Saturday, June 19, 2010

YELAHANKA NEW TOWN IS THE NEW PREMIUM ADDRESS

YELAHANKA NEW TOWN IS THE NEW PREMIUM ADDRESS
Realty prices in Bangalore are headed north. Literally. Sites in the once remote extension are sold at Rs 16,500 per sq ft, bringing it on par with the posh central business district
S ESHWAR & M K ASHOKA


Yelahanka New Town stunned Bangalore by matching up to the city’s swankiest neighbourhoods in property prices on Friday. At an auction, a square foot fetched Karnataka Housing Board an unbelievable Rs 16,500. Yelahanka New Town is close to the Bangalore airport, but the property sector is still debating how prices could have skyrocketed.
The nine commercial plots that went under the hammer measured 385 feet each —- just half the size of a single-bedroom flat! The transaction has not only changed price-dynamics in Bangalore’s realty sector, but also left KHB upbeat about its other auctions. While the going rate in the central business district is between Rs 15,000 and Rs 16,000, it is between Rs 7,000 and Rs 10,000 in the more densely populated Gandhinagar area near Majestic. “In fact, the base price fixed for the auction in Yelahanka New Town was Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000, but what we got was much, much more,” a KHB official said. After KHB Commissioner M B Dyaberi and Minister Katta Subramanya Naidu gave KHB the go-ahead, its officials went ahead and cleaned up the plots and fenced them.
When bidding began, the first quote was Rs 10,000 per sq ft. It scaled up gradually. By the end of the day, the KHB had managed to earn more than Rs 11 crore from the auction.
In fact, the lowest price quoted was Rs 12,400 per sq ft, and the highest Rs 16,500. C N Shiva Prakash, Deputy General Manager of KHB, told Bangalore Mirror: “It is an all-time record for us. There was a time when our properties didn’t have many takers, but the jinx has been broken and we have passed the recession test.”
CHANGING PROFILE
But why have the prices gone up so much? Officials and realty watchers are unanimous in attributing it to the changing profile of Yelahanka New Town.
“The roads are have been widened, the parks beautified, and the civic amenities are wellplanned. The upper middle class loves this extension. Since their spending power is good, commercial establishments see great potential here,” an official said.
BIDDERS HAPPY
The bidders weren’t complaining about the rising prices either. Y K Puttaraju and Y K Rangaswamy paid Rs 16,500 per sq ft and bought a plot for Rs 2.91 crore.
Businessman Y R Ravikumar, who bought a site, said: “I had expected to buy it for Rs 10,000 per sq ft, but it went up to Rs 13,000. I had purchased a similar site in 1987 from KHB for just Rs 42 per square feet.”
DISAPPOINTMENT
Bhagvat Gupta, who had come ready to bid, was gasping for breath after hearing the prices. “For Rs 10,000, we get sites around Menaka theatre in Majestic. And here, the going rate is more than Rs 16,000,” he said. He went back without making a purchase.
“As far as I can remember, the KHB bought lands for Rs 2,000 an acre when I was a kid. It is heartening to see how land value has shot up,” exulted P V Nagappa, executive director for LNR Builders from Yelahanka.
N Devarajaiah, a Yelahanka New Town resident, explained that the KHB had acquired 17.5 acres of his land in 1978 for Rs 8,000 an acre. “Today, I wouldn’t be able to buy even a small site here,” he rued.
AS POSH AS MINISTERS’
Devarajaiah was, however, thrilled that houses in the Yelahanka New Town area were as posh as those in Sadashivanagar, where ministers and rich businessmen live.
Yelahanka New Town is spread across 648 acres and was built in 1983-84. It is regarded as the only upmarket hotspot in Bangalore North.
Buoyed by the response to its auction here, KHB is all set to auction sites in Suryanagar and Bandemutt on Saturday.

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