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The Lure of Sonepat.


Sonprastha, or Swarnaprastha, was how Sonipat was known in the days of the Pandavas. Though not as rich as Western UP, this region has seen prosperity due to its contribution to India’s Green and White Revolutions. Keeping pace with the urban revolution now, Sonipat is preparing to capitalise on these new opportunities as well.
It has the advantage of having enough land for fresh and planned development, on tracts of land there are relatively free of problems such as encroachment. It also has the advantage of hindsight.
Like many of the emerging urban corridors of today, most of the new projects of Sonipat are along the NH 1, which is a busy route connecting Delhi to Chandigarh. However, these new areas are also served by a good network of sector roads, which hold out a promise that residents would not depend on the national highway for their daily commute. Currently this area is in the developmental stage and deliveries of plots are due to start by the end of 2008. Apartments are due to come up for possession by 2009.
The projects on the NH 1 are removed from the main city by 3-4 km. Many projects are also coming up nearer to the Sonipat city and these are likely to see habitation much earlier because they will benefit from the growth of the city itself. This week we focus on the projects that are on the highway.
Some of these are large projects and they even extend to sectors that adjoin the city. However, bulk of their development is dependent on two factors — The new industries and educational institutions that are set to come up here, and the spillover of Delhi’s growth to these areas. It is these projects that are banking on the future developments in the area, and are located on the NH 1, that we look at this week.

Getting there
The only traffic bottleneck between Connaught Place and Sonipat is ITO. Getting there is a smooth drive along the NH 1, though you cannot drive too fast on the Delhi stretch of the highway because of the constant checks on speeding vehicles. Once you turn right from Mukarva Chowk, you can drive more freely. After crossing the Singhu Border, drive for another 12 km to reach Tau Devi Lal Park. This park is clearly in Sonipat, and can be used as a sign for differentiating the Sonipat area from Kundli-Rai residential corridor.

The NH 1 already provides a smooth transit till Sonipat. When the KMP Expressway comes up, an alternate access to this area would emerge, although commuters from Delhi may not use that too often. Ahead of Sonipat, at Panipat work is underway to widen the highway and construct flyover. All these would make Sonipat attractive to residents of Panipat as well as Delhi. A tramway is proposed to connect Kundli with Sonipat. However, not much progress has taken place so far on this project.
The 5,000-acre plus Rajiv Gandhi Education City is adjacent to these new developing areas. There is a food processing SEZ in Kundli, and industrial park in Rai (between Sonipat and Delhi) where several industries have already started operations, several others are due to start operations soon, and many more are still acquiring land for future development. Developers like DLF, Anantraj are coming up with IT parks of their own in the HSIDC industrial/institutional area.

Pradeep Mishra of Zion Consultancy says that starting with a gradual increase from Rs 3,000 per sq yd, prices saw an artificial level of Rs 12,000 per sq yd. The area is now in the grip of a ‘slowdown’. Transaction in the secondary market in residential property has almost come to a standstill, with the builders holding on to their price line (though they are not increasing the prices) and investors too holding the price line in the hope of better prices down the line.
The reason investors and brokers are able to hold back on the residential properties is because of a brisk trade in industrial and agricultural plots. There is hope that land between the Yamuna River and NH 1 would be soon changed to residential zone, and prices of land per acre here are increasing, currently at Rs 80 lakh per acre.
The prices of residential property are stable now, and Dr B P Dhaka, COO Madhya Pradesh and Corporate Governance, Parsvnath Developers, says that there has been a slowdown in the price increase in the area, even though prices have not come down.

On offer
HUDA has recently launched houses on the Gohan Malhana Road, in Sector 23, which is away from the highway but nearer to Sonipat city. These are priced at around Rs 1,900 per sq ft, which is higher than the current market rate, says Mishra, but the buzz is that these would still be lapped up, partly because it is a secure investment and partly because these prices would not include the extra charges that private builders levy.
The first property to come up after the Tau Devi Lal Park is Parsvnath City. Spread over about 700 acres, one end of this project is on the NH 1, and the other near Sector 15 of Sonipat. On offer are expandable row houses over 194 sq yd. About 163 such houses would be constructed and would be delivered in 18 months from booking date. Work on sector roads is underway but most other features like a sample flats are not up yet.
Next in line is a small group housing project over 10.8 acres, by Apex Builders. Called Apex Greens, it would offer three-bedroom flats, duplex apartments, and penthouses. In all, 507 units would be built. Booking for flats is still open, and construction of the towers work has begun.
Omaxe City Delhi Extension is next. It covers an area of about 400 acres. The project offers group housing, row houses, and plots. Row houses (also called expandable villas) of 194 sq yd and 267 sq yd are all sold out. Construction of a few row houses is complete.

Buyers can expand these houses to 2.5 floors after getting their plans approved by HUDA. Apartments are available only in 2-BHK configurations and are sold out. The towers for apartments are in advanced stages of construction and delivery of apartments is due in May 2009. A few plots of 800 and 1,000 sq yd are still available with (three 1,000 sq yd plots and 10 plots of 800 sq yd).
Eldeco has a relatively small project spread over 70 acres. It is nestled between two malls that TDI is setting up on the highway, and on its rear is the Omaxe project. Eldeco would offer only row housing, with options ranging from 250 sq yd to 502 sq yd. These houses are expandable too, however, they can only be expanded according to pre-approved plans. Starting from two bedrooms, the options can go up to six bedrooms. Buyers can either choose an option upfront or expand later, sticking to the approved floor plans.
Beyond Eldeco is largely uncharted territory. While prices are very low, buyers need to conduct due diligence on their own. There are three projects here, AJS city, Divine Paradise, and Big JOs. Of these three, Divine Paradise is doing the most business in relative terms. It is developing group housing project on a 5-acre plot. Its promoters are Mera Baba Real Estate, a Delhi-based company.
However, the business in this particular area is slacker than in the corridor that ends at Eldeco. Sandeep Tyagi, a local property agent said that AJS City was entangled in a payment tussle with farmers whose lands it acquired. Big JOs is also selling plots here, but local property dealers don’t know much about this project.

Secondary market
According to local brokers, there are almost no buyers in the secondary market of residential property. And whatever sale happens here happens at very little premium. Broadly speaking, plots at Parsvnath are selling at Rs 7,500 per sq yd. Eldeco is perceived to have launched its project too much above the market rate, so no market here either. Plots at Omaxe are between Rs 8,500 and Rs 11,500 per sq yd. Flats at Omaxe are selling at Rs 1,600 per sq ft. This does not leave much margin for premium but Satich Chopra, a local property dealer says, “It is a big thing that sale is taking place.”

Buying decision
If you have the money for a three-to-four year investment, go ahead and make some more money. This market is too near Delhi, much infrastructure is coming up here, and it cannot stay down forever. Lot of industries is coming up here. If your office is also likely to shift here, book that house now.


Source: Express Estates

By vayaM CS