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From tenement to township, India’s $1.3 trillion housing push

When he was little and his father was building his taxi business, Pradeep Yadav lived in a “chawl,” a rundown tenement in India’s financial capital, Mumbai. The apartment had one light, a fan and water for just two hours a day.

Now he stands at the vanguard of a potential housing boom that brokerage CLSA India Pvt. estimates could reach $1.3 trillion in the next seven years. With their three boys finished university, the family bought a flat in Palava City, a leafy township on the edge of the metropolis. Outside their balcony, tidy footpaths wind their way past manicured gardens and a swimming pool glints in the summer heat.

“It was his dream to have something bigger,” Yadav, says of his father, now retired. “He didn’t realize he would get something like this.”

The Yadavs are part of a swelling middle class in India that’s demanding better housing and increasingly has the means to get it. It remains to be seen whether the country, with its sprawling slums at one end of the housing spectrum and obsession with luxury at the other, can fill the gap but analysts such as CLSA say conditions are ripe for a broad acceleration in residential construction in the $2 trillion economy.

“The last decade was about price appreciation,” said Pankaj Kapoor, founder of Mumbai-based Liases Foras Real Estate Rating & Research Pvt. “This decade will be about volume growth.”

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