24122016-rel-01.qxd 12/23/2016 6:33 PM Page 1 c m y b CHANDIGARH | SATURDAY | 24 DECEMBER 2016 As we enter the last week of 2016, Tribune reporters bring a reality check from key cities in the North Realty at the crossroads 2016 WRAPUP bility in 2016. Developers in Zirakpur including Mona Townships, Motias, SBP group etc handed over possessions of residential projects. GEETU VAID Tepid Panchkula Hope and uncertainty have always remained catchwords in the real estate sector in India, but never was this so evident and appropriate as it is in this moment in 2016. Realty markets all over the northern region remained stagnant as buyers remained elusive. Prices in most of the tier II and III cities registered a correction of 15 to 25 per cent in the first half of the year even as developers and industry mavens predicted a revival in the sector and RBI cut repo rates in succession raising the hopes of lower home loan interest rates. The year saw seven cities from the region getting a place in the list of 100 Smart Cities to be developed as part of the ambitious urban development programme. Apart from Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Karnal and Faridabad, Dharamshala in Himachal too made it to the coveted list raising hopes of better real estate eco system in the region. Smart avtar The Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali tricity area remained one of the most vibrant realty markets in the region next only to NCR cities of Gurgaon, Faridabad and Sonepat-Kundli belt. While going strong on the road to becoming a "true" Smart City, Chandigarh also became one of the first cities in the country to set up a temporary Real Estate Regulatory and Develop- Tribune PHOTO:MALKIAT SINGH ment Authority (RERA) to address issues such as delays in possession of flats and plots. In another first the UT Administration started using drones to map and measure all properties in the city and also to keep an eye on building violations and encroachments, making it first in the country to do so. Though the high-end Chandigarh market saw some correction in 2016 also, it remained out of the reach of those looking for affordable options. The city which is primarily a secondary market, however, saw sale volumes dipping. In the primary market the Chandigarh Housing Board's housing scheme in Sector 51 became a flop show because of the high price and strict payment options. The scheme had 150 flats on offer costing ~69 lakh excluding other charges. THE YEAR THAT STARTED ON A HIGH NOTE OF HOPE FOR THE REALTY SECTOR OFFERED A ROLLERCOASTER RIDE WHEREIN HOPE, TRANSPARENCY, ETHICS AND ACTIVISM ALL GOT REDEFINED AND REFINED. Many applicants reportedly surrendered their flats allotted in the draw. The reason cited was payment of the entire sum within three months. This was the first time Chandigarh Housing Board has asked for the full amount within such a short time frame. Mohali — the star The lack of options in affordable range in the City Beautiful saw the periph- ery markets thrive. And Mohali emerged as the star of the tricity area. However, fulcrum of Mohali market shifted in 2016. The main reason for this shift was the international Airport getting fully operational. This led to a boom in the real estate activity in the areas surrounding the airport. GMADAs Aerocity was one project that saw maximum movement in prices as well as in the construction activ- ity. Along with the IT City and Sectors like 66-88 also became realty hotbed. This saw some big residential as well as commercial players entering the Mohali market. While Hero Homes launched its premium project, World Trade Centre also commenced construction work in its premium office and retail hub. Meanwhile, Zirakpur and New Chandigarh markets also maintained price sta- Panchkula, however, remained one of the most low-key of the tricity regions. Prices in the old sectors of the city saw correction of up to 25 per cent and buyers steered clear of trans-Ghaggar sectors in spite of the area having good infrastructure and roads. The most dismal report card, however, remained of the ambitious Pinjore-Kalka Urban Complex projects that involved some of the top names in the realty industry. Delay of several years saw the patience of buyers running out as many approached consumer courts to get justice from the errant developers. DLF the coun, try's largest real estate player, was repeatedly in news as case after case was decided against it by the consumer forum that granted relief of compensation and refund to the harried buyers. IREO, the other player having a project in the urban complex, however, claimed that it has hastened the construction work and will deliver to buyers in near future. Thus, the year that started on a high note of hope for the realty sector offered a roller coaster ride wherein hope, transparency, ethics and activism all got redefined and refined. And even though one can't exactly see 2016 end on a high as far as the realty fortunes and transactions are concerned, still the flag of hope, achche din and fair deals is flying high - though across a bit distant horizon due to the demonetisation "surgical strike" by the PM. UTTARAKHAND/DEHRADUN HIMACHAL PRADESH Shimla market like a candle in the wind With more than three dozen housing projects coming up in Dehradun and Mussoorie realty scene was buzzing till November 8. SOLAN AMBIKA SHARMA N Residential projects (existing) in Shimla.PHOTO AMIT KANWAR BHANU P LOHUMI S LOWDOWN and demonetisation have had little effect on the sale of properties