Bangalore: Failing to attract buyers, DLF Ltd, India’s largest developer by market value, has decided to relaunch its maiden Bangalore project in a different format and has reduced prices—for the second time in three months—by one-third.
DLF is repositioning the project, Westend Heights, converting it from a premium residential development with large apartments to smaller, less-expensive homes. The prices for the project have been cut from Rs2,775 a sq. ft to Rs1,850.
Not just prices, the sizes of apartments have also shrunk. Two-bedroom apartments, which were about 1,310 sq. ft in size, are now being sold as 1,085 sq. ft flats. This basically means that buyers who would have had to pay Rs36.35 lakh will now have a cheaper option in a 1,085 sq. ft flat at some Rs24.5 lakh including registration and stamp duty. The 80-acre property will come up with 700 flats in two years.
DLF didn’t respond to emails and phone calls on Tuesday for comment.
DLF has been attempting to launch this project since early 2008 but was unable to do so due to delay in getting approvals and then the economic slowdown. Even after dropping rates and a soft launch in mid-November, sales didn’t happen. “At the present price, DLF should be able to bring in sales. The average property buyer is so price-conscious today that even Rs100 a sq. ft makes a difference,” said Ranvir Dugal, managing director of PropIQ Realty Tech Pvt. Ltd, a Bangalore-based property advisory firm.
In November, when DLF had pushed down the per sq. ft rate from Rs3,500 to Rs2,775, property consultants had said that it would be difficult for the the developer to sell at that price and predicted it would further slash prices.
Last month, DLF repriced a project in Hyderabad, The Summit. “The per sq. ft prices that were to open at Rs4,000 have been slashed to Rs1,850 for a 1,760 sq. ft flat and to Rs2,000 for a 1,185 sq. ft flat in the project. Construction hasn’t yet begun and the project is expected to finish in three years,” said a DLF executive, who did not want to be identified and is not authorized to speak to the media.
DLF recently warned the Karnataka government that it may pull out of the Rs24,000 crore Bidadi integrated township project, asking the latter to return its earnest money deposit of Rs400 crore. The reason cited by DLF, which is developing the project through a 50:50 joint venture with Dubai-based realty firm Limitless Llc., was delay in the government’s acquisition of land for the project.
A senior official of the Bangalore Metropolitan Region Development Authority, on condition of anonymity, told Mint that it has urged DLF to reconsider its decision and not to withdraw at this stage. “We also fear that DLF may quit from the project because it doesn’t have the money to execute it,” said the official.
In eastern India, too, DLF is building a 500-acre township in suburban Kolkata instead of the initially planned 4,840-acre township.