Over the last few years, the Karjat-Neral belt has transformed from a second home location, to a first-home destination. The region has become an established housing destination and prices are likely to move upwards. According to Ateev Gala, executive director of the Vijay Group, “As these locations are on the outskirts of Mumbai, they have huge scope for development and increase in prices. These towns, skirting the main city of Mumbai, are slowly being engulfed into the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). With low land rates and upcoming infrastructure, these locations have become the nucleus of real estate investments.”
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), the planning and implementing bodies of the region, have planned several projects for Karjat. Firstly, the area has been given minimal FSI of 1.0. A recreation centre is also proposed to be developed in the area, along with a 20-20 league playground and a golf course.
The Neral-Bhimashankar highway, which was recently approved by the government, will enormously boost connectivity to the commercial and industrial pockets of the region. Infrastructure is expected to improve, with the clearance for the Navi Mumbai Airport, expansion of JNPT and the proposed Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link. The distance between Karjat and Mumbai, will reduce, with the development of the four-lane State Highway 38 (from Chowk to Karjat) and State Highway 54. In addition to these projects, a four-lane highway is being built between Badlapur and Karjat.
Pramod Bhatia, a local developer and consultant, feels that these developments are acting as a catalyst for real estate development. “Residential, commercial and large self-sustained townships, have been launched in these locations. The government’s planned infrastructure, which covers all four modes of transport – rail networks, state highways, the upcoming airport and water transport facilities – will boost connectivity and improve the standard of living,” he maintains.
Should one invest in the area?
At present, property rates in the area are in the range of Rs 3,000-6,000 per sq ft. Over the next five years, prices are expected to touch Rs 15,000 per sq ft, as large companies, residential real estate developers and buyers invest in the area.
Sandeep Singh, CEO of Sheltrex, asserts that this is the ideal time to invest in Karjat. “The city’s convenient location, between the two metropolitan areas of Mumbai and Pune, will only cause land prices to escalate. Several large companies like Reliance and Exide, are already present in the area and their number is likely to increase further, thereby, creating employment opportunities for people in the region and its vicinity,” he elaborates.
Karjat is surrounded by mountains and greenery and is an ideal place for picnics and bike rides. It is also located in close proximity to tourist destinations like Matheran, Lonavala, Khandala and Malshej Ghat. Vijay Shah, who bought a bungalow in a theme-based township in the area, is happy with his decision and spends every weekend in the area. Shah says, “We wanted a place where we could relax after our long office hours and which also has good investment potential.”
What should buyers check?
Before making any investment in the area, buyer should check the following:
- Is the project fully developed?
- Does it have water and electricity connections?
- Does the builder have the necessary permissions, to build the bungalow on the plot?
- Are the internal roads leading to the project in good condition?
“These locations may be good for investment but connectivity or road transport may not be easily available. Hence, Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport (NMMT) buses should be started, so that people can travel easily to these areas,” advises Rahul Mehta, a resident of Vashi.