With the Greater Noida authority having hiked, in two strokes in three months, the residential land price by more than 50%, builders will not be able to deliver budget units in Noida Extension or anywhere else in the city.
They say doors have been shut for prospective middle-class buyers and, from now on, luxury houses will become a "forced reality" in the area.
In 2008, builders set foot in a nondescript cluster of villages across the Hindon in Greater Noida, coined a term "Noida Extension" and started wooing middle-class buyers with lures of affordable housing. They promised two-bedroom flats in the price band of Rs 15 to Rs 25 lakh.
While the delivery has been delayed, caught in a legal tangle, with farmers seeking their "forcibly acquired" land back, the authority has hinted the existing one lakh-odd homebuyers in Noida Extension may also have to pay more.
"We would have to hike the rate at which land has been allotted to builders. The burden will have to be passed on to the existing buyers," said an official. There will at least be a 40% hike in prices of all future flats to come up on land not auctioned yet.
"In all projects based on fresh auctions of land, the new lowest price band will be Rs 20 to Rs 30 lakh. Those with not much income will not be able to afford it; the higher-income group will not need such houses anyway. We will have to switch to costlier houses," said Anil Sharma, vice-president of real estate body CREDAI (NCR).
Around May-end, the authority hiked the land rates by 12.5%, saying it needed money to pay compensation to agitating farmers. On Friday, it again hiked the rates by 40%, saying it needed money to make farmers, seeking their acquired land back, fall in line. In case of group-housing plots, the rate has been hiked from Rs 12,400 per sqm to Rs 17,300 per sqm. For residential plots, allottees will be paying Rs 16,900 per sqm compared to the existing Rs 13,000 per sqm.
Sharma, who heads Amrapali Group, said, "The authority still has a lot of land to auction in Noida Extension and Greater Noida. The burden will be passed on to buyers." Because of the new land policy of UP, the authority has to develop the acquired land to return a substantial part of it to farmers.