“Affordable Housing” Gets Trendy
Last month, Tata Housing launched 1,000 Nano homes – Shubh Griha in Boisar, Mumbai. Within three weeks, over 15,000 forms were purchased by customers through the Tata Housing offices across India as well as from 12 State Bank of India branches across Mumbai and Micro Housing Finance Corporation. Encouraged by the demand, the company increased the number of flats on offer from 1,000 to 1,300 units. According to the company, there will be no new bookings for the additional units and the allotment of units will be announced by the end of June 2009. The company also has plans of advancing its 15,000 Nano homes by two years. “We would like to provide a house for each one of the customers who have booked,” said Brotin Banerjee, managing director and chief executive officer, Tata Housing.

Affordable housing is becoming a trend. Unitech, the country’s second-largest property developer, has announced what it calls Uni Homes – affordable apartments priced between Rs10 lakh - Rs30 lakh in Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Lucknow. The company is planning to invest Rs1,700 crore this year to build these homes. Meanwhile, banks have started reducing their home loan rates which will make these flats a bit more affordable. Recently, ICICI Bank has reduced its floating rate for home loans to 12.75% from 13.25%.

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