Every town and village in Kerala is a real estate hot spot as all Malayalees who live outside Kerala, not just the ones overseas but also the ones who live in other parts of the country, wish to invest in land back home. This is obvious as one travels by road in Kerala. The highways all over this small state are lined not just with temples, churches and mosques but also with architect designed villas and towering multi-storeyed apartment blocks.
The rush to invest in real estate in Kerala has also attracted the unscrupulous operators in this line of business, so much so, that the government has enacted an ordinance to regulate real estate in the state; making Kerala only the second state after Maharashtra to enact such an ordinance.
Kochi continues to be the preferred choice for most non resident Indians (NRIs). The reasons for this are connectivity, availability of good schools, colleges and hospitals as well as the options for employment. Talking about connectivity, Kochi is well connected by road with all parts of Kerala and other parts of India. The international airport has played a major role in giving this southern city its international flavor.
The city’s premier real estate destination is the Marine Drive where the property prices are sky high. However, the locality which is very popular with most home buyers today is Edapally, where the average prices are about INR 4600 per sq ft. This is the only locality which has shown a marginal increase in prices in the past few months. Property prices in Aluva, a nearby town have gone down by 6% and are quoting at INR 3700 per sq ft in the quarter from January to March 2015. Other localities which are also preferred by home buyers are Panampally Nagar, Kakkanad and Kaloor.
Take the case of another suburb of Kochi, Thrippunithura. Once the capital of the Kingdom of Cochin, Thrippunithura has been the choice of the Dubai based developer, the Legend Group, to develop luxury apartments covering over a million sq feet.
Kozhikode or Calicut, as it is better remembered, is on the map of hot spots to invest in Kerala. It has been so for some time and has attracted investments mainly from the Middle East, where a large contingent of its residents are employed. Of late, many Information Technology companies have opened offices in this city. This has attracted young professionals to the city.
The Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Kozhikode is also playing an important role in training young managers. Kozhikode has an international airport and is also well connected to Bangalore and Mysore by road. The city is relatively clean and is on a fast track to growth, especially as the government has plans to introduce a Light Metro Rail to connect the city with its other parts.
Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala, is also the second largest one in the state. The city is located close to the Tamil Nadu border and is an entry point between the two states. The majority of the residents of this city are government employees. Most of the development work is at localities such as Vellayambalam, Vazhuthacaud and Vattiyoorkavu. The Technopark at Karyavattom has been attracting a lot of young professionals which in turn has given real estate a fillip. Real estate gurus predict that if the proposed Vizhinjam Port project is completed, it is likely to be a catalyst in the real estate market. The government is also planning a mini metro rail project which will benefit commuters in a big way.
Other places of interest are Kollam, Thrissur, Kannur, Palakkad, Kanhangad and Kottayam. However, new trends are seen with people investing in places such Cheranallur which is a northern suburb of Kochi. Many corporates and NRIs have invested in this village mainly because of its good connectivity. The National Highway (NH) 66 which connects Kochi with Panvel-Mumbai and the NH 47C also intersects at Cheranallur. This has enhanced its popularity with the developers.
Jibin John for KMHP