Saturday, October 10, 2009

Living Space 2009 Property Fair now on at Chennai Trade Center, Nandambakkam

Living Space 2009 Property Fair is on from from Oct 09 to Oct 12 at Chennai Trade Center, Nandambakkam.

Terraspace Blooming Dale at Pallikaranai offering a total of 44 units at rates of Rs.55 to 60 Lakhs.

Lancor Abode Valley at Potheri with a total of 320 units (of which about 120 are available) at Rs.2600/sqft (all inclusive), which works out to Rs.29.25 to 32.57 Lakhs.

XL Estates XL Woods at Sriperumbudur offering a total of 176 units at Rs.2050/sqft, working out to Rs.14.5 to 29 Lakhs.

Details of more projects on offer will be added to, so keep following.

Property fair timings : from 10:00 am to 08:20 pm. Entry fee applicable.
Home D├ęcor 2009 is on a adjacent hall in the same venue.

Friday, September 4, 2009

XS Real FairSquare - K at Kovilambakkam offers "Free Maintenance for life"

XS Real's FairSquare has come up innovative concept to enable "Free Maintenance for life" at it's FairSquare - K project in Kovilambakkam, off Pallavaram - Thoraipakkam 200' Radial Road in Chennai.

The projects consists of 32 apartments coming up on 8 blocks on Stilt + 2 floors. Apart from these 4 apartments on each block which are for sale, there will one Studio apartment on the Stilt level, which is common for all the units in that block. This Studio apartment can be let out to cover the maintenance charges for that block and hence offering "Free Maintenance for life".

More on rates, location map at : Details of XS Real's FairSquare - K project in Kovilambakkam

Akshaya's The Belvedere at Urapakkam on GST Road launching tomorrow - Starts at Rs.37 Lakhs

Akshaya's The Belvedere project at Nandivaram/Urapakkam on GST Road, which we have already profiled in is officially launching tomorrow (Sep 05, 2009 - Saturday).

The Belvedere will have 2 and 3 BR "island apartments" of sizes in the range of 1112 sqft to 1571 sqft, coming up in 2 blocks of Slilt + 13 floors. The rates start at Rs.37 lakhs.

Features include :
* Clubhouse with mini movie hall
* Children's play area
* Business center
* Conference hall
* Salon
* Gymnasium
* Swimming pool
* Massage center
* Jacauzzi
* Spa
* Sauna
* Kid's gaming zone
* Table tennis and billiards
* Meditation center
* Jogging tracks
* Water bodies
* Sculptures
* Terrace party space
* Channel music and more..

When we initially covered the details of The Belvedere, the rates were in the range of Rs.45 Lakhs to 65 Lakhs (approximate rates as of Fairpro '09). But now, during the launch the rates are starting at Rs.37 Lakhs, though all features seem to remain the same.

More details : Akshaya's The Belvedere at Nandivaram/Urapakkam on GST Road.

Also check out other Apartments/Villas for sale in Chennai []

Friday, August 21, 2009

ETA Star Rosedale at Padur (OMR) has price correction of over 35% !!

The rates of ETA Star Rosedale project at Padur on OMR (Old Mahabalipuram Road) has gone through a major price correction, since it was first announced about a year back.

Rates were initially at Rs.30 Lakhs (Rs.3500/sqft), when first announced during August 2008, just before the recession symptoms were felt. Refer to the following news article on the project, mentioning those rates..

The same project was later available at a special offer price of Rs.3250/sqft, in mid-Feb 2009 at FAIRPRO.

And, as of Aug 2009 (one year after after that initial announcement), the rates seem to have corrected to Rs.19 lakhs, for the same 2BR homes starting at 784 sqft, as per the advertisement in The Hindu's Property Plus today (22nd Aug, 2009). The rate/sqft now works out to around Rs.2425/sqft.

That is around 36.6% price correction for the ETA Star Rosedale project (Rs.11 lakhs less, from Rs.30 Lakhs), which now brings it back into the realm of the newer project rates.

From the list of major projects in Padur and Padur/Kazhipattur locality, the odd-men-out seems to be Jain's Inseli Park which has a rate/sqft as 3745 to 3945 and Akshaya Adora at Rs.4000/sqft.

I assume that the rate correction should ideally have a retrospective effect on those who had booked earlier too.

It might be disheartening for those who have already invested at higher rates, to see the rates fall lower than what they had paid. The decision on whether to offer refunds and the actual quantum of the refund is fully under the purview of the builder.

Recently, Doshi offered price guarantee for the Doshi Nakshatra project to enthuse prospective buyers to let go the price drop concern. Probably more buyers will start asking for such guarantees - though, I believe that it won't be much useful. This is because we are already seeing some pretty good corrections in the rates.

Akshaya Adena (Padur, OMR) booking commences. Starts at 17 Lakhs - special rates for 2 Days.

Booking has (at last) commenced for Akshaya's Adena project at Padur, OMR.

Akshaya has announced special rates for just 2 days, which is slightly lesser than what we reported had earlier (Rs.2770/sqft and 18 Lakhs). Now the rates start at Rs.17 Lakhs and works out to Rs.2700/sqft. The special rates are available for just 2 days - Aug 22nd and 23rd.

There will be a total of 199 apartments coming up in in the following sizes and rates..
Sizes and Rates
631 to 700 : 46 units - 17.02 to 18.75
700 to 750 : 39 units - 18.75 to 20.00
750 to 800 : 56 units - 20.00 to 21.25
800 to 900 : 4 units - 21.25 to 26.00
900 to 1000 : 36 units - 26.00 to 28.75
1000 to 1062 : 18 units - 28.75 to 30.45
(plus applicable taxes)

Along with previously reported Senior Citizen friendly features...
* Anti-skid tiles
* Rails/grab-bars in bathrooms
* Seats in bathroom, for seated bathing.
* Trolleys for moving gas cylinders.
* Sharp edges, both inside and outside the building, would be chamfered
* Round the clock medical care - via a clinic to be set up within complex.
the following amenities are also available..
* Library
* Gym
* Multipurpose Hall
* Kid's play area
* Landscaped garden

The booking announcement comes 4 months after giving a hint of Akshaya Adena, when Alliance Gardens was announced.

