Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Middle class moves out of metros

Press Trust of India

Metros New Delhi, January 16: Italian marble floors, bar, modular kitchen, a state-of-the-art bathroom and a swimming pool in the backyard: luxury has just got redefined, and that too for the middle class as far as housing is concerned.

With real estate prices in the NCR region soaring, developers are looking at greener pastures in tier II and tier III cities: in fact, the boom has just begun in Kundli, Sonepat, Panipat in Haryana and Rudrapur in Uttaranchal, where luxury apartments, affordable even by the middle class, are fast coming up.

All roads today lead to tier II and tier III cities that are around two to three hours drive from Delhi where these luxury apartments are coming up," says Kashif N Usmani of Taneja Developers and Infrastructure Ltd (TDI).

"The last decade saw the transition of sleepy towns like Gurgaon, Noida and Faridabad into enviable addresses. But today, these tier I towns, as they are called, are all saturated and far beyond the means of the middle class," he says.

"The focus is now on other closer-to-Delhi cities of Haryana as the development policies there are very conducive for real estate development. For around Rs 20 lakh, a middle class person can get a luxury apartment," says Sunil Anand of Anand Properties & Infrastructure Ltd.

The catch is that these apartments come with a luxury tag.

A 2-3-bedroom apartment comes with attached state of the art baths, modular kitchens and wooden flooring in the master bedroom. "If this is not enough to lure the buyer, there is also a fountain at the entrance," says Anand.

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