KedarBhat, Director of the prestigious AV Bhat and Co speaks to The Free Press Journal about recent developments in the city’s realty sector.
Since its inception in 1968, A V Bhat & Co. has been synonymous with Quality and Trust. They changed the skyline of Pune by transforming the existing ‘Wada’ culture into a similar but distinct cohabitation module of ‘ownership flats’. Their success story was built on the solid foundation of quality, transparency and commitment. After the untimely death of Mr. Ashok Bhat, the legacy was carried forward ably by his son, Kedar Bhat. The commitment to quality remained undeterred. The social awareness and responsibility of enhancing the life of the customers remained unabated.
FPJ: What do you think about the market in 2015?
Kedar Bhat: It looks like a wait & watch situation. Currently very serious buyers are purchasing units but mostly it seems that people are waiting for the market sentiment to get positive. With the Home Loan interest rates going down, I see a positive revival of the situation by this Diwali. However, I personally feel this is the right time for buyers to invest in real estate.
FPJ: Do you feel single window system is a must and what are your expectations from the government?
Kedar Bhat: Single window system is definitely something we look forward to. It will make sanctioning process hassle free, as currently it takes anywhere between 4-9 months depending upon location & size of the property to get all the approvals from various departments post purchase of the property. If single window works efficiently, it will save huge interest cost of a developer & in turn may impact on reducing the load on housing cost.
FPJ: Will affordable housing be in more demand in the coming times?
Kedar Bhat: I certainly feel so. There is a big number of household with an income between 40-75000. These are the aspiring families including migrants who need affordable options. We had seen sizable number of IT guys buying big ticket sizes when the industry was at its peak. Now as the industry has matured, the growth in income here is like any other industry. Pune being blessed with industries like IT, Education, automobiles & others, I foresee a good demand for affordable housing.
FPJ: It is said that there are a lot of vacant flats in the city, do you have a say on this?
Kedar Bhat: I feel this is a phase. If we look at the overall real estate market scene in India, metro cities have experienced rate slashes in the previous year whereas Pune has seen a marginal upside in the rates. As I said earlier Pune being blessed with several industries, with proximity to Mumbai, good connectivity to other cities & most importantly a preferred destination for people to get settled down, I feel the demand certainly is huge. Moreover with the home loan rates coming down, I feel the sales would start moving very soon.
FPJ: Do you feel that townships are the need of time and how long a developer has to maintain it?
Kedar Bhat: With the city boundaries increasing beyond old limits, Townships definitely make sense. If we think about the old Puneites, they are mostly interested in specific areas of the city and prefer community living. Whereas in case of migrants, they mostly prefer a cosmopolitan environment and areas near their work places. As townships offer all facilities like schools, hospitals, entertainment and most importantly safety, it becomes a good preposition for a person to stay there. The developers too get an additional opportunity to generate revenues by floating maintenance facilities for townships. It can work as a long term business model.
FPJ: Redevelopment has no option is it do you feel so?
Kedar Bhat: Certainly, what happened with wadas post 70s is the situation of old societies today. The deteriorating structure of the society & lack of basic amenities like lift are the two main driving factors for redevelopment of old buildings.
FPJ: What do you do in your free time and what are your hobbies?
Kedar Bhat: I usually spend time with my family & friends in the free time. I love watching movies, eating out & travelling with family and friends.