Beehive of activity

Nithin Belle

Filed on August 15, 2018

(Khaleej Times, India Report)

Sprawling satellite cities have new highways, metro lines, container depots and even a new airport being built or planned

It is one of the fastest-growing urban hubs in India. The sprawling satellite cities on the southeast and east of New Delhi comprising Noida, Greater Nodia, Yamuna and Ghaziabad, is a beehive of activity with new highways, metro lines, container depots and even a new airport being built or planned. The National Capital Region, which includes more than a dozen other satellite cities lying all around Delhi, is developing rapidly, but Noida-Yamun belt is among the fastest growing.

Says Manoj Gaur, Managing Director, Gaurs Group, and Vice-President, Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association (CREDAI): “The road infrastructure in this area is very good. And with the new airport coming up nearby, the focus will be on road and air connectivity.”

The Uttar Pradesh government is also focusing on this area in a big way, with the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority taking up major development projects along the 165-km-long stretch of the expressway. Gaur points out that more than 50 per cent of residential housing development in India happens in north India, mainly in the NCR. But demand has slowed down, especially for high-priced properties, because of the failure of a few large developers.

“There is a perception that developers in the NCR do not complete their projects,” says Gaur. “So many people have held back their buying decisions.” But developers targeting the lower-end of the market, especially properties priced below Rs5 million are doing wonderfully well. “Over the last four months, we sold 4,000-plus units and more than 16,000 families visited our site in Greater Noida,” says Gaur. “We have a lot of bookings from NRIs in the Gulf, especially near the Yamuna Expressway.”

Gurgaon thrived because of the Indira Gandhi International Airport, but the authorities there were slow in rolling out the infrastructure, which is causing all the problems there, he points out. In the Noida, Greater Noida, Yamuna and Ghaziabad segment, infrastructure development, especially roads and highways, has kept pace with the housing and office construction work, he says.

Gaur cites three reasons for the slow down in the real estate market in many parts of India – the introduction of Rera (Real Estate Regulation and Development Act), the launch of GST and demonetisation. “But with most people accepting these issues demand is picking up,” he avers. Especially in affordable houses that are priced around Rs2.5 million. Most lower-middle-class people earning around Rs30,000 a month, can easily get housing loans of up to Rs2 million.

The real estate sector in India will also undergo a significant cleanup, with Rera officials monitoring projects every quarter. “Rera, in fact, is a confidence booster for the market,” he says. “With the new law, 99 per cent of a buyer’s worries are over.”

And Gaur believes that 2019 to 2023 will see the dawn of a new ‘golden period’ for the real estate sector especially in the ‘affordable’ category. Even in a city like Delhi, where there is hardly any scope for new developments, thousands of people residing in unauthorised colonies or slums are now shifting to places like Noida and Greater Noida where they can afford the flats.

Gaurs Group has delivered more than 23,000 housing units over the last three years. About 20,000 additional units are under construction, and it plans to take up 10,000 more affordable housing units. “Nearly 90 per cent of our flats sell for less than Rs5 million,” he says.

 

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