Prices of upscale residential projects in south Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida and Faridabad have clocked about a 36% hike during the past one year, defying the general slowdown in the realty sector.
For instance, an ultra-luxury apartment in DLF's Queens Court project at Greater Kailash-II - a posh South Delhi locality - will now cost at least Rs. 16.20 crore, while it was worth less than Rs. 10 crore just a year ago.
Experts attributed the price hike for these apartments - ranging between 4,000 and 10,000 sq ft - to inadequate availability of ready-to-move-in luxury apartments and speculative investments.
Plus, experts said one more reason for the high demand was the add-ons offered with such properties - private swimming pools, jacuzzis, mini theatres and multi-cuisine restaurants in high-brow club houses.
"The customers are well aware of the offerings in the United States, Canada and Europe. So, they expect and demand the same stuff in India," said Ajay Rakhija, director of Colliers International.
The sudden price rise also triggered the suspicion whether the properties are attracting black money.
But Samir Jasuja, founder-CEO of PE Analytics, a real estate data intelligence firm, told HT: "Black money, or cash, deals are struck when an investor re-sells the property."
He said, "In primary market transactions, where the money goes directly to project developers, involves all-cheque deals."
A Gurgaon-based real estate intermediary, who did not wish to be identified, however, said as high as 70% of such deals were paid in 'black' or cash.