in urban areas in Himachal Pradesh. However, projects in rural areas have been hit hard with sales going down by 40-45 per cent. In Shimla Urban and 24 cases of built up BHK and independent floors are coming for registration every day as usual, says tehsildar Shimla urban Sanjeev Gupta. There is very little land available in Shimla (Urban) but in Shimla (Rural) area where land and flats are available has witnessed a dip of 40-45 per cent said Tehsildar Shimla Rural Manjeet Sharma. The land deeds are being registered as per the circle rate fixed by the Revenue department and as such the impact of “cash” transactions which have been eliminated after demonetisation is not visible. There is market for genuine buyers who pay the entire amount in “white” but the builders, asking for sufficient amount in cash are feeling the pinch of demonetisation, said a consultant in realty sector. Owner of Eastline properties, Amarjeet Singh, says that there is decline of about 75 per cent in demand for high value properties. Earlier there were huge enquiries for buying hotel properties in Shimla but after demonetisation not even a single query has come since November 9. However, prices have not crashed in Shimla as demand was more than supply and builders are holding back the properties hoping for realty sector to recover instead of going for distress sale, he added. Himachal Pradesh Urban Development Authority (HIMUDA) has completed the process of purchase of 250 bighas from private owners while a chunk of 138 bighas government land has already been earmarked for setting up of an integrated township to ease out the congestion in the state capital at Jathaidevi near the airport, about 17 km from Shimla. With a Government of Singapore undertaking expressing interest in enter ing into a joint venture for setting up an integrated township at Jathiadevi, an expert team from Singapore Cooperation Enterprises, a joint venture of Singapore Ministry of Trade and Foreign Affairs inspected the site in September this year. The town and Country planning department issued two licences to colonisers at Chota Shimla and Malyana in the current year taking the total number of licence issued to 15 in the Shimla planning area. Several builders and house owners, who had made mas- OTWITHSTANDING a sharp dip in the demand in the realty sector, builders in Solan and its vicinity did come up with a number of housing and commercial projects during 2016. With work on four-laning the crucial ParwanooSolan section underway and other new roads like Solanbypass and even ignored roads like Jangeshu-Kasauli having kick-started, realtors were trying to cash-in on better connectivity. Even lesser known markets like areas in the vicinity of Dagshai town and Nahan Road were witnessing high-end realty activity where palatial housing projects had been floated. Scores of quality housing projects are nearing completion but demonetisation announcement has hit sales after Diwali. So the year has ended on a sombre note with little hope of a revival sometime in 2017. sive deviations or constructed multi-storeyed flats without getting the building plans sanctioned are jittery as the Governor has so far not okayed Town and Country Planning (amendment) Bill providing for regularisation of all illegal constructions on “as is, where is” basis passed during the Monsoon session of Assembly. c m y b SYED KAZMI T HE hill state of Uttarakhand that has been a major destination for real estate builders and buyers for the past decade has seen a lull in the business after demonetisation since November 8. Till November it was a flourishing market with more than three dozen housing projects coming up in Dehradun and Mussoorie . But demonetisation has sucked out the buyers from this market now. The number of property registrations has been minimum since November 8. “Buyers are keeping their fingers crossed and are wait- Valley of hope ing for the proposed new property laws as rumored,” said Rajinder Aswal, a local property dealer in Dehradun. However, many of the builders who are coming up with housing projects in the Dehradun-Mussoorie area are hopeful that after the situation stabilises, the real estate market would look up in 2017. “The situation has been stressful for those who are involved in cash transactions on a large scale in the real estate market. But, since we encourage clean deals, there has been steady flow of buy- ers,” claims Sudhir Windlass, one of the leading housing property dealer of the region. Another property dealer Tushar Kumar, who is coming up with GTM housing project in Dehradun, said that genuine buyers who are availing housing loans from banks to own a house in salubrious climate of Doon valley are making inquiries. “ We carried out a campaign from November 14 till December 14 throughout the state in collaboration with State Bank of India for our upcoming projects and the response has been encouraging,” said Tushar Kumar,CMD of GTM group. The terai region of the state in Dehradun, Haridwar, Haldwani and Udham Singh Nagar had seen a spurt in urbanisation with people migrating from higher hills to the plains. The 2013 natural disaster had speeded up the process of migration. Meenakshi Sundram, vicechairman of MussoorieDehradun Development Authority (MDDA) said that real estate business remained steady throughout 2016 but demonetisation has definitely affected it. She, however, expressed hope that situation would stabilise in the next three months.
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