NOIDA: Builders with housing projects in Noida Extension (renamed Greater Noida West) have let a huge sigh of relief at Wednesday's Supreme Court judgment, quashing the appeal by farmers of 65 villages to reverse the process of land acquisition in their villages. Caught up in uncertainty as a result of the legal action by the farmers, construction work had all but stopped in these areas since 2011. It had dovetailed into the overall slump in the realty market, spelling doom and gloom all around. An elated builder lobby said it is confident the glut of projects freed up by the court order will not push down prices, but add to greater options for the buyers.
Real estate development was already underway in 14 of the 65 villages, with 75 builders involved in projects that have close to 300,000 apartments. About 500 flats have already been handed over to buyers.
Builders who have handed over flats already, like Gaursons and Supertech, have charged an additional amount to cover for what they had to pay GNIDA after Allahabad high court had ruled in favour of enhanced compensation - to the tune of 64.7% of land value and 10% in developed land - in lieu of abadi/residential land acquired. For buyers who have already got possession, the charges were added to their settlement tabs. Buyers who are yet to get possession will have to pay the extra tab at the time of possession.
Buyers, though, are up in arms against paying extra charges. They say that at the time of booking, builders were contractually bound not to levy additional charges. "It is wrong to pass on extra charges to buyers, as land acquisition is GNIDA's responsibility. We've asked the apex court to clarify who should bear the extra costs," said Shweta Bharti, general secretary of Noida Extension Flat Owners Welfare Association (NEFOWA).
The builder lobby, though, thinks the SC green signal bodes well for Noida Extension as a realty destination. Investors were earlier wary of the area because of the prevailing uncertainties from the pending legal issues. "This is good new for investors. The area is developing fast and will become a prime destination for NCR home buyers soon. We expect more buyer interest in Noida Extension over the next few months," said NCR CREDAI president and Gaursons MD Manoj Gaur.
"The going rate of apartments in Noida Extension is between Rs 4,500 and Rs 5,000 per sq ft. But now that we are going to open our inventory and develop newer projects, new buyers will have to pay higher prices. We're definitely looking at price hikes, because the entire development scenario has changed," Gaur added.
"This is a definite reversal of the low mood prevailing about Noida Extension. This augurs well for realty in Greater Noida. For both buyers who have invested already, and those who are planning to buy, the area has now become premiere," said Supertech MD R K Arora.