Friday, August 29, 2008

Rents fly with BIA

Rents fly with BIA

House owners in Devanahalli are merrily reaping the ‘BIA dividend’, demanding huge rentals from airport employees keen on staying close to their workplace

By Sridhar Vivan & Rohith B R
Posted On Friday, August 29, 2008

If you’re looking to rent a two-bedroom house in Shanti Nagar, be prepared to cough up anything between Rs 8,000 and Rs 10,000, besides an advance of upto Rs 1 lakh. Well, that’s the realty reality in Bangalore, you say, little suspecting that the Shanti Nagar we are talking about is not the one in the heart of the city, near Double Road, but its start-up namesake 40 km away in Devanahalli.

The layout’s cachet, if you haven’t already guessed: it’s a stone’s throw from the three-month-old Bengaluru International Airport (Devanahalli is just six km from the trumpet flyover), and there’s no such thing as traffic congestion, at least not yet. Naturally, airport employees wanting to stay close to their workplace are making a beeline to this and other localities in what was once just a sleepy village on the periphery of the city.

Not surprisingly, a single bedroom house which was available for Rs 1,500 now commands a rent of Rs 4,000, while owners of two- and three-bedroom houses, which were available just a couple of months ago for rents ranging between Rs 3,000 and Rs 4,000, are demanding as much as Rs 10,000.

Then and now

Recalling the pre-BIA scene, S M Rajanna, a local resident and social worker, said the rent for a two-bedroom house hardly ever crossed Rs 4,000 and there were very few houses available anyway. “Today, rents have doubled across the board. And there are people who are building houses just to rent them out and make money,” he said. In fact, one can see multi-storied houses coming up on almost every road in areas like Shanti Nagar.

In Prakash Nagar, another locality, airport employees form the largest number of tenants. “For a single bedroom house, the rent is anywhere between Rs 5,000 and Rs 7,000. All those land owners who had left their sites — purchased earlier from farmers — vacant are into house construction now,” said Raju Gowda, a long-time resident of Devanahalli.

In the upcoming Aishwarya Layout, another ‘posh’ locality, rents are expected to go through the roof as many ‘palatial’ houses are coming up to meet the rush by airport employees.

Take it or leave it

Taking a house on lease is no less expensive. Depending on the locality, deposits range from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 3 lakh. “However, there are very few house owners who are ready to give houses on lease,” said Ramesh, a realtor. Rentals of shops too have gone up from Rs 2,000 a few months ago to Rs 5,000 today.

House-seekers have no option but to cough up these hefty amounts if they want to balance their professional and family life. N Narendra (name changed) was working in the cargo division at the HAL airport and resided at Ulsoor. “When the airport operations shifted, I found it difficult to cope and had to shift to Devanahalli,” he said. Narendra pays a monthly rent of Rs 6,000 for the single bedroom house that he and his family occupy there.

Pricey mess

The flip side of this breathless realty show is that Devanahalli’s infrastructure remains in a pathetic state. “Many roads are yet to be tarred and the existing tarred roads in old Devanahalli are full of potholes. Moreover, there is no drainage facility,” said Ashok, an airport employee who has shifted to Devanahalli. “There is no drinking water facility. Borewells have been sunk up to 1,000 feet without striking water,” he added

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