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Rs. 50,050 for a sq. yard!

T. Lalith Singh

HYDERABAD: Real estate prices registered a new high on Wednesday when bidders quoted a record price of Rs. 50,050 per square yard at an auction conducted by the Andhra Pradesh Housing Board (APHB) at Kukatpally Phase V and VI.

Some 60 bidders took part in the auction for 12 plots of sizes varying from 250 sq. yards to 600 sq. yards and if all goes well, the APHB is set to become richer by Rs. 12 crores from the auction. Some Non-Resident Indians and real estate dealers were said to have taken part in the auction.

According to rules, the successful bidders have time till Thursday to make 25 per cent of the payment.

Will they, won't they?

"We will know how serious these bidders are about taking the plots by tomorrow," said an official while describing the Rs. 50,050 bid as the highest in the history of the Housing Board.

In February 2004, a similar auction at Nandagiri Hills of Jubilee Hills by the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority (HUDA) saw the bids skyrocketing to Rs. 40,900 per sq. yard. However, after setting new records, the auction for 75 plots had at least 50 per cent of the bidders preferring to forfeit their deposits instead of paying the bid money to claim the plots.

Criticism

This ended with many criticising the unprecedented bidding as a ploy by real estate dealers aimed at facilitating an artificial boom in land prices.

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