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Gurgaon housing projects delayed, buyers stunned

india Updated: Oct 16, 2008 15:48 IST

Minal Rajan’s current home is a Rs 40,000-a-month rented flat. And her dream home is a Rs 45,000-a-month installment, and no more.

She will have to wait.

Many upscale housing projects in the suburb of Gurgaon are running behind schedule. While some delays are normal, most have overshot deadlines by up to a year or more.

Those in the trade blamed it on the “ongoing liquidity crunch” and the global meltdown. With funds getting sucked out of the system, they said, delays and cancellations are likely.

Another home hopeful, who didn’t want to be identified fearing harassment by the builder, said, “I have been paying a rental of Rs 70,000 a month as my flat in DLF’s Pinnacle is not ready yet, more than a year past the delivery date.”

Rajan’s “booked” home is in Unitech’s The Close, also in Gurgaon. She had a scare recently when she heard work had stopped. It hadn’t. But when she went down to the site to check, she was told her flat would be late.

The DLF spokesman said, “The delivery of Pinnacle apartments would begin anytime soon.” The delay, if any, he said, was because the company was waiting for the occupation certificate from the government.

Sanjay Chandra, Unitech managing director, denied there was a delay in any of his projects. “As of now, all our projects are as per the schedule. Global slowdown has indeed made an impact on the investment sentiments in general, but it is too premature to make an assessment of the same on Unitech.”

But the word is out in the trade that things were not as good as they once were.

The completion of many real estate projects has been delayed, as developers are increasingly handicapped by the ongoing liquidity crunch,” said Anuj Puri, chairman of Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj, a global real estate consultancy firm.

He doesn’t see an improvement in the situation any time soon.

“There is also not much incentive to find alternative funding methods, since the current quarter represents the lowest ebb in demand for luxury and even mid-income properties in the last three to four years," said Puri. "It is far from surprising that many projects are on hold. We expect matters on the liquidity front to improve within 12-18 months.”

Anshuman Magazine, of CB Richard Ellis, agreed but said there was one more reason for these delays: the way the builders expanded work during the boom years. “If they were handling 10 projects earlier, they had 20 more, and this led to delay in completion of projects.”

(With inputs from HT Business)