Chennai has witnessed a huge influx of population, owing to the growth in employment opportunities, especially in the IT and manufacturing sectors. Obviously, this had led to a rise in the demand for properties and consequently, a rise in capital values. A viable alternative hence, is rental. Compared to the increase in price of residential properties, annual rentals have only shown marginal growth.
“Tamil Nadu has more than a million migrant workers and Chennai is one such metro, which is constantly expanding. From a software engineer’s perspective, Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR) is one of the preferred destinations. Places that are well- connected to offices, are considered as the best places to live. Proximity to the airport and weekend recreational activities, are also major influencing factors. Areas like Medavakkam, Velachery, Pallikaranai, Shollinganallur and Tambaram, have witnessed considerable growth in population in the last five years. These areas are not only in close proximity to the city but are also quite affordable, with the exception of Velachery,” says Prakash R, a technical lead at Wipro.
Advantages of renting a property in Chennai
There are several benefits to choosing a rental property over an outright purchase. Besides providing flexibility of movement to people who change jobs, tax benefits are also available on rental paid. Simon Selvaraj, local director – strategic consulting (Chennai), JLL India, points out that rental housing allows residents to opt for a higher standard of living than their property purchasing power.
“A new apartment in the CBD of Chennai, would cost around Rs 75 lakh, while a person earning about Rs 10 lakh per annum can only afford a home costing Rs 60 lakh in the more affordable suburban locations. However, such an individual can afford to rent a home in the CBD, with the same annual income. This makes it possible for a MIG (middle-income group) individual to live in a HIG (high-income group) flat. Similarly, LIG (low-income group) individuals can comfortably afford to live in a MIG flat,” Selvaraj expains.
Moreover, Chennai continues to be an expensive city to buy a property.
While property prices increased by 6-7 per cent from last year, rentals in Chennai have only witnessed a 2.5-5 per cent annual increase, over the past 4-5 years. Another interesting fact, is that Chennai has a variety of rental options available, from regular residential apartments to studio apartments and hostels, which have changed the landscape of the rental market in the city.
Rental hotspots in Chennai
According to Selvaraj, the IT corridor–Old Mahabalipuram Road region, continues to remain a preferred destination for the city’s infotech population, due to its proximity to various IT business parks and dedicated SEZs.
Similarly, areas like Shollinganallur, Perumbakkam, Perungudi, Siruseri and Taramani, largely have bachelors who share accommodations, as well as families of 4 to 5 members. The average rental values, here, range from Rs 12,000-18,000 per month for 2-BHK flats and Rs 15,000-30,000 per month for 3-BHK individual houses, he adds.
The Grand Southern Trunk (GST) Road and Grand Northern Trunk (GNT) Road corridors have a mix of working people and student population, due to the presence of educational institutions, SEZs and retail outlets. The average monthly rentals here are Rs 7,000-12,000 for 2-BHK flats and Rs 10,000-20,000 for 3-BHKs. The west zone of Chennai is an active business hub, with locations like Porur, Maduravoyal, Manapakkam, Thiruverkadu and Poonamalle, commanding rentals of Rs 10,000-12,000 for 2-BHKs and Rs 15,000-25,000 for 3-BHKs.
Nevertheless, hunting for a suitable rental house in Chennai, comes with its own set of challenges. Accessibility to the work place, quality of the neighbourhood, connectivity to other parts of the city, adequate living space, amenities, owners’ rulebooks, the budget and value for money being paid, are the key considerations, while searching for a good rental flat, Selvaraj concludes.