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As F1 cars zoom in Buddh circuit, realty prices soar along expressway

Property rates near Yamuna Expressway have gone up by about 50% in the last 2.5 years

Mansi Taneja  |  New Delhi 

Real estate with projects near Buddh International Circuit at Greater Noida, 40 km from Delhi, are going all out to cash in on the Formula One fever.

Ahead of the race on Sunday, workers were seen putting up banners and hoardings of residential and commercial projects around the F1 track.

The property rates along the Yamuna Expressway have risen 50 per cent in the two-and-a-half-year period since the first quarter of 2011.

In the July-August quarter this year, prices were at Rs 3,132 a sq ft against Rs 2,077 sq ft in the first quarter of 2011. It was in October 2011 that the first edition of the Indian Grand Prix was held, prompting developers to make the best of the opportunity. Also, the promise of a three-hour drive to Taj Mahal on the Expressway has helped developers attract buyers to the region, otherwise marred by farmers’ agitation and court cases. (FULL THROTTLE ON SOCIAL MEDIA)

Though the stretch does not have too many residential units and construction is in patches, are launching projects in line with the price rise. The number of launches has risen 368 per cent to 16,775 units in the corresponding period, up from 3,584 units launched in 2011, according to data by research firm PropEquity.

Investors Clinic, a real estate portal, has also put up banners not far from the racing track to hardsell projects. “This is the right time to market our projects…the visibility will increase manifold during the F1 event,” said an executive from a leading developer whose project is under construction in the area.

Jaypee Sports International has built the Budh International Circuit.

The delivery numbers paint a different picture. The Expressway saw completion of 700 units in 2011 and the projects set for completion in 2012 got delayed. This year, 1,612 units are expected to be completed. Most of these were to be completed last year, according to PropEquity. A visit to the area shows real estate development at Yamuna Expressway, a 165-km stretch to Agra built by Jaypee Group, is yet to take off. Many projects which were supposed to get ready much earlier are still being constructed. Infrastructure is a hurdle too — many roads off the expressway are yet to be completed.

The infrastructure is not ready. Though the stretch has two universities, the work is yet to be completed. Apart from a few ready-to-move-in residential projects and a Jaypee resort, there is nothing.

Experts say it would take at least five-10 years before Yamuna Expressway becomes fully developed.

“With improvements in social and physical infrastructure, this micro market may see end-user demand later, in five to 10 years. Till then, the market will be driven by investors,” says Sameer Jasuja, founder and CEO PropEquity.

He adds Yamuna Expressway may be faced with oversupply, since the supply in better-developed Noida and Greater Noida like Greater Noida West (Noida Extension) is likely to be consumed first.

According to Ashutosh Limaye, real estate research head at Jones Lang Lasalle, a leading consultancy, Yamuna Expressway is more of an investor market than an end-user one. “Infrastructure hurdles are the main reason why end users are not coming into this market. F1 is not a big enough attraction for people to come and buy,” Limaye said. It’s a good playing field for investors, as one can enter at a low cost and exit at a much higher price when infrastructure development is completed.

A broker operating in Greater Noida said small time retail investors have started turning up at Yamuna Expressway. “But, one has to take a long-term horizon of at least 10 years, before getting any returns. There is no job market here, which is a big deterrent for people.” The market would witness renewed investor interest in the coming year, this is primarily due to current economic conditions and general elections due next year, analysts said.

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First Published: Sat, October 26 2013. 23:03 IST