Over the last two years or so, real estate prices in most metros have seen a sharp rise, with annual return of 30 per cent being quite common. Though there seems to be some steam left still, some experts predict that prices will either stabilise or fall in 2007.
If you plan to invest in 2007, remember that it is a high-risk game, requiring you to stomach up to a six-year price downturn. Next year, go for long-term bets, basically areas that will surely appreciate in the next 4-5 years courtesy infrastructural developments such as metros, roads, bridges and airports. We map the areas with great prospects for price appreciation in the six metros of Delhi & NCR, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai.
1. DELHI & NCR
Infrastructure development in Delhi is giving access to places where even now people grow two righteous good crops a year. And those are just the places to grow your money.
Delhi Metro: In Dwarka in west Delhi, the connection has pushed up prices by about 75 per cent and a further increase of 15-20 per cent is expected in 2007, especially in sectors 2, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14. The eastern extreme, adjoining Noida, which will get connected by 2009, is seeing property prices along the Metro shooting up. In sectors that will house stations -- 15, 16, 18, 32 (city centre), the botanical garden and the golf course -- expect a rise of 20-25 per cent.
Says vice-president of Delhi-based Majestic Properties Abdul Bari: "The prices are Rs 4,000-5,000 per sq ft as of now." Sectors 19, 26, 39, 40, 41, 47, 50, 51, 61 and 62 are also expected to gain. "Once the Metro reaches Noida, the connecting corridors will see a rise of about 25-30 per cent," says S.K. Sayal, CEO, Alpha G Corp.
Taj Expressway: The road, connecting Noida to Agra, will divert traffic coming from the south and going north and north-west from going through the city. After work started on it, prices have risen from Rs 1,500-2,000 per sq ft to Rs 2,000-3,500 per sq ft in Greater Noida.
Once it becomes operational, prices could go up by 20-25 per cent. Meanwhile, Greater Noida is likely to see a population rise from 1,00,000 to 3,50,000 by next year. Also, developers like Unitech, Eldeco and the Ansals are coming up with residential projects there.
NH8 Expressway: This awaited project linking Dhaula Kuan in Delhi with Gurgaon has seen a time overrun. Even so, property prices around it have shot up to Rs 5,000-6,000 per sq ft.
It is spreading out in the east and beyond Howrah in the west.
Rajarhat: Development of this new 5,000 hectare township in the north-east started about five years ago. From about Rs 1,400-1,500 per sq ft last year, rates have risen to Rs 2,400-2,850 per sq ft. "In six months down the line, the prices in East Kolkata will increase by another 15-20 per cent," says Rahul Todi of Bengal Sharachi. The average price in New Town next year is expected to be between Rs 2,800-3,300 per sq ft.
Beyond Howrah: Two township projects are pushing up land prices. The first is a West Bengal government plan to create a 5,000-acre township project in Dankuni, near Kolkata. "Land prices appreciated last year," says Abhijit Das, regional director, Trammell Crow Meghraj, Kolkata. "One cottah (720 sq ft) on the stretch from the second Hooghly bridge to Dankuni is at Rs 1.5 lakh-3 lakh (Rs 150,000-300,000) compared to Rs 15,000-40,000 a year back." The other is an integrated township, West International City. At present, prices here are ruling at Rs 19 lakh-85 lakh (Rs 1.9-8.5 million) for residences of 900-4,500 sq ft and are expected to rise 20 per cent in 2007.
Eastern Metropolitan Bypass (EMB): The 21-km road along the eastern rim of the city connects its northern and southern parts. Two seven-star projects by Delhi's DLF Group and Dubai's Emmar Group are on the anvil. Current rates are Rs 3,000-3,400 per sq ft and are expected to rise 15 per cent in 2007.
Baruipur-Sonarpur: Located in south of Kolkata, this is the venue of the Salim Group of Indonesia's 6,000-acre, multi-use township project and SEZ. Property prices have already been pushed up 15-20 per cent. "Garia, the Garia-EMB connector, south EMB, Sonarpur and Baruipur will get impacted," says Das. Current property rates: Rs 900-3,000 per sq ft.
The city's infrastructure is creaking now. But it has big plans to bring it back to its former shape.
Outer Ring Road: Currently, the prices are pegged between Rs 3,500-4,000 per sq ft on the Outer Ring Road, connecting KR Puram to Hosur Road. The prices are expected to rise 15-20%.
Airport: The airport being built in Devanahalli, in the north, is to be completed by March 2008. "The prices there are at Rs 2,000 per sq ft now. A rise to Rs 3,000-4,000 per sq ft is expected in the next two to three years," says Bangalore-based Shivaram Malaka, executive director, Habitat Ventures.
