Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida have been the hubs of opportunity and will continue to be so. However, due to considerable delays in delivery in the short run, the interest of investors seems to have plateaued.
Growth opportunities have migrated to smallerknown markets like Bhiwadi, Neemrana, Bharatpur, Alwar, Dharuhera, and Bhiwani, which are likely to offer more scope for capital appreciation.
The National Capital Region has undergone another round of expansion with three more districts - Mahendragarh, Bhiwani (both in Haryana) and Bharatpur (Rajasthan) added to it, thus increasing the total number of districts in the NCR to 19. The move is aimed at reducing the burden on Delhi, Noida and Gurgaon, and thus expanding the Delhi suburban region.
The NCR tag offers huge opportunity for these new areas. However, a Master Plan for these areas needs to be chalked out or else it may lead to unscrupulous elements aggregating land, thereby driving land prices up exponentially.
It might result in early saturation of prices, which would leave very little margin for the genuine investor/consumer to make gains.
DHARUHERA AND BHIWANI
With real estate becoming unaffordable for the middle income group in Gurgaon and Manesar the towns of Dharuhera and Bhiwadi have emerged as affordable substitutes with immense growth potential.
Some of the prominent developments here include the opening of industries worth Rs 3,000 crore in Bawal, a car plant of Honda Siel in Khushkhera, the Japanese corridor, and a railway corridor.
Over 5,000 medium and large factories are driving the commerce in the region. Proximity to the yet-to-be constructed KMP Expressway and location on the NH8 are added advantages.
Over 20 major developers are already working on commercial and residential projects in the region.
Dharuhera in particular has been a favourite among developers. A new trend of having a second home featuring recreational facilities like a spa, a sauna, jacuzzi, a health club, etc is developing and largely driving this market.
All in all, about 30-odd new residential projects contribute around 10,000 dwellings units in Bhiwadi.
Eight new projects in Dharuhera add another 1000 units. These two markets are going to be the hot spots in the coming years. Dharuhera currently leads in pricing and Bhiwadi in terms of quantity and infrastructural development.
Neemrana has long been a weekend getaway for Delhiites and is now witnessing development.
The widening of the NH8 to eight lanes is expected to reduce travel time from IGI airport to a considerable extent. It is also an integral part of the ambitious Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) in Rajasthan.
A global city spanning 40,000 acres is proposed by the Rajasthan Government. There is also an ambitious proposal for a high-speed regional rail transport system (RRTS) running from Delhi to Alwar via Gurgaon and Rewari which could in turn improve Neemranafs connectivity in the coming years.
All these factors have already brought about a lot of activity in the real estate market of Neemrana. Numerous townships, housing societies and villa complexes have already been launched and sold out.
Land prices in the past 24 months have more than doubled. Interestingly, 38 universities have received an in-principal approval for setting up campuses in Neemrana.
When the universities come up, the area would become a captive township for students, more on the lines of the satellite township of Greater Noida. Several Japanese MNCs and Indian companies have their offices in this area, and several others are expected to join soon given the relatively cheaper availability of skilled and unskilled labour.
Neemrana seems to be the most promising location for investment where the catalyst is the presence of foreign players in the region.
With developments in Bhiwadi and Neemrana picking up pace, Alwar seems to be another logical destination since its commerce has been burgeoning and is providing affordable residential options.
The Bhiwadi-Alwar road and Alwar bypass are some of the best locations in the region. Proximity to Jaipur, Delhi and tourist spots in the vicinity make it an important real estate destination.
Alwar being a comparatively more established town than Neemrana does not leave much scope for new plans in the region but Bhiwadi and Neemrana will see major development in the years to come.
This is one of the latest additions to the NCR region. The district has an area of 5,066 square km.
It is bound by Gurgaon in the north, Mathura and Agra districts in the east, and Dholpur in the south, Karauli in the southwest, and Dausa and Alwar in the west.
Bharatpur is a tourist destination and a bird watcheris delight.
Geographically, it is ideally located with connectivity to NH2, proximity to Agra and Mathura. It is chiefly an agricultural economy. Further to the announcement, land aggregators have started evaluating the option of securing larger land parcels in the region.
Chances of prices shooting up cannot be ruled out; however, for the development spree to reach so far would be nothing short of a miracle given the snail's pace at which the stellar city of Gurgaon is being developed. One can, however, definitely wait and watch and see how things pan out.
Bhiwani till now has been a small and medium enterprisedriven industrial area.
The prospects of the market seem slow in terms of residential or commercial property, but labour and industrial benefits can draw a few MNCs.
It is well-connected to the capital and areas like Rohtak and Hisar.
The Bhiwani story seems to have no major success driver till now and one should wait to see if the state government comes up with an ambitious Master Plan and incentive schemes.
If one were to draw a comparison between the two states, Rajasthan appears to be more promising in terms of future infrastructural developments.
But conventional school of thought says that development is a function of proximity to Delhi and Gurgaon ,thus making Bhiwani and Dharuhera in Haryana more attractive.
Clean, litigation-free land acquisition and inclusive growth of farmers and locals is essential to sustain real estate interest in these new regions.
The infrastructure development needs to keep pace with price escalation and developers need to improve transparency and reliability.
(The author is an associate director -private investments, DTZ India)