By Rochelle Chatterjee- Vice President, Residential Sales, Oberoi Realty
For long known as the distant cousin of Mumbai with a penchant for factories and industries, Thane has emerged as the most sought-after destination to reside in and build businesses in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). With huge open spaces, the infrastructure supporting an urban lifestyle and biodiversity zones, Thane is being hailed as the next big megapolis. The Knight-Frank research report of 2018 identifies Thane and its surrounding areas (peripheral central suburbs) as a high-interest zone, due to its superbly executed residential developments, commercial establishments and organized infrastructure complemented with the lush green surrounding. With Thane already accounting for almost 20% of the total housing project launches in MMR in the last year.
Connectivity plays the pivotal role
For any suburb to rise to prominence, it has to be adequately connected to the main nerve centre of the city and has easy access to critical spaces like the railway station and the airport. Owing to the road network of JVLR, SCLR, Ghodbunder Road, Eastern Freeway, NH-8, Mumbai-Nashik Highway and the Thane-Belapur Road, Thane offers quick and easy commute to the island city. The central and harbour railway lines also offer convenience to the public and are an easy mode of transport. Additionally, with Thane finding a place in the Government’s Smart City Mission, many more projects – The Metro project, Kopri Railway Station, widening of Pokhran road 1 and 2, and the Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway – are now underway to supplement to the connectivity.
Social infrastructure adds the necessary zing
Today’s homebuyer is well-read, well-travelled and aspirational. They are not just looking at premium developments anymore; they want all the associated social infrastructure; with educational institutions, healthcare facilities, multiplexes, amusement parks, restaurants, office complexes, etc. in close proximity. Thane more than adequately addresses this need. Sensing the real estate boom and the influx of more people to this suburb, more commercial establishments are jumping onto the bandwagon. The land has been allotted and construction has begun for an information and communication technology (ICT) campus, healthcare centres of Tata Cancer Hospital and Shankar Netralaya, an old-age home ‘Elders Paradise’, a working women’s hostel, and two extensive green areas of Central Park and Northern Park.
Regulatory reforms set the ball rolling
Fortunately for both developers and customers, new government regulations like RERA, GST and REITs have ensured a level playing field for real estate developers, pushing unscrupulous players out of the fray. Statistics suggest that 26% of residential developments launched were absorbed in 2017. A study of the last 6 years shows that 70,000 units were added, out of which 53% was absorbed. This demonstrates an optimistic market sentiment. The abundance of large land pockets, strategic location, proximity to key areas and excellent infrastructure have paved the way for developments offering a holistic lifestyle to be added to Thane. To top it all, relatively lower real estate prices and an enhanced lifestyle has induced more people to reprioritise and relocate to Thane.
The stage is set for Thane to boom
Taking the development of Thane forward, the Thane Municipal Corporation has devised ‘Vision 2031 Thane’ to ensure world-class civil and social infrastructure for citizens, with additional focus on transparent financial procedures. With state-of-the-art projects already in the offing, the journey of Thane to be the next most happening destination in MMR has already begun and the future looks exciting.