Demand for residential properties near ancient monuments and sites in non-congested areas remains high. Living close to ‘a slice of history’ has its charms for property buyers, say real estate experts.
Many of the ancient monuments and sites in Delhi, such as Humayun’s Tomb, Lodi Garden and Qutab Minar have picturesque and open environs but others have markets and congested residential areas around them.
About 174 ancient monuments and sites in Delhi are maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI ). Several posh areas in Delhi have more than one ancient monument – South Extension being a case in point with the tombs of Kale Khan, Bhure Khan, Chote Khan, Bade Khan and Darya Khan as well as the tomb and mosque of Mubarak Shah.
Realty agents say prices of properties close to an ancient monument or site are considerably higher than the area’s prevailing prices provided that the construction is new. HS Sahni, an agent in Nizamuddin, said prospective buyers while looking for an apartment or independent unit in Nizamuddin East preferred locations near Humayun’s Tomb. He said a newly constructed floor in a building near the boundary walls of the tomb was priced between Rs 5.6 crore and Rs 6.6 crore depending on the location and type of construction. A single floor in a 400 sq yard plot not far from the tomb was valued at Rs 12 crore.
Interestingly, in areas like Nizamuddin East, Hauz Khas and Green Park properties are readily available on sale. Sahni said there were around 10 flats and two houses for sale near Humayun’s Tomb. Some properties are built on 200 sq yard plots. The houses, most of them old structures, cost over Rs 16 crore and the apartments go for anything between Rs 5.5 crore and Rs 6.5 crore.
A number of properties on the market are near ancient monuments in Hauz Khas, Green Park and part of the Safdarjung Development area, says Desraj Kaundal of SDR Real Estate Agents. Over 20 properties, mostly independent housing units, are for sale, their plot sizes varying from 140 sq yd, 265 sq yd, 300 sq yd and 500 sq yd. The prices range from about Rs 10 crore (for a 265 sq yard property), Rs 12 crore (300 sq yd) and between `18 crore and Rs 20 crore (for 500 sq yard).
Prices of properties near ancient monuments depend on whether or not the property owner has got permission for renovation or re-building from the authorities.
No permissions mean no buyers so sellers are willing to let the properties go cheap. Owners of homes that are old prefer to wait till they can get permission to renovate or build to get a better price.
Buyers prefer newly constructed property with modern facilities. Being new, such properties require minimal repair work – so clearance from authorities would not be required. Buying older properties would also mean that buyers would face the travails of getting the requisite permissions to construct and renovate. Every ancient monument and site has a protected limit determined by the Archaeological Survey of India. Any construction, renovation and repair work of up to 300 metre circumference of the protected limit of the monument and site is monitored by the National Monument Authority (NMA). This was earlier being done by the ASI but once the NMA was set up in 2011, it became the monitoring authority. In Delhi, the Competent Authority at present is ASI director Dr
DN Dimri. In the NMA based in Tilak Marg, such matters are looked after by NMA member secretary Navneet Soni.
Speaking to this writer Soni said no construction was allowed within 100 metre diameter of the protected limit of a Centrally protected ancient monument and site. Repairs and renovation though are allowed on properties that have been in existence since 1992 or those built with the approval of the director general ASI.
( The writer is a senior columnist )