North, East-facing Bengaluru development body flats may cost more
The demand for north and east-facing apartments has prompted Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) to think of charging a premium for them in apartments it builds in the city.
Several BDA-developed south or west-facing flats have found no takers as most home-buyers believe in vaastu and consider only those facing east and north auspicious.
For instance, there are no takers for the south and west-facing BDA flats in Alur. An official in charge of allotments said, “Any buyer who wants to purchase a BDA flat first checks if the house is north- or east-facing. It is only after ensuring this do they go ahead with the purchase. In the apartment complexes in Alur, a majority of vacant flats are south and west-facing.”
Although the BDA has not carried out a survey to establish that a belief system is the reason behind unsold flats, officials said their observation of the buying pattern has established the trend.
“Often, people prefer to buy a flat from a private builder by paying hefty amounts just because BDA flats that are facing the direction of their choice are sold out,” an officer said.
This, while the BDA is struggling to sell its flats built in various corners of Bengaluru. The authority had even introduced across-the-table sale of flats in 2017 to speed up sales. But the business has not taken off.
Preference for direction applies to the sale of housing plots, too, officials said. Unlike across-the-table sale of flats, plots are allotted through a lottery system. But a provision that allows buyers to exchange their plot with a yet-to be-allotted plot has proved that people prefer housing sites facing east or north.
Hence, it plans to introduce differential pricing for flats facing different directions. “Private builders sell flats facing north and east directions for a higher price. We, too, are thinking of emulating that. For those flats, buyers may have to shell out more, say 5%, of the total price,” the officer said. BDA believes that concession for less-preferred flats could improve the sale of unsold ones. “The same could be adopted for sale of sites, too, if across-the-table concept is introduced,” he said.
BDA engineer member BS Shivakumar admitted the BDA is thinking on these lines. “We are anyway introducing differential pricing for flats located in different floors as per the stamps and registration department’s guidelines. We may as well introduce house direction-based pricing if the BDA board approves it,” he said.