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Jawaharlal Nehru called Pune as the Oxford of the east, owing to the many schools, colleges and management institutes that the city boasts of. Each year, Pune attracts thousands of students, from all over India and the world.
A lesser-known fact is that Pune’s real estate market, is a direct beneficiary of its highly developed educational environment. People in Pune are willing to invest considerably in their children’s education and this includes a willingness to pay more, for a home that is located close to a good school or college. In fact, more than 35% of home buyers in Pune, list proximity to good schools and colleges as non-negotiable.
Homes near schools in Pune: Who are the buyers?
Pune also attracts migrants from other states, who settle here. This leads to greater demand for houses near schools, as this is the most logical step for anyone to raise a family.
A significant number of home buyers – predominantly, young working couples, are willing to compromise on other aspects, such as proximity to entertainment and even their workplaces, in order to secure a home that is close to a good school. For these people, the welfare of their children ranks higher than their own convenience.
Married home buyers with children, as well as home buyers who are planning to start a family soon, are even ready to pay more for smaller homes, to secure their children’s chances of a good education. Moreover, most property buyers and investors in Pune, understand that the availability of good schools in a neighborhood, contributes directly to the overall value of the locality’s real estate.
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Home buyers are willing to compromise, for homes near schools
Obviously, Pune’s educational districts rank very high, as property investment destinations. Additionally, the property values in areas of Pune that are close to the good schools, colleges and management institutions, did not drop, even when other localities witnessed price corrections.
Hence, home buyers have historically focused on these areas of Pune. They were ready to settle for smaller homes, in projects without club houses or swimming pools and in congested areas without malls or any kind of organised shopping nearby. Over time, these constraints have given way to some extent. Developers, who were able to secure redevelopment rights in some of the core areas of the city, were able to build more modern residential complexes, with decent lifestyle amenities.
Does proximity to educational institutions increase property values?
Home buyers in Pune, will always prefer residential projects located near an educational district and are ready to pay higher rates for them.
Does this mean that good schools, have helped drive up the property prices in Pune in their respective localities? While this may be true, it is an incomplete argument at best. The fact remains that these areas are also more affluent and this affluence, has triggered the development of high quality schools there. There is no doubt that in Pune, the best schools and colleges are in localities that have a higher standard of living.
In the final analysis, what matters most, is not the nature of the relationship between education and property values in Pune but the simple fact that the relationship exists. Developers with projects in and around Pune’s educational institutions, are able to ask for higher prices and home buyers are generally willing to pay for them.
(The writer is CMD, Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd)