The recent unprecedented floods in Chennai has indeed put a spanner in the works of the real estate firms in the booming southern metropolis and its fledgling outskirts, albeit briefly.
After almost two weeks of hibernation and bright sun shine for almost ten days, it is business as usual for real estate firms, which are using innovative means to lure people to sell their projects. While some draw people’s attention by claiming that the areas where their residential projects are coming up are safe as they have not been affected by floods, others are making indirect attempts to sell their projects in worst affected areas in and around Chennai by becoming good Samaritans.
The floods have virtually stopped all construction activities in the southern city and its outskirts. The real estate sector, which is already reeling under stagnation and negative growth for the last few years due to sagging economic growth, will find it hard to withstand the effects of the recent floods.
Several residential projects in Chennai’s most sough-after fringe areas on OMR, ECR and GST Roads and other prominent locations such as Maraimalainagar, Perungalathur, Thoraipakkam, Porur, Poonamalle, Ambattur and Avadi were remained unsold and the floods have made the situation even worse. People may go choosy in selecting the areas now and most of the ground floor apartments will likely to find ‘no’ takers, feel real estate experts.
Under pressure, the developers and builders are resorting new methods to sell their homes. Take for example, the areas in west Tambaram and Mudichchur, which have several independent homes and villas bore the maximum brunt, with almost all of them went under water sinking the silt and ground floors inundating several cars and destroying properties worth crores of rupees.
Before the floods, these areas were one of the hottest destinations for home seekers in Chennai and real estate firms were making no mistakes in tapping the opportunities. But now, there is not even a single real estate advertisement appearing on national dailies giving details about housing projects in Tambaram, Mudichchur, Nandambakkam or Velacherry. All these areas were the worst affected as several lives were lost here and several well to do families virtually came on roads after losing all their belongings due to the burgeoning Adayar River on the fateful night on December 1 when officials suddenly opened the flood gates of Chembarambakkam reservoir near Chennai.
After more than ten days now, some areas in KK Nagar, Valasaravakkam, Madippakkam are still under knee-deep water. But sun slowly has started shining again on real estate firms in Chennai.
One can see a lot of real estate ads making their way in local and national dailies luring people with discounts and goodies to sell flats and plots, and in another month or so, people may even go for sight visits in areas of west Tambaram, Madipakkam, Keelkattalai or Mudichchur to purchase properties forgetting the fact that these areas were once the water bodies and now busy residential areas, thanks to the “efforts” taken by real estate sharks and corrupt officials.