Meltdown forces realty developers to shift focus on studio apartments

Written by Preeti Parashar | Chandigarh | Updated: Jul 1 2009, 04:38am hrs
As the demand for luxurious apartments declines in the northern region, real estate developers are now turning toward studio apartments, which have suddenly become popular.

While some developers have announced fresh projects for developing studio apartments, others have opted to convert the ongoing projects into one-room or two-room apartments. Market experts view this as a corrective measure being adopted by the developers to counter the slump in the realty market.

Delhi-based developer, Sandwoods Infratech Projects, after developing two luxury housing projects in Zirakpur (Punjab), has moved on to develop studio apartments priced between Rs 6.22-6.55 lakh in Baddi, the industrial hub of Himachal Pradesh. Taking care of the basic needs of the middle income group, the company is offering 360 one-room apartments in Baddi.

SK Bagolia, managing director of Sandwoods Infratech, told FE, "We are coming up with a five-storey Sandwoods Heights in Baddi and the apartments have been priced keeping in mind the needs of the service class as well as the skilled class. We have also launched another residential project in Shimla recently in the affordable housing segment.

Another realtor, CHD Developers, is targeting tier-II and tier-III cities for further expansion. After launching projects in Vrindavan (UP), Rishikesh (Uttarakhand), Neemrana (Rajasthan) and Karnal (Haryana), the company is planning to develop a studio apartments project in Vrindavan and another group housing project at Haridwar. These plans are likely to be announced within the next few months.

Besides studio apartments, companies are also launching service apartments. For instance, Omaxe is set to announce limited service apartments in Omaxe Royal Residency on Pakhowal Road, Ludhiana. These apartments, with an area of 650 square feet each, are likely to be launched in July. The apartments will be fully furnished and act as alternatives to good hotels, said an Omaxe official.

Enquiries in Baddi revealed that many developers have applied for converting their present luxury housing projects to studio apartment projects. Studio apartments are in demand here as companies rent them out to employees. We have dedicated two blocks of the total 23 in our residential project to studio apartments and have applied to develop more blocks in the same category. The rentals here for fully-furnished two-room sets range between Rs 10,000 and Rs 12,000 per month, said SK Bajaj of Shakun Infrastructure Development, Baddi.