Better connectivity to boost housing
Though Metro rail connectivity has pushed up real estate prices in many Indian cities, its impact has been limited in Gurgaon. When it touched MG Road in 2010, the Metro system covered just a seven-km stretch which was by then already urbanised to a large extent. The only advantage for the Millennium City, however, was that despite a long bear cycle since 2012 to the current year, realty prices and rentals have remained steady along the Metro corridor. Absorption of office space has also increased along and near metro line.
All that i s set to change because of the new transito r i e n t e d d eve l o p m e n t o r ToD. Taking cues from Delhi, Haryana introduced the policy and increased FAR (floor area ratio, which allows developers to build more on the space they are allocated) from the current 1.75 to 3.50 in Haryana along the corridor. This step is likely to increase density and bring down prices due to increased supply. The downside is that more housing, offices and malls are going to put immense pres- sure on the already stretched infrastructure and transport facilities in the city.
The Metro did not take the Gurgaon market by stor m because it was retrofitted, says Ramesh Menon, CEO, Certes Realty. This was unlike Rohini and Dwarka in Delhi which were urbanised because of better connectivity to Central Delhi.
Of f i ce workers going t o Gurgaon from Delhi are the ones who have benefited the most because commutes have become easier and cheaper as they save money on petrol. Organisations offering drop-off facilities to staff going to Delhi, Noida and Faridabad now just send the cabs to the nearest Metro stations and save on costs.
Gurgaon’s rickety infra- structure, however, remains a challenge, unable to cope with the daily rush of office goers headed for Cyber City, Sohna Road, Udyog Vihar and other office hubs.
Nargis, who lives in Delhi, finds it tough to get to office in Udyog Vihar. “The cost of living in Gurgaon is very high so I live in Delhi. Lack of transport and daily jams make my difficult quite tough,” she says.
A large majority of office workers who come Delhi say that while last mile connectivity is good and travelling in the evening in the Capital is fairly safe, Gurgaon has problems. Poor lighting outside stations, fleecing by auto rickshaw drivers, lack of police presence apart from overcrowding in stations need to be checked, they say.
Pravesh Kumar, an office executive who comes from south Delhi, says the Metro has enabled people like him to work in Gurgaon but rush hour is a problem. “I often leave office late as it is not possible to get a seat from MG Road between 6pm to 7pm,” he says.
Residents of MG Road have their share of problems. “There are daily traffic jams at Iffco Chowk, it leads to air pollution and local transport too is not available,” says Vedpal Bakshi, who lives in Essel Tower, a premium residential area. He, however, agrees that malls and offices on MG Road have more footfalls because it’s easy for Delhiites now to come over for shopping and entertainment.
While the advent of the Metro initially did little for Gurgaon’s realty market, experts say the extension to Golf Course Road, Old Gurgaon, particularly along the Dwarka Expressway, will be beneficial for the market.
The Rapid Metro, which is already nearing completion along Golf Course Road, has created some movement in the commercial market with major companies like Uber opting to book space in DLF’s Horizon Centre and other buildings along this road.
planned 20 years ago with virtually nil occupation. An established network helps in marketing both the sectors and projects better. Areas also command a premium as they are better connected, says Vivek Dahiya founder and CEO, GenReal Advisers.
Getting infrastructure in place first also makes affordable housing successful as outskirts of cities get connected. “Here the main objective is to connect Noida and Greater Noida and to do it in one shot. In my opinion this is a good move,” he says.
The 22- km Noida- Greater Noida Expressway is the road link between the two cities. A 30-km Metro stretch is now under construction that is expected to link Sectors 50, 75, 78, 79 and most sectors along the expressway with Greater Noida.
Once the Metro is operational, says Anckur Srivasttava of GenReal Advisers, “this stretch will be a preferred corridor for live, work and play. It offers exciting residential options in the range of ₹ 4,500 to ₹ 5,000 per sq ft. Prices are expected to remain stable for some time to
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In areas, however, where social infrastructure is in place and people have moved in and some offices have opened, there is room for appreciation in the range of 5% to 10%,” he says.
Shveta Jain, mana gi ng director, Residential Services, Cushman & Wakefield, India, says a lot of supply is likely to be created along this stretch in the next three to four years. These are the affordable pockets of Noida (unlike Sector 93 and Jaypee Township). Enough pent-up demand also exists over here for housing in the range of ₹ 4,500 per sq ft to ₹ 5,000 per sq ft. Supply is available over here for anything between ₹ 50 lakh and ₹ 1.5 crore.
Also, the housing supply expected to come up in these sectors will be staggered and will not come in at one go. This will ensure that consistent demand exists for the next few years.
“Metro connectivity will definitely augment habitation in these locations. New launches are expected in this sector, especially by brands going,” she says.