For more details on the project including location on Google Maps, see listing of Akshaya Adena.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Unitech Unihomes at Nallambakkam near Kandigai, Chennai - 13 Lakhs+

Unitech Homes is launching an affordable homes project next at Nallambakkam on the Nellikuppam road, South from Kandigai on Vandalur-Kelambakkam road.

Unitech Unihomes at Chennai will consist of 2 bedroom apartments of sizes 700 and 715 sqft, coming up in 64 towers. Unitech Unihomes is to come up on 13 acres, adjacent to the integrated township of Uniworld City. The rates start at around Rs.13 Lakhs.

Amenities and Facilities include..
"A secure environment for your loved ones"
* Gated community
* Round the clock security
* Fire safety provisions

"At the heart of it all"
* School access
* medical facility
* Convenience shopping
* ATM / Bank
* Shuttle bus to strategic junctions

"A home amidst its natural surroundings"
* Landscaped greens
* Open kid's play areas
* Parking space
* Community centre

"Value engineering for your home"
* Water treatment plant
* Sewage treatment plant
* Power back-up in common area for essential services

Kandigai junction is at around 7.7 km from GST and around 11.1 km from OMR

For more details on the project check out : Details of Unitech Unihomes at Chennai

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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Chaitanya Shantiniketan offers Club Oasis at Kelambakkam for senior citizens

Seems the builders are going all out to attract the "Retired & Rich" category. The effect of recession has reduced the numbers from the salaried going for new home loans and hence the builders are targeting the cash-rich class, the retired class.

The latest builder to jump onto this bandwagon is Chaitanya Shantiniketan, which has put up an half page ad on the back-page of Hindu Property Plus to counter the half-page ad on the front-page by L&T Arun Excello's Estancia's offer for Senior Citizens, which was covered in our blogs - well before the Property Plus ad today.

(Read about L&T Arun Excello's offer for Senior Citizens here : Exchange Offer.. for Apartments !! Offer from L&T Arun Excello for Estancia project.)

The surprise today was of course Chaitanya Shantiniketan's ad, which offers Club Oasis at Kelambakkam. Their website does not yet have any details of this project and even their ad mentions that bookings are to be open "soon".

Seems to be a quick ad put out to counter L&T Arun Excello's ad, to senior citizens "Do not make a commitment, wait for us, we have something for you coming soon."

Reminds me of how Akshaya put out its PR on its Adena project (Padur / Kazhipattur), very soon after Alliance started marketing Gardens @ Orchid Springs (Padi/Annanagar Extn.), both targeting Senior Citizens. Read about it at : Alliance Gardens vs Akshaya Adena - Battle for the Senior Citizen market

Club Oasis is to come up on 12 acres of fully landscaped space and will contain 108 luxury villas.

Features in Club Oasis include..
* Perfectly maintained tree-lined sidewalks
* Gated Community with security
* Club House
* Dining Facilities
* House-Keeping
* Laundry service
* Maintenance staffs on call
* Easy access to Hospital
* Eco-friendly features
* Swimming Poll and Spa

More details on Club Oasis will be made available soon at

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Friday, August 7, 2009

Eyeball Media's Budget Homes 2009 is on at Valluvar Kottam, Chennai

Eyeball Media's expo of Budget Homes is now on at Valluvar Kottam. The expo is to be on for 3 days - 7th, 8th and 9th August 2009 and is supposed to showcase budget homes (defined to be Rs.35 lakhs or less, as per their ads).

Had expected big builders, like those who showcase at CREDAI/FAIRPRO, offering apartments/homes in that price range to be present at the Expo. But, was surprised to find none of them. To get an idea of those I had expected, see this list of big players offering residential projects in Chennai (sorted based on Rate/SQFT).

While there were other players offering affordable apartments and independent-villas, I did not expect a huge chunk of the stalls trying to market plots (land). Abi Estates and Jain Estates (part of Jain Housing group) were the only brand names I could recognize. May be the focus was more on plots. Or may be Eyeball was not able to rope in the CREDAI players for this expo for some reason - possibly the CREDAI players did not want to dilute the FAIRPRO brand value.

Eyeball did a good job on outdoor media advertising for its expo, but failed to set the expectations right - at least for me. Forget a dedicated website for the expo, Eyeball did not even update its existing website with any details. Nor did it have ads in today's Hindu. Let me see if they are going to have one on Property Plus tomorrow.

(Update : They have put an ad on the 7th page of Property Plus, as shown below)

Well, you would say FAIRPRO spoiled me into having these expectations. They had put up a dedicated website with builder details and had ads coming out weeks before the expo. They even gave out a good quality book listing all the builders and their projects showcased at the expo.

Anyway, more details on the projects showcased at the stalls in the Budget Homes expo at Valluvar Kottam will be made available at very soon.

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Friday, July 31, 2009

Exchange Offer.. for Apartments !! Offer from L&T Arun Excello for Estancia project.

It is pretty hard, if not impossible, for senior citizens to get loans for housing projects - which is more biased towards salaried professionals in their 30s. If senior citizens have to plan for a retirement home, they will mostly have to dig into their savings or liquidate their assets. Recognizing this problem, L&T Arun Excello is offering a "Exchange Offer" for senior citizens to help them own an apartment in their gated community project - L&T Arun Excello Estancia.

To enable this scheme, L&T Arun Excello has joined hands with Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj (JLLM) subsidiary Homebay Residential, which would aid the senior citizens in valuation of their old homes, selling the same for a good price and to subseqently buy an Estancia apartment.

