Thane, till recently considered a poor cousin to Mumbai` is now attracting investors and Mumbai residents alike for buying property. Recognizing the evolving of the city from what was once an industrial neighbourhood to a vibrant self-sufficient city brimming with premium residential and commercial developments, NAREDCO Maharashtra this month launched its Thane unit. At the launch Sandeep Runwal, Managing Director, Runwal stated, “The city of Thane has grown from a small town to a well-planned city. Owing to the various infrastructure developments, a lot of industries have also moved to Thane thus creating additional job opportunities. In the recent past, there has been a 40 percent increase in job opportunities in, Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) majorly in the Thane region.”
According to Vihang Sarnaik, Director, Vihang Group of Companies present at the launch, “Thane's rapid infrastructure development and ease of connectivity have piqued the interest of homebuyers. Thane now meets the expectations of homebuyers of all categories, thanks to its diverse range of residential property options."
Jitendra Mehta, President, CREDAI-MCHI Thane sharing his views on the factors that make Thane stand out from the rest had said, “As Thane evolved into a dynamic real estate destination, its infrastructure grew in sync with the requirements of a growing city. Thane offers a wide range of homes across segments and budgets, which suits the requirements of every type of home-seeker. As a culturally-rich city offering a safe and secure environment, it also offers real estate options overlooking verdant greenery and water bodies – ensuring the perfect balance between environment and development. Despite pandemic pressures, real estate prices have also been stable and never out of reach for the common man.”
INFRASTRUCTURE MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE
With 33 lakes and more than 50 gardens, Thane suburb has been attracting buyers who seeking enriching lifestyle. Thane being an integral part of MMR - Mumbai Metropolitan Region, it has been inundated with a slew of major infrastructure development plans. From the Eastern Freeway connectivity to South Mumbai and Eastern and Western Suburban Railways to easy access to Navi Mumbai, and the eastern and western suburbs of Mumbai via Ghodbunder Road, NH-8, Mumbai-Nashik Highway and Thane-Belapur Road, Thane enjoys a central location and is set to experience an exponential growth with the upcoming metro.
Mukesh Singh, Director, Sales, Kalpataru Limited shared, “Thane is in the midst of infrastructure and connectivity transformation which is expected to appreciate property prices and rentals. Wide new roads, multiple new metro lines (to Central Mumbai-4, Western Mumbai- 4A&10, Bhivandi-10, and a Circular Line within Thane city), two additional lines on Central Railway between Thane and Diva, the new waterway connecting Kalyan to Western Suburbs via Thane, the proposed Personal Rapid Transport System (PRTS) using small pod cars, the proposed Thane- Borivali underground road and stoppage of Mumbai Ahmedabad High Speed Railway at Thane will substantively transform Thane.”
THE COMMERCIAL REALTY DEVELOPMENT
With an increased number of retail and commercial spaces, Thane is steadily moving towards a self-sufficiency model. In Q1 2022 as per CBRE report Thane Belapur Road was the most active micro market with a 34% share in leasing. Another major development in the same quarter has been the acquiring of ‘Viviana Mall’ in Thane suburbs by Abu Dhabi backed Lakeshore India Advisory from Singapore’s Sovereign Wealth Fund GIC and Ashwin Sheth Group. The transaction was valued at INR 1,900 Cr.
Over the last two years, the trend of having satellite offices to enable hybrid work, has seen Thane gaining traction among organisations as a popular location for small format office spaces. With excellent connectivity to all parts of Mumbai, suburbs and the MMR, Thane has emerged as a cost-effective option for many start-ups and corporate firms. “Planned development of Thane has ensured balanced growth and even distribution of residential areas, job centres, centres, retail outlets and work spaces, says Ajay Ashar, Immediate Past President, CREDAI -MCHI Thane.
“As the centre-point of the MMR enjoying excellent connectivity, Thane has seen increasing demand for commercial real estate. Thane is where jobs and business opportunities flourish, in parallel to growth in demand for homes. This fuels business volumes for retail, F&B, and other fringe lifestyle-related commercial real estate. In effect, Thane’s real estate success story is scripted by exponential growth in residential as well as commercial real estate. It is developing into an ideal work destination resulting in high demand for Grade A offices. A vibrant real estate live wire centre witnessing multiplier growth story,” stated Dr Niranjan Hiranandani, Founder & MD- Hiranandani Group.
