Inadequate infrastructure puts realty sector in Sohna on hold

Realty experts are blaming the lack of an economic trigger, inadequate physical and social infrastructure for lack of buyer interest in Sohna. It is because of this reason that there is pressure on prices, which have remained static and, in fact, gone slightly negative.

The slowdown in the real estate sector in Gurugram is adversely affecting the market in Sohna, which was marketed and branded as a ‘new South Delhi’ by developers in 2015.

Realty experts are blaming the lack of an economic trigger, inadequate physical and social infrastructure for lack of buyer interest in Sohna. It is because of this reason that there is pressure on prices, which have remained static and, in fact, gone slightly negative.

The total inventory in the town is slightly over 50,000 units, according to estimates of real estate consultancy firm 360 Realtors. “At present, there is not much interest in Sohna and queries are also few. As a real estate destination, the town is at an early stage. Most of the projects are under construction and will be delivered in one to three years from now,” said Ankit Kansal, co-founder and managing director, 360 Realtors.

Experts said that there no immediate trigger, as in the case of Gurugram, where setting up of automobile plants in the 1980s led to an economic transformation. The Haryana government’s template for investment in Sohna and 10 proposed cities along the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal road has been a non-starter as well.

“Physical, social and economic infrastructure is totally lacking in the town. Why would people go to this town when there are no jobs, hospitals, schools, clinics or community facilities? When you are targeting young, well-paid couples in their mid-thirties, it is necessary to have adequate medical and education infrastructure in the town,” said Ramesh Menon, CEO, Certes Realty.

Members of National Real Estate Development Corporation (Naredco), an industry lobby group, said that the Sohna market will remain under pressure and will take another seven to eight years to emerge as a viable option.

“Sohna was launched as an affordable residential hub and premium properties were available at a rate less than Gurugram. However, given the downturn in property prices, areas along Dwarka Expressway and Manesar have become equally viable,” said Praveen Jain, vice-chairman, Naredco.

Developers, however, are confident that despite the current slowdown, the market is going to bounce back in Sohna much before it does in Gurugram. In 2015, 11 major developers had come together to market this town as ‘South of Gurugram’, which was to be an affordable real estate destination away from the crowd and just a 20-minute drive from Gurugram.

Naveen Raheja, MD, Raheja developers, who launched two major projects in Gurugram, believes that the growth in Sohna would be brought along by the Deen Dayal Affordable Housing Yojana, which enables affordable housing at an economical rate. “The next round of growth in Sohna is going to come from this scheme and credit much be given to Haryana government for bringing this town under the scheme. A high number of licences are being obtained by developers under this scheme,” he added.

Another crucial step in the evolution of Sohna could be the pace at which the industrial township at Rozka Mev, being developed by Haryana State Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC) in collaboration with a Chinese group, is made functional.

Thakur said that investors would have to take a longterm view as the market is small, liquidity is less and it is difficult to exit the market on profit. All stakeholders, including builders, agree that they will have to bear the burden for long and take responsibility for the development of the entire town before the market rewards them.

Haryana government has been keen on developing Sohna as a satellite township of Gurugram. “An elevated road project has been sanctioned on Sohna road, which will make it easier and faster to travel between Gurugram and Sohna. Also, the industrial township is being developed on a priority,” said Rao Narbir Singh, PWD minister.

Source: Hindustan Times
Dated: 6th July 2018

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