Given that most senior citizens would have invested (probably around 15 to 25 years ago) in independent homes or apartments in areas like Adyar, Besant Nagar, Anna Nagar, Ashok Nagar, K.K.Nagar and Velachery, it is natural to see high valuation deals coming out of those assets.

Features include..
Anti-Skid floors.
Ramps for easy access to all areas.
Grab Bars in toilet.
Stretcher lifts.
Dedicated landscaped, vehicle free pedestrian pathways.
Yoga and meditation centre.
Polyclinic with doctor on call within township.
Pharmacy within township.
Supermarket within township.
Optional house-keeping arrangements.
A total of 30 apartments have been reserved in the ground and first floors of Estancia projects and would cost Rs.75 Lakhs to One Crore. If senior citizens where to own independent houses or plots, the offer includes joint venture development plans.

Possession will be available from December 2009.

L&T Arun Excello Estancia is the 3rd project to focus to the Senior Citizen's residential market in Chennai, along from Alliance Gardens @ Orchid Springs in Padi/Annanagar Extension and Akshaya Adena in Padur / Kazhipattur, South of Siruseri on OMR. (Related Post : Alliance Gardens vs Akshaya Adena - Battle for the Senior Citizen market)

For more details visit : Arun Excello Estancia

This post is now part of Discussion thread on L&T Arun Excello Estancia

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Also check other : Residential Projects in Chennai []

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Chitra Suruthi Lakshmi Enclave on Panchayat Road, Perungudi

Chitra Constructions (P) Ltd., has announced Chitra Suruthi Lakshmi Enclave on the 35 feet wide Panchayat Road in Perungudi.

The project will come up on Stilt+4 floors offering 2 and 3 bedroom apartments with sizes ranging from 800 sqft to 1200 sqft.

More here: Chitra Suruthi Lakshmi Enclave, Perungudi - Project Details, Location on Google Maps and Discussions

This is second new project of Chitra Constructions - the other being a Stilt+13 floors project named Chitra Manikandan Enclave, coming up in the nearby Corporation Road in Perungudi.

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Booking commences for Chitra Manikandan Enclave at Perungudi

Chitra Constructions (P) Ltd., has stated booking for its Stilt+13 floors construction on OMR Perungudi. The project named Chitra Manikandan Enclave will come up on the 80 feet wide Corporation Road, very near the tollgate in Perungudi.

More here: Chitra Manikandan Enclave, Perungudi - Project Details, Location on Google Maps and Discussions

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Also check other : Real Estate projects in Chennai []

Friday, July 17, 2009

VGN Nest at Velappanchavadi, Near Maduravoyal at Rs.2500/sqft

VGN has announced its latest offering VGN Nest at Velappanchavadi, Near Maduravoyal.

VGN Nest is to come at around 500 m from the Poonamallee High Road and VGN is marketing the rate factor and the relative nearness to the city.

VGN Nest seems to have avoided non-core features (like swimming pool, gymnasium, etc.,) and focussed on the basics alone by providing Covered Car Parks and Generator Backup for lift and common areas. Works good for most middle-class families.

More here: VGN Nest at Velappanchavadi - Project Details, Location on Google Maps and Discussions

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Also check out : Chennai Real Estate - Apartments Listings []

Monday, July 13, 2009

TVH Ouranya Bay offers affordable apartments at Padur / Kazhipattur

TVH Ouranya Bay which is a "tall" project consisting of 6 blocks with 29 floors, offers apartments starting from Rs.40 Lakhs*.

Features include..
* Sky gardens
* Clubhouse
* 3 swimming pools
* Mini-theatre
* Gymnasium
* 4 lifts for each tower with power back up
..and a lot more.

The Clubhouse facilities include..
* 4000 sq.ft. restaurant
* 2000 sq.ft bar / pub
* Kitchen with catering facilities for private parties
* 5000 sq.ft banquet hall
* 75 seater mini theatre
* Internet cafe
* Cards room
* Billiards room
* Indoor games room
* Library
* Video games room
* Jacuzzi, steam bath and gym

More here: TVH Ouranya Bay - Project Details, Location on Google Maps and Discussions

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More : Chennai Apartments and Villas []

Doshi Serene County offers Independent Villas & Twin Houses at Santhoshpuram

Doshi Housing is offering Independent Villas & Twin Houses at Santhoshpuram adjacent to its Doshi Trinity Park project.

A total of about 48 residential units are planned to be constructed in G+1 floors.

The units are available in sizes ranging from 1200 sqft to 2470 sqft (as on July 11, 2009) on land area ranging from 728 sqft to 1805 sqft. The total rate will be around 45 Lakhs and above.

The project is expected to be completed by June 2010 (tentative).

For further details, including location on Google Maps, project website and more, visit : Doshi Serene County (Independent Villas & Twin Houses) Details

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More : Chennai Real Estate Projects []

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Contrasting "Metro" projects announced : TVH Metro Golden Nest (11 Lakhs+) and Ozonegroup Metrozone (95 Lakhs+)

Real estate news is abuzz with two large residential projects being announced today..

Ozonegroup's Metrozone

One is Ozonegroup's announcement of "The Metrozone" residential project at Anna Nagar, Chennai. This is to come up at a prime location on Jawaharlal Nehru Road in Anna Nagar - behind Ozone Mall and Adjacent to CPWD Quarters and IOB Staff College.

A total of 1600 apartments are planned in 29 blocks in Ozonegroup's Metrozone, with sizes ranging from 1555 to 4818. The rates start at Rs.95 lakhs and can go upto 1.5 crores for a 4818 sqft penthouse.

More : Ozonegroup's Metrozone - Details and Location Map []

TVH's Metro Golden Nest

The other project announced was by TVH named "Metro Golden Nest" and falls into the affordable homes segment. Metro Golden Nest is to come up on Sriperumbudur - Kundrathur Road, after Manimangalam/Tambaram road junction.

