Hyperloop: A road to hyper real estate growth?

[] At a time when metropolitan cities are stretched in terms of basic infrastructure, we look at whether the proposed futuristic Hyperloop rapid transportation system, would make any difference to India’s property market

In October 2017, businessman Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group, announced a strategic partnership between his company and Hyperloop, named Hyperloop One.

You are reading: Hyperloop: A road to hyper real estate growth?

The first three corridors selected for the Hyperloop One transportation system, are Mumbai-Pune, Dubai-Abu Dhabi and Los Angeles-Las Vegas. In the real estate sector, there is hope that such technological advancements and improvements in transportation, can push growth.

What is Hyperloop?

Hyperloop is a next generation, ultra-high-speed ground transportation service. The first successful test of Hyperloop One was conducted in 2016.

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“Hyperloop is a technological innovation that allows commuting in short periods of time, across long distances. Think of it as a metro railway that moves at a speed of around 1,200 kms per hour. It will take less than 30 minutes, to travel between Pune and Mumbai,” explains Ashutosh Limaye, national director, research services, JLL India.

“The Hyperloop system uses a pod that moves through a vacuum tube. It uses electro-magnetic energy to suspend the pods and then, push the pods through the creation of low pressure across the tube. The technology is already being tested for commercial purposes in various countries including the USA, UAE and Japan,” adds Limaye.

[] Maharashtra signs pact with Virgin Group to build Mumbai-Pune Hyperloop

Impact of Hyperloop on home buyers’ preferences

According to experts, the biggest advantage of Hyperloop, would be in reducing the time taken to commute between distant locations. This could give a boost to locations that are 100-150 kms or more, outside the major metropolitan locations. For example, if Maharashtra were to have a Hyperloop going north via the western corridor of the city, locations like Boisar, Vapi and even Daman, could be suburbs of Mumbai.

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“With a speed of over 1,000 kms per hour, the implementation of Hyperloop would drastically reduce a travel time of three hours to 13 minutes, thereby, benefitting the commuters. With a substantial increase in the number of people travelling between Mumbai and Pune, the execution of the Hyperloop will bring convenience to regular commuters, as well as to people who reside in either of the cities and are looking for employment opportunities in the adjacent city,” opines Sachin Bhandari, CEO of VTP Realty.

The peripheral locations in several cities have witnessed growth, owing to commercial activities. These locations provide for excellent residential options at reasonable values, as compared to areas within the cities, which are less affordable. Should the Hyperloop be introduced, these locations will start to become more valuable.

Bottlenecks in bringing Hyperloop to reality

The two most important factors for any project, are the cost of funding and operation of the project. “India’s average travel expenses are still one of the lowest in the world. The Hyperloop, on the other hand, is an expensive travel option, which needs numerous considerations, vis-à-vis its funding and recovery of the costs. Economic, ecologic and socio-political considerations also have to be taken note of, before finalising a project,” says Limaye.

India has a poor safety record when it comes to transportation, where many people lose their lives even while travelling in trains that runs at very slow speeds. Hence, apart from economic viability of the Hyperloop, safety and maintenance will also be major concerns. The question that many will ask, is whether a developing nation like India, needs to invest 5.5 billion pounds, when the same funds can be used to improve the existing infrastructure.

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Category: Lifestyle

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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