Reshaping Dilip Kumar’s Iconic Bungalow

In the heart of Mumbai’s illustrious Pali Hill, a cherished legacy is embarking on a remarkable evolution. The iconic bungalow that once cradled the legendary actor late Dilip Kumar Saab is poised for an extraordinary transformation into a high-end residential masterpiece by Ashar Group.

In this blog we delve into some of the finer points of this grand project, where timeless elegance meets modern luxury.

A Legacy Transformed: The Story Unveiled

The sprawling half-acre land, situated in the upscale Bandra suburb, is set to become an 11-storey haven of opulence. The construction area, spanning an impressive 1.75 lakh square feet, will soon give life to a luxury residential tower that pays homage to the late actor’s enduring legacy.

Crafting a Landmark: From Blueprint to Reality

Our masterful touch is turning architectural blueprints into a living masterpiece. Construction has already commenced. This ambitious venture promises not just luxurious residences, but a symphony of design and sophistication that redefines modern living.

A Vision Fulfilled: A Glimpse into the Future

As the construction progresses, the transformation of the iconic Pali Hill bungalow into a luxury residential tower and museum continues to honour Dilip Sahab’s lasting legacy.

Join us as we uncover the essence of this ambitious endeavor, where past, present, and future converge in a harmonious symphony of luxury, culture, and heritage.

Read More here

Impact of Work From Home on Real Estate Industry

“The Only Constant in Life Is Change.”- Heraclitus. But the change that COVID-19 brought in our lives – no one saw it coming. Hygiene & safety became an utmost priority, and the pandemic-led lockdown turned our homes into everything from a restaurant & office to garden & temple, from a gym & shopping mall to a cinema & a recreational centre. This change in the meaning & purpose of a ‘home’ radically transformed the real estate market – residential, commercial and vacation homes.

Impact on Commercial Market

The Commercial Real Estate market witnessed both risks and opportunities:
  • There was a decline in demand for commercial spaces
  • There is a rise in demand for co-working spaces
  • There is a rise in demand for spacious & open commercial spaces, considering physical-distancing
  • There is a boost in subleasing powered by companies with longer-term leases

Impact on Vacation Homes

Work from home (WFH) gave rise to another concept known as ‘workation’. Many organisations introduced the workation concept which empowers professionals to mix business with leisure.

Workation turned the tables for the market for vacation homes. The growing number of the middle-class, higher middle class, NRIs and HNIs began exploring vacation homes in their country, within driving distance of metros – in smaller towns and nearby holiday destinations such as Nasik, Lonawala, Alibaug, Karjat, Goa, Panchkula, Kasauli, Shimla and Dehradun among others.

Workation was a win-win situation for employers, employees & the real-estate market. As for the employers & employees, workation facilitates living and working from vacation homes for long durations, without compromising on work or family life.

For the real-estate players, the sale of vacation homes & in turn profitability went up. Striking while the iron is hot – developers started offering competitive prices. This fuelled by low-interest rates on home loans by financial institutions, second-home & vacation home became the preferred choice of investment for travel-savvy professionals who earlier enjoyed annual holidays.

Impact on Residential Market

Work from home (WFH) has overshadowed the previous ‘gold standard of Indian housing – the walk-to-work/short drive to work. This has led to future homebuyers shifting to the peripheral areas in search of bigger homes and a better lifestyle – at more affordable prices.

Understanding that the work from home (WFH) is here to stay, the millennial generation – who are the future homebuyers have a new-found preference for buying rather than renting homes.

They are now preferring to live in more spacious and cost-effective homes in less central areas. This new demand has dictated fresh supply.

Affordability and Price Quotient

Apart from changing real estate consumer preferences due to work from home, affordability has played an important factor in the shifting & rising demand towards residential property purchase in peripheral areas such as Thane & Mulund.

The cost analysis of real estate in MMR is as follows:

In MMR (Mumbai Metropolitan Region), the average price for a standard 1,000 sq. ft. property in areas within city limits is approx. Rs 1.85 Crore, against Rs 55.35 lakh in the peripheral areas – a 70 per cent cost difference. Micro-markets within city limits included Andheri, Vile Parle, Goregaon, Malad, Kandivali, Chembur, Wadala, Ghatkopar, Vikhroli, Powai, Mulund, etc. Peripheral areas include Kalyan, Bhiwandi, Dombivli, Mira Road, Vasai, Virar, Thane beyond Kasarvadavali and Owale Panvel, Ulwe, Taloja, etc.