A total of 832 apartments are planned in 14 blocks of Stilt + 4 floors and 19 blocks of G+3 floors, in TVH's Metro Golden Nest. The rates start at Rs.11 lakhs.

More : TVH's Metro Golden Nest - Details and Location Map []

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Proposal to increase the 1.5 lakhs tax-exemption towards interest payment of home-loans

The current limit of Rs.1.5 lakhs tax-exemption per year, towards interest payment on home loans, may increase to Rs.2.5 lakhs, if a proposal for the same gets the nod from the Ministry of Finance.

The proposal is said to have been made by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, for consideration in the upcoming Budget presentation in July, with the hope that such a move would help in revitalizing the real-estate industry.

The current limit of 1.5 lakhs is inadequate for single buyers, since payments towards interest component is usually very high in the initial years or repayment.

Buyers would still benefit, if they were to include their spouse as a co-buyer/co-applicant in the home loan, since each one can them can claim exemption upto Rs.1.5 lakhs.

But with the proposed change, there will not be a need to have a co-applicant, just for the sake of tax-saving purposes. And this will also help higher value deals, where again, co-applicants will come into play.

Note that all these limits are for a self-occupied property. For let-out properties, the full interest paid can be exempted, provided one shows the income from the house property, that is, income via rent/lease.

The limit towards repayment of principal, for both self-occupied as well as let-out property (combined), is Rs.1 lakh only. So even if you like to pre-close your loans, over an above the 1 lakh principal, it will not be beneficial with respect to taxes. There seems to be no proposal in changing this and if at all this component is to be changed, it should have an effect on Section 80(C) too.

(News of the proposal by Deepshikha Sikarwar for ET :
Home loan tax break limit may be raised)

Disclaimer : The author is NOT a certified tax-consultant and the views expressed are his own, and based on his personal experiences. You are advised to consult your tax-planner before making decisions.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Bus/Trains connecting your Chennai? MetroCommute has the answers!!

Buying an new apartment or an independent home in a well developed locality is almost impossible for most of us. So we see more and more "affordable homes" coming up in far-off suburbs of Chennai.

Also, during the real estate boom, companies where finding it difficult to find large land banks very near the city and found better incentives to start their factories/development centers in places like Siruseri, Maraimalai Nagar, Sriperumbudur, etc.,. With more jobs moving to those places, it becomes natural for employees to seek homes nearby. Owing to this reason and because of land tracts available for development, reputed builders moved in with their mega townships in those localities. The builders enticed buyers by having schools, malls and even theatres within their projects.

But how well connected is that project's locality with the main city ? How well is it connected to your/your-spouse's place of work ? Will your relatives find it easy to reach your home when they visit Chennai ? Will they be able to catch a MTC bus or a suburban train to your home ? seeks to provide you with answers to those queries with help from In each of the project listing pages, you will now find a link to, listing the buses/trains connecting the locality of the residential project.

So, if you are considering to buy a home in Padur, you will have a link in the project details page to view the Buses / Trains connecting Padur

And once into, you can easily find how the project's locality is connected to other specific localities of concern - like say with Parrys or Koyambedu. Or may be to offices in Mount Road or Taramani or Adyar.

Apart from the details on buses/trains connecting the locality, driving directions between any two localities is also provided. Driving directions suggests the route for the shortest driving duration, which at times may not be the the same as shortest route, with respect to distance traveled.

Hope you find this integration useful.If you have any suggestions, feel free to post it as a comment here.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Unitech "North Town" Brahma & Ananda to start at 20 and 19 Lakhs resp.

Last time we reported Unitech's plans to offer homes for 5-10 Lakhs. It seems its new projects in in Perambur (near Vyasarpadi Jeeva, on Binny Mills grounds) under the umbrella "North Town", will start at 19 lakhs only (not in the 5-10 range).

The North Town - Ananda project consists of 9 towers (T-01 to T-09) of G+13 floors offering apartments of sizes 622 sqft to 1363 sqft and starts at Rs.20 lakhs.

While the Brahma project which is also part of the North Town consists of 12 towers (T-10 to T-22, excluding T-13). Brahma will also have of G + 13 floors with apartments in the sizes 630 sqft to 1394 sqft and starts at Rs.19 lakhs.

Amenities include :

* Swimming pool
* Kids play area
* Multi purpose hall
* Gymnasium
* Billiards/pool table
* Table tennis
* Power back-up for common areas

For further details, including location on Google Maps, refer to:
Details of Unitech North Town - Ananda
Detail of Unitech North Town - Brahma

Friday, June 12, 2009

XS Real - FairSquare Amity at Helios, Padur on OMR - Starting at 18 Lakhs (for 825 sqft, all incl.)

XS Real under its subsidiary FairSquare has launched Amity at Helios City on Padur, OMR. XS Real terms FairSquare as "the compact-home brand" and adds the tagline "Smart Functional Homes".

The branding reflects its intention to retain XS Real brand for homes with class as depicted in its ads for XS Real Bella Tuscany (iPhone vs a normal phone and Neelkamal type plastic chair vs stylish sofa).

So, does it mean FairSquare's Amity at Helios City is equivalent to a normal phone/plastic chair, focussed just on functional aspects ?! Not sure, but the amenities include ..
* Swimming Pool
* Gym
* Indoor Games/ shuttle court
* Children's play area
* Covered Parking
* Power backup for lifts, water pumps.
The expected date of completion is Dec 2010.

And when compared to existing projects at Padur, by players like Jains and ETA Star, the rates for very low. Refer to the real estate projects in Padur []

The 2 to 3 bedroom apartments have sizes in the range of 825 to 1101. The rates are mentioned to be Rs.16 to 21 lakhs (18 to 23.51 all inclusive).

