Over the past couple of months, no other Indian state has been talked about as much in the Indian media as Gujarat. Be it about Mr. Narendra Modi, former chief minister of Gujarat who is now Prime Minister of the nation or the growth model of the state.
This fast developing province has seen the decade-long efforts start to bear fruit in the area of infrastructure development especially in Ahmedabad, the commercial capital of the state. In recent times, the city has become the symbol of the state’s progress story.
The uninterrupted electricity and water supply, the wider roads and the rapid bus transit system have helped Ahmedabad to cement its position as a manufacturing hub. In the past, despite the city being known for its industries, particularly its textile and pharmaceutical enterprises, it did not create a sector-specific demand for real estate, unlike the IT/ITeS sector did for Bangalore and Pune. Up until recently, the city produced mostly blue-collar jobs and those employed preferred affordable housing, particularly in the unorganised real estate sector.
To attract the participation of the organised real estate sector, affordable and well-connected real estate developments were on the checklist of the Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority. The planning resulted in well-rounded growth as Ahmedabad, unlike other cities, did not have any geographical constraints on expansion. Also, the committee refrained from giving any specific city node an undue advantage, due to which capital value appreciation was held in check for many years!
Nonetheless, in recent quarters, noteworthy growth was registered in residential real estate prices. Residex, the index published by the National Housing Bank covering price movements in urban and semi-urban areas, showed that Ahmedabad residential real estate prices have grown faster than other major Indian cities over the past four quarters.
It is true that current market sentiment has turned positive following the country’s recent general election but physical indicators have played a vital role too. The employment opportunities generated by the industrial/manufacturing segment have contributed most to the evolvement of real estate activity in recent times.
With improved infrastructural facilities, many new manufacturers of automobiles, engineering and instruments have established themselves in the city and existing industries have been expanding their plants, especially on the outskirts of Ahmedabad in Sanand and Changodar. To support the manufacturing hubs, logistics activity has also been growing fast.
Newly generated employment has looked at organised real estate to fulfil its housing needs as prominent developers have been offering small ticket size affordable dwellings in the outskirts of the city.
Another growth driver relates to the fact that Gujarat is part of the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), which is an ambitious project aimed at developing industrial zones. Ahmedabad is anticipated to be an important link in this corridor. The city is expected to create more jobs, attract investment and ultimately generate greater housing needs. There will be no surprise if other cities in Gujarat follow Ahmedabad’s example in the coming years.
Vivek Sahasrabudhe, Analyst – Research & Real Estate Intelligence Service, JLL India