Delhi smog makes pollution-free locations more popular with home buyers


A number of property buyers across the National Capital Region and other metros, are now considering pollution as an important factor, while choosing their homes. However, a home in a pollution-free environment, may have certain other risks

Sheelu Juneja, a homemaker and wife of a senior-level professional, working with an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) in the National Capital Region, recently finalised a ready-to-move-in, 1,400 sq ft apartment, in a group housing society that is close to Manesar. The region is connected with Gurgaon via the National Highway 8. “I wanted to ensure that my child enjoys healthy living and clean air. Hence, while searching for homes, I focused on areas where there is lesser vehicular traffic. The home I selected, is far from the city and yet, it is well- connected and is surrounded by trees,” Juneja elaborates.

A recent report by the World Health Organization (WHO), stated that Delhi is the second-most polluted major city in the world, after Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. High levels of suspended particles in the air, can lead to respiratory disorders and may also result in other ailments like cancer, in the long run. This has forced many home buyers like Juneja, to opt for cleaner areas.

“With the central areas of our cities rapidly becoming polluted, buying a home in the outskirt areas makes better sense, owing to its cleaner environment and lower property rates,” says Santhosh Kumar, CEO – operations and international director, JLL India. “However, many of these areas around our larger cities, lack sufficient social and civic infrastructure, making living there difficult and in some cases impossible,” he points out.

See also: Ways in which climatic conditions impact a property

 

The buyer segment that is looking for homes away from pollution

The number of buyers who are looking for homes that are away from polluted areas, has gradually increased, over the past two years. “Mostly, it is the upper mid-income and high-end buyers, who are willing to buy properties outside the city,” says Manish Gupta, a south Delhi-based real estate broker. Buyers who have already bought their first property, also look at such options when buying a second property. In Juneja’s case, she bought her first property in Jaipur.

Foreign expats, who visit and stay in India for a few years, also look at such options for most of their work tenure, as they wish to stay away from pollution.

 

Non-polluted areas: What do buyers want?

Most of the buyers in this category look for:

  •        Clean surroundings and ample greenery.
  •        Locations that are away from the traffic of city areas.

Another such prospective buyer, Shweta Pahuja, who stays in Noida due to her work, is thinking of buying a property near Pilkhuwa, which is closer to Ghaziabad and is affordable. “The property also gives me an option of planting trees and shrubs and to have my own kitchen garden, all while living away from the polluted regions like Delhi and Noida,” she explains.

 

Points to consider, while buying a property outside the city limits

While the homes in such locations are likely to be affordable, buyers should also ensure that their preferred location has adequate connectivity, to the central areas and one’s work place. For buyers with bigger budgets, plotted developments are an ideal investment category.

Check amenities: Look beyond the usual amenities, especially if the region is located outside the purview of city limits. Various basic functions and services, such as water and electricity, may fall under a different development authority or municipality. Consequently, interacting with these agencies may consume a good amount of your time. Moreover, many amenities may not be easily available in such areas.

Due diligence: Kumar also adds that “In the past, such areas have also attracted fly-by-night builders, who offer low-quality constructions and often, do not get all the necessary permissions for their projects. Therefore, a buyer needs to do a thorough due diligence, not only of the location but also of the developer and the project,” adds Kumar. Nevertheless, the demand in many such locations, is high and hence, these regions also have reputed and credible developers operating there. It is best to opt for established developers, he concludes.

 

Areas outside the NCR that are popular for real estate investments and are considered less polluted

DadriAreas around Karnal
ManesarBahadurgarh
ModinagarSonipat-Panipat
Pilkhuwa-HapurYamuna Expressway

The above list is indicative

 

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