South Mumbai has always been known for flats having very large area. However, that is set to change soon. It is now adopting to the ways of the suburbs, where a normal 1 BHK has half the area of one in the southern part of the city. Developers have now shifted focus to smaller homes to cater to buyers who were so far unable to afford properties in South Mumbai. Housing experts lauded this move saying it will enable tapping potential home buyers.Last month, a big name like Piramal Realty launched a project in Mahalaxmi, where it is selling 2 BHKs ranging between 739 to 805 sq ft. Many projects coming up in Girgaum Chowpatty, Gowalia Tank, Byculla, and other areas. Developers are focusing on constructing smaller apartments, such as Vardhaman and Sanghvi developers.Rajesh Vardhan of Vardhaman developers said, “When we launched our project in Thakurdwar (Girgaum), we realised that there is a larger audience even in South Mumbai who seek homes that are smaller in size. So, we came up with 1 BHKs and 1.5 BHKs, and they sold really fast. Other developers are also waking up to the fact and are giving up on constructing larger homes.”Gaurav Sawhney, President, Sales & Marketing, Piramal Realty, says the current trend is changing from ‘open display of one’s wealth’ to ‘subtle expressions of understated elegance’. “What matters to customers is a property with a good project layout, natural lighting and ventilation, and needless to say, a trove of lifestyle amenities. Through Piramal Mahalaxmi, we aim to provide customers an opportunity to buy a home/invest in South Mumbai. These residences will be well-designed and also competitively priced,” he said.Pankaj Kapoor, Managing Director, Liases Foras, a real estate research firm, said, “Builders have realised the eligibility of a home buyer in terms of affordability. There are many people who have a budget of close to Rs 4 crore, but not much is available in this bracket in South Mumbai. These home buyers didn’t want to move to Suburbs due to the time consumed in travelling. To mitigate this and also deal with the affordability factor, developers came up with the idea to reduce the sizes of the homes.”No wonder Sanghvi is coming up with flats that measure not above 700 sq ft in the Chowpatty area; their director Pakshal Sanghvi confirmed it. Most developers now are coming up with flats that are in the range of Rs 3-6 crore.THE USUAL PRICEA flat in South Mumbai is usually always bigger than those in the suburbs, if we are not taking the cessed buildings into account. In case of new developments, the flats is always bigger and cost more. A 2 BHK would be never be less than 1,000 sq ft. Going by this, a 2 BHK in Mahalaxmi will cost nowhere less than Rs 4.5 crore. However, with the size of flats reducing to 749 sq ft, the prices have also come down to Rs 3 crore to Rs 3.5 crore.

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South Mumbai flats are shrinking and how!