Kochi, best Indian city to live in: survey

Kochi has emerged as the most liveable city in India followed by Kozhikode, according to a study by the New Delhi-based economics research and data analysis firm Indicus Analytics.

Shimla stood third followed by Thiruvananthapuram, Mysore, Goa, Thrissur and Puthucherry, says its survey, the Housing Skylines of India 2007-08.

Interestingly, four out of the ten best places to live in are in Kerala and eight are in the southern states.

The survey that provides information on households across different income groups, family structure, ownership and growth of the sector ranks the Indian cities on three indices — to reside in, invest in and earn in.

Silvassa, the capital of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Coimbatore and Ludhiana are the best cities to invest in while Gurgaon, Silvassa and Noida offer maximum earnings. An extra demand for 9mn households are expected by 2015 in the emerging Indian cities.

Over 600,000 millionaires are concentrated in just ten cities of the country, with the national capital accounting for maximum number of them, the survey says.

New Delhi has the largest number of millionaire households in the country (138,000) followed by Bangalore (104,000) while Chandigarh has the maximum density of millionaires earning more than Rs100,000 a year followed by Silvassa and Rupnagar in Punjab.

Thane, Pune, Surat, Ahemdabad and Jaipur also figure among the top ten cities in terms of number of millionaire families. Interestingly, most of the metros are not on top of the list. Chennai ranked ninth, Hyderabad 12th and Kolkata 26th.

In Kerala, the booming port city of Kochi and the state capital Thiruvananthapuram are witnessing heavy demand in the housing sector triggered by software and hospitality industries.
“Within the next two years, 65,000 more IT jobs are expected to be created in Kerala at the existing facilities. Added to this is the Smart City which is expected to create 10,000 jobs every year for the next ten years. There is going to be huge demand-supply gap,” Kerala Builders Forum president George E George said.

According to KBF estimates, 12,200 housing units are under construction in these two cities which are expected to be completed in 2008-2009. All realty majors, including Puravankara, DLF Infra, HDIL and Sobha are already here offering high-end housing units.

“It’s going to be a housing explosion in Kerala. The sector has so far been investor-driven but that scenario is going to change with heavy investments coming in the knowledge-based industries. The growing demand for living space in these two cities would also push up rentals by 30 to 40%, fuelling the investor appetite,” George said.

Meanwhile, eminent jurist V R Krishna Iyer, who heads the state’s law reforms commission, recommended strong measures to control land prices in the state.

“The land hat used to be available for Rs10,000 a cent in Kochi now fetches Rs10mn because of the land mafia. People cannot afford to live here. Strict regulations should be enforced to end the speculative buying,” he told reporters in Kochi.



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