For more details refer to :
XS Real - FairSquare Amity (at Helios City) Details
Location of XS Real - FairSquare Amity (at Helios City)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Shubh Griha at Boisar "in Mumbai"; Madurantagam, Melmaruvathur might soon be "in Chennai"

Tata Housing has announced the Shubh Griha residential project in Boisar and all news channels are abuzz about this Rs.4 lakhs, "low-cost" housing programme .

Considering the rates quoted for the project, though the overall rates of Rs.3.9 lakhs can be considered to be affordable, I don't think that such a rate would be low-cost considering the size offered for that cost - just 283 sqft. The rate works out to around Rs.1378/sqft, which in my opinion is not "low-cost" for a property 100 km away from the city.

If Tata Housing's Shubh Griha at Boisar at a distance of 100 km from Mumbai, is being marketed as low-cost residential project "in Mumbai", then as per Tata Housing's plans to replicate such projects in Chennai, Kolkatta and later in other Tier-I and Tier-II cities, we might see projects being announced in far-off places like "Madurantagam/Melmaruvathur in Chennai".

So do not be surprised to see an posting soon on on a Tata Housing Shubh Griha project in Madurantagam/Melmaruvathur on the GST side (NH 45) or at Kanchipuram near NH 4 route or Arakonam along the rail route towards the West or near Kalpakkam on the OMR/ECR side, which are all possible equivalent destinations for Chennai, like Boisar is for Mumbai. The possible locations are narrowed down after scaling down the 100 km distance to 80 km for Chennai, to take into account the difference in real estate markets of Chennai and Mumbai. And such projects would be marketed as low-cost Shubh Griha housing "in Chennai".

Related Maps to give you an idea of the distances...

Approximate distance from Mumbai to Boisar on Google Maps (via ::
Hybrid Map (Satellite+Map), Normal Map

Equivalent possible locations of Shubh Griha near Chennai ::
Madurantagam, Kanchipuram, Kalpakkam

Where do you think the Shubh Griha would come up in Chennai ?

And, I hope all this is not just a tactic by the Tata Group to increase the sale of Nanos, by making it a norm to commute via cars over long distances to work, as is common in the US.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Low prices now come with a price guarantee !!

Many projects in the city had annouced price cuts recently, including DLF for its Garden City project and Arihant for its Heirloom project.

Buyers waiting for the prices to fall further, before they commit themselves to a project, has now become a matter of concern to builders. 

Doshi Housing, which announced the Phase II of the Nakshatra project in Tambaram has come up with a "Price Guarantee" scheme to address this issue. Its ad read "If the price falls further, you get the lower price". (Read details of Doshi Nakshatra II in the Budget Homes Blog)

Growing Trends

A comparison of the Phase I and Phase II of Doshi Nakshatra, as given in the table below..

Phase IPhase II
Minimum number of BRs2-BR1-BR
Minimum Size1155 sqft555 sqft
Minimum Total Rate34 Lakhs15.5 Lakhs

..throws light on the growing trend towards smaller affordable homes. And a further offer of price guarantee, like the one offered by Doshi Housing, should trigger commitments from buyers.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Funky Venkys, Rockin' Raos, Party Kumars and Trendy Shahs find their residence at just Rs.1899/sqft at Sabari's Serenity

"Where will the Funky Venkys find their perfect fun address at just Rs.1899/- per s.ft ?" read the ad on Monday. 

This was followed by Rockin' Raos, Party Kumars and Trendy Shahs until Thursday.

And the answer was also out on Thursday, though not in the ads but in the business section of The Hindu. The Sabari Group which has interests in hotels, supermarkets and property development and which had developed four landmark buildings on OMR under the banner of Vishranthi Sabari, in last couple of years, was planning to officially launch Sabari's Serenity on 24 April 2009.

A total of 936 apartments are planned, starting with 324 in Phase I. The sizes of the 1 to 3 bedroom apartments range from 580 sqft to 2362 sqft.

For more details read our post in the Budget Homes blog :
At 1899/sqft, Sabari's Serenity at Siruseri, starts at 11.86 Lakhs

Friday, April 17, 2009

Alliance Gardens vs Akshaya Adena - Battle for the Senior Citizen market

With Alliance Group announcing the launch of its project at Anna Nagar Extension, Alliance Gardens for Senior Citizens, touting the project to be "A unique residential project" and "first project of its kind in the country", Akshaya Homes - was quick to hop on and announce its plans of its upcoming project Akshaya Adena at Padur (on OMR) for Senior Citizens.

While the Alliance Gardens project in Padi/Anna Nagar Extension, offers 225 senior-citizen friendly apartments, Akshaya Adena, to come up right behind its Adair project, offers 145 apartments on its Padur project which have been designed to suit the needs of the elderly.

At Alliance Gardens there will be a 24x7 nursing centre along with a doctor's consultation room and an ambulance service through tie-ups with corporate hospitals, whereas Akshaya's project plans to sell at least one flat to a doctor who will be asked to run a clinic on the premises. Not sure if that doctor will be one with around 5 decades of experience - I mean a senior citizen ;-). Jokes apart, while Akshaya's approach is a creative answer to the need, my personal opinion is that Alliance's approach is better in this aspect. Probably, Akshaya too can sell/rent an apartment out to corporate hospitals, so as to house something on the lines of Apollo Clinics.

Other common features in both the projects include anti-skid tiles, rails/grab-bars in bathrooms.

Regarding Akshaya's project that, "A seat would also be provided inside the bathroom for people to sit and take bath. In the kitchen, we will provide trolleys for moving gas cylinders.", seems just a normal convenience. Anyone can buy a good plastic chair to suit the elderly and a gas-cylinder trolley is becoming common in almost all houses old/new.

Similarly designing homes without sharp edges seems essential for homes, not just for elderly, but also for children safety. Having said that, it not uncommon for builders to ignore such aspects in their constructions and it is good that Akshaya is looking into those finer details.

