Besides being the catchment area for most of Mumbai’s water supply schemes, Shahapur taluka offers good climate and natural scenery and is located in the periphery of Mumbai. It helps that the area has been declared as a ‘no chemical industry zone’, explains realtor Bharat Malik. “This location has a green environment and some of the most beautiful hill ranges. Consequently, it makes for a residential destination which offers some of the best views and arguably the best climate. Shahapur has the potential to become the ‘healthiest’ residential destination in Mumbai’s periphery. Home seekers need to realise the positives that this region has to offer, before its real estate price points move upwards,” says Malik.
Shahapur, like Titwala, is very much on the list of discerning home buyers who are looking out for ‘affordable homes’ that also offer a certain amount of luxury, says developer Srikant Shitole, who is also an office bearer at the KDMC MCHI. Location was the most important factor, until a few years back. “However, now, home aspirants look at the location, as well as product and price. On these three fronts, locations in the periphery of Kalyan, like Titwala and Shahapur, have the potential to offer an unmatched solution to their needs,” feels Shitole.
Rajan Bandelkar of the Raunak Group explains that over the past decade, Kalyan and locations along its periphery have increasingly gained acceptance among home seekers. From a time, when the distance from Mumbai CST was seen as the defining aspect, now each residential destination is a microlocation, in itself, he points out. “So, locations like Titwala or Shahapur are no longer seen only from the perspective of their distance from Kalyan or Thane. The salient aspects of the residential projects and the sort of amenities that they offer, have also become crucial. Effectively, the importance of the location is no longer dependant on its distance from places of work,” says Bandelkar.
Another factor, which works to the advantage of locations like Shahapur, is the way price points have moved up over the past couple of years. “Till 2009, lifestyle-plus projects at various locations on the suburban section of the central railway, like Ghatkopar or Mulund, were considered to be reasonably priced but the same does not seem to be holding true, now,” explains Shailesh Sanghvi, director of the Sanghvi Group.
“Prices have moved upwards and reasonably priced lifestyleplus residential homes can now only be found in Dombivli-Kalyan and its peripheral areas,” he adds. These days, home buyers are very shrewd and the aspect of appreciation of their investment and future price trends are taken into account, before they make a decision, he points out. “Primarily, every deal that is struck, is done because the buyers’ gain something in terms of financials. So, if the prices of lifestyleplus homes in Thane go beyond the reach of a certain segment of home seekers, they will definitely look at other options and locations in Kalyan’s periphery top this list,” maintains Sanghvi.
Locations along Kalyan’s periphery, like Titwala and Shahapur, are fast becoming the launch pad for a new subsegment of residential real estate. The change started, when Vasind was launched as an ‘affordable’ housing destination by Tata Housing, explains Girish Gohil, MD of realty consultancy firm, DHED. “Projects near Asangaon followed and Shahapur, now, is a premium second home location that is all set to become a first home destination,” he explains. DS Kulkarni of real estate marketing firm, Soft Corner feels that Titwala and Shahapur have great potential, as long as the housing options are in sync with the developments taking place in the vicinity. “It has to match the amenities on offer and the price factor. Effectively, it will have to be a subsegment, created especially for this location,” he adds.
It will not be the same thing as ‘affordable premium’, says Kalyan-based developer, Vinod Mishra. “The housing options that come up in this region, will have to balance quite a few aspects, to be perfect for the location,” he points out. Projects will have to offer the advantages of integrated complexes, along with the plus points of standalone developments, he says. “While locations near a railway station always command a premium, the climate and verdant greenery in Shahapur is also an important aspect. In time to come, Shahapur will witness quicker appreciation in prices, as compared to projects in locations like, say, Vasind or Khardi. Primarily, it an ideal location, with amenities that are balanced just right. Hence, it is a level above ‘plain vanilla’ housing but not premium either,” he details.
Mishra predicts that the new CBDs in Mumbai’s suburbs and periphery, will serve as the new economic growth drivers, This, in turn, will fuel the demand for locations like Shahapur. “Shahapur is located strategically – the new regions offering employment opportunities are just about an hour’s journey from Shahapur. With shifting of economic activity, from old CBDs to Thane, Navi Mumbai and its periphery, places like Shahapur are bound to grow,” he reasons.
High-speed connectivity along new traffic routes, like the Alibaug–Virar road-rail linkage, for example, will end up creating high growth locations in the middle of the ‘new peripheral city’ that will stretch from Virar to Alibaug and JNPT through Shahapur to the Western Express Highway. With improving connectivity, many locations in between will end up offering home options in this category, explains Gohil. “Locations like Shahapur will be closer to the centre of Mumbai – the megalopolis by default – and it will be an ideal location for this new sub-segment of homes,” Gohil adds. Due to improved connectivity and other infrastructure developments, such locations will gain in terms of being favoured, not just because of lower price points, opines Gohil. Over a period of time, Shahapur will grow, to become a self-sustaining destination, he concludes.