"In strategically-located Hebbal, near Devanahalli, the residential prices are around Rs 3,400-3,500 per sq ft and could go up by 60-70 per cent by 2008, if the developments take place as planned," says Praveen Kumar, vice-president, Trammell Crow Meghraj, Bangalore.
Satellite townships: The government has proposed five satellite townships at Sathanur, Bidadi, Ramanagaram, Solur and Nandagudi. The announcement has pushed up land prices from Rs 4-8 lakh (Rs 400,000-800,000) per acre to Rs 15-20 lakh (Rs 1.5-2 million). Prices in the outer ring, which are Rs 3,500-4,000 per sq ft now will see a hike of 15-20 per cent.
Elevated expressway: It will connect Tumkur Road in the north to Hosur Road in the south. Price of land along the corridor has moved up. The Bengarhatta road, Kanakpura Road and Tumkur Road have already seen an increase in land prices up to 300 per cent in the last two to three years. The prices along Tumkur Road are Rs 2,000 per sq ft on an average.
IT Park: Whitefield became the IT hub after industries moved to other parts of Bangalore. The corridor stretches to Indiranagar, Koramangala and Hosur Road. While the location is witnessing lot of action in terms of development and property prices, the spill of prices is being seen at Hosur Road.
Currently the residential prices at Hosur Road are Rs 2,000-2,500 per sq ft and they will escalate 10-15 per cent next year if the development is steady. "In Whitefield, the prices are between Rs 2,400-2,700 per sq ft and are likely to see a rise of 20-30 per cent next year," says Kumar.
From crowded trains to clogged drains, it has huge problems. But still prices are going up due to infrastructure improvements.
Trans Harbour Link: The most ambitious project, it will connect Uran to Shivri across the harbour and become operational in 2015. It should cut travel time from south Mumbai to the eastern suburbs as well as the planned SEZs around the area.
Mumbai Metro: The elevated MRTS link connecting Versova to Ghatkopar will push the prices 40-50 per cent in some areas over three to four years and is likely to start running in this time. This should give a price thrust in Saki Naka, Powaii, Kurla, Ghatkopar and West Andheri. "I expect to see 40-50 per cent rise in these areas in the next three-four years," says Kapoor.
The challenger to Bangalore's crown as IT capital of India is experiencing some smart realty price rallies.
IT corridor: Madhapur to the west of Hyderabad, and Gachibowli to the north-west are the IT hubs spurring a lot of residential real estate projects in that area. "The prices have shot up between Rs 2,500-3,500 per sq ft in Madhapur, 20-25 per cent high since last year," says Thirumal Govindraj of CB Richard Ellis, Chennai. In Gachiboli, the prices start from Rs 3,000 per sq ft.
International Airport: This is slated to come up early in 2008 at Shamshabad, south of the city. Some major locations getting impacted at Shamshabad are areas along NH-7and Srisailam Highway. The prices along the connecting corridors range between Rs 8,000-12,000 per sq yard. By next year, the land prices will see a hike of 50 per cent. Neighbourhood areas along the airport like Kottur and Tukkuguda are within the range of Rs 3,500-5,000 per sq yard. Mansanpally is commanding prices between Rs 8,000-9,000 per sq yard.
Outer Ring Road: After work starts on Outer Ring Road, prices could go up 20-25 per cent. "West, south and south-west side of Hyderabad will see the maximum impact," says N. Ananthanarayanan, regional director, Trammell Crow Meghraj, Chennai.
This is one of the cities expecting a moderate growth of about 10 per cent.
IT and BPO buzz: The 20-km stretch of Old Mahabalipuram Road has been designated an IT corridor. The stretch, starting at Taramani and Perungudi and ending at Padur and Kelamakkam, has seen property prices spiralling up from Rs 900 per sq ft in 2003 to Rs 3,400 per sq ft in 2006. "The prices are expected to increase by 20-25 per cent next year," says Ananthanarayanan.
"Porur in west Chennai and GST Road in south-west Chennai are emerging peripheral locations and are abuzz with IT developments," says Ramesh Nair, director (Chennai), Jones Lang, LaSalle, India. The prevailing residential prices in Porur are Rs 1,800-2,000 per sq ft and they have appreciated by 20-25 per cent because of the IT developments along the Mount Poonamallee highway.
Along GST Road, the rate is Rs 1,400-2,200 per sq ft for residential property, which has increased by 20 per cent over the previous year because of Mahindra City, Arun Excello Foundation, and Shriram Gateway IT Parks.