The average monthly rent for a standard 2 BHK home in areas within city limits is approx. Rs 45,800, against Rs 12,500 in the peripheries.


All in all, the work from home (WFH) culture popularised by the COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be a mixed bag for the real estate sector.
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are for informational purposes only based on industry reports and related news stories. Ashar Group does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information and shall not be held responsible for any action taken based on the published information.

The transition of real estate – from real to virtual


Modern Problems Require Modern Solutions – this statement proves to be true in today’s pandemic struck world where the best of the world comes to you at your doorstep, or rather fingertips, thanks to digitalisation. It is a part of almost every sector – be it work from home, education, e-commerce, banking, retail, tourism, or real estate.

When the pandemic-induced lockdown forced businesses to shut down physically, they began to look for other avenues to reach out to their customers. It was here that digitalisation proved to be a silver lining.

While property portals have been around for more than a decade or so, buyers mostly preferred to visit the property physically, inspect the location, meet the developer/seller and sign the agreement. Property portals & real estate mobile applications were mostly used to narrow down the property search, view property pictures, and contact the developer & seller.

But, this is now a thing of the past. Pandemic introduced the ‘new normal’ – digitalisation. People have now got used to the digital way of life where they can get everything from pin to property in a click. If not completely, at least more than half of the real estate transaction process is conducted digitally. This includes virtual property visits, availing bank loans, online payments, documentation submission, the initial meeting with developers & sellers through video calls etc.

This is the buyers’ side of the story, the dipping real estate sales and the pursuit to recover sales and to remain relevant developers & sellers are placing their bets on digitalisation & modern technology.

So, how is the digital transformation of the real estate industry taking place?

Promotion, eventually leading to sales:

Social media is a powerful tool that can help developers & sellers generating leads and converting them into buyers. Developers & sellers are striking while the iron is hot by strengthening social media presence. Aggressive organic & inorganic marketing on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & LinkedIn is just one of the ways to bridge the gap between the buyers & them, and increasing their business.

Understanding buyer behaviour:

Developers & sellers are leveraging the power of the digital marketing funnel to zero down on their target audience by understanding their needs better concerning home buying preferences. Digital marketing funnel keeps a track of customers navigating the web pages. Properties are filtered as per the requirement to convert leads into sales.

Additionally, thanks to AI and Big Data, developers & sellers can accurately analyse customer behaviour, distinguish between hot & cold leads, thus saving substantial time, customer service costs, and understand buyer behaviour.

Harnessing the power of technology:

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is transforming how real estate projects are done. A 3D model-based software – BIM facilitates planning, designing, constructing & managing buildings for construction, architecture, and engineering professionals.

Chatbots are a great way for developers & sellers to stay connected with their potential buyers 24×7. Through chatbots, developers & sellers can offer handholding to customers through their entire property-buying journey, thus developing nurturing relationships & fostering sales growth.

Virtual walkthroughs or e-Visits are a thing now. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are proving to be a magic wand for developers & sellers. AR & VR provide a surreal home buying experience to home buyers. They empower potential buyers to take a tour of property virtually – anytime, anywhere without physically visiting it.

Making the most of this technology, Ashar Group too conducted virtual meetings and e-visits for its potential customers during lockdown which proved to be fruitful.

Seal the deal digitally:

Shifting from conventional paper-based processes to digital documentation has resulted in nearly 10 times faster turnaround time in the overall sales deal. Digital documentation eliminates – long hours to prepare legal documentation of purchase agreement, loan processing and payments and human errors. The expense incurred for the storage of documents was massive for real estate players, digital documentation will reduce that and make it secure. Lastly, digital documentation makes it easy for consumers to purchase property in another city, state, or country.

To summarise, as the saying goes “The only constant in life is change.” Digitisation – apart from being the silver lining in a dark cloud of the COVID-19 pandemic, is here to stay. Whatever the reason be – to enhance transparency, increase sales, ease the selling process, gain an edge, attract new buyers, or stay in touch with loyal customers – developers & sellers should continue to harness the power of digital technology even in the post-pandemic world. While doing so, they should not forget that old is gold, hence interpersonal relations or human intervention cannot be ruled out.

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are for informational purposes only based on industry reports and related news stories. Ashar Group does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information and shall not be held responsible for any action taken based on the published information.

