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Affordability attracts buyers to Dwarka Expressway Posted On: 07 Nov-2012

Currently, if you have to travel from Delhi to Gurgaon, you can take either the Chattarpur-Ghitorni road or NH-8. Now, a new link in the form of a 150-metre-wide expressway is being developed between Delhi and Gurgaon called Dwarka Expressway. Also known as the Northern Peripheral Expressway, this 18km-long expressway will start from Sector 22 in Dwarka at the Delhi end and meet NH-8 at a place called Kherki Daula (near Haldiram). In recent times, the sectors that lie alongside this expressway have emerged as an attractive destination for real-estate buyers. Proximity to the international airport has enhanced the area’s cachet in the eyes of investors and end users.

Infrastructural advantages

This area’s biggest infrastructural advantage, of course, is the 150-metre-wide expressway. In comparison, the NH-8 is only about 70 metres wide. Nikhil Jain, the CEO of Ramprastha Group, says: “A road of this width will be easily able to cater to a burgeoning traffic for the next 30-40 years.” Ramprastha Group has projects in the Dwarka Expressway area, in Sectors 37D, 89, 92, 93 and 95. Anshul Jain, the chief executive of DTZ India, says: “The area along Dwarka Expressway is part of New Gurgaon, which is being developed in a betterplanned manner and with better infrastructure. The sector roads here, for instance, will be 60-75 metre wide. The sewage and electricity distribution systems will also be more advanced.”

Sanjay Sharma, the managing director of Qubrex, a Gurgaon-based brokerage firm, also says that planning in this area is likely to be of a high order. “The current Gurgaon grew organically. But, for these new areas, master planning has been done. Most of this area is agricultural land, with very few villages in its midst. So there is scope for proper planned development.” Plans are also afoot to bring the Metro line to this area. “The Metro will run on the ground, along the middle of the expressway. This will reduce the capital cost incurred on setting it up and make it viable more quickly even with a smaller traffic volume,” says Jain of Ramprastha Group.

Where the expressway meets Delhi, there are plans to develop a Diplomatic Enclave and a golf course. Early movers into this area will, however, have to depend on the social infrastructure of nearby areas like Palam Vihar, Gurgaon and Dwarka, which already offer a good mix of schools, hospitals and shopping complexes.

Price range

Apartments being sold in the Dwarka Expressway area belong to three price brackets. Smaller developers’ apartments sell in the range of Rs 3,650-4,500 per square foot. Apartments in highquality builders’ projects sell in the range of Rs 4,800-6,000 per square foot. Finally, prices in the premium segment (in projects like Indiabulls’ Enigma and Puri’s Diplomatic Greens) range from Rs 7,000-9,000 per square foot. Plots are available in the range of Rs 45,000-55,000 per square yard.

Should end users buy?

Connectivity with Gurgaon and Delhi, proximity to the airport, and planned infrastructure development are some of the key positives of this area. But, above all, its biggest attractiveness is pricing. Jagadish Nangineni, regional head of Sobha Developers, says: “This area is a very good value-for-money proposition currently. Prices in Gurgaon and Dwarka have shot up. Here, buyers, who wish to move in within three-four years, can buy houses at a reasonable price.” Sobha Developers is building International City in Sector 109, where they are selling high-end villas at Rs 9,000-10,000 per square foot.

Jain of Ramprastha Group says that from the standpoint of those living in Gurgaon, Dwarka Expressway area offers an alternative to Golf Course Road, Golf Course Extension Road and Sohna Road. Delhiites, he says, can look upon it as an alternative to Dwarka and areas of West Delhi. “There is a big price arbitrage that buyers can avail. Prices of apartments in Dwarka are in the range of Rs 12,000-12,500 per square foot while here you can buy apartments for Rs 4,000-6,500 per square foot,” he says.

Should investors punt on this area?

The area has provided good appreciation in the past. Pradeep Mishra, a Gurgaon-based real estate analyst, says: “At the end of 2009, when projects were announced in Sectors 110 and 111 (sectors that are closest to Delhi), the rate was Rs 2,300 per square foot. Today, the going rate in the secondary market for these projects is Rs 5,500 per square foot. Further inside, in Sector 103, projects were launched at the rate of Rs 2,500-2,600 per square foot at the start of 2010. Today the rate in that area is Rs 4,100-4,200 per square foot.”

The trigger for the next round of price appreciation in the area will be the expressway. Sharma of Qubrex says: “Once the news spreads that all clearances for developing the expressway are in place, what is selling for Rs 5,500 per square foot today will jump to Rs 10,000 per square foot.”

Thereafter, the next round of appreciation can be expected when builders begin to give possession in their projects and people actually begin to live here. Jain of Ramprastha Group says that in five to seven years, prices in the Dwarka Expressway area will match those on Sohna Road, and in 10 years they will be on a par with those on Golf Course Road.

Mishra of Sainik Estates is of the view that investors in this area could enjoy the same kind of appreciation that investors in Dwarka have got. “Today, in Dwarka, apartments are available for Rs 11,000-12,000 per square foot. Remember that in this area, apartments have been developed by the Delhi Development Authority, while in Dwarka Expressway area they will be developed by private developers, who offer a betterfinished product with more amenities. There is no reason why prices here will not touch those levels in a few years,” he says. For higher appreciation, he suggests that investors should go for sectors closer to Delhi.

The hitch

The biggest question in the minds of builders, investors, and end-users in this area is when the expressway will be completed. The most positive assessment is one year, but others believe it may take longer. According to sources, land acquisition in areas close to Delhi is an issue. Some areas in New Palam Vihar have yet to be obtained. However, buyers should take heart from two things. One, as Nangineni of Sobha Developers says: “In the Gurgaon or the NCR area, once a plan is drawn up it does get executed.

Though there might be delays, the probability of these plans reaching completion is high.” Two, as Sharma of Qubrex says: “So much of builders’ and investors’ money has already been invested in the area that there will be pressure on the authorities to complete this project soon.” Nonetheless, to hedge your bets, invest in areas that already have connectivity.

Points to heed

A large number of builders are setting up projects in this area. Some may not have proper ownership rights to the land on which they claim to be setting up projects. Do check the documentation, especially in the case of smaller builders. Avoid pre-launches where prices might be lower but risks are very high. Google “Gurgaon Masterplan” on the internet and check out the map of the area. You will be better off investing in a location closer to the expressway rather than deep inside. Finally, do visit the site and ensure that it has connectivity.

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