Chennai – the image of “the last of the cheap metros” falls

Chennai’s galloping real estate prices have ensured that owning a piece of land or even an apartment within (what once used to be defined as) city limits is out of bounds for most wage-earners. Two years back, we did not envisage this boom in the property market when we booked a flat for my brother close to where we have been living for the last 30 years, right in the heart of the city but if we were to go into the market again, we would not be able to afford the same home at current market rates. Such is the situation. It is a telling fact of the effect of investment and job growth in the metropolis that the rate per square foot at places like Velachery and even Kelambakkam have either approached or in some cases exceeded what used to be the rates at prime city locations a couple of years back.

I realized too late how I could have had some fantastic returns had I invested in some areas of OMR (Old Mahabalipuram Road) and ECR (East Coast Road) as late as 2003-04. The per acre rate which was in lakhs had gone up by as much as 30 times to crores, which just made me sigh and think that such a window of opportunity will never come again. I experienced a rekindling of the desire to invest in land, if not for speculation, for the long term, when my cousin, who works at a top job in a MNC bank at Singapore, came down to Chennai and told me of his wish to buy either land or an apartment (or both) on the outskirts of Chennai, either on the OMR or the ECR side (but not near Sriperumbudur since having visited the place and finding the infrastructure still owefully inadequate, he came to the conclusion that even if the roads and other facilities came later, it will become a predominantly blue-collar area owing to the factories there whereas OMR and ECR will house many of the white-collar knowledge workers).

To cut a long story short, he was given a good picture of what his options were by an expert in the property market and it was a revelation as to how prices had gone up all over the place, particularly ECR in which he seemed to evince keen interest. In all likelihood, his purchase may be some piece of land that is much beyond Mahabalipuram where today’s prices seem affordable and which, neverthless, will be seen cheap in retrospect, given the way this “gateway to the south” is catching up to the other metros in runaway real estate prices.

6 Comments so far

  1. shridat (unregistered) on August 31st, 2006 @ 3:03 am

    has anyone has any unformation in VENKATASWERA HOSPITAL.



  2. R.S.Money (unregistered) on August 31st, 2006 @ 12:19 pm

    VENKATESWARA HOSPITAL is nearby Nandanam Junction

  3. R.S.Money (unregistered) on August 31st, 2006 @ 12:20 pm

    VENKATESWARA HOSPITAL is nearby Nandanam Junctionin Chamiers Road.

  4. SN (unregistered) on August 31st, 2006 @ 9:12 pm

    Great post Thennavan. You have given me a take-home point here which is not to think of Sriperumbudur as an investment location since your cousin’s reasoning is valid.

  5. Thad E. Ginathom (unregistered) on August 31st, 2006 @ 11:14 pm

    And dead is my dream of our own independent house and garden in Mylapore.

    What really annoys me is that last year we could have afforded one, but weren’t ready to buy.

    Oh well, Palavakkam, here we come…

  6. thennavan (unregistered) on September 3rd, 2006 @ 1:12 pm

    Thanks R.S. Money for responding to Shridat :-).

    SN, glad you found it useful :-).

    Thad, I know the feeling since I am more or less in the same boat :-).

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.