Yamuna Expressway: NCR’s best bet for Affordable Housing

Going down the stretch from Pari Chowk in Greater Noida towards Agra used to be a test of your driving endurance until a few years ago. Switch to the present and a ride on this same stretch feels like a pleasure cruise. The opening of the Buddh International Circuit placed the Yamuna Expressway on the world map and has transformed the real estate profile of the whole region.

Today this whole stretch along the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway and further down the Yamuna Expressway is buzzing with real estate activity. For people who are unable to find housing options in Delhi and the adjoining cities of Noida and Gurgaon, the corridor along Noida-Greater Noida Expressway and Yamuna Expressway has emerged as a favourable hub. There are projects for high-end housing, mid-ticket homes and mass housing, apart from commercial, institutional and hospitality projects.

It’s proven that highways and expressways help to unlock the real estate potential of its adjoining region and accelerate development. People want to live in well-planned projects, which have rapid commuting infrastructure that cuts down on travelling time while making it convenient to move around.

In the case of Noida-Greater Noida Expressway and Yamuna Expressway, it is amongst the best in the country. There are excellent roads that provide speedy connectivity to the capital city and other parts of the NCR. The region is also set to get Metro rail connectivity, which would propel demand further.

Besides, the Yamuna Expressway also enjoys strategic locational advantage of being close to the DMIC corridor. The Dadri-Noida-Ghaziabad node is expected to cover an area of 200 sq. km east of Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) and targets a population of 2 million. This industrial city is proposed to have a multi modal logistics hub, including a truck terminal, cold storage, warehouses and Boraki Railway Station. The station will come up on 160 hectare land North West of Boraki and has been visualized as a world class passenger hub which will integrate with an inter-state bus terminal and Metro.

No wonder that the region is pulling in big investment and a slew of infrastructure projects, which are helping in rapid development of real estate. A 285-km Agra Lucknow Expressway Project has been proposed with an estimated budget of Rs.15,000 crore, which would extend Yamuna Expressway to Lucknow, enabling faster transit. Also, land has been allotted in the master plan for 40 educational institutions and for retail development. Planned Export Promotion Zones, together with the Taj Economic Zone along the Yamuna Expressway, are likely to boost the economic development of this region. On its part the Greater Noida Authority, which is the parent agency for YEIDA, has announced several projects and initiatives. These include construction of an exposition mart, developing a transport hub and Night Safari for the region.

In recent years, the UP government has further stepped up efforts to lure industrial investment to the region. This business focus has helped Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway emerge as the preferred destinations for IT, electronics and semiconductor industries. Greater Noida has already emerged as a self-sufficient industrial township that is home to about 3,000 industrial units, including 100 big players like Yamaha Motors, Hero Honda, New Holland, and Asian Paints among others. The Yamuna Expressway is likewise expected to grow into a major logistics and warehousing hub in the country, given its proximity to the eastern and western parts of the Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor. Today, there is huge interest and response for industrial plot schemes floated by the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority from automobiles, textiles and agrotech players.

Even as the Authority is trying to attract more industries to set up shop, housing and other ancillary services such as tourism, hospitality and education facilities are already making their presence felt, drawn by the region’s investment appeal and growth potential. As Noida-Greater Noida Expressway and Yamuna Expressway transport corridor also connects two major international tourist destinations – Delhi and Agra – there is strong tourism activity along the corridor, abetted by the presence of smaller tourist hubs located along this stretch such as Brindavan and Mathura. Understandably, the region has also sparked the interest of a lot of hotel chains and resort operators who are planning development in the region.

What is creating a huge appetite for housing in the region are factors such as availability of huge land parcels, affordability of real estate and the region’s proximity and superb connectivity to already established industrial and corporate hubs of Noida and Greater Noida, which employ a large number of people. To meet the anticipated demand for housing, the state government has notified a stretch of 10-15 km to the left of Yamuna Expressway, up to the Yamuna on the right side, for organized and well-planned development. Several leading real estate developers have bought lands from YEIDA and GNIDA and are coming up with their projects ranging from townships, plotted and villa developments and apartment complexes along Noida-Greater Noida Expressway and Yamuna Expressway.

Currently, the biggest attraction that this region offers to end-users as well as investors is good quality modern apartments at affordable prices. In mid-segment price range, one can find a decent two-bedroom apartment in Rs. 28-30 lakh. Also, as average home prices in Yamuna Expressway locations are significantly lower compared not only with Noida but other regions in the NCR as well, the region offers investors the promise of good price appreciation in the coming years.

Going forward, the demand for housing in the region is set to explode given the fact that the projected population growth by 2031 is about 1.5 million in Noida and about 1.2 million in Greater Noida. Once the number of industries, institutions and commercial/retail hubs reach a critical mass, as is widely expected in the next few years, the region will witness a remarkable social and economic transformation.

About P. Sahel

As Vice Chairman of Lotus Greens, Sahel is responsible for giving directions on overall business strategy and key investments decisions of the firm. Being one of the founding members of Lotus Greens, Sahel has been instrumental in formulating various company policies, setting up systems and processes, and building a strong team of professionals. Prior to Lotus Greens, Sahel worked for more than 16 years in some of India’s largest and most respected real estate companies like Jones Lang LaSalle for 13 years as the Managing Director of the Markets & Solution Development and DLF prior to that. The views expressed are personal

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