“An increasing number of businesses, particularly knowledge led businesses such as IT and Media are setting up operations in Thane, buoyed by the availability of large office spaces, comparatively lower rentals and reduced commute times. This influx of commercial enterprise has grown the professional opportunity pool, attracting new residents from across the country and spurring demand for high quality homes and civic amenities, added Mukesh Singh.
Vishal Sharma, Director Sales & Marketing, Raymond Realty expressed, “Thane is becoming a commercial hub in itself as the majority of the corporate are moving their offices out of MMR to get a bigger workspace, better transport connectivity and enhanced social infrastructure. With a rise in work-from-home culture, the hybrid work environment in restaurants, cafes, and lounges will likely become the new normal. Commercial estates are focused on diversifying the experience of a customer. Thane has a diverse social infrastructure that provides opportunities for pleasure and enjoyment. Thane's lifestyle quotient is boosted by a slew of high-end retail malls, hotels, and restaurants.”
“Booming is the word, with one of the most premium office spaces - "CNERGY" next to Viviana Mall and getting sold over 60% in a span of 12 months alone, shows the demand is back in commercial space. Viviana being the most premium mall around, has resumed full capacity of clients and turnover, shared Piyush Chawla, Head - Sales & Marketing, Sheth Developers.
THE RESIDENTIAL RELTY GROWTH CENTRE
Grade A developers have been the major partakers in adding new supply of residential units in the city and the reason is evident. Thane`s real estate market is increasing at the expense of Mumbai, the key reason being the capital values that are much more cost effective for developers compared to in Mumbai where capital values have always been rising. Furthermore, Thane is a self-contained area, well connected to South Mumbai, other major Mumbai Suburbs and Navi Mumbai as well as offers influx of office spaces, malls and amenities, making residential properties attractive for buyers. Not surprisingly, in Q1 2022 Eastern Suburban and Thane sub markets witnessed the highest share in total launches in the quarter with a combined share of 46% as per CBRE.
In fact, homebuyers are ready to shell more for localities with sound connectivity and housing locales such as those of Ghodbunder Road, Pokhran-2 and Manpada in Thane have been popular for 2 BHK units in Rs 70-1.5 crore budget range.
Also, the rental occupancy in Thane has grown by around 40-50 percent, YoY. Majiwada, Vasant Vihar, Hiranandani Estate, Hiranandani Meadows, and Brahmand remained most popular among tenants owing to connectivity via Eastern Expressway Highway (EEH) and their proximity to commercial hubs. Average rentals for 2 BHK units in these areas hover around Rs 18,000-35,000 per month.
Dr Niranjan Hiranandani elaborated, “With burgeoning demand for luxury homes branded developers also offer sky villas, penthouse and bungalows to satiate the growing need of spacious apartments. It could be accredited as one of the prominent markets for affordable luxury homes. In a manner of speaking, the entire city is a growth centre. From the perspective of home seekers from across the MMR, Ghodbunder Road is future-perfect, given the on-going metro rail line and the coastal road, which will enhance the positives of the location. New-age developments with plush amenities and easy mobility have contributed towards attracting the right customer segment to this micro-market.”
