By Ramesh Menon, Director, Certes Realty Ltd.
There is considerable buzz about the Green belt opportunity in Delhi, with very little informed tools being used for decision-making. Most investors continue to rely on their brokers, who may earlier have successfully deployed their capital into income producing commercial assets, OR, residential apartments earlier, but continue to be guided by non experts in the field of Farm houses in Delhi.
Tracing the history of the genesis of Farmhouses in Delhi, there were considerable rural areas in Delhi when the first master plan of Delhi was prepared in 1962, and a dwelling unit on the Farm (agricultural land) was permitted to facilitate the farmer to spend the night. It was never intended as a first home.
With Delhi emerging as a leading business destination & the increasing affluence, of the 1980s & 90s, the areas around South Delhi started getting developed into Farm House projects, with leading developer creating semi-gated compounds, replete with wide tree lined boulevards. With time, these areas became First homes for the affluent, which in contravention to the norms laid down in 1962, built large mansions (in excess of the laid down FAR, height & coverage norms).
With the passage of time, it was practically impossible for the government to classify these settlements as “Unauthorized & illegal” and demolish these residential homes. The multitude of government agencies implementing the orders, as well as the legal tangles didn’t help the cause.
With the revisions under MPD 2021, the planners took a more pragmatic view, and introduced the LDRP policy, as well as paved the way for regularizing & sub plotting many of the existing farmhouses, which are in excess of 2.5 acres.
Now, that is the REAL opportunity.
How can you participate?
Broadly speaking, there are three opportunities that the HNI audience can participate in, under the LDRP policy in Delhi. (see graphic)
1. The LDRP policy has ensured that equal opportunity is provided to Landowners, developers as well as prospective buyers, to create OR purchase products in a ticket size that befits their use. In our wisdom, this being the first instance where a LDRP plot + Dwelling unit measuring 2000 – 5000 sq. ft would be made available to consumers at the price of a builder floor OR a DDA MIG apartment.
2. Developers have the option to either purchase, OR, enter into a JV / JDA arrangement with a landowner to create products. “Stretch the Rupee” could be the mantra for most. This also paves the way for marquee Global developers & allied service providers to explore the markets in Delhi. The first waves of enquiry from these “out-of-town” developers have already started.
3. With the other verticals in real estate, namely, Commercial, retail & residential not returning the desired yield, those investors who can substantially gather a knowledge driven approach into this product category, can make the Highest ROI through their financial participation.
Having mentioned the above, the Farm House / LDRP opportunity in Delhi should be “knowledge” driven, rather than speculative. Whether you are a landowner, real estate developer or an investor, be sure to talk to experts who can be helpful on both ends of the transaction spectrum.
Coz, there always could be a slip between the Cup & the Lip.