When we started MHFC a year ago, it was very difficult to find any projects catering to our segment (approx price point Rs 5 lakhs and size of flat about 350 sq ft). But it seems that the slowdown in the economy (and the lack of demand in luxury / higher price homes) has been positive for us. The response for the TMC project (initial allotment of 2000 flats received about 66,000 applications) and of course the overwhelming demand for MHADA allotments (about 750,000 applications for less than 4,000 flats) has also probably been inspiring for other builders to enter the fray. In the last month we have seen a little bit of a spurt in announcements. Other than the Virar project in which we are participating, (a) we have visited a site of 100 acres in Ambivali where Neptune Builders plans to build 10,000 affordable homes - in the first phase, 815 flats were offered (of which about 200 will be Rs 4.73 lakhs) and sold out. Based on this response, Neptune plans to announce bookings for the second phase in May (b) we visited another site in Nalasopara where Vini Builders plans to build a "township" of 475 flats - of which a proportion will be sold for 6.55 lakhs - slightly above our range but at least some builders are moving the price line down to our segment's requirements.
In addition to the above, we have received calls (one as far away as Erode, Tamil Nadu) from builders interested in developing specific projects - hopefully this will continue (even when the market improves for other segments) as increase of supply is absolutely crucial.