I have heard this grievance several times “Ashish I can’t pay an EMI more than INR 45,000-50,000 a month, where do I then buy a property in Gurgaon”. Plain and simple answer to that is – unless your family left you with a fortune to make a big down payment you can’t own your own flat in Gurgaon prime and this includes several apartment projects of Dwarka Expressway. Recently I was informed about the ambitious joint marketing campaign being done by 11 CREDAI members of Delhi NCR to promote their properties at Sohna. In so many years of investing I have faint memories of such joint promotion by any group, the closest I can think of will be Crossings Republik at Ghaziabad. Though the notable difference there is projects at Crossings were part of one large plot of land. Sohna unlike Crossings is a different story 1) builder plots are all scattered across Sohna Masterplan of 2031 and 2) Sohna’s closest neighbour is more affluent than Ghaziabad or Noida to Crossings. The builder group is calling this campaign as South Gurgaon though each one has their own projects under development. Hence, one has options to decide which one fits the budget and requirements.
Unlike Mumbai most other Indian cities can expand radially which allows for widespread development. Notable examples being Hyderabad or Bangalore where the cities are expanding in all directions. Over the past decade and a half Gurgaon rose in economic and social prominence unlike any other city in India. One can complaint about the hazaar issues the city’s residents face one can not argue that some of the best offices/ office complexes in the NCR are in Gurgaon. Pepsico, Coke, Gillete, Google, Dell, Microsoft and several other Fortune 500 companies, Maruti, Hero Honda and other Indian names are all having strong presence in Gurgaon. For many years real estate fraternity has spoken about the floating population of Gurgaon i.e. people who live in other parts of NCR but travel to Gurgaon for work. This isn’t any trade secret anymore, just why were the courts compelled to announce Gurgaon-Delhi stretch of NH-8 as toll free?
That said Gurgaon unlike Noida had restrictive density norms which led to lower residential developments comparatively. What it further led to was that lesser number of apartments were being constructed on any piece of land. Such a scenario led to lower supply of residences while real estate markets were shooting up. Properties thereby went out of the reach of the common man of Gurgaon. There is a strong need for more affordable housing in Gurgaon.
The Government pushed for affordable housing scheme in various cities of Haryana including Gurgaon, however I have found it difficult to understand how the scheme leads to better economics for builders. Since I haven’t dwelled much over this topic I shall let it pass for now.
I had earlier written about my initial impressions of Sohna as a market I have since spent little more time understanding the dynamics here. For starters Sohna Road flats are a prized possession today in Gurgaon while Sohna is about 15 km away from Badshahpur intersection in Gurgaon. For me there might be three reasons I may consider South Gurgaon as a good property investment (with usual disclaimers) –
- Toll free proximity to Gurgaon – The Badshahpur-Sohna stretch is toll free and is a National Highway (248A). Though there are bumps along the road the stretch is great to drive on. Some properties here can be reached within a timespan of 15-20 minutes from the Badshahpur junction. The only hitch can be the crowded intersection at Badshahpur-Golf Course Extension Road. I have been informed that the NHAI is considering proposals to build a flyover above the Badshahpur village to prevent further choking of traffic here. This can be a much required piece of infrastructure development that can make commute to South Gurgaon pleasurable.
Also another fact that one can consider is that access to Dwarka Expressay is through the toll plaza near the Haldiram outlet on NH-8 which also means traffic jams and long travel times to that place when compared to Sohna may be.
- Affordability – The Sohna masterplan allows real estate companies to plan more number of smaller units per acre of land. Many firms have been prudent enough to consider it as an important aspect while designing their projects. Sohna isn’t Gurgaon, which also means the capital values are lower here. The twin affect of lower per square feet price as well as lower apartment size augurs well for the middle class which can think of owning apartments under INR 50-55 lacs here. Much of Gurgaon developments cost INR 1 crore and above because of higher per square price and large apartment sizes.
3. Live close to the nature – Gurgaon is devoid of green patches and lakes, unless one travels away from it. One such place is Sohna, which is home to Damdama lake and Aravalis. Both are protected zones and will continue to be so, touchwood. Which means that ones who prefer to return home to calmer neighbourhood and fresher environments will find living at Sohna better than in the dry and arid Gurgaon prime.
Social infrastructure at South Gurgaon (Sohna) may take time to match up to that of Gurgaon but then if the above three are your priorities this place may make more sense to own a property at.
PS: You may access a FAQ on this market and flats being sold here on the South of Gurgaon webpage created by us