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The real estate story in India is growing bigger by the day as it continues to receive an ever-increasing influx of funds. Retailers in India--the most aggressive in Asia when it comes to expanding their businesses--are creating a huge demand for real estate. India topped the chart with 45 per cent expanding rapidly followed by Greater China at 27 per cent and other South East Asian capitals at 6 per cent.

Many retailers are now planning to expand within the current city of Kochi, and a similar percentage is willing to open new stores in other cities within India. The most confident among them are home and interior retailers and sports apparel/equipment retailers, followed by department stores and jewellery and food retails.

While the last decade saw the transition of sleepy towns to Tier I towns, as they are called, are now saturated and far beyond the means of the middle class. Naturally, the opportunity in the residential development in Tier-II and Tier-III cities--like Hyderabad, Cochin, and Coimbatore is equally enormous.

For instance, Cochin, the IT and ITEs hub of Kerala is emerging as a major economic centre in south India. With sprawling software parks coming up all over the city and its suburbs, the demand for high-value apartments is growing. Beyond professionals and people looking to relocate from Bangalore or even overseas, are the older people who have sold a bungalow and want to live in spacious, easy-to-manage surroundings. Developers maintain that the bar for the super-premium luxury housing in Real estate Cochin has raised from Rs 30 -40 laks to over Rs 1 crore per unit.

If the year 2006 was marked by some of the country's biggest land deals, the future of India is set to usher in the gold rush of realty