Average property prices in the top seven cities in India rose by a blended average of 14% over the past seven years, with Pune, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Mumbai among the best cities to invest in.
In the National Capital Region (NCR), which includes New Delhi and neighbouring cities such as Gurgaon and Noida, property prices increased just 2% during the period, though this does not tell the full story.
Within the NCR is Gurgaon, a micro-location which has risen (quite literally since most of the buildings are over 90m tall) from what just a few decades ago was agricultural wasteland 32km outside of New Delhi.
Uniquely, the city was built almost entire by private companies. This inevitably has led to some deficiencies in public services, but equally, there are also efficiencies. If a streetlamp breaks in Gurgaon, a private technician will come and fix it the next day. If a bureaucratic local government were in charge, the same repair would take months.
But as the city took shape, big multinational firms including Google, HSBC, Nokia and Intel set up their Indian operations in the city. Thanks to this, the population of Gurgaon doubled between 2001 and 2011.
It also created a micro location for real estate investment. In areas like Sohna Road and Dwarka Expressway in Gurgaon, real estate prices jumped 18-19% over the last seven years. This is borne out by research but also by my own experience – my Zibel Real Estate portfolio includes extensive holdings in Gurgaon which have appreciated greatly.
The advice that I have always given to fellow real estate investors – and indeed my own strategy – is to invest in emerging new ‘hubs’ where lots of people and businesses are moving in, and to then look for premium “A” locations within those locations that will transcend property cycles.
This has been borne out in Gurgaon, where growing demand and strong growth in residential, commercial and industrial sector real estate has led to the growth of micro-locations within the city.
A changed real estate market has also emerged in the era of Coronavirus pandemic, with many new buyers planning to move out from the overcrowded communities of New Delhi and out to the well-connected new markets in the border areas of the city, such as Gurgaon; where an increased focus on health and wellness is encouraging customers to go for ready-to-move-in new projects built by trusted developers.
New Gurugram is therefore continuing to attract developers and buyers. Major infrastructure developments include a new Delhi-Faridabad metro link, the Kherki Daula toll, construction of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor and a revamping of Southern Peripheral Road. A major project is also underway for the revival of green belt around the city.
Taken together it is my belief that these items will continue to increase real estate prices in parts of Gurugram. The premium ‘micro-locations’ available within the city are more popular among home buyers due to their better prices and modern resources.
Better connectivity will accelerate the development work in this area and attract investors whilst simultaneously increasing demand even further.
Tej Kohl is a real estate investor and owner of the Zibel Real Estate portfolio. Tej Kohli first made his fortune building and selling companies specialising in online payments and associated technologies during the dot com boom. From 2006 Tej Kohli sold companies such as Estacion Tramar in a series of high value trade sales.
Tej Kohli is Chairman of Kohli Ventures where he is focused on investing in deep tech and artificial intelligence ventures. He is also Europe’s biggest individual investor in esports by virtue of his $100m investment into the Rewired fund.
Tej Kohli is also the sole owner of companies including global e-commerce leader dynacart and global regenerative medicine developer Detraxi. Tej Kohli is also focused on investing in Bit Coin and CRISPR.