No matter how irrational the price, high- end properties in Delhi continue to sell

F ears of a looming slowdown, the dismal global economic scenario... nothing touches this segment. High-end properties in Delhi ­ few and far between and much in demand ­ continue to create a buzz in the market when people with the deepest of pockets make a bid for and ultimately buy them The most recent and much-talked-about deal involved a 2000 sq yard house in Shanti Niketan that was bought by a business family for R175 crore.

Yet another 1000 sq yd property in Vasant Marg was bought by a wellknown builder group in the city for about R88 crore, according to Vishal Chaturvedi, a real estate agent of south Delhi.

Even though the sizes of the properties aren't too big ­ with some measuring less than half an acre ­ buyers are ready to pay any price for the fancy addresses. The Capital's so-called `prestigious' areas include Prithviraj Road, Amrita Shergil Marg, various sections of the diplomatic zone in Chanakya Puri, West End, Shanti Niketan, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, Bhagwandass Road, Sunder Nagar, Golf Links and Jor Bagh.

Real estate agents say prices continue to remain high here because there's hardly any property in the market. Those who own such properties are very affluent and not too keen to let go of their assets in such premium areas.

High-end properties in Delhi can be categorised into three types: A single floor or more; single unit houses on plots that vary from 200 to 2000 sq yards and bungalows with large grounds. Property agents say that for the first two categories, the prices in the last one year have moved up 15% to as much as 40% depending on the type and location.

How a sale is made is also interesting. Most of the owners do not do the obvious ­ that is put in an advertisement in the property sale section of leading newspapers, says a high-profile real estate agent. They usually like to clinch deals discreetly and contact only a single reputed property dealer for a buyer. The agent then advertises the property and screens the interested parties before bringing the select ones face-toface with the seller.

Interestingly enough, if you thought sellers would connect with property agents active in their areas, you are wrong. In a premium zone, sellers will pick an agent from another area, the thinking being that local agents would know the going rates and not get them as good a deal as the other agents.

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