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Foreigners in soup, not finding houses of their choices

india Updated: Jan 28, 2008 16:45 IST
Vivek Shukla
Vivek Shukla
Hindustan Times
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The growing tribe of foreign diplomats, officials of UN and other international agencies and executives of big time multinational companies are finding it extremely difficult to find houses of their choice in Delhi.



Reason, bungalows with gardens are dwindling faster than one expects in Delhi. A few years ago the situation was not that bad. According to Dr Devender Gupta of Century 21, the Real Estate advisory, if owners of big

kothis

and bungalows in South Delhi continue to hand over their properties to builders at such a brisk pace, one would not able to see independent

kothis

or bungalows after a couple of years.



Already, such

kothis

are rare and can be found only in posh places like Malcha Marg, Sunder Nagar, Vasant Vihar, Westend and Shanti Nikaten. These are some of the well-known areas which foreigners prefer in Delhi.



Those who have dealt with tenants of the above category know for sure that they have only two considerations. One, the house should have a nicely manicured garden, where they can sit and walk. Second, the house should have at least four bedrooms. Sometimes they even settle for a three bedroom house. But a house without a garden is totally out of question. The situation is really bad as now foreigners are coming in a very big way and houses of their choice are becoming lesser and lesser.



Kajol Makhijani of Mak Realtors of South Delhi says that South Koreans and Japanese don't live in houses made 20-30 years ago. This is, however, not the issue with the French, British and Americans. They don't mind living in such houses provided the houses have a nice garden. The current rates for independent 800 sq yard houses in Vasant Vihar, Shanti Nikaten, West End and Sunder Nagar are a staggering Rs 5 to 6 lakh per month. The rates vary as per the location. If we talk about 400 sq yard houses in these places, then the rates are up to 2.50 lakh. Dr Gupta says the best thing is that even though the rentals are touching the roof, one can find the tenants quite easily. After the last couple of years, the foreigners are coming here in hordes. Earlier only the diplomatic community and some officials of international agencies came to Delhi. The changed scenario has completely changed the rental scene of these areas.



It is learnt that a few years ago, the foreigners in Delhi found houses even in places like Greater Kailash, Safderjung Enclave, Uday Park and Panchshel Park. Now, it is tough to find independent houses on rent there. Where have all the houses with gardens gone? According to experts, a large number of houseowners in South Delhi have converted their houses into storeyed-buildings. A resident of Vasant Vihar, Puneet Gupta says that they have been giving their house on rent since long. They have stopped that after the demise of their father. After that, we decided to hand over our house to one builder so that flats could be made there. He further informs that many of his neighbors have followed him.



It may be recalled that more than 30 thousand foreigners live here. As is mentioned earlier, senior officials of Coca Cola, Pepsi, Seagram, Vodafone, Ericsson, Aviva and many other MNCs always look for houses here. Moreover, as houses with gardens are becoming a rarity in the capital, the strong diplomat and expert community has started going to the DLF area of Gurgaon. It is said that there they find independent houses, far cheaper than Delhi and also with gardens.