Also, Akshaya's feature of ramps with railings, instead of steps, inside the building is surely a very good feature.

Some features like "panic alarm buttons" mentioned as part of the Alliance Gardens and can also be replicated by Akshaya in its Adena project.

Alliance Gardens project also touts common dining halls offering multi-cuisine and nutritional meals at cost to residents as and when they don’t feel like cooking at home, which will sure benefit senior citizens. Akshaya's quick response to media does not mention anything to address this aspect, but hopefully they address this point too, when they make the official launch.

Akshaya's project offers apartments in sizes ranging from 650 sqft to 1100 sqft and priced at Rs.18 lakhs to Rs 30 lakhs (plus registration charges), while Alliance offers apartments of 650 sqft to 890 sqft in size and priced at Rs 19.5 lakhs to Rs 26.7 lakhs.

Located at different ends of Chennai, Alliance Gardens and Akshaya Adena are sure good options for senior citizens planning on their peaceful retirement.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

DLF to resell apartments to refund buyers - penalties applicable.

DLF may resell apartment units which were booked by customers who now want to exit its projects, and if there is going to be a loss in such a resale deal, it is likely to be transferred to those wanting to exit. DLF also plans to charge a penalty, since the customers had already entered into a 3-year contract with DLF to purchase the apartment unit and now want to exit within a year.

The article quotes analyst opinion that such a resale is likey to reduce the rates by 10 to 15 per cent.

Read the news at MSN News []

In normal cases, when a new apartment is sold by a builder, the UDS alone is registered at the Sub-Registrar's office (at the guideline value of the land), while the buyer enters an construction agreement with the builder. In case of resale, the complete value of the apartment is to be registered in the sale deed, driving up the registration and stamp duty charges.

As per earlier reports on the UDS issue in DLF Garden City [], DLF had not taken the UDS + construction agreement route. So, the the implications on the stamp duty front for the proposed resale is not very clear.

(This post is now part of the Discussion on DLF GardenCity, OMR, Chennai)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Dugar Gold City, Prince Village, Prince Residenzia - More Affordable Homes

The choices available for affordable housing seems to be increasing, with more projects offering apartments in the sub-15-lakhs range.

Some of the recent projects covered in our blog focussing on Budget Homes.. 

Dugar MME Gold City (Phase II) on OMR 
Near SSN College.
Starts at Rs.10.43 Lakhs (for 1 BR, 444 sqft)

Prince Village at Tondiarpet
Near Castrol and VOC Nagar Station.
Starts at 13.80 Lakhs (for 1 BR, 600 sqft)
Near Sri Venkateswara Engineering College
Starts at Rs.9.57 lakhs (1 BR, 440 sqft)

As credit in-flows from residential projects offering higher-valued apartments have "slowed down" (if not "stopped altogether") and in some cases projects have negative cash flow from customers - with some customers who had made initial payments, exiting out of the projects (as in the case of DLF Garden City), credit in-flow becomes important for the builders, who now turn to affordable housing offering sub-15-lakhs homes. 

Hope such projects benefit those who had been left out in the earlier mad rush.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

DLF offers further discount of Rs.200/SQFT, for its Garden City project

LiveMint's Shabana Hussain reports that DLF has sent out letters to its buyers of DLF Garden City project, offering a further discount of Rs.200/SQFT for timely agreements and payments. And, this is in addition to the price reduction done recently.

The offer is supposed to be applicable for buyers who sign their agreements before April 30, 2009.

Read the news at LiveMint []

(This post is now part of Discussion on DLF Garden City, at

Friday, April 3, 2009

Plaza Tranquil Acres at Kovilambakkam

The Kovilambakkam/Keelkattalai junction is one good location with easy access to the City and to GST and OMR-IT Corridor.

The Plaza Group, which has developed multiple projects in the vicinity including Green Acres, Plaza Park and Plaza Court in Perungudi and Serene Acres in Thoraipakkam, is now launching a new project at Kovilambakkam, named Plaza Tranquil Acres (view the location map).

Plaza Tranquil Acres will have 2 and 3 bedroom residential units coming up in 7 blocks (Stilt + 4), with units ranging from 1011 SQFT to 1529 SQFT in size. The rate Rs.3175/SQFT, which works out to cost a total of Rs.32 Lakhs and above.

The project is exclusively Marketed by Homebay (subsidiary of JLLM).

More details available at : Plaza Tranquil Acres

Provident CosmoCity Phase 1 sold out, Phase 2 launched

The Phase 1 of CosmoCity project by Provident Housing (a wholly owned subsidiary of Puravankara Projects) comprising of about 500 apartments is said to have been successfully sold out.

And, now Phase 2 of Provident CosmoCity is open for bookings.

Premium 3 bedroom apartments of size 983 to 1062 SQFT are available in Phase 2 of CosmoCity. The total cost starts at 17.90 lakhs and goes up to 19.90 for 1062 SQFT apartment.

The project is located very near the Siruseri IT Park (Location Map of Provident Cosmo City), making it an attractive option for those working there. 

Further details available at : Provident CosmoCity

(Provident Housing Cosmo City was covered in our blogs in this earlier post)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Affordable Options : Vijay Shanthi's Infiniti, starting at 9.5 Lakhs

Vijay Shanthi has now announced its second major affordable option named Infiniti on NH-4 (Bangalore Highway), following the major project at Thaiyur (on OMR) - Vijay Shanthi Lotus Pond.

Vijay Shanthi Infiniti is to come up at Chettipedu (near Sriperumbudur), right next to Queensland Theme Park and Saveetha Engineering College (as shown in this location map) and targets the working class employeed in the nearby MNC manufacturing units like Dell,  Hyundai Motors, Motorola, Saint Gobain and Samsung.

