BANKING ON EDUCATION
Education-centric real estate development cannot translate to long-term gains for the realty market unless supported by manufacturing, IT and good infrastructure
Can developments in the education sector help Kundli get into higher gear or will it require the support of other forces such as manufacturing, IT, and up-andrunning infrastructure as seen in Greater Noida and Pune?
The Rajiv Gandhi Education City (RGEC) at Kundli in Sonipat is envisaged as a hub for higher learning and a centre for research in cutting edge technologies such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, genetics engineering and medicine.
Land measuring 2,007.60 acres has already been acquired for the education city.
Real estate experts say that the education sector provides significant opportunities for developers to create an asset class in line with residential, commercial, retail and hospitality. However, it cannot be considered a sole driver for residential real estate. Most large education campus developments are centered along the peripheral locations of cities and provide hostel accommodation for both students and staff.
Additionally, cities like Delhi and Pune, which have large student populations and rental accommodation for them, lack volumes to drive residential real estate demand.
“Therefore, employment hubs (manufacturing and service sectors) with growth in population are key drivers for residential real estate. A case in point is Hinjewadi in Pune where the Rajiv Gandhi Infotech Park spawned residential space along with a host of higher education institutes,” says Anshul Jain of DTZ India.
Education-centric real estate development is still at a nascent stage in India. Proximity of major Tier-1 cities and availabil- ity of large land parcels have been the primary reasons for emergence of Pune and Greater Noida as education hubs.
Jain points out that education-centric real estate develops in various stages. While the first phase is focused on creation of education institutes and its ancillary services (hostel, staff housing, etc), the sector has the potential to create additional revenue-generating opportunities such as budget hotels, retail, entertainment and recreation facilities, etc. As a result, real estate development turns out to be a longterm proposition.