60K apply for 9,018 flats as Mhada demand drops in Mumbai

The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) housing lottery for the homes on the outskirts of Mumbai got a lacklustre response, as it garnered only around 55,000-60,000 applications for the 9,018 houses it had put on block.

The figure is far less as compared to the 1.30 lakh applications received for 4,275 houses in the same region in 2016.

Housing experts blame Mhada for the situation.They claimed that high costs are being levied on houses, due to which the numbers of applicants have fallen.

“Mhada is now behaving more like a builder while pricing its properties,” noted housing activist, Vinod Sampat said.

“Even the quality of Mhada houses are not up to the mark,” he added.

The current lottery includes 3,789 houses in Bolinj in Virar, 55 houses in Mira Road and 128 apartments at Balkum in Thane. A 195 square feet house at Balkum in Thane begins from ₹6.18 lakh.The houses in Bolinj, Virar are around 676 square feet and cost ₹42 lakh.

Other places where the houses are available include Ambernath, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg.

Pankaj Kapoor, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Liases Foras Real Estate Rating & Research Pvt Ltd, blames the government for the situation.

“The government levies exorbitant premiums and taxes even for such mass housing schemes and this only drives up the price. The ultimate lose is of the homebuyer, as he is burdened with so many different costs,” said Kapoor.

Hemant Patil, Mhada’s public relations officer, refuted the charges.

He said, “Our houses are still very affordable and are priced less than what is charged by private builders.”

He added, “We are also happy with the response we have got this time.”

Mhada houses are popular among homebuyers. In the last 10 draws, more than 16 lakh applicants applied for 24,851 houses put up for sale.

In recent times, however, Mhada’s hike in prices resulted in the dip in the number of applications.

First Published: Aug 19, 2018 00:06 IST

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