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Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) is not only the commercial capital of India but also one of world's top 10 centres of commerce in terms of global financial flow. For a while, if we keep aside the commercial aspect, Mumbai is also synonymous to - the 'city that never sleeps', the 'city of dreams' and the 'land of opportunities' to hundreds of people staying here. Besides, Mumbai is also home to Bollywood, the country's movie capital.
Located on the west coast of India, the coast line made trade easier for Mumbai. Mumbai houses about 17 million of population making it the second most populated city in the world.
All these factors add up to make Mumbai as the most lucrative location in India. Explains Poonam Mahtani, National Director - Residential Services & Knowledge Systems , India, Colliers International , "Mumbai is the city of wealth which provides ample opportunities to people. Mumbai is the head quarter for major financial regulatory bodies like National Stock Exchange (NSE), Bombay Stock Exchange ( BSE), Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Mint. Especially in the last five years, Mumbai has witnessed almost double growth. Moreover, Mumbai is also considered as the pulse of residential estate.
"The city being so cosmopolitan in nature, even people relocating from out of India find Mumbai as the best option as it is quite fast moving in nature and they can relate to the lifestyle" , says Poonam.
Mumbai houses many big names from the corporate world with major MNCs having their Indian head quarters here.
Avers Ramesh Nair, Managing Director - West India, Jones Lang LaSalle India, " While India is still a far cry from being comparable to Shanghai in terms of aesthetics and infrastructure , the fact remains that most large corporations and financial institutions have their presence in this city. The commercial demographics are large and variegated, and there is a constant inward migration from all over the country. Mumbai, being the archetypal 'City of Opportunity' generates an unprecedented demand for properties across the residential , commercial and retail sectors.
"The realty market in Mumbai therefore is and will always remain highly lucrative. It attracts a huge amount of foreign investments, has a gigantic consumer market and boasts of high quality workforce . All these factors, coupled with growing urbanisation, are fuelling the demand for property constantly. Moreover, with limited space available in the central city, Mumbai's boundaries are constantly extending into newer areas" , he adds.
All these factors have pushed the boundaries and given a complete new picture to Mumbai's real estate industry. Places like Navi Mumbai, Virar, Kalyan - Dombivali have seen exponential growth in residential and also in commercial.
Commenting on the growth in geographical locations, Ravi Ahuja, Executive Director , Development Services, India , Cushman & Wakefield states, "Initially , most BFSI companies located themselves in South Mumbai, but in recent times, as they have started to expand and consolidate, they have started to consider other suburban locations for the same, which are in proximity to staff residences and have greater connectivity to airports , rail and proposed metro links, western and eastern express highways, etc.
As per the latest inputs, from C&W; research, BFSI recorded a growth of over 170 % in uptake of place over the last quarter. BFSI formed approximately 47% of the total absorption in 2Q 2011. Interestingly , Mumbai accounted for approximately 41% of the total absorption by the BSFI sector across the seven major cities in India.
All said and done, Mumbai still needs to ramp up to come at par with other leading cities of the world. Says Apurva Shah, President - Sales and Marketing, Kanakia Spaces, "The quality and quantity of infrastructure needs to be improved drastically. The turnaround time to complete a project needs to be addressed. The city definitely needs better infrastructure considering the fact that Mumbai is the commercial hub of the nation. We need to have a longer vision for a better future."