Why Are Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) ‘Exurbs’ Favoured by Home Buyers?

Why Are Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) ‘Exurbs’ Favoured by Home Buyers?

Residents highlight improving connectivity and social infrastructure balanced with affordability

S. SudarshanUpdated: Friday, February 02, 2024, 06:42 PM IST
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During the evening peak travel hours, at stations along the western railway line, if the letter V flashes on the indicator, you get to see two very distinct reactions. Among the commuters gathered on the platform, those residing between Dahisar and Virar decisively move forward whereas those staying up to Borivali back away, opting to skip that train.

Virar is one of the prominent railway stations, with a high frequency of local train transit for both ends, Palghar (Dahanu) as well as Churchgate (South Mumbai). As Mumbai’s urban sprawl continues, people are looking towards such areas for affordable housing options.

Ongoing infrastructure projects, such as road expansions and track improvements will further contribute to the area’s connectivity. With an upcoming metro line, part of the MMRDA makeover plan, coupled with a 140-kilometer 12-lane corridor, the distant suburb is emerging into a well-connected residential location. The transportation initiatives are expected to enhance accessibility, making it more convenient for residents and commuters.

 Deepak Thakur with family

Deepak Thakur with family |

The extended suburb or ‘exurb’ attracts buyers not only from afar but from other suburbs along the western line as well. For instance, Deepak Thakur, who was earlier a resident of Dahisar, opted to buy a flat in Virar as a way of also upgrading his lifestyle. His work entails travel between Palghar to Vasai, making Virar an ideal centre point.

Deepak, whose family members residing in the flat comprise his wife Anuradha, their sons Krishna and Ayush along with his mother Sushila, explained the rationale behind the shift from Dahisar to Virar. “My priority was affordability and Virar provided me with that opportunity. Since I moved in here about six years back, I am happy with the developments as connectivity has improved, and I can compare my lifestyle to an ideal aspirational level with access to a pool, a tennis court, a clubhouse, and a school next door.”

The trend of mixed-use developments, combining residential, commercial, and recreational spaces within the same project, is becoming more prevalent in Virar. This approach provides a holistic living experience for residents and has involved integrating social infrastructure like community centres, schools, and healthcare facilities, fostering a sense of belonging among residents.

Virar’s real estate market has shown resilience in overcoming challenges. While issues such as infrastructure gaps and traffic congestion exist, proactive measures are being taken to address these concerns and maintain the area’s growth momentum. The exurb continues to attract homebuyers due to its affordability compared to other parts of Mumbai. A need-based demand for budget-friendly housing options has been a significant factor in the area’s real estate evolution.

(The writer is a Trend Science, Communication & Marketing Consultant)

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