Owning real estate in Mumbai is a pricey affair, with rates usually running into billions of rupees. What if you could snap up apartments starting from Rs4 million in a township being masterplanned and built by the Lodha Group, one of India’s biggest developers? It would be a steal, no doubt. The Palava City, located at the centre of the economic triangle of Navi Mumbai, Thane and Kalyan, is scouting for NRI buyers in the UAE and the wider GCC, and throwing in some offers in the bargain.
Spanning a mammoth 4,500 acres, Palava City is not a work-in-progress construction site. Around 19,000 homes have already been handed over in phase one, which also includes a golf course, a Fifa-approved football stadium that also runs an Arsenal Football Academy, a cricket stadium, four clubhouses, one township clubhouse and the Xperia Mall with some of the biggest Indian brands such as PVR and Big Bazar. Two schools are already operational – the Lodha World School (800 students enrolled) and Pawar Public School (600 children enrolled).
For investors looking for proof in the pudding, there is plenty in sight. There is also the developer’s credentials and illustrious track record to count on – the Lodha Group is also building some of the most elite and aspirational homes in South Mumbai such as Lodha Altamount, the World Towers, The Park and New Cuffe Parade.
For those considering Palava City’s location, it is less than an hour from South Mumbai via the Eastern Freeway.
“We are trying to create Palava as a sister city to the main island city – something like Navi Mumbai and Thane. The idea is to create a self-sufficient city which will have 350,000 homes and a similar amount of jobs in the vicinity. Large corporates are moving in that direction,” said Praveer Gill, deputy vice-president of international sales, Lodha Group.
GCC, a sizeable market
The Lodha Group already has 850 NRI customers in the GCC who have purchased in Palava City. These include buyers in phase 1 (500 acres) and earlier projects launched in phase 2, which spans 700 acres.
“We’ve sold about 5,000 apartments in phase 2. We recently did a roadshow in the UAE where we sold about 50 units to our existing customers and new buyers as well. Out of the 110 units that we have sold over the past one month, about 80 orders would have come from the UAE,” added Gill.
The Lodha Group is bullish about sales in Qatar, Kuwait and Oman, but is yet to gain traction in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
The developer is currently selling apartments in 28 towers in a project in phase 2 codenamed ‘Golden Tomorrow’. Prices for these units start from Rs4 million for a one-bedroom apartment, Rs5.5 million for a two-bedroom unit and Rs6.5 million to Rs7 million for a three-bed unit.
“Diwali, Dussehra and Dhanteras are periods when most Indian developers sell a huge amount of real estate. Investors who have been waiting on the sidelines consider this an auspicious time to buy. From a ticket size perspective, we are offering a discount of two to three per cent off the sales price for Palava apartments,” informed Gill.
Phase 2 amenities
Other projects already launched and under construction in phase two are the Lakeshore Greens (80 per cent sold) and Downtown (70 per cent sold). The entire phase is slated for completion by 2020. This phase will eventually feature 28,000 apartments, a 100-acre central park, a 3,000-seater badminton stadium, Sri Ram School, a university and a retail and restaurant stretch.
“Palava offers the best lifestyle at affordable price points in Mumbai. We have a lot of repeat buyers who have seen amenities come to life in phase one of Palava,” emphasises the Lodha executive.
Palava City phase 2 will also include office towers, set to be launched in Q2 2017. “Our objective is to deliver around 28,000 homes before launching the commercial towers so that corporates have a resident population in their catchment area. Once commercial space opens up, demand for residential units will shoot up since people want to live close to work,” explained Gill.
Most NRI customers in the UAE are buying into the Palava project from an end-user perspective. “They either move their parents to the apartment or choose to live there themselves while in Mumbai. Young working couples and professionals are looking to buy into Palava. The average age of a buyer in Palava would be 34 to 35. We also have self-employed NRIs in the UAE who have well-established businesses and are keen to buy into Altamount, the World Towers, The Park, New Cuffe Parade and huge units in south Mumbai,” he elaborated.
Apart from the GCC, which is its biggest overseas market, the Lodha Group has around 450 Palava investors from the US, UK, Singapore, Hong Kong and other Southeast Asian markets.