Mohali real estate sector bounces back from pandemic slump

By, Mohali
May 16, 2022 01:49 AM IST

With virus abating and home loan interests at lowest in nearly two decades, the demand for both commercial and residential properties in Mohali is going up

Bruised and battered by the pandemic, the real estate market in tricity is finally beginning to bounce back, with Mohali gaining the most traction.

Peripheral areas of Mohali such as Zirakpur, Kharar, and New Chandigarh have emerged as the tricity’s new property hub. (HT Photo)
Peripheral areas of Mohali such as Zirakpur, Kharar, and New Chandigarh have emerged as the tricity’s new property hub. (HT Photo)

It has come a long way since October 2020 – after the first wave receded – when Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) had managed to earn merely 417 crore by selling off almost half of its total 113 properties.

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There was a slight improvement in October 2021 when the regulatory authority earned 520 crore through two auctions.

But with the virus abating, fortunes have turned. In an auction held in January this year, GMADA pocketed a whopping 808 crore by selling nine of its major commercial properties.

The district also witnessed a major boost in stamp duty – the fee collected on the registration of properties – in 2021-22 when the earnings stood at 1,300 crore. In 2020-21, the earnings from stamp duty were a mere 822 crore. Mohali city had the highest collection of 614 crore in 2021-22. In 2020-21, the amount was almost half at 375 crore. (see box)

Most sought-after addresses

Peripheral areas such as Zirakpur, Kharar, and New Chandigarh have emerged as the tricity’s new property hub. Thanks to GMADA-led IT City and Aero City projects, Airport Road has become the most-sought after address for both investors and home seekers — bids for commercial and residential units here are drawing record amounts. There are around 200 private housing societies in Mohali.

Hot properties on Airport road

The high value of Airport Road and prospects of good returns are attracting investors not only from Punjab but Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, and NCR region too.

In the auction held in January this year, a commercial site measuring six acres in Aerocity went for 281 crore against the reserve price of 207 crore, which means the cost of an acre was around 47 crore. A group housing site, measuring 12.60 acres, in Sector 67, went for 294 crore against the reserve price of 283 crore. In the auction held in October last year, five acres of a commercial site in Aerocity went for 192 crore against the reserve price of 152 crore. Also, a 4.6-acre site for a housing project in Sector 77 on Airport Road went for 100 crore against the reserve price of 68 crore.

The demand is soaring despite the hike in prices. A three-bedroom flat, which was priced at 60 to 65 lakh during the peak of pandemic, now costs 85-90 lakh.

Builders are optimistic too as home loan interests are at the lowest in nearly two decades. They foresee a move from rentals to house ownership fuelling the demand. Builders say buyer queries are increasing and end-users are looking for ready-to-move properties. The 20,000 crore fund created by the Centre for real estate projects has helped boost the sector.

TRAIL OF QUOTES --------------------------

They say:

Realty check

In the last 3 auctions, we were able to sell most of our bigger sites and have earned nearly 1,500 crore. This and the fact that stamp duty collections are increasing shows that the real estate market is bouncing back after an 18-month lull.

Mankanwal Singh Chahal, estate officer, GMADA

Pandemic effect

The pandemic brought about a major change in people’s money habits. Instead of saving, they are now in investment mode. Besides, they are spending more time at home. Also, people living on rent started aspiring to have their own property.

Harish Gupta, president, Zirakpur builders association

NCR buyers

Mohali is seeing a real estate boom and as per the trend, most investors from NCR are eyeing Airport Road projects. Even though the prices are going up, investors are enthusiastic. During the peak of pandemic, the cost of the 2 BHK on Airport Road was 45-50 lakh, now it is 60- 65 lakh.

Amit Mittal, managing director, Green Lotus Utsav, residential project on Airport Road

Investment frenzy

The demand for both commercial and residential properties has gone up after the pandemic as people believe that investing in property will ensure the best returns. Despite the rates going up, people are investing their money in property, especially in areas under GMADA

LC Mittal, director, Motia Group, residential and commercial project, Airport road

Up-phase in market

The real estate sector has bounced back with huge sales constantly being reported in the post-Covid era. After a decade-long slump in the market, the sector is now entering a 3-5 year up phase, where the demand is robust even with increasing prices and raw material costs. Tier-2 cities are witnessing a bigger boost due to reverse migration.

Prateek Mittal, executive director, Sushma Buildtech, residential and commercial projects in Zirkapur and Airport road


    Hillary Victor is a Principal Correspondent at Chandigarh. He covers Chandigarh administration, municipal corporation and all political parties.

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