Mukesh Singh added, “Home buyers in Thane may have previously resided in standalone projects, row houses or small housing societies that offered limited amenities. They preferred to move away from the cluttered city of Mumbai to the open spaces and world class amenities that are available in Thane. Integrated townships provide a high quality of life on account of planned infrastructure, amenities, civic facilities and workspaces within walking distance. The warmth of vibrant community living in a close knit secure neighborhood makes integrated township living an unbeatable proposition. Township homes also offer better return on investment due to these factors. Usually, buyers within the age group of 25 to 40 prefer 2 BHK homes to cater to their requirement of an extra room for dependents. Those that are of 40 years of age or more tend to opt for 3 BHK apartments. Areas such as Kolshet Road, Balkum, and Ghodbuner Road are good from an infrastructure, connectivity and future development point of view, and can be expected to appreciate well. Kolshet, for instance, is at the centre of Thane’s hyper-connected future with multiple metro lines, water transport jetty, and Thane’s first multi mobility transportation hub, which will seamlessly integrate metro, road, rail and water transport. Mixed Use Township developments combining residential, lifestyle and commercial facilities in Kolshet Road and Balkum by reputed national developers are enabling walk to work and holistic living. “
As per Vishal Sharma, Thane is surrounded by prominent business hubs and hence, the residential housing demand has risen manifold. “In Thane, the ticket size of 1 and 2 BHK apartments is popular, but the inventory levels for big-ticket projects is rising. There has been a significant demand for more spacious apartments of 3 and 4 BHK homes in recent times. Pokhran road 1 & 2 is located in the heart of Thane & offer connectivity to Mumbai, Bhiwandi and Western suburbs through EEH, Western Express Highway and Godbunder Road. It has premium residential and commercial locality, comprising low, mid- and high-rise apartments. It boasts excellent social and retail infrastructure with good public transport and frequency. It also has highway connectivity and has schools, malls, metro and hospitals in close proximity. The growth in the extended locality like Godbunder and Kalyan Bhiwandi corridor has shown significant potential to benefit the real estate sector. These hubs avail themselves of the proximity to Mumbai and have a promising future in terms of affordability and better employment opportunities.”
According to Piyush Chawla, Metro connectivity, Thane - Borivali tunnel, Waterways, Thane to Mumbai road widening, Thane to New Mumbai road Expansion, all these factors make the entire Thane location a real growth hub. “It’s difficult to pick one micro market when one is spoilt for choices. From 1 Bhk to a 5 Bhk, everything sells in this market. “Thane was missing the luxury segment development, but with new players coming in, inclination towards larger/ luxurious homes are gaining prominence. New launches of 3-4 BHK is now available to cater to those wanting to invest in and willing to afford an enhanced lifestyle.”
THE DEVELOPMENT CHALLENGES TO OVERCOME
“Obtaining approvals for real estate projects is becoming easier. However, the environment clearance norms and maintaining the height of the building based on the road width are crippling the real estate project approval processes in Thane. This backlog of approvals based on environmental grounds causes' further delay in commencing the project, says Vishal Sharma.
According to Piyush Chawla, “Diversity is the biggest challenge. With almost all top developers having mega town ship projects, the question remains: what new offering can be brought in the project/ product.”
Summarizing the growth challenges of Thane, Dr Niranjan Hiranandani shares his perspective, “There are situations where the success story’s biggest challenge is replicating the same over the future. Thane’s real estate has seen growth trends continue even during the Covid-19 pandemic induced lockdowns, so the organic growth continues at its own pace. The challenge is to speed up the process and develop faster so that large areas get residents ‘settled in’ and the city evolves to the next level. Keeping up with conscious consumerism, riding demand for eco-friendly real estate development as also providing amenities and facilities which are of international standard to satisfy a discerning clientele – while following global best practices – are some of the challenges being faced by developers in Thane.”
HOW GOOD IS THANE AS A REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT OPTION?
As per industry experts Thane is the only location where the return on investment has been excellent. Land availability, connectivity, employment opportunities and lifestyle amenities, all assure that buyers profit from growth potential.
“Thane property market scores high for end-users as well as investors. It entices investors' traction with timely easy exit options as end user demand is on upbeat,” says Dr Niranjan Hiranandani. “Thane has quickly morphed into Twin city with the linear growth of Mumbai. The real estate market has offered value proposition to its investors with a slew of infrastructure connectivity and world class social fabric developed to enable ease of living. This growth has become a wealth generating avenue with steady capital appreciation for the investor’s cohorts. Also, the rise of suburbia emerges with decentralization of commercial realty, making it an apt and safe bet investment destination. Thane real estate market has witnessed slew of branded developers entering this micro market to cater the rising demand,” he added.
