DELHI: Dwarka Expressway, also known as the Northern Peripheral Expressway, is an 18km-long and 150-metre-wide vital link being developed between Delhi and Gurgaon. The expressway will begin from Sector 22, Dwarka at the Delhi end and meet NH-8 at Kherki Daula (near Haldiram). Around three-four years ago, the sectors lying alongside this expressway caught the eye of real estate buyers due to their proximity to Delhi and the IGI airport. Currently, however, the market here is awaiting signals for an impending boom, which can come about only after the expressway is completed, and when the overall economic scenario of the country improves.
Advantages of the area
One of the big advantages of this area is its proximity to Delhi-especially Dwarka, a well developed satellite township-and to the international airport. Adding lustre to the market is a Diplomatic Enclave and a golf course planned in Dwarka, which would give the developing zone a posh-area tag in the near future. “Generally areas that are close to airports develop quickly and also witness faster appreciation in prices,” Pradeep Mishra, head of a Gurgaon-based real estate consultancy, says.
The planned expressway will be 150 metres wide-double the width of NH-8. Parallel to the expressway, a 75-metre-wide road has also been planned to cater to local traffic. This road will run alongside the entire length of the expressway.
Mishra says that the sector roads that have been planned under the new master plan will also be 60 metres wide, compared to the 30-45 metre width that was the norm earlier. The internal roads, which used to be 18 metres, have also been widened to 24 metres under the new master plan. All this means that traffic movement in the area will be smooth and devoid of jams for years to come.
Status of infrastructure
The major reason why the real estate market in this area is still awaiting cues for a real boom is the non-completion of the expressway. According to sources in the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (Credai), NCR chapter, some progress has been made in removing the bottlenecks holding up the project. There are two major bottlenecks in the Gurgaon portion of the expressway. In the new Palam Vihar area, the expressway has to pass through a few kachcha colonies. Petitioners from these colonies went to court and obtained a stay order. In October 2013, Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) took a decision to grant legitimate plots to people from these colonies. More than 80% of the petitioners have applied for the grant of new plots. By September-October this year, it is expected that plots will be allotted to the petitioners and this stretch will be cleared up.
The second issue is the need for a railway over-bridge in the area beyond Sector 99-this is on the Delhi-Rewari-Jaipur line. Credai NCR organized a few meetings between the railway authorities and Huda, with the result that a tender has now been awarded for the railway over-bridge and work has already started. It is expected that the over-bridge will be ready in the next 15-18 months. This clears the two major bottlenecks that were holding up the expressway on the Gurgaon side.
The Delhi portion of the expressway is only 4km long and 3.2km has been already built. Only an 800-metre-long stretch remains and Credai, once again, took the initiative and met the lieutenant governor on several occasions to sort this one too. Now, the tender for an elevated road will soon be awarded. “In two years the expressway should be ready and it will be a game changer for the area,” Rohit Modi, director of Ashiana Homes, says.
Among other elements of infrastructure, work on sector roads and sewerage lines in the area also needs to be completed.
At present, elements of social infrastructure like schools, hospitals, and shopping centres are not available in this area. The same is the case with public transport. “Only after the expressway is ready will the development of other elements of infrastructure-social and physical-gather pace,” Sanjay Sharma, the MD of a Gurgaon-based real estate firm, says.
Sharma says that three factors determine the price of apartments in the Dwarka Expressway area. The first is the distance from Delhi border or from NH-8-the greater the distance, the lower the price. The second factor is the brand value of the builder, and the third is the specifications promised by him.
In the primary market, apartments with standard specifications cost around Rs 6,000-7,000 per square foot, while those with luxury specifications cost around Rs 7,800-11,000 per square foot. In the secondary market, apartments with standard specifications cost Rs 3,700-6,000 per square foot, while those with luxury specifications cost Rs 7,500-8,000 per square foot. Since this is a big area, the prices of plots also vary depending on location-ranging from Rs 50,000 per square yard to 75,000 per square yard. Prices in the secondary market tend to be 15-20% lower than in the primary market.
The market is awaiting positive stimuli, as the sentiment in the overall real estate market in India is not bullish at present. Also, end users and investors are waiting for the completion of the expressway to move into the market in a big way.
Sharma says: “Many buyers who bought apartments from builders three-four years earlier are stuck. In many projects, the superstructure is complete, the builder has taken 95% of the money, but he has now stopped work and is not handing over possession. His excuse-the expressway is not complete. But buyers still have to pay the EMI or pre-EMI on their home loans.” He adds that only in projects that are situated close to NH-8 have builders started giving possession.
Who should buy?
At present, only investors with a long-term investment horizon are showing interest in the Dwarka Expressway area, as they are looking to buy properties at highly discounted rates. This is not an area where you can buy today and sell immediately after a few months, another expert says. Investors must have a horizon of at least three years to be able to realize good gains from the area.
Mishra says: “The status of this area is similar to that of Dwarka. That market too lay static for a number of years. Only when connectivity to Delhi on the airport side was provided did that realty market take off. Prices in Dwarka Expressway will also appreciate once there is visibility regarding the completion of the key highway.” Experts say that only those end-users who can wait for three-four years for the infrastructure in this area to be developed should buy an apartment here now.
Tips for buyers
The sectors that lie close to Delhi are 109 to 115. Experts say these sectors are likely to enjoy better appreciation in the future due to their proximity to Delhi and the airport. Once the expressway is complete, the sectors that lie along it will also do better than those that lie further inside. Next, go with a developer with a sound reputation. Check what has been the appreciation in his past projects. If the developer does not enjoy a good reputation, the price appreciation in his project will also be lower.
Market watchers suggest that it might be better to buy into new launches in this area.