Monday, July 22, 2024

5 Real Estate Micro Markets Homebuyers Should Monitor for Mumbai’s Air Quality

Mumbai has witnessed a concerning decline in air quality over the past two years, posing significant health risks to its residents. As air quality once again reaches alarming levels, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Mumbai’s civic body, has issued guidelines for real estate developers and other infrastructure project executing agencies in the Mumbai real estate market. The aim is to mitigate pollution.

Presently, the city hosts approximately 6,000 construction sites, encompassing private real estate projects, the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) connecting Mumbai and Navi Mumbai, the Mumbai Coastal Road project, the Bandra Versova Sea-Link project, and several Metro projects overseen by the authorities.

Under the BMC’s directives, projects exceeding one acre in size are required to maintain a 35-foot barricade, while those under one acre must have a 25-foot barricade. Additionally, green cloth or jute sheet coverings are mandated at construction sites, irrespective of the construction stage.

The BMC has emphasized that any uncovered buildings under construction will face work stoppage notices. Furthermore, the installation of a sprinkler system on key plot/site areas is compulsory, with regular misting throughout the day during construction, as per the BMC’s announcement on October 20.

While air quality deterioration is relatively recent in Mumbai, unlike Delhi which has been grappling with poor air quality for the past few years, Moneycontrol has identified five specific micro markets in Mumbai’s financial capital that investors may want to steer clear of due to their deteriorating air quality.

1: Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC)

Bandra Kurla Complex stands as India’s most expensive commercial district, housing numerous multinational corporations, banks, IT firms, and even the US Consulate. Within this bustling commercial hub, high net worth individuals (HNIs) have chosen to make their homes, residing in some of the city’s most opulent residential apartments.

However, despite its reputation for luxury, BKC is not immune to poor air quality, primarily stemming from ongoing infrastructure projects and traffic congestion within the business district. On October 26, the Air Quality Index (AQI) for BKC registered at 179, indicating a moderate level of pollution.

2: Chembur

Chembur, a centrally located suburb, rests at the tip of Mumbai and offers convenient access to Navi Mumbai, Panvel, and Pune. However, this micro-market is plagued by air pollution, primarily due to its proximity to oil refineries. The Air Quality Index (AQI) for Chembur on October 26 recorded a concerning 241, categorizing it as having poor air quality.

Real estate experts note that property rates in Chembur can vary, ranging between Rs 20,000 and Rs 40,000 per square foot depending on the specific project.

Chembur’s neighboring micro-markets, including Mankhurd and Govandi, also contend with similar air quality issues.

3: Mazgaon

Mazgaon, situated in south Mumbai along the eastern seafront, is considered one of the more affordable micro-markets compared to its counterparts in south Mumbai. Despite its affordability, Mazgaon grapples with air quality problems, attributed to the presence of refineries and the shipping activity along the eastern coast near the dock.

On October 26, Mazgaon’s AQI measured 130, placing it in the moderate category. Local brokers indicate that apartments in this micro-market are priced between Rs 25,000 and Rs 40,000 per square foot.

4: Andheri

Andheri, a prominent western suburb of Mumbai, hosts numerous commercial office spaces and offers easy access to the Mumbai International Airport. However, the Andheri micro-market, marked by an industrial presence, is currently witnessing the construction of various infrastructure projects and grappling with traffic congestion, leading to deteriorating air quality.

On October 26, the AQI for Andheri registered at 166, categorizing it as having moderate air quality. Real estate experts note that the per-square-foot rate for apartments in Andheri ranges from Rs 30,000 to Rs 60,000.

5: Malad

Malad, another western suburb, is home to several commercial offices and a bustling high street featuring two shopping malls. The micro-market has faced air quality issues, primarily due to factors such as traffic jams and ongoing infrastructure work associated with Metro construction. However, with the completion of the Metro construction, some relief is expected this year. On October 26, the AQI for Malad stood at 133, indicating moderate air quality.

Local brokers report that apartment prices in Malad vary, typically falling between Rs 20,000 and Rs 35,000 per square foot, depending on the specific project.

Potential Discounts for Homebuyers in Areas with Poor Air Quality

Real estate consultants suggest that homebuyers looking to purchase or rent properties in micro-markets with poor air quality may have an opportunity to negotiate discounts if the air quality problem persists in the coming years. While Mumbai’s real estate market has not yet responded with discounts due to poor air quality, some areas, like Chembur, Govandi, and Mankhurd, are generally avoided by buyers due to the proximity of refineries. Nevertheless, many branded developers have managed to maintain strong sales in these areas in recent years, indicating that factors such as waterlogging and proximity to workplaces may currently weigh more heavily on the minds of Mumbai’s homebuyers.


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