Indeed, over the past decade, Thane has transformed into a bustling metropolis. Vast tracts of industrial land have been developed into high end residential and commercial zones, and the process is further increasing in pace and scope. The availability of large land parcels have given developers the opportunity to create self-sustaining integrated mixed use townships promoting holistic living and enabling ‘walk to work’ at an increased scale. Mukesh Singh adds, Thane hosts some of the finest educational institutions in MMR, as also a strong healthcare ecosystem with several multi-specialty hospitals. Thane is one of the greenest cities in MMR and it has green spaces such as parks and gardens, lakes and creeks, and forest zones. Not only do they provide the spaces to unwind and rejuvenate, but also give the city a large green lung, which brings down pollution, enabling healthier living.
Thane offers locational advantage, centrally situated as it is between the industrial zones in the Kalyan-Dombivali- Bhivandi belt and the commercial and business hubs in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai with road, rail and going forward metro connectivity options to all of MMR, enabling quick access and convenient commute. All these factors making it a good investment bet."
Piyush Chawla considers Thane as one of the most promising investment destinations in and around MMR. “Earlier it used to be a smaller ticket size market and people from Mumbai who did not wish to take steep liabilities, would move there. With the enhancement of current and upcoming Infrastructure projects, Thane has become a Central Business District,” he stated.
“Thane has become a goldmine for real estate investors,” expresses Vishal Sharma. In the proximity to Mumbai, Thane as a city offers a lot of dimensions. With cleaner air and greenery, several social and planned infrastructures are all evolving into a self-sufficient urban ecosystem. Another considerable advantage of this bustling commercial is its strong transport network. It not only has well connectivity to Mumbai but enjoys an effective integration with Eastern Express Highway, Mumbai-Nashik Highway, and Ghodbunder, JVLR road. Also, the Price growth trend in Thane has shown a significant increase in the last five years. The average price per sq. ft. in 2018 was around Rs10, 000 but now, in 2022, the average price per sq. ft. is Rs.12, 500 and the YoY growth in the prices is also good. Undoubtedly, it is a go-to destination for lucrative deals on property.”
THANE IS ONE OF PRIME REAL ESTATE MARKETS OFFERING A PLATTER OF CONFIGURATIONS TO BEFIT THE PRICE AND SIZE NEEDS OF THE USER. THE OPTION VARIES FROM RIGHT FROM MODERN AGE STUDIOS TO BOUTIQUE APARTMENTS OF 1 AND 2 BHK AND LUXURY TO ULTRA-LUXURY HOMES SPRAWLING ACROSS 3 TO 5 BHKS.
THANE’S MIXED DEMOGRAPHIC DEEPLY ENRICHES THE CITY’S SOCIAL FABRIC. THANE ALSO HAS STRONG CULTURAL MOORINGS, AND OFFERS A VARIETY OF AVENUES FOR CULTURAL EXPRESSION FROM THE TRADITIONAL NATYA MANDIRS AND READING HALLS TO MODERN DAY LIBRARIES, AMPHITHEATERS, MALLS AND MULTIPLEXES. THE COSMOPOLITANIZATION OF THE CITY HAS ONLY INCREASED THE CHOICES ON OFFER WHERE CITIZENS OF EVERY HUE CAN FIND MEANINGFUL ENGAGEMENT.
SALE OF HOUSING UNITS IN THANE POCKETS GREW BY 25 PERCENT IN JAN-MAR 2022 AGAINST JAN-MAR 2021. HOMEBUYERS IN THE REGION SHOWED MORE AFFINITY TOWARDS UNDER-CONSTRUCTION UNITS PRICED WITHIN RS 40 LAKH. IN THIS BUDGET CATEGORY DEMAND EXCEEDED SUPPLY BY AROUND 15 PERCENT IN THE STUDIED QUARTER, AS PER 99ACRES INSITE REPORT. AVAILABILITY OF SPACIOUS TWO-BEDROOM FLATS AND SEAMLESS CONNECTIVITY VIA EASTERN AND WESTERN SUBURBAN RAILWAYS CONTRIBUTED TO THE GROWTH IN THE HOUSING LOCALES OF GHODBUNDER ROAD, POKHRAN -2, MANPADA AND AMBERNATH.