The project will consist of 9 blocks (or towers) and will have 1, 2 and 3 bed room apartments in the sizes ranging from 365 to 1058 SQFT. The rate as mentioned in their website is Rs.2600/SQFT, making an apartment as affordable as Rs.9.5 lakhs (all inclusive).

More details are available at : Vijay Shanthi Infiniti

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Around 300 buyers converge at DLF office seeking refund - DLF agrees !!

In what seems be a response to the denial mode of DLF, which was claiming that only few speculators were wanting to exit its Garden City project at Semmanchery (off OMR in Chennai), around 300 buyers wanting to exit the project had converged at the DLF office (located on Radhakrishnan Salai in Mylapore) on Saturday evening (28 March 2009) and refused to leave the premises until they got a written assurance that their money would be refunded.

DLF is said to have agreed to refund the money and to have assured that the refund process will start from 1st April 2009 (April Fools' day ?!!) and will be completed before 30 September 2009. The refunds will be made in the order in which DLF had received the exit letters.

As per earlier reports [], the total number of buyers seeking to exit the DLF Garden City project was 561 - out of 1800 who had booked for an apartment in the project. The total apartments in the DLF Garden City project is 3493 apartments.

Read the full article at..
DLF customers gang up, pressurise developer to commit refund [economictimes]

(This post is now part of the Discussion thread on DLF Garden City, at

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

DLF tries to answer a few questions via Express Buzz

DLF tries to answer a few questions on the Garden City project, via The New Indian Express..

>> 3. Club which was lifetime free at time of booking turned out to be 2 year annual payments . Ask them why?
>>  (MoneyControl) Also; clubhouse facilities, which DLF claimed were exclusively for buyers' use, is now being thrown open to outsiders as well.
On the issue of operational model of the club, Raman said that limited period membership gets linked to ownership of the apartment and was therefore beneficial to the operation of the club.
(Frankly though, I cannot comprehend how that addresses the issues raised : 2 years memberships given instead of lifetime and open for outsiders instead of being exclusive).

>> 4. A 5 acre forest land inside the complex was shown in initial brochures by DLF to be their own. Now we've discovered that it belongs to a freedom fighter whom they are trying to buy it off from. Is this legal? It is clear .. I don't want to call the number.
Last, on the question mark on the "5 acres within the site", Raman said that "parcel of land does not form part of the existing project" though the company was in the process of acquiring that piece of land.

>> 5. A short 2KM, 60 ft approach road to the project was promised. Now it seems people will have to travel another 16 km additionally each day. Clear breach of misleading and amounts to breach of contract if any.
"We are waiting for some unauthorized construction along the road to be demolished, as soon as that’s carried out by the authorities, the approach road would be broadened to 60 feet," a DLF executive at the site told The New Indian Express.

>> 8. DLF claims we are speculators/investors. We are infact end users.
>> (LiveMint) To get a clarity on the number of buyers wanting a refund, the group members have conducted a poll among the Google Group members to arrive at the total number who have actually asked for a refund - 561. DLF is said to have expected less than 100.
"The majority of the customers who had booked apartments in Gardencity are endusers and they have appreciated and benefited from the attractive price rebate that DLF announced recently." Raman said the remaining 150 or so who have sought exit would be allowed to do so in a planned manner as DLF was keen to see only end-users ending up owning homes in Gardencity DLF-OMR.

As for those who had applied to exit the project they are being phased out of the project at a certain number per week basis even as some who had applied to exit are believed to have re-applied to re-enter the project.
>> (MoneyControl) buyers want an Undivided Share of Land clause to be signed by the company.
"There are various risks attached to the undivided share sale and construction contract route. We feel it is in the overall interest of the project and customer that a consolidated conveyance of the apartment, parking rights and undivided share of land is done after receipt of the certificate for use and occupation of the buildings, as we have indicated in the application form."

(This post is now part of the
Discussion Thread on DLF Garden City at

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Now Schools Offer Residential Projects !! Who will be next ?!

After mega residential projects adding prestigious schools as features to entice buyers, like L&T's Eden Park getting the 3rd PSBB school (after KK Nagar & Nungambakkam), DLF's Garden City getting a PSBB Millennium school and L&T Arun Excello's Estancia getting Vidya Mandir (Mylapore), now it is the turn of schools to offer attached residences.

Starting the trend in Chennai is Vael's Billabong High. The school is reported to have sent circulars enquiring if parents would like to buy villas to be built on/adjacent to its campus. The news report by TOI reveals that Vael's Billabong High plans to build around 100 villas in the proposed project. Vael's Billabong High has 2 campuses one at Neelankarai and another at Pon Vidhyashram Gardens at Injambakkam. (My guess is that..) The project should likely come up in Injambakkam, which seems to have a lot more adjacent space, to accommodate 100 villas.

Vael's Billabong High is part of the Vel's group of institutions.

The article also reports of similar plans by Dharmapuri based Vijay Vidyashram and Coimbatore based Monarch International School.

Who will be next ?!

And, who do you think will get into the real estate business next ?

Businesses with large land banks may well take the plunge. With Sathyam (and Matyas) out of the way, top on my list of probables is Infosys.

With Infosys declaring officially that it's IT services business is slowing down, and with a huge land bank (prompting people to question why it requires 2000 acres in Karnataka, when Wipro requires just 50 acres), and with its experience of building Infosys Residence (serviced apartments for its employees) and having been fined for wanting to treat them as residences instead of commercial entities, it may well want to build and sell them off as residences to its long serving employees. 

These residential projects will again add schools and other features such that the employee will not have the excuse about traffic jams or dropping/picking up their children at school. With the campus becoming a township, spouses have a better probability to get a job within the campus.

Also, late night travel (more so for BPO employees) and related risks can also be avoided. 

So, very soon offer letters will include an offer to buy (or lease from a transfered employee) an apartment/villa, capturing them within the company campus - and no, that is not what is usually called a "captive development center".

