Buying a property is not just about purchasing a space surrounded by concrete all around. It is not only the premises of the developed project that matters for residents, but also the peripheries outside the campus. And that’s why it is crucial for residents or prospective buyers to a proper research and assessment of the neighbourhood. But what happened recently in Bangalore has alarmed buyers and investors of real estate.
The Bangalore case
Bangalore was shamed on the New Year’s Eve, when mass hooliganism overtook the streets of MG Road area in Bangalore and women were molested. A large number of inebriated men went berserk and the incident left an indelible mark on the reputation of Bangalore.
Why is safe neighbourhood important?
Having a safe neighbourhood is crucial for investing in a real estate project. Security of life is a basic human need for survival. However, in real estate sector, it also helps in the growth of market nearby and also helps in the price appreciation of the real estate project.
A safer locality translates to greater freedom to walk around and be outdoors. It also attracts more buyers to a real estate project. As a result, the area developers more and there is a significant growth witnessed in the shops, malls and marketplace nearby. This leads to the birth of a vibrant local economy and better living standards.
The development of a locality safe for residents and the local economy also leads to greater interest in the area by the real estate investors. Subsequently, developers launch real estate projects in the area, leading to better development of the place.
As a direct consequence of the growth of local economy, the area around the real estate project becomes more attractive to other buyers and investors. As a result, the price of the real estate projects you have invested in also soars higher. As a result, the returns on investment in case of a resale are quite higher.
In short, a safer locality creates a ripple effect and leads to better results on all fronts. But the collapse of safety can have deep impact on real estate sector. Cases like the one of mass molestation in Bangalore are some examples.
What can it imply?
Lack of safe neighbourhood in Bangalore can lead to greater challenges for real estate sector, at least around the area where the incident took place. The incident highlights the following issues that can be of concern to the prospective buyers.
Widespread eve teasing
The mass eve-teasing that was observed on the New Year eve is a clear indication that miscreants roam the city of Bangalore. Moreover, the place was quite crowded and the entire neighbourhood was in the mood of festivity. One can imagine the audacity of the eve-teasers who tried to molest women very much in the public view.
If such rowdies can go on with their vandalism of the ethical codes of the society, then one can wonder the dangers that keep lurking in the dark streets of the city and the crannies of the less posh localities.
A number of CCTV footage also surfaced following this incident. One footage showed a girl being surrounded by hoodlums and being harassed. Another one showed a girl standing on a footpath and being lifted by a rowdy, only to be carried away by him. The occurrence of such incidents in a metropolitan city like Bangalore is enough to alarm the residents and incite second thought in the minds of prospective buyers. These show that the incident at MG Road is not the only one that happened in the city in just a short span of days.
Inaction of police
The inaction and incompetence of police forces was stark visible on the New Year’s eve. The ones entrusted with creating and ensuring safety of residents could not maintain law and order even in a posh locality, where they were deployed too. Commissioner of Police, Chandragupta told media that 1,000 personnel were deployed on the stretch between MG Road and Brigade Road. Numerous reports claimed that around 50,000 people had assembled in the area for celebrations. One can understand the gravity of the problem. More personnel could have been deployed. This was not the first time when MG Road was inundated in festive mood during New Year’s eve.
Real estate may take a hit
Less demand for property
Bangalore is a city that never sleeps. People and vehicles keep moving around all the time. Various companies have night shifts and the late working hours in IT industry often compels women to return home late at night. In the wake of such incidents, Bangalore’s reputation can easily get tarnished and professionals, especially ladies, may prefer Bangalore less than other safer job destinations.
As a result, there may be a dip in the number of migrant skilled workforce. Moreover, people may not opt for a property in Bangalore, looking at the grim situation of security for women in the city. As a result, real estate can get negatively impacted because of loss of buyers. This reduced interest of buyers can lead to investors pulling out money from the real estate market. The impact can spiral down to severe consequences too.
People often pay less to live in areas with higher crime rate. Moreover, price discounts turn futile if people live in constant fear that one day or night, they may fall a prey to heinous offences. The prices in Bangalore, especially unsafe localities, may come down. And even if people buy the properties inspired by reduced prices, the resale of property may not get a good price in return.
Delhi vs. Mumbai– a comparison
It is not a Herculean task to understand the impact of safety and security in a city on real estate sector. Take for example, the case of Mumbai and Delhi. Women generally feel safer in Mumbai than in Delhi. Mumbai has larger workforce of women and presence of more women outside translates to more safety. Moreover, the public transport of Mumbai is far safer than that of Delhi.
If Census is to be believed, the proportion of working women in Mumbai is almost double that of Delhi. There are more women in the public places too and the safety of women in the city ensures higher proportion of migrant population of working ladies in Mumbai. This increases the number of women in the public sphere and hence, it ensures greater women safety. The domino effect has happened since many years and has helped to propel Mumbai, instead of Delhi, as a preferred destination for women to work.
As a result, the price of real estate in Mumbai has soared incredibly and has left that of Delhi far behind. The divergent trend in the real estate sector of these two cities is even more surprising when one considers the status of New Delhi as the national capital. Between 2012 and 2014, Mumbai’s real estate has shown price appreciation of 25.27%, while Delhi’s figures have been a dwarf 4.4%. It can be very well observed that along with other factors, the greater safety of women in Mumbai has contributed to the price appreciation and greater interest amongst buyers, investors and developers.
Bangalore has not reached levels of Delhi as of now. It is as safe as Mumbai and you can find womenfolk in the public spaces at night too. The high proportion of womenfolk in Bangalore right now makes the city still safe for ladies. Bangalore is the IT hub and the world’s outsourcing caoital and hence, the entire world keeps watching the happenings at the city. Government is often swift to act on the mishaps that happen in the city. So, buyers can still be helpful of having a safe living in Bangalore. The real estate sector right now is not so dismal as is the case of other cities.
It is wise to have second thoughts before getting a property in Bangalore. If such grave scenarios go unrestrained, then Bangalore can sink deeper into the mirth of lack of a safe neighbourhood. Prices for properties may come down, but lack of security may affect the returns on investment. It is required for all buyers to seriously consider other options before purchasing a property in not so secure localities of Bangalore.