DELHI: The attractiveness of real estate in recent years as an asset class has been further augmented owing to increasing demand for more and better-quality housing, additional office space requirement owing to expansion and consolidation by several corporates, and the advent of modern retail formats.
All these attributes have conjoined to make real estate sector in the country a ‘time tested’ investment vehicle. Interestingly, all of these attributes are there in areas like Noida, Greater Noida, Noida-Greater Noida Expressway, Greater Noida West (formerly Noida Extension), Yamuna Expressway, and the forthcoming micromarkets of Ghaziabad.
These areas have far more planned urban infrastructure, with clear demarcation of different residential and commercial sectors, than most other real estate destinations of the NCR.
Investment in real estate is always rewarding in the long term.
And, in the time of an uncertain economic scenario, investors are forced to scout for safer and less risky investments, against highly volatile investment avenues like stock markets.
Long-term real returns from real estate are the highest among all the asset classes, DTZ, a global consultancy firm says in a report. But for this, one must locate the right areas to invest. In the Delhi NCR, there are a number of pockets where the return can be very good.
Due to the scarcity of developable land at affordable prices in the main city of Delhi, the real estate activity shifted to the peripheral locations of Gurgaon and Noida. The report says the primary difference between Gurgaon and Noida lies in the level of planned development, and the rate of growth of the region.
While Gurgaon saw faster development due to the growth of the service industry primarily IT/ITeS-owing to its proximity to the airport, the development was more haphazard, with low physical infrastructure. Noida, on the other hand, has far more planned urban infrastructure, with clear demarcations of different residential and commercial sectors.
Noida, Greater Noida
The planned extensions of the main Noida region, the stretches along the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway, and Greater Noida have registered heightened activity in the residential segment in the past two-four years. In Noida-Greater Noida, the sub-micromarkets of Noida-Greater Noida Expressway, Yamuna Expressway, and Greater Noida West, and stretches along NH-24 are the emerging corridors of real estate development in the eastern periphery of Delhi.
Noida-Greater Noida Expressway
Sectors 124 to 144 comprise Noida-Greater Noida Expressway. The micromarket has a good mix of commercial, residential and forthcoming projects in retail, hospitality, education, and healthcare.
Noida-Greater Noida Expressway has emerged as the next ‘go-to’ location for office space due to the shorter travel time for commuters coming from New Delhi. This is attributed to better approach and negligible traffic congestion along with better quality of construction, the DTZ report says.
Infrastructural development and good connectivity have played a vital role in the growing demand for residential apartments along Noida-Greater Noida Expressway. In last five years, residential units along the expressway have registered more than 50% increase in average residential capital value-going from Rs 3,500 per sq ft in 2009 to Rs 5,200 in 2013.
The development of world-class infrastructure in Noida and Greater Noida and the stretch along the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway has led to more launches of residential projects, from affordable to mid-segment to luxurious projects, all of which come with high technology and world-class facilities.
The fast developing residential segment has given impetus to the ancillary sectors like education, healthcare, and hospitality.
Several reputed schools like Delhi Public School, Ryan International, Jaypee Public School, Somerville International School, The Shriram Millennium School, Genesis Global School, Lotus Valley International School, Mayoor School, JBM Global School, and colleges have been established in this area. Several hospital chains are also planning to open their branches in the area. Popular hospitality brands like Westin Resort, The Lalit Grand, Grand Hyatt, and Marriott have planned projects along the expressway.
The infrastructure in the region is better planned. The new master plan has provision to extend the Metro network and connect Noida and Greater Noida with the developments on the expressway.
A 28km-long track will be constructed between Noida and Greater Noida, which will be further extended up to the Yamuna Expressway. This line will link Sector 32 via Sector 50 and 71.
The master plan also has provision for adequate supply of water, power, and sewage. Plans to develop the basic infrastructure include a road network of over 20km, a 126MW captive power generator, and sewage treatment plants with aggregate capacity of 30,000 kilolitres per day. As per the master plan, 70% of the total development on Noida and Yamuna Expressways is to be green. Space has been allocated for 40 educational institutes and a variety of retail shopping facilities.
End users should invest in this area primarily due to the well-planned and sustainable infrastructure development along with the availability of affordable and midend residential options. Investors get better options, in terms of quality and area. Also, with the new master plan aimed at developing high quality infrastructure in the region, the appreciation is definitely going to be worth the investment.
Noida-Greater Noida Expressway certainly has a lot of potential, which it has already started leveraging, given that established micromarkets like Gurgaon and Noida are expanding towards the periphery now, the DTZ report says.
Yamuna Expressway is expected to be the next hotspot for large-scale developments like integrated townships, logistics, and warehousing hubs in the NCR, the DTZ report says.
The proposed Export Promotion Zones (EPZs), including Taj Economic Zone along Yamuna Expressway, will promote economic development of the whole area. The locality is in high demand from middle-income buyers, especially investors with limited budgets.
With the Formula One race track becoming a phenomenal success, and new facilities like the Jaypee Sports City project, Night Safari, etc, planned for the area, the expressway will see the next wave of development that will expand the city boundaries.
Residential prices in this region are among the lowest, compared to other parts of the NCR. Hence, investors have an advantage as there is a larger scope for appreciation. For end users, low-price points of projects by major developers present an equally viable opportunity.
In last five years, Yamuna Expressway has registered more than 100% increase in average residential capital values-from Rs 2,200 per sq ft in 2009 to Rs 4,800 per sq ft in 2013.
The area saw the maximum launches in 2010. Along with residential apartments, Yamuna Expressway also offers option to invest in plots. Residential plots are available in the size range of 100-350 sq yd and the price ranges from Rs 1 lakh to more than Rs 5 crore.
Some of the developers offering plotted development along this stretch include Jaypee Infratech Ltd, Supertech Limited, 3C Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, AVJ Group, Logix Empire Estate and Orris Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, etc. Recently, Gaursons launched a township on 300 acres.
Greater Noida West
Greater Noida West has always been the hub of affordable housing with initial project launches back in 2009-10 at Rs 1,800-2,000 per sq feet. At this cost, the dream of owning a home seemed a reality for most of the potential homebuyers, and a lucrative investment opportunity for investors.
However, land acquisition issue-litigation over the compensation to farmers-and the Allahabad high court’s order in October 2011 to get the Greater Noida Master Plan-2021 approved before commencing further construction, were major setbacks to the property market here, the DTZ report says.
Developers as well as buyers and investors heaved a sigh of relief as the impasse over the area ended with the approval of Greater Noida Master Plan-2021 by the NCR Planning Board in August 2012, clearing the way for resumption of construction of hundreds of housing projects halted in the area.
Greater Noida West is a newly-developing residential hub with much potential. In order for it to emerge as a self-sustained ecosystem, development at all levels is essential.
Hence, builders have also started launching commercial projects to tap the extensive residential catchment.
Some of the key commercial projects are Amrapali Techno Park, Premia Corporate City, Earth Commercial Park, Imperia, etc. These townships are also coming up with a number of 5-star hotels, malls, etc.
In a nutshell, the report said Greater Noida West is back in the game with the bustle of brick and mortar resumed.
However, potential buyers have to carefully evaluate the projects before they choose one to buy or invest. They should carry out a thorough due diligence and ensure that the project is clear of all legal encumbrances. The area will certainly see increased pace of real estate activity in the near future and will fetch good returns for investors with an investment horizon of three-four years.