Friday, March 20, 2009

Unitech plans to offer apartments for Rs.5-10 lakhs

Following Neel Kamal project by Real Value [] - which offers apartments for as low as Rs.13.2 lakhs and Provident Housing's CosmoCity [] offering apartments for Rs.16.90 lakhs and above, it is now the turn of Unitech to plunge into low-cost housing. For its proposed projects in Chennai (and in other places like Gurgaon, Kolkata), to be launched within a couple of months, Unitech plans to offer apartments in the range of Rs.5-10 lakhs. (via Business Standard [])

inflation getting to a 14-year low of 0.44% and with possibility of interest rates going down further, this probably might be the right time to buy a home.

The next step in this quest to offer low cost housing will probably be to take the
Laurie Baker [] route.

Wikipedia :

Laurence Wilfred "Laurie" Baker (March 2, 1917 - April 1, 2007) was an award-winning British-born Indian architect, renowned for his initiatives in cost-effective energy-efficient architecture and for his unique space utilisation and simple but beautful aesthetic sensibility.

A few photos from 
Official Website of Architect Laurie Baker ..

I had first read about Laurie Baker during my school days (pre 1996) in what was yet another essay in the Manaroma Year Book 199x. Was impressed with how he was able to build wonderful structures, including those with multiple floors, with just local materials and in effect coming up with utlra-affordable homes.

May be builders (and their architects) can work to come up with some eco-friendly township of independent villas, using such techniques.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

DLF starts refunds ; 561 of 1800 in queue, say buyers

LiveMint reports that DLF has started to issue refund to buyers who have wanted to exit the Garden City project at Semmancheri, off OMR in Chennai. The refunds are reportedly made via cheques routed through direct selling agents of DLF. One such buyer quotes to have received his full payment of Rs.5.21 lakhs via a cheque from Dream Castle, which is a direct selling agent of DLF. 

To get a clarity on the number of buyers wanting a refund, the group members have conducted a poll among the Google Group members to arrive at the total number who have actually asked for a refund - 561. DLF is said to have expected less than 100. 

DLF has denied that it is refunding to all the buyers who have submitted exit letters. 

LiveMint :

"We are not refunding as such but are just swapping existing sales with new bookings," a DLF spokesperson said. 

"We see the genuineness of the customers and then consider this option. Some people have lost their jobs and some people have got pay cuts. We verify with their employers and then consider it, if we find it true," said DLF's spokesperson. He said that bookings of five-six people have been swapped with those of new buyers. 

When asked if this option would be given to all the people who have sent exit letters, he said, "This is not a current account that you put in the money and withdraw whenever you want to. There is nothing general or in-principle about this move. Being a big company, we emphasize on customer relationship and on humanitarian grounds, we consider their (buyers') requests."

Read the full article at LiveMint []. 

From the face of whatever DLF is saying, it seems it is going to refund to only very few buyers, and that too on a case by case basis. Buyers need to be careful and study the project well before deciding to invest into projects, so as to avoid having to hear.. 
DLF Spokesperson :

"This is not a current account that you put in the money and withdraw whenever you want to."

Related : 
BSCPL launches mega township near DLF Garden City at 2500/sqft []

(This post is now part of the DLF Garden City discussion thread at

BSCPL launches Bollineni Hillside, a mega township near DLF Garden City at 2500/sqft

Hyderabad's BSCPL is planning to construct 4500 residential units in its Bollineni Hillside project off OMR and behind Sathyabama University (view the location map of Bollineni Hillside). 

The project is very near to another mega project in the city - DLF's Garden City

The scale of the project makes it one of the largest integrated residential township projects to come up in the city, again drawing comparisons with the 3500 units DLF project.  Bollineni Hillside will comprise of apartments and independent villas spread over 92 acres.

Of the 4500 units, 1300 units are planned for Phase I - which includes around 1000 apartments and 300 independent villas. The residential units are to come up in 64 blocks for Phase I. 

The units are available in 650 to 2800 SQFT size, with 1 to 5 bedrooms in each unit. The rate per SQFT is Rs.2500 (+ additional charges). The total cost for a residential unit will be around 16.9 lakhs to 19 lakhs. Phase I of the project is expected to be completed by mid of 2010.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Builders : No Price Cuts Planned !!

Builders invariably will be subjected to pressure from buyers, if buyers are more organized via a Google Groups / Orkut Community, etc., as was the case in the DLF scenario. So they need to come up with convincing answers on why they cannot do so or should give in to the pressure and reduce the prices. 

In response to a question about DLF cutting prices for its projects in Chennai and Bangalore, and if other builders are likely to follow suit, Mr.Abhisheck Lodha, of the Lodha Group, says.. 
The Hindu Business Line : 

"We have to learn from this story. Overall it creates a negative impression with the existing buyers. It is important to get the value equation right. The customer is not willing to buy unless he sees value in a product. The pricing has to be spot on for buyers to walk in. We have managed to sell 1,000 units of our CASA brand of affordable- luxury homes in Thane near Mumbai between December 15 and February 2."
Read the full interview here [] 

Mr.Abhisheck Lodha's point is the initial pricing needs to be right and hence will not require correction. 

Hiranandani has also put out an advertisement in today's Property Plus (Supplement to The Hindu), highlighting the fact that it does not plan to reduce costs. 
Hiranandani Upscale Ad :

Whatever the market trends; the name remains synonymous with faith, trust and value that extends far beyond price. 
Hiranandani Upscale. When you don't want to settle for less.

DLF had quoted reasons like the changing economic scenario, reducing costs of construction and lowering interest rates had enabled it to pass on the benefits to customers, when DLF announced the price cut

Does that mean the same reasons have no effect on other projects ?!
*The information provided here at, is not verified by the builder, to be devoid of factual and/or typo errors. Also read this disclaimer.