Urban aspirers need houses

Can the aspirations of 100 million people be possibly ignored?

First, consider the statistics. India's urban population has grown at a compounded annual growth rate of 2.8 percent over 2001-2011, resulting in an increase in urbanisation. Out of India's billion-plus population, 377 million people are urban dwellers. According to Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation the urban housing shortage is estimated at nearly 26.53 million households for the 11th Five Year Plan.

According to the Report of the Working Group on Urban Strategic Planning, the country is expected to witness more than 50 per cent urbanisation (or an urban population of more than 700 million) in the next few decades. If the expression "next few decades" seems a bit stretched and hazy, a Ficci study says cities would witness a net increase of 900 million people by 2050. Further, over 2012-2050, the pace of urbanisation is likely to increase at a CAGR of 2.1 percent — double than that of China.

THE URBAN ASPIRER

So, can the aspirations of 100 million people be possibly ignored?

A bulk of this vast amount of population would be made up by what the Boston Consulting Group calls 'Urban Aspirers'. BCG's figures put this aspirer class at 34 million households or 14 per cent of the country's 240 million-strong households; they generate annual household incomes between $7,400-$18,500 and can be divided into two categories – 'Urban Aspirers' (19 million households) and 'Rural Aspirers' (14 million households).

An integral part of the 'aspiration' is to own a home which they can afford. While affordability is relative to a household's income, spending and saving behaviour, and also the geographical location of the chosen residence, there is consensus that a proper residential unit within urban limits anywhere across metro cities will cost Rs 25 lakh or more.

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