The impact of COVID-19 Positive on Real Estate – Negative or Positive?

The impact of COVID-19 Positive on Real Estate – Negative or Positive?

Covid-19 came as a humanitarian challenge that changed the way people live, work, and play, maybe forever. It took away people’s lives and source of livelihood. The global economy saw one of the biggest downturns. There was a point in time when people were more scared of the pandemic-led lockdown than the pandemic itself, due to its devastating impact on the economy.

Real-estate, retail, finance, aviation and automobiles are the 5 sectors that are worst hit by COVID-19. Speaking of realty, last year when the nation went into a complete lockdown between March and May 2020, many new constructions stopped, sales took a hit, and new launches were postponed.

The pandemic brought in a domino effect on the realty sector. At first, the lockdown brought the construction activities to halt, then the fear of health & financial crises caused a mass exodus of migrant workers, the demand for social distancing & the sudden realisation of the importance of saving overspending led to negligible homebuyer enquiries and site visits.
Beginning June 2020, just when the realty sector started taking baby steps on the road to recovery through digital business strategies; and seeing a ray of hope through increased demand of virtual site visits, the country was struck by 2nd wave of COVID-19, this time, deadly than previous.

The cities where real estate activities have most suffered are Mumbai, Delhi, and Bengaluru amongst others. For instance, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) in Maharashtra has witnessed a drop in property registrations. Experts say the recovery of the realty market in India could now prolong until 2022, and that it will be highly dependent on the way India deals with the second wave of Coronavirus.

THE OVERALL DAMAGE DONE – What reports say?

Going by a KPMG report, the real estate sector has incurred a loss of over Rs 1 lakh Crore since COVID-19 broke out, resulting in a serious liquidity crunch for real estate developers. The credit shortage brought down the residential sales from 4 lakh units in 2019-20 to 2.8 lakh units in 2020-21 across the top seven cities of India.

The overall residential demand declined by over 40 per cent in H1 of FY21, says the India Ratings and Research Private Limited (Ind-Ra) report. The agency believes that the sales will continue to decline until the pandemic is brought under control.

According to a report by Liases Foras, the pandemic-led lockdown cascaded the volume of unsold inventory from 15+ quarters at the end of FY-20, to 19+ quarters towards the end of H1 FY21. The volume of the unsold stock increased by an extreme dip in sales in Q1 and dampened recovery in Q2 2020.


What simply existed as a concept in an organisation’s HR policies, now become a new way of life – Work from Home (WFH). The rise of the WFH concept led to the fall of the need & demand for office spaces.
According to a report by Cushman and Wakefield, the net leasing of office spaces declined from approximately 70 lakh sq. ft. in 2020 to around 35 lakh sq. ft. in Jan-Mar 2021.

In Q4, the immunisation drive by the Government picked up the pace, so did the Coronavirus cases. Thus delaying leasing & impacting leasing rates. The net leasing rates dipped by 33 per cent in 2020, and average commercial property prices declined by 7-10 per cent.

The demand for flexible workspaces such as WeWork & Awfis which had resurged in the last few months has declined since the second COVID-19 wave emerged. If the pandemic is brought under control soon, experts anticipate leasing 38 MN sq. ft. flexible workspaces in the coming year.

Speaking of retail real estate – data compiled by Statista says that retail mobility has declined by 55-60 per cent across India owing to the partial lockdowns and curfews across cities. Another factor contributing to this downfall is that people are no longer keen on visiting retail spaces – they can get everything, from food & clothes to entertainment delivered home, in just a click. Thanks to e-commerce and OTT platforms.

Looking at the other side of the grass, with WFH becoming a norm, residential real estate underwent a dramatic architectural change. Along with the routine bedroom, living room, washroom, kitchen & balcony, providing a dedicated WFH space has become a need of the hour in the upcoming projects.


There are many points to be considered while discussing realty prices.

  1. While on one hand, during the 1st wave, some developers went all out to woo buyers by offering major discounts. We came across news such as:

    A 559 sq. ft. property of Hiranandani has been closed for Rs 86 lakh this month. A similar unit was transacted at over a Crore in MarchIn January, ready-to-move-in residential units – one in Ashoka Towers in Parel and the other in Omkar 1973 in Worli – were both available for around Rs 8.5 Crore. Then coronavirus struck & the same units were available in May for Rs 7.5 Crore and Rs 6.5 Crore.

