High price tags, no buy­ers

Po­ten­tial buy­ers are pre­fer­ring to stay away as prop­er­ties in pre­mium Delhi ar­eas are put up for sale at prices that are ridicu­lously ex­pen­sive

HT Estates - - FRONT PAGE - Arati Bhargava

The buzz around high-end prop­er­ties can never be toned down – no mat­ter how badly or well the econ­omy is do­ing. And pre­mium ar­eas around Delhi con­tinue to be grist for the gos­sip mills. Sud­denly, a lot of prop­er­ties are on the mar­ket in ar­eas pre­vi­ously thought to be sat­u­rated with hardly any owner ready to sell. The price tags are, how­ever, so high that po­ten­tial in­vestors are get­ting put off and stay­ing away, wait­ing for good deals to come their way.

Let’s look at what’s avail­able. The mother of all ask­ing rates for a bun­ga­low on the pres­ti­gious Au­rangzeb Road in the Cap­i­tal is a whop­ping ₹ 651 crore. Those in the know say that the prop­erty is spread over 54,009 sq ft with a built-up area of about 15,000 sq ft, and when sold will be one of the prici­est.

In the posh Malcha Marg area, an erst­while ma­ha­rani’s two-and-a-half storey, 3,375 sq ft house is priced at ₹ 60 crore and has many po­ten­tial buy­ers lined up.

In the Con­naught Place area, a 7,200 sq ft plot is on sale for ₹ 275 crore. An­other va­cant prop­erty of 2,000 sq ft is avail­able for ₹ 125 crore. En­quiries are com­ing in from po­ten­tial buy­ers but the prop­er­ties have re­mained on the mar­ket for about six months now.

Not­with­stand­ing the ma­jor slow­down in the real es­tate sec­tor, Delhi’s af­flu­ent are in no mood to slash prices, putting up their homes and com­mer­cial prop­er­ties for sale with price tags of over ₹ 100 crore. Sur­pris­ingly, agents claim such prices are “still not that high,” go­ing by the value and lo­ca­tion of the prop­er­ties. A 10,800 sq ft house in the up­mar­ket colony of Jor Bagh ear­lier this year was snapped up for ₹ 140 crore by a re­puted com­pany.

The flip side to all of this, how­ever, is the re­luc­tance of the su­per rich buy­ers to clinch a deal. It is not that there is a dearth of mil­lion­aires or even bil­lion­aires who can dig very deep into their pock­ets for a prize prop­erty, but many of them are now be­ing cau­tious, say prop­erty agents. The ma­jor rea­son is that the ask­ing rates of prop­er­ties in pre­mium ar­eas is ab­surdly high, and even ap­pear ir­ra­tional at times. Many prospec­tive buy­ers then won­der whether it’s worth their while to in­vest such huge sums and get some­thing of value.

It was very dif­fi­cult to find va­cant prop­er­ties of 9,000 sq ft or above two years back in the al­ready sat­u­rated pre­mium prop­erty mar­ket, says Capt Sab­har­wal of The Shel­ter, a real es­tate agency. Now, things have changed in ar­eas like West End, Shanti Nike­tan and Vas­ant Vi­har. West End has three high­end prop­er­ties for sale, each of about 10,800 sq ft, with prices rang­ing be­tween ₹ 90 crore and ₹ 100 crore, de­pend­ing on the lo­ca­tion and prop­erty. Four prop­er­ties again of about 9,000 sq ft each in Shanti Nike­tan are avail­able for prices rang­ing from ₹ 85 crore to ₹ 90 crore. In Vas­ant Vi­har, there were 10 prop­er­ties avail­able for about ₹ 75 crore each. Th­ese prices, ac­cord­ing to Capt Sab­har­wal, had fallen about 10% to 20% from last year.

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