With most of affordable housing projects being developed on the outskirts of cities, at 15-20 km Ahmedabad and Kolkata offer the closest proximity to central business districts (CBDs) as against major cities like Mumbai, NCR and Bangalore which offer the same at 60-65 km.
According to a report titled 'Affordable Housing: An Inclusive Approach To Sheltering The Bottom Of The Pyramid', Jones Lang LaSalle India (JLL) suggests that as compared to some major cities like Mumbai, NCR, Bangalore, Pune and Chennai, cities like Ahmedabad and Kolkata have an advantage due to high proximity of affordable housing projects to city centre.
"Depending on the decay of land prices, cities offer parcels for such developments at different distances from the city centre. Mumbai and NCR have affordable housing projects located 65–75 km away from the city centre. On the other hand, Ahmedabad and Kolkata provide better proximity, with projects located at a distance of 15–20 km from the city centre. Bangalore, Pune and Chennai also have projects after a distance of 25–30 km from the city centre," the report stated.
In terms of developers also the city has benefited with some good players entering the market with focus on low income groups. "Amongst the developers, Tata Housing (Shubh Griha) and VBHC are entirely focused on low-income affordable housing and have already launched multiple projects across cities, with announcements for large expansion into new cities and locations. Foliage, DBS Affordable Home and Nirman Group have multiple projects in Ahmedabad and Mumbai," the report further stated.
The proximity has indeed helped players in Ahmedabad with projects witnessing prompt response from buyers.
"We have launched two affordable housing projects of 800 units each on the outskirts of Ahmedabad which has seen almost 100 per cent bookings. This is because the proximity is high to central business districts (CBDs) in the city. Also, being within municipal limits, access to water, electricity and other services tends to be easy for end users," said BR Balachandran, executive director DBS Affordable Housing.
As per the report, Karjat, Palghar and Boisar in Mumbai along with Narol and Vatva in Ahmedabad have multiple ongoing projects catering to low-income groups. There are almost 80 affordable housing developments in areas of New Maninagar, Narol, Vatva and Kathwada in Ahmedabad being executed by developers like Santosh Associates, Foliage, Galaxy Developer, Dharmadev Builders, DBS Affordable Home, Shree Ram Developers.
According to Neeraj Tomar, regional director - Gujarat, JLL India, "Ahmedabad' high proximity to city centre for affordable housing projects has been a major attraction for manufacturing sector. It helps manufacturing industry in better decision making of setting up a plant on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. Such high proximity offers easy and low cost conveyance for human resource to travel to place of work at these manufacturing plants."