Where to Buy Real Estate in Kolkata--north or South

By: George Gonigal

Real estate in North Kolkata is becoming costly due to scarcity of land here. Most of the North Kolkata residents who have been staying there for generations do not want to leave this place, says a broker. Many of the North Kolkatans' children have migrated and are settled overseas but the rest want to stay here.

Due to less availability of good land and the fact that residents still want to stay here, North Kolkata's property values have registered a hike. According to the MagicBricks Value Chart, the apartment capital value at a typical North Kolkata area of Baghbazar has witnessed approx 6 per cent rise in values in the last three months from Rs 2,500 - Rs 3,000 per sq. ft in Jan. 2008 to Rs 2,700- Rs 3,100 per sq ft in March, 2008.

North Kolkata is overpopulated and therefore the prices have gone up. One can't even widen the roads here as there is no scope for widening it. The place abounds in small builders having up to 3-4 kathas of land and they have been erecting structures of G+3/4 (Ground floor plus three/ four) storey buildings. There are no established or big real estate developers here unlike South Kolkata and the market is primarily controlled by small local builders.

Some of the property builders in Kolkata, anticipating demand in the near future have amalgamated industrial land at the nearby Jessore road, in the hope that it will be converted from residential to industrial in the future and then they will be able to reap returns.

South Kolkata areas such as Park Street, Ballygunj Street etc, on the other hand, is well planned, have greater open spaces and it has better infrastructure as well. South Kolkata is also a prime commercial hub and is home to many offices.

The profile of people staying in North and South Kolkata is also different. While most of the North Kolkatans are business class and some of the service class such as IT professionals due to proximity to Sector 5 which is the IT hub, the South Kolkata is home to both middle class and upper middle class who are senior executives in multinationals.

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