge in certain sectors like burgeoning IT industry and certainly Real Estate.
From a real-estate perspective, Bengalis have always preferred staying in large villas or residences in joint families. In recent years, however, the city has witnessed a radical change in attitude of the youth. Boom of IT industry in Sector-V of Salt Lake has resulted in substantial absorption of a large pool of qualified engineers in private firms. This resulted in higher income and an aspirational quotient of the younger generation.The emergence of the nuclear families in place large joint families also amplified the requirement of smaller residential units in the forms of community apartments and condos.
The realty market is on a high due to a combination of such factors, along with the arrival of reputed MNCs and big corporates looking for the right assesses, a sudden increase in the number of developers of upmarket property, new successful commercial projects (mostly retail and entertainment), new improved roads and connectivity. Contrasting to falling prices of many metros in India, the property prices in the city are witnessing a steady movement upwards, in fact at a rate which contradicts most expectations.
The outcome of all this is the metamorphosis of the mindset of the masses, especially the middle income groups. Ownership of a "flat" in a sophisticated domicile is the modern mantra and a compulsion for the educated and intellectual youth. This inadvertently created a massive demand for residential complexes with all amenities of a modern life. Private promoting of standalone residential buildings with joint ventures by larger corporate for developing high-class urban complexes have resulted in massive investments in real estate in the Southern fringes like, Garia, Behala and Baruipur areas and the Rajarhat-Newtown townships in the North-eastern part of the metropolis. The infrastructural developments in these areas with the extension of the Metro Railways made them the residential areas of choice for most.
In the last five years the city, developers have become more adventurous taking calculated risks to create world class residential complexes in larger formats and with amenities that were previously thought impossible, which lead to the considerable hike of prices of properties. New Town itself has seen a phenomenal appreciation of almost 30 percent annually because of proximity to Sector V, Salt Lake. In this phase of development, the projects developed by large joint enterprises started being sold at launching stage. Seeing this vibrant market scenario national players like DLF and Unitech forayed into Kolkata's realty industry.
A common man's dream of owning a two bedroom flat for twenty five lakhs has shot to forty lakhs in just a few years and is still increasing. Increase in railway freight will further increase the cost of raw materials, especially steel and cement, which will again lead to a substantial increase in construction costs. The scenario gets worse by the steep increase of the lending rate (RPLR) of home loans, which is hovering around 10.50% per annum. Many property consultants in Kolkata agree to the point that the price is still under control compared to other cities. Till the time stagnation sets in the market and the Kolkatans succumb for the incessant property price, it's virtually a field day for real estate players vying for the prototypical notions of success.