Mumbai’s realty industry is divided over which direction real estate prices in the vicinity of the Monorail will move. Some believe that prices in close-by areas will shoot up, while others maintain that buyers will refuse to pay a premium for proximity to the Monorail.“If the price is same at two locations and one of them is closer to the Monorail then one won’t mind buying the flat but I don’t see a sudden rise in homebuyer behaviour only because of Monorail,” said Prakkash Rohira of Karma Realtors.The Monorail has been mired in so many controversies that there’s hardly anything to expect, said another builder, who declined to be named. However, he’s hopeful that people will slowly start realising its positive side and the realty sector will benefit from it. “I don’t see a sudden jump or a boom in the industry after Monorail’s Phase II starts but I hope that after it is operational in full swing, the situation will change,” he said.The first phase of Monorail from Chembur to Wadala was always considered a not-so-commuter friendly project as it started from Chembur but ended at a place that isn’t exactly known for footfalls. However, the second phase of Monorail is expected to connect more crowded neighbourhoods. In certain areas like Currey Road, Wadala, Dadar, Sewree, Lower Parel the new route will also go past old chawls, which could see a change in their fortunes vis-à-vis realty prices.Being close to Monorail will likely increase the chances of them getting redeveloped faster. “The reason (is that) proximity to any mode of travel is always an add-on,” said a realtor from south Mumbai.Further, the second phase connects south Mumbai’s Jacob Circle to the eastern suburbs in Chembur, which sees a large number of office-goers who are currently dependent on either road or the congested suburban network.“Look at it this way, when the Metro came up, suburbs like Marol and Sakinaka became hotspots and prices did go up. Similarly we in south Mumbai are also expecting a boom. However, unlike suburbs, we do not have much of a ready possession stock. The old buildings, will have to be redeveloped (and) there are many old chawls that fall in the line of Monorail,” said architect Arqam Shaikh.CURRENT REALTY RATESCHEMBURFrom 2014, when the average price depending on locality was Rs 12,000 to 21,000 psf it has gone up to Rs 14,000 to 23,000 psfSION-GTB NAGARIn 2014, the average prices in these areas was between Rs 14,000 to 24,000 psf and has gone up to Rs 15,500 to 27,000 psf currentlyWADALA EASTThe prices in 2014 were between Rs 18,000 to 25,000 psf but have come down slightly to Rs 17,900 to 24,951 psf currently

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Will Monorail drive up realty prices after Phase II?