Navi Mumbai Airport Set To Take Off, Real Estate Back In Action

The Maharashtra government is rushing to complete the Navi Mumbai International Airport, with development of the airport land expected to begin in the next couple of months. All this activity has revived interest in Navi Mumbai real estate with enquiries and prices in key micromarkets near the airport rising.

Decks Cleared For Navi Mumbai Airport

The Navi Mumbai International Airport saga is famous for several false starts. Investor and end-user interest in real estate here has risen and fallen, every time the airport ran into delays. But now, the long wait may finally be over with CIDCO awarding tenders for the development of the land and work expected to start in the next couple of months.

“The predevelopment work is basically divided into the land development of the airport which comprises the filling at the airport site, using the material mined within the hills itself. The contracts have been finalised and work will start post the monsoons. The work should begin by September.” claims Geeta Pillai, senior transportation engineer – S1 & Airport at CIDCO

In a major boost, CIDCO also managed to obtain final environmental approvals from the Ministry of Environment and Forests this week and the process of finalising bidders for constructing the airport is also at an advanced stage.

“We are now in the financial stage of bidding and we have issued the bid documents to them. By December 2016, we expect the partner will be in place.” says Geeta Pillai

Navi Mumbai Real Estate Back In Focus

As a result, investors and end-user interest in real estate in Navi Mumbai is picking up. For instance, property in the recently created node of Pushpak Nagar is being snapped up at astronomical prices.

“It is a node that doesn’t exist now, but it is there on the drawing board. It is called Pushpak Nagar and it is right next to the airport. It is a greenfield node and prices here were around Rs 2 crore an acre last year. But today it is selling at close to Rs 20 crore an acre.” claims realtor Mohanjeet Singh, founder of New Mumbai Realty

Real estate experts credit this to the fact that everyone is now seeing boots on the ground, and are confident that the delays of the previous decade will not be repeated. This surge in interest has come as good news for developers in Navi Mumbai who are reporting a rise in enquiries, in spite of it being the monsoon season – a time when sales are usually low.

Peripheral Micromarkets To See Growth

However, experts say – the returns here may not be as high as in the past with most of the established micro-markets already having factored in the impact of the airport.

“In the past it has given a 10% to 11 % returns year-on-year, but going forward – these markets are going to give a similar return, maybe on a lightly lower side because in the earlier time, the base line was low but now the base line has revived. But it is still going to be a good and attractive return for investors in the years to come.” says Subhankar Mitra, head of strategic consulting (West) at JLL India

Analysts say the bulk of investors and end-user activity will be focused on 3 key micromarkets including Kharghar which is an established end-user destination, Panvel which has large townships under construction by top developers like Kalpataru and Hiranandani and finally Belapur – the commercial hub. Developers are also betting on the airport drawing in a large number of end-users who will be looking at affordable housing options.

“There will be another level of confidence that finally things are moving in the right direction. And if you are looking at affordable housing with a price tag of Rs 4,000 to Rs 6,500, that will only be available in Karanjade, Ulwe, Dronagiri and the Panvel periphery.” says Arvind Goel, chairman of developer lobby MCHI-Navi Mumbai

The government is clearly determined to push this mega project through with both the prime minister and chief minster actively tracking the airport’s status. So if you are interested in investing in Navi Mumbai, now might be the right time to do so.

Nikhil Narayan Sivadas, Assistant Editor, NDTV


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