    On the other hand, some developers continued to withhold prices due to limited profit margins. Unlike the first wave, the second wave of the pandemic has, so far, not impacted the prices of the residential market.

  2. Meanwhile, the pandemic-induced spike in prices of essential raw materials, like steel bars, cement, plastic, man-made polymers and resins, etc., are pressurising developers to hike the prices of new projects. The supply shortage is only making matters worse. There are chances that once the lockdown is lifted, we may witness minor hikes in property prices by the end of the next quarter, whereas we may see more significant corrections in prices by the end of 2021.

  3. During the 1st wave of the pandemic, people realised the value of owning a home for themselves and lucrative deals added fuel to the fire.In areas such as Maharashtra, where the stamp duty charges were reduced from 5% to 2% until 31 December 2020 and 3% from January 1 to 31 March 2021.

    Furthermore, RBI kept the repo rate unchanged at 4%, making home buying affordable by availing home loans for as low as 6.65% annual interest, which was in contrast with the average home loan interest rate of 8% in January 2020.

    While this is one side of the coin, COIVD-19 related constraints such as stay-at-home & social distancing, and delayed delivery of other support facilities, such as processing papers for applying for home loans, having the agreement for sale or flats registered, or reaching out to sales and marketing personnel to garner more information about the project are either discouraging buyers or coaxing them to postpone their home-buying plans for later. All of which is leading to a dip in sales.

    Although the vaccination drive seems like a silver lining in the dark cloud of COVID-19, the year 2021 is expected to remain challenging for the real estate sector.


Iron & steel, cement, machinery are amongst the many industries that are dependent on the real estate sector. The pandemic inflicted heavy losses on them all during the year 2020. Approximately 250 SMEs reported losses that were accompanied by increased costs in 2020.

This was the condition during the 1st wave of the pandemic. The developers and manufacturers were more prepared and cautious during the 2nd wave. They made preparations such as installing labour camps, putting a shift-wise duty in place, and ensured adherence to COVID-19 protocols such as regular temperature checks, once-in-a-moth COVID-19 testing of labourers and installing sanitising stations on construction sites.

The government’s move of initiating a vaccination drive for those above 18 years of age will boost the construction activities as it will help the labourers to get vaccinated at the earliest. It will also make labourers feel safe & eventually reduce migration.


Post-phase-4 of lockdown, the realty sector slowly began its operations, and there came 2021, which seemed to be the year of recovery as COVID-19 vaccines were developed. But the happiness was short-lived as the pandemic’s 2nd wave gushed in, putting the developers and financial institutions in cautious mode. The resurgence of the pandemic has compelled financial institutions to avoid risky investments, adding to the woes of the real estate sector already suffering from a liquidity crisis. But it’s not all dark and gloomy for the realty sector like it’s said, “A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor” – Franklin D. Roosevelt. The realisation of the importance of owning a home in the consumers’ mind during COVID-19 can play an important role in increased residential property sales. Once the government accomplishes its goal to vaccinate its over 1.3 billion population and the fear of COVID-19 diminishes, there are high chances for the realty sector to experience market equilibrium. Points supporting this stamen are

  1. People may return to work, thus increasing the demand for commercial spaces;
  2. Increased e-commerce may lead to increased demand for industrial units to store inventory;
  3. Pandemic has turned many employed professionals into entrepreneurs, this may lead to a rise in demand for retail spaces;
  4. Virtual site visits have lured and made it possible for NRIs to invest back home;
  5. Low-interest rates (home loan interest rates are at below 7% now) and high tax exemption (rebate against home loan interest payment is as high as Rs 3.50 lakhs per annum) can make the option of owning a home attractive over renting;
  6. Many people, especially professionals who have permanently decided to return to their hometowns, who were earlier living on rent in Tier-1 metro cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Delhi etc. will look to buy homes, and finding employment in their hometown. Thus, increasing the demand for commercial, residential and retail spaces in Tier-2 cities.
Having mentioned that, here we are seeing the glass half full, but if we look at the half-empty glass, the pandemic has led to job losses and pay cuts, and the entire population is yet to be vaccinated. So we will be able to see a clear picture once the pandemic is tamed and the infection rate declines. Till then, it’s all about the wait-and-watch approach.
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are for informational purposes only based on industry reports and related news stories. Ashar Group does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information and shall not be held responsible for any action taken based on the published information.