People Gripped by political turmoil, Hyderabad went through the slowest phase of real estate movement in the last few years. While the stability in the recent past has improved customer the sentiment, the sale volumes still haven’t picked up pace in the city. Apparao Appikatla, chairman and managing director of Greenstone Infraindia Pvt Ltd, gives a better perspective about the challenges faced by middle-segment realtors in the city in a chat with Express. Excerpts:
Most realtors say sales have not picked up in Hyderabad despite political stability. What is your take?
I don’t agree. Over the last two months, the residential sector has picked up pace in Hyderabad, especially near Shamshabad airport. Its surrounding areas _ Bengaluru highway, Srisailam highway, Adibatla and ORR _ have also witnessed growth. We have read recently that Hyderabad has been rated as the most livable city in India. It will further spur people to invest in the city.
With growth in the residential segment being mostly in the west, what about other areas?
I don’t think so. I feel the north and the south of the city are also developing as in the case of the stretch towards Yadagirigutta. More than the central locations, outskirts - areas in a 40 to 50 km radius around Hyderabad - present the best investment opportunity and people are slowly beginning to acknowledge this. The market boomed once in Gachibowli but on the outskirts the prices are much more affordable and the market is picking up.
What are the troubles being faced by realtors in residential sector?
Earlier it was political instability. Delay in getting approvals is a huge concern. If approvals are given quickly, maybe through single window, the industry will benefit. For example, if we give an application, we have to go to different authorities to get approvals for various things. Ideally, there should be a system where swift approvals are given by just one authority.
Do you feel gated communities and townships have revolutionised the residential market for the upper middle-class segments?
Certainly. There is a huge demand for gated communities even among the lower middle-class people. Earlier, not many people were keen on investing in apartments. But with gated communities coming up, people look at it as a good investment and are keen on moving into villas in gated communities and townships. Also, since such projects draw in people in huge numbers, they are bound to attract purchasers.
Are you impressed with the steps the government is taking, particularly ‘Housing for all by 2022’?
Personally I feel it is difficult to realise housing for all by 2022. Providing all the facilities at the rates given by the government will simply not work out. Even if they try to make it happen, they risk compromising on quality. Even after the Telangana government has come to power, there has not been any major announcement on this. It said it would provide two-bedroom and three-bedroom housing but has not taken one step forward. People have